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This thursday Im going to be going to a used car lot to look at a 1991 VW Golf GL w/ 86,000 miles they have for sale. The sticker price is $2995 which i would never pay for this car. Im hoping I can get it down to $2400 if at all possible but I dont know anything about haggling with salesman. Can anyone give me any tips to give me somewhat of an upperhand? I dont want to be taken for a fool! Thanks!
 

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Re: haggling with a used car salesman? (pr4ctic4l)

Call him on the phone and tell him that you won't pay more than 2000 for the car, if he agrees that that figure is at least possible, set up a time to go by and see the car. Tell him if it is in good shape, and you like it, you plan on buying it.
That might work
 

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Re: haggling with a used car salesman? (Corradodrvrfnd)

Tank: "Okay, so what do ya need, besides a miracle."
Neo: "Guns...lots of guns."




Modified by VeeDubDriver at 5:24 PM 7-1-2003
 

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Re: haggling with a used car salesman? (Corradodrvrfnd)

Quote, originally posted by Corradodrvrfnd »
Call him on the phone and tell him that you won't pay more than 2000 for the car, if he agrees that that figure is at least possible, set up a time to go by and see the car. Tell him if it is in good shape, and you like it, you plan on buying it.
That might work

That might work if you're dealing with an "honest" salesperson. Let me relate a story about my car shopping experience...
My wife and I were in the market for a car. I was leaning towards used, and she didn't care too much one way or the other. So we checked out lots of different makes and models, going to a few of dealerships, looking thru classifieds, etc.
We found ourselves at a VW dealership in Queens, NY that had a large selection of used VWs. Called ahead of time because we were interested in a particular one advertised (Jetta wagon w/ VR6 engine, low miles). Since we called ahead of time, we felt obligated to deal with the salesperson we spoke with over the phone. When at the dealership, we had to wait for him for some reason or another. No problem. While waiting, a different new car VW salesperson chatted with us, and was trying to sell us on a new model (but in a nice non-pressure sorta way). Again, no problem (yet).
When the used car salesperson was available, we thanked the new car guy for his time, and went on a test drive with the used car guy. We liked the VR6 engine and the car was in good condition, so I told the salesman we would think it over. Called back the next day, and told him what we were prepared to offer for the car. Asked if he could "work with us" on the price. I asked specifically if he thought the price was reasonable. He said (and I quote)... "Sure, that's reasonable, but I don't like to negotiate over the phone." Again, I specifically told him that I live over 45 minutes away (more with traffic) and I didn't want to waste my time or his. So he says, "Come on in, and we'll work something out."
So we sit down, he takes my info, pressures me into giving my credit card for a down payment before he "goes into his manager's office with my offer". He comes back a few minutes later, and tells me the manager would not go lower on the original asking price. I was stunned!!! I was fully prepared to go somewhat higher than my original offer (which in my mind was very very reasonable to begin with given all the research I did) and do some negotiating. But I did not expect the dealer to be non-negotiable at all.
So, here I am, a little upset, but keeping my composure. I politely remind him of our conversation, and of how I asked if my original offer was reasonable, and if he was willing to work with me. I told him that if he was not willing to negotiate at all, then he should have never told me to come down. His reply was...
"It's my job to get you in the door."
And then he handed me back my credit card and walked away.

To end this story... went back to the new car VW salesman, who was professional and courteous to my wife and I while waiting around the first time we were there, and next day bought a new Passat GLX 4 Mo... which was more than $10 grand more than I was going to spend for the Jetta wagon VR6.
If there's a point to this story, it's this:
It wasn't the absolute price of the car for me. It was a matter of who I was dealing with. I had the bad luck of dealing with a used car salesman who was yanking my chain. I was fortunate to encounter a professional salesman, and he got my business.
I should have gone back to the used car guy and showed him my bill of sale, and told him that he missed out on a sale, but I really didn't want to see his face again.
 

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Re: haggling with a used car salesman? (JSC)

I you ended up buying a top of the line Passat, I think the other salesman did his job of "getting you in the door" quite nicely.
 

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Re: haggling with a used car salesman? (PA_Dub)

I was thinking the same thing... sounds like it was a setup. The used salesman was "tied up" so this other guy comes over to talk with you. I think they definitely did their job - they "played" you and got you to buy from their dealership. I've heard of this kind of thing happening often. It doesn't matter much as long as you're happy with what you got, but they definitely manipulated you.
 

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Re: haggling with a used car salesman? (erick.s)

Quote, originally posted by erick.s »
I was thinking the same thing... sounds like it was a setup. The used salesman was "tied up" so this other guy comes over to talk with you. I think they definitely did their job - they "played" you and got you to buy from their dealership. I've heard of this kind of thing happening often. It doesn't matter much as long as you're happy with what you got, but they definitely manipulated you.

this could be true. However I don't know that I agree.
Where I work right now, the used and new VW's are sold by all of the salespeople. The last dealership that I worked at, the used car department was its own entity. The used car guys were very pushy, manipulative and tricky. The New car guys were professional, straightforward, and honest. I can see where this also might be the case where he visited.
 

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Re: haggling with a used car salesman? (Corradodrvrfnd)

Yeah, it could definitely go either way. It doesn't necessarily have to be a setup (for lack of a better term) but it seems awful fishy. I know I've seen this scenario before and it was the first thing that popped into my head.
 

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Re: haggling with a used car salesman? (Corradodrvrfnd)

Quote, originally posted by Corradodrvrfnd »

this could be true. However I don't know that I agree.
Where I work right now, the used and new VW's are sold by all of the salespeople. The last dealership that I worked at, the used car department was its own entity. The used car guys were very pushy, manipulative and tricky. The New car guys were professional, straightforward, and honest. I can see where this also might be the case where he visited.

I'm not 100% certain, but I do believe the used dept and the new dept are totally separate. The new car salesperson could not speak to me about the used cars they have in inventory, and initially was trying to "sell" me on the merits of picking up a new Jetta wagon (albeit w/o the VR6) instead of a used model.
In any case, I would think it's a kinda
sales tactic to piss off your customer on purpose and think that he/she would then deal with your other dept. (Especially since there are 4 different VW dealers within 45 min drive of my home.)
I also like to think that I got a good deal on the new car since the new car salesman felt a little embarassed after I told him how the used car guy treated us. Maybe? Maybe not... but bottom line is, I did finally wind up dealing with someone who acted professionally, and made out relatively well on the purchase price.


Modified by JSC at 6:52 PM 7-14-2003
 

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Re: haggling with a used car salesman? (pr4ctic4l)

On a car that old, I'll bet they got the car for a song. Sit down with the salesman and have them bring out first pencil (the first offer)
You will, of course, turn this down and low ball them ($2000) He will come back with something else (it will be higher than $2000) you politely thank him for his time and act like you are ready to leave. He "should" try to get something out of you to which you will reply "$2000 is what I want to pay for the car. Your offer is considerably higher." He should then come back with 3rd pencil and it should then be about where you want to be (perhaps under $2000) Set a limit for yourself (in this case $2400) and DO NOT go any higher. Make sure any extras like extended warranty are included in the price (some dealers will do this, some won't) Get every bit of info you can. Go over the car with a fine toothed comb. They may say it has low miles, but you are looking at a car with almost 100,000 miles on it. While VW's are known to last that long, the salesman needs to realize that it has a lot of miles. Every little problem will cost you money to fix. Tires need replacement=money you'll have to lay out later. Bad paint swirls=more $$$ out of your pocket.
Don't tell the salesman what you are actually willing to pay. ALWAYS low-ball them.
 
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