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Car Negotiating Tips - DealerPinch Blog

Imagine needing to negotiate with a professional negotiator. How would you be able to get what you need without getting wrapped up into a game of back and forth bargaining? Negotiating is one of the b...

Imagine needing to negotiate with a professional negotiator. How would you be able to get what you need without getting wrapped up into a game of back and forth bargaining? Negotiating is one of the biggest things that car buyers dread having to deal with when walking into a dealership to purchase a new car. Although there are options for car buying online with companies such as, some consumers may still find themselves inside of a dealership at some point or another. We have compiled a list of some of the most helpful negotiating tips customers can use to out-negotiate professional negotiators, or as they are better known - dealership salespeople.

The preparation before you begin the negotiation is the most vital part of being able to back up your arguments. Here are some things to consider before you begin the negotiation process:

  1. Understand the process. If you learn about the negotiation process before you actually begin, you are less likely to fall for the tactics a salesperson may use.
  2. Have a plan before you walk through the door. Know exactly what you want to do before you get there and come prepared.
  3. Do your research! Extensively research the vehicle you are interested in before you walk into a dealership to purchase a car.
    1. Learn what the invoice price (what the dealership paid) is for the car you want.
    2. Know exactly which options offered on the car fit best for your needs and wants.
      • know how much money this will add on to the price of the car.
    3. Have knowledge about what other buyers have paid for the same car.
    4. Calculate the amount you are comfortable paying.
    5. Gather competing bids from other local dealerships or online car-buying websites.
    6. Check the dealership website for any current or special offers
      • make sure you know about all rebates!
    7. Take the car for a test drive.
  4. Get pre-approved. Take a trip to your local bank or credit union before you go into the dealership. This will allow you to compare interest rates.

Here are some things to consider once the negotiation process begins:

  1. Use the knowledge you gained for negotiating. If you’ve done careful research, you already know more than the salespeople think you do and this gives you a huge advantage. Don’t be afraid to use your knowledge - knowledge is power. The preparation process equips you to walk into the dealership knowing what you want and how much you can get if for.
  2. Be confident and relaxed. When you exude confidence, it can help to lean the negotiation in your favor. The salespeople are more likely to ask you for less and agree with you more if you are dauntless. Don’t get jumbled by the tactics they may use, keep your cool while remaining confident in your game plan.
  3. Always begin the negotiation with the invoice price, not the MSRP. This gives the dealer a heads up that you’ve done your homework. The MSRP is always higher than the invoice price and is more difficult to negotiate down. Dealers want to sell you their car for the MSRP, so once you offer the invoice price, you’ll most likely end up somewhere in the middle.
    • as soon as the dealer counter offers, only raise your bid in $100-$200 increments, never anything more.
  4. Make them pursue you. Be prepared to walk out of the dealership without a car before you even get there. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a deal if it does not meet all your needs or wants. No one is keeping you from leaving and the dealership will be there again tomorrow.

Using the information provided here allows consumers to make smart decisions and helps eradicate most of the stress associated with car buying. Buying a car is a huge, intimidating investment. It’s better to be more prepared than under-prepared. It is also helpful to know when to purchase a vehicle. Ideally, consumers should begin shopping for a car in the beginning of the month and purchase at the end of the month. This will knock out most of the negotiation process as the car dealership may be trying to reach their quota for the month. This means you are more likely to land the bargain deal you’re looking for.

There are also several ways to bypass going in to the dealership to negotiate altogether. One of them is to purchase your car through an online car buying company. One such company is called With you can use your extensive research to name what you want to pay for the car. does all the work for you and keeps your information anonymous, so you’ll never have to communicate with a dealership before your offer is accepted.

So, whether you’re getting ready to purchase a new vehicle through your local dealership or through, make sure to take note of these tips and use them to your advantage. Get out there and use your knowledge to out-negotiate a professional negotiator!

Dealer PinchScience Articles, Inc

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