How to deal with car salesmen: part 2

  • How to get the best deal you can
  • Remember you're valuable
  • Deal directly with the boss
In part one of our masterclass on how to beat car sales tactics we covered how dealers will tell you discounts aren't available, when they are, and how they use time limits to pressurise you into making a decision.

Here we're going to look at two other tricks and techniques designed to put you onto the back foot.

One of the tricks is very timely, the other is an old chestnut, but with both we'll show you how you can stay in the driving seat of the negotiations.

Tactic three – 'We're very busy at the moment, so we don't need to discount'
March and September are certainly the busiest two months of the year, because the new registration plates are released and buyers swarm to dealerships.

You may find that a salesman tells you that he has buyers queued up around the block and that he can pick and choose his customers and cut back discounts to the bone as a result.

Just because a showroom's busy, it doesn't mean they can afford to turn your valuable business away.

In fact, if a dealership is close to a sales target you might find the sales staff willing to offer an even bigger discount than usual to hit the target and release a large bonus payment to them.

It's worth playing a waiting game and trying your luck towards the ends of these months, then, to see if a dealer is wiling to bite your arm off.

Even if they aren't, the usual discounts apply no matter how busy it is, so use the What Car? Target Price, stick to your guns and don't pay over the odds.

Tactic four – 'I'll check with my boss and see what he can do'
This is called second-facing. It's when you reach a point in negotiations where the person you're dealing with says they're not authorised to discount as much as you're asking and they'll need to check with their boss instead.

They'll probably tell you they're doing it as a special favour, just for you. They'll do it to try and earn some extra trust, getting you on their side against the sales director, but still charging more than you should be paying.

The chances are that when they disappear for 10 minutes to talk to the chief they'll just be having a cup of tea and leaving you to stew.

The moment it happens, politely ask to start dealing directly with the top man, or woman, who holds all the cards and decides the most that can be sliced off the list price.

If you keep the middleman between you and the decision maker, they might continue to disappear and drag negotiations out until you're desperate to get things finalised.

Keeping negotiations face-to-face and between just two people – you and the boss – will speed things up and should get you a better deal.

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