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This topic comes up a lot, and there are different approaches to accomplish the same goal. I buy a lot of cars, and handle those transactions for my extended family and friends. In doing so, I consider the ROI of the time necessary to do this. So, throughout the years I have streamlined this process. Some deals I have even done without ever going to the dealership, and having the cars delivered straight to my house.

1) First and foremost is to do your research. You need to know exactly what you want, and what you're willing to spend. As you all know, the Internet is a very valuable tool. So use it to your advantage, go to Edmunds.com, enthusiast forums of the car(s) you like, and find out the dealers cost (don't forget hold back, this varies between mfg's), incentive's, etc. Many dealers will advertise silly deals when in fact these are mfg incentive's that you can see just by doing the research. Ie: trade in an older model car of the same mfg and get $2,000 for "loyalty".

2) Select the exact car, and model you want. Unlike some advice given elsewhere, PICK the color and features you want, exactly. Let's face it, if you're buying a new car.. you need to get what you want. Don't sacrifice unless it's for financial reasons and you do not want to spend the money on upgraded features.

3) If you must go to a dealership and test drive car(s), then do so quickly. First look up the dealership, find out who does Internet or fleet sales. If they don't have these department's and they're a small dealership, go straight to the owner, or the owner's son or family member who would then handle sales. Tell them you have no intention of wasting their time, but you are interested in a certain MODEL (don't get into details or attachments of a specific car on that lot) and say you'd like to drive that car (don't worry about every creature comfort, just the model car.. hopefully same engine you want, stick/auto, etc) and then ask for their business card and that you will contact them soon. Do NOT discuss competitive cars, features, financing, etc. If he insists on riding with you in the test drive, just change the subject and discuss personal interests of his. Ie: if you saw in his office that he has a bunch or horse pictures, then talk about horses. But after that's done. Thank him for his time, tell him you will be in contact and leave quickly.

4) Once you have selected the exact car details, decide on your financial situation. If you are paying cash, know your OUT THE DOOR limit price. If you are financing, then figure this out first. For example, many mfg's offer great financing incentive's such as 0% APR for 36-months (or even 60-months nowadays it seems is not all that unusual), but for those regular financing deals then secure your own financing from someone like capital one auto finance so you do your deal as a CASH deal (capital one gives you a blank check, with a preapproved credit limit). If you're financing through the dealership, know your FICO score and financial ability. You have to know you can afford this car before moving forward.

5) Now that you have done your homework, you need to compile the list of dealers! This can be quick, or it can be time consuming. The mfg of the car, the dealerships systems/websites, radius, etc will effect this. I never go less than 50 miles, but I have gone as far as 1,000 miles when including people in my list. When I purchased a Corvette I made it a point to include the largest dealership on this side of the country because I knew volume meant discount. They had more room to move on price than my local dealerships who barely ever moved Corvettes. At the end of the deal, the car was delivered to my front door in an enclosed trailer from nearly 1,000 miles away cheaper than any closer dealer could do it without shipping costs. When you're dealing with specialty or high-end vehicles the cost difference could very well be enough to justify the shipping, or your travel expenses in picking up the car. If a car costs $40K+, you want to take this into consideration. Then you have things like European delivery on European cars. You can go to Europe, flights on the mfg, a hotel room for a night, and a reduced cost on the car, drive your car around Europe for a while, get a tour of the facility in Germany, then they ship your car back home for less then the cost you could buy it new without that option.

6) Once you have compiled your list, you will probably have some time. Why? You want to wait until the last week of the month, or even the last week of the quarter if possible (no incentive's expiring, running out of last years models, etc). Now this is where you will get varied results. Some dealerships will NOT run on a month-to-month budget, or may not fun their fiscal calendar on a standard calendar months, but MOST DO. So, use this to your advantage! Business is business, and dealerships need CASH. They have multi-million dollar floor plans, payroll, utilities, and other business expenses and have to make payments to regardless of profit. This is specially helpful if you're dealing with your own cash, or a blank check financing, as the dealership gets that cash the same day you do the deal.

