Saturday, January 17, 2009
How to buy a used car, cheap. Even in this economy. ESPECIALLY in this economy
"Here is a technique for negotiating the price of any
big ticket item, especially a used one.
Go through the basics. Make sure you really want it.
After you have done your homework and know when you
see a good deal, don't get greedy. But hold out for less
than the asking price. This is especially true of a used
If it's a commercial seller, sit down with the
salesman. You can now play the haggling game. You may
win. Probably not. But get another 7% knocked off: sales
tax. (This won't work in Oregon, Montana, Nevada, and New
Hampshire: no sales tax.)
Have him get out the purchase papers. Start reading
them. He thinks he's almost there. This is crucial. Ask
a couple of obvious yes-answer questions. He will tell you
what you want to hear. You nod. Keep reading.
He is now even more hot to trot. He has answered your
objections. The commission is his!
Get out your checkbook. (Never borrow to buy.) He is
now a bit amazed. People usually borrow. Write the
sticker price on the check and hand it to him.
Now he will tell you all about the sales tax. Ignore
him. Tell him, "That's the price I will pay."
He has a check in his hand. He doesn't want to lose
He may go to "talk to his manager." If he comes back
and says no, here is step two. Tear the check in half, top
to bottom. Your signature is there. The price is there.
Write VOID on this half. Turn it over. On the back, write
your last name and your cell phone number. Write CELL
Tell him that you are going to the next dealer. Tell
him you will come back and write a replacement check if he
calls you before you get to that dealer. Beyond that, no
guarantee. You reserve the right to re-negotiate. Say, "I
want to be reasonable, but there are some other deals I saw
on-line, and I am planning to buy from someone in the next
Then walk out.
He will see your back. He is holding "almost the
deal" in his hand. That half a check will remind him: he
had the deal. He wants the deal. He can get the deal for
the loss of sales tax.
See what happens.
Drive to the next dealer. Repeat the negotiation.
If he lets you get through the day and calls the next
day, tell him: "I'll buy it for $250 less, and no sales
tax." He is calling you on your terms: a day late and $250