I’m sitting in a car dealership listening to people buy cars.
I’m here because my car is in for service, and the normal waiting area is under construction, as is the rest of the dealership. For that reason the sales, negotiations and business sides of the car buying process are unfolding before me.
It’s fascinating, because I want to High Five some people and High Five others right in the face.
To the left of me sits an older couple, negotiating for a Volkswagen Tiguan. In front of me is what appears to be a single young woman, perhaps in her late 20s. To the right is another single woman, probably in her 50s and buying a Jetta. Guess which one I want to slap?
The Tiguan couple, from what I gather, want to pay cash and are standing firm on the dollar amount. There is no trade, and they are saying no to extra dealer options and counteroffers. The salesman knows he has lost control, and the couple will probably drive out in a new car at a great price. High Five to those folks.
The woman in front has already agreed to the terms of her purchase and is discussing specifics with a business manager. She’s smart, passing on the items that are pure profit for the dealer, such as paint protection and fabric protection. She did agree to gap insurance, which I highly recommend. I don’t know if she negotiated a good deal, but from what I’m hearing I give this young lady a High Five.
I watched the woman to my right fall in love with her car, a metallic silver/blue Jetta. She sat in it and said to her salesman, “I’m buying this car. This is my car.” The salesman nodded, said he’d be right back, and returned to give her the price. She agreed, and they sat down to discuss trade and payment. Then, and I swear I’m not making this up, she asked the salesman if he wanted to see pictures of her in a swimsuit.
And he agreed.
After an iPhone slide show, she asked about any more financial incentives he could throw at her. He said he didn’t have anything and had her sign the paperwork.
High Five. To the face—for them both.
What’s your best negotiation tactic when buying a new or used car?