7) With your time, compile your Email list of recipients. You want a simple, straight forward Email that will be sent to potentially 30 or more dealerships. I don't go and just send out Emails to every dealership I come across. I will quickly search for the largest volume dealerships (and if there's a HUGE one states away, include them too) and try to target their Internet/fleet sales Email address's.

8) Write your Email. Keep it short and sweet. Be professional, but not too formal. You're not addessing a dealership or person by name, this is ONE Email that gets sent to everyone. Write that you know exactly what you want, and tell them exactly what you want, every feature, and color (use option codes, then they know you know what you're talking about and will assume you know their price on it as well) and that you want to close this deal by the end of the week (will get more into that later). Politely ask them to be sure the deal they offer is already accepted at the dealership, and that they don't have to go and get approval from the manager, owner, etc later. You want something that the salesman is ready to close on. Remember ROI, don't waste any more time. If your list is long, tell them they have ONE chance to earn your business and place the bid accordingly. If it's shorter, then tell them to offer the best price and ASK THEM FOR THEIR DIRECT PHONE NUMBER. Why? They know you're serious, and you will take this to the phones. But they have to earn your attention first with the starting price.

9) Back to timing, get ready to fire off that Email. You want to send this just a couple days before the end of the week, and end of the month. So for example, next Wednesday if you're dealing on a large Email list, or Friday for a LOCAL dealership list only, and you're available that day. Tell them your zip code, and you want the quote at the OUT THE DOOR PRICE for a CASH deal. If you're doing a blank check financing, then you just tell them later to add the cost of the lien to the title for the financing. Don't mention that from the beginning though there's no need. Salesmen get in a different mindset if you say financing but if you have the blank check in hand then it's a different type of deal because financing to them is NOT a sure thing, and if they're working the table to get you your deal that will hurt their chances. Also if you do it on the last day, TELL THEM YOU WANT TO CLOSE TODAY AND WILL GO TO THE DEALERSHIP ONCE AN AGREEMENT IS MADE. AND DON'T LIE. MAKE SURE YOU'RE AVAILABLE TO GO. This can be more effective than larger Email campaigns if you really hit an urgent dealership. I scored an awesome deal on a new Jeep liberty, well under dealer cost (not including incentives) this way as the dealer was literally days from going under and HAD to have cash to stay afloat. It didn't matter that they lost over $2,000 (after hold back) in the deal, it was another $19K they wouldn't have had in their bank account otherwise that day.

10) The day has come, it's now 8 AM. Send off those Emails.. be sure to BCC everyone so no one knows who it's going to. This is important it's done early. If you wish, leave your phone number in the Email but this is only recommended for those that can handle it. I've exhausted an entire day on the phone doing this before, but I am a business man myself and am very eloquent on the phone so I could keep the salesmen in check, and focused, but it was for a $60K+ vehicle and the savings to me was worth it as phone conversations WILL make the dealerships more comfortable. They like hearing your voice, knowing you're serious, knowing you're capable of buying immediately, and of course they like the opportunity to make some money too but if you're firm but polite, you'll be fine.

11) Give it time, don't make a fast commitment to anyone. Even if you see an offer come in an hour that's already below invoice.. if it's two days before the end of the week or month, give it the full day. If this is the last day deal, give it till about noon to open the door to take negotiations further. Because if you're going to deal that day, you need to give the dealership time to clean up the car, draw up the paperwork, for you to get there, etc.

12) Now is the time to negotiate further. Let's say you have three great deals all within a couple hundred dollars from close dealerships. Get on the phone with all of them, get them to compete for your business. First ask them if the car is there, or do they need to do a dealer trade. If it's there, then they are ready to move quick. If it's a dealer trade, they very well could be trading at one of your other best bidding dealerships, but in that case they have to lose a car of their own (and it's usually a better car) and drive to the other dealership and do that deal with them first. This will DOUBTFULLY result in a better deal for you, but if they are really the lowest bidder already.. then you may want to consider taking a hit on a feature or color as they will go lower for a car they have on their lot if they have a close match to what you want. Maybe $300-1000, sometimes even more if it's a specialty vehicle.

