Used car dealers might not be quite the devils they are frequently painted as, but there is no doubt they will try loads of tricks to remain on the better side of a bargain. But if you understand what these used car salesman tricks are, you can recognize and dismiss them.
Buying a used vehicle has lots of moving parts. You must haggle with salespeople within the purchase price, negotiate with banks and finance managers for a loan or lease, and attempt to strike a deal on your trade-in. Mistakes will cost you, so preparation is vital.
The biggest thing to watch out for with used car dealers is people who are more concerned with selling you a vehicle than finding out the particulars of your situation. This report describes 10 common high-pressure sales tactics you might be faced with when purchasing a used car from a dealer.
See also: Complete Guide to Test-Driving a Used Car
10 Used Car Salesman Tricks Dealers Use
There’s plenty to consider when you’re purchasing a used car. Getting the perfect used car at the right price takes persistence, particularly when you confront a persuasive dealer. But if you understand some of the most common used car salesman tactics they will use to push up the cost or make the sale, you are able to see through their suggestions and get a better deal.
Purchasing a vehicle at a used car lot frequently has a negative reputation due to the techniques and strategies salesman use for you to buy. Below are 10 of the most frequent used car salesman tricks so that you can avoid them.
1. Sense of Urgency
A dealer may tell you another client is interested and will go back to purchase tomorrow, or a cost increase is slated for next month, or they’re under pressure to meet a goal and so can be exceedingly generous this week and this week only.
This is one of the oldest used car salesman tricks in the book. No Matter the specific strategy, if you feel you’re getting rushed to a buying decision, walk away to give yourself some time to think.
Read Next: 10 Tips for Bargaining with a Used Car Dealer
2. Bait and Switch
A used car dealer may advertise a fantastic deal on Craigslist, but if you arrive in the lot, you are told the deal was so hot it is already sold out. They will then attempt to sell you another car at a less appealing cost.
The entire purpose of a bait-and-switch advertisement is to get you to the showroom.
Avoid this car dealer trick by calling before going and checking to see if the advertised offer remains available. If they say yes, then request email verification and take this with you. Should they try and pull a bait-and-switch scam, then you’ve got the evidence to justify walking away instantly.
3. Hiding Details within a Deal
If you agree on a monthly payment, a trader can stealthily lengthen the credit term to boost the overall price. Or they might agree on a generous supply for your trade-in but bump up the selling price of the vehicle you’re interested in to compensate.
Assess each part of the deal you are offered to make sure they’re all fantastic value, as opposed to the best parts hiding the worst.
Related: How to Haggle Car Price During Negotiations
4. Dubious Trade-In Tactics
It is a commonly used car salesman trick to quote you a dreadful price for your trade-in initially, telling you it’s not worth anything and they are doing you a favor by taking it. Then, when you negotiate your way back up to a more sensible price, you feel like you’ve struck a wonderful deal. However, you’ve just improved a terrible one, with the dealer still ahead in the game.
Either sell your used car yourself or shop your trade-in to multiple dealers.
5. Downgrading the Trade-In
Another dubious trade-in tactic is to provide you with a wonderful deal initially to lure you into negotiating the remainder of the agreement. Then, just before completion of the sale, they will discover a problem with your previous car, which means that they should offer less.
A used car dealer knows that many people will feel committed by this stage, and reluctant to back out over what seems a minor detail. Should this happen, do not be afraid to say you will need to get another valuation before continuing.
6. Unneeded Extras
When the deal is nearly completed, the dealer may provide you with some last-minute updates, telling you they are only available as part of the wonderful deal you are getting. Many times, they will try and conceal the real costs by wrapping them inside the finance package. Ordinarily, these extras are worth much more to the dealer than they are for you.
7. Financing Falls Through
Financing is another one of those commonly used car salesman tricks that catch a lot of people out. You might get offered an attractive financing deal to convince you to purchase. But before the contract is signed, the finance company withdraws its offer. Odds are, this deal never existed, to begin with.
You are just getting pressured into taking another finance deal that is more rewarding for the dealership. If the dealership attempts this, just walk away, you are under no obligation to continue the arrangement if a financing offer becomes withdrawn.
8. Selling on Monthly Payment Instead of Price
When a salesman pops the question, “what sort of payment are you searching for?” Before you’ve even discussed the purchase price of the vehicle, that’s a significant red flag.
If you are focused on payment, they’ll stretch the term so far as possible to secure you a ‘payment’ you are content with, though you’ve overpaid on the vehicle. They also earn money when you finance, as much as $3,000 in certain instances. A decent salesman shouldn’t begin with payment. Instead, they need to be polite in addressing your budgeting issues.
9. Keeping You Waiting
If you’ve ever purchased a used car from a dealer, odds are you’ve been a victim of this waiting game. All of the layers of management and the approval process can cause difficulties for a possible buyer.
You’ve got a salesman, a team leader, a sales manager, a general sales manager, and then a general manager. You’ve got all these levels of direction, so a person takes the keys to your potential trade-in, and you need to go through three or four people if you would like to get them back.
Should you purchase a used car, you go to a different area of the dealership where you must wait again. You wait around for funding, paperwork… you just wait. Then you are exhausted and you only need to get out of there and you are more likely to agree to something that is a terrible idea.
If you feel like you’re being run through the waiting game wringer, then take the initiative and insist that the dealer or salesman start moving–or call off the deal. Do not agree to something because you only need to get out of there.
10. Tag Team Trickery
Last, the dealer offers you a wonderful deal, only to get a superior to deny it. That’s a classic great cop-bad cop routine. The strategy is you’ll feel the first salesperson is on your side, and you will be thankful for any improvements provided as you continue to negotiate. In truth, a reliable salesperson rarely needs to consult with a decision upstairs, and thus don’t fall for this obvious manipulation.
Purchasing a used car is filled with potential pitfalls, but do not let a high-pressure automobile dealer be among them. They are experts in sales, but if you keep your wits about you, you do not have to be taken in by these 10 used car salesman tricks.