Used car shopping might just be one of the all-time least favorite activities in America today. Really, though, it shouldn’t be! After all, you’re buying a shiny newish vehicle that will luxuriously move you from place to place, hopefully humming along and passing the worry-free miles without skipping a beat.
Unfortunately, that just isn’t the way it goes most of the time. You’ll have to deal with rude salespeople, inefficient service, and plenty of attempts to steer you into a vehicle purchase you don’t want to make. You’ll get hassled, pestered, poked and prodded, and you’ll have little to show for it but a hard heart and an innate distrust of anything within fifty feet of a used-car dealership.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Sure, there are plenty of dealerships out there who go on and on about low-pressure or no-pressure sales, but unless you’re prepared for them, that’s nothing but words and wind. The reality is that you make your own car buying experience, whether it be good or bad, and though you think you’re at the mercy of the dealership, the reverse is the honest truth. They’re at your mercy. They just know better than you do how to take advantage of that fact.
The first tactic you should practice is to know what you’re looking for before you visit a lot. Choose about five vehicles that fit what you’re looking for, research the colors they’re available in and which ones you like, and make a list that you can carry with you.
Before the dealership visit, you should also look into the dealership’s stock online. While they can often find the vehicle you’re looking for, they may not want to. They may instead want you to simply buy something they have on hand. Here’s a tip, though: Avoid requesting information through the online form. This will connect you to the internet salesperson or salespeople. They may be all right, but the truth is they’re usually flush with customers and won’t have much time for you. Instead, when a car suits your needs, go to the dealership and take a look, working with the salespeople on the lot. They probably don’t make as much money as do the internet sales people, so they’ll be hungrier to cut you a good deal when the time comes to make a purchase.
Buying a used car from a dealership isn’t as bad as it used to be, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. Being prepared will help make it a more enjoyable experience, and increase the liklihood you’ll buy the car you really want, instead of the one the dealership wants to sell you.