Remember, we're playing the odds that you'll find a dealership that NEEDS the cash, so a very small number of dealerships will fit into this category and that is your opportunity to score the best deal. This can also happen if you find a dealership that purchased some cars that they are having a very tough time selling locally because no one wanted them. For example, I bought a mercedes-benz 4matic a state away because they had a few in stock they could not sell. No one wanted 4matic's as they don't get enough snow but thought they would sell, they've been sitting on the lot for ~6 months so they just wanted to move them.

Be honest, polite, and professional, and have fun. Remember, even if the dealer is losing money it doesn't mean they don't need the deal or the salesman won't make a commission. To many dealers, sometimes any deal is better than none when they're in a bind. And don't forget the old rule, cash is king. If possible you're much better off bringing your own cash, or blank check financing to the table.

This is optional, but recommended. Because I give dealers a hard time, I bring two $50 gift cards (or a $100 mortons gift card! courtesy AMEX rewards points) when I close, and give it to who I deal with, or half to the manager/owner if I know they were highly involved in the deal and the one really making the concessions for me. There's no doubt they are working for you deal and making sacrifices so you should be thankful, polite, and precise with the information you give them. This is just a final thank you as I never want to burn a bridge with anyone I deal with, and otherwise they may have a bitter taste in their mouth of the deal.

*DISCLAIMER: This will not always achieve under cost results. On the highest demand, new model, and limited vehicles many dealers simply cannot bring in more cars as they have reached their allocation limits. If they're moving every car they come in with good profit, they will not sell it to you at a loss, no matter how quick and simple your deal is. They may knock a few hundred off but don't expect the world.*

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Most Recent Posts
How does one find out the specifics of the vehicle from the VIN? I'd like to compare cars that are being quoted.

makinbutter (Mar. 28, 2014 @ 11:24a) |

Just bought a 2014 Prius 2 with carpeted floormats for $20,400 + TTL. Local dealer (Claremont Toyota) had 5 in stock on ... (more)

fatbaby (Mar. 28, 2014 @ 12:14p) |

Thank you for this thread. I followed the instructions and got a local dealer to match, about $3k below invoice.

cola262 (Mar. 28, 2014 @ 3:14p) |

fixfox69

* December and January are one of the best times to shop for a new car.
* Before I close the deal - just as I put the tip of the pen on the check as if starting to write, without lifting my eyes I say..this does include a full tank of gas, right? Sometimes they hesitate a bit but this NEVER failed for me (it's similar to taking your money out when negotiating with a merchant..once they see the cash it works magic).

ilikebtmoney

A sample email to send to the dealers:

Ok, this is assuming this is sent to dealers two days prior to expected closing date.


sample e-mail said: Hello,

I have decided that I would like to purchase the following car:

2010 Hyundai Genesis 4.6L
05 - Technology package
CT - Cargo tray
IC - iPod cable
Black Noir Pearl

Of these features, the only ones I would be willing to accept a purchase without is the cargo tray. Otherwise, please be sure you have, or can obtain this car quickly through a dealer trade.

My zip code is 12345 for pricing calculations, and I will be paying cash for the car. Please provide me with an out the door quote today as I will be purchasing the car by tomorrow to obtain the $1,500 Valued Owner Coupon that is offered, and to give you enough time to ensure a dealer trade if it is necessary on your part.

Also please provide me with your phone number so I can call you once I receive the quote. To be fair, I am requesting pricing from various dealers so please be sure to obtain authorization from your manager if required before quoting a price. I do not wish to waste anyone's time and I would appreciate a confirmed offer on your part as well.

If necessary, you may reach me at the following number.

Thank you, and good luck!

Take care,

John Doe
cell: 123-456-7890




If you have ties to the military, you should looking into joining USAA insurance. They have a great no hassle, low price buying service. IE, a Mazda 3 hatchback has an MSRB of $21630, and invoice of $20523, but I can get one through their dealer network for $19566 (includes destination charge of ~755).

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thanks! excellent information

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Thank you for posting this--one of the most useful posts I've seen in a while.

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thank you

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Good post, thanks. One question on the financing... I've always thought that when paying cash or doing your own financing it was best not to disclose that until the final price was negotiated. Gives the dealer the impression they could make some more off of the financing aspect, offering more incentive to lower the sales price. But you're finding that doesn't make any difference in your deals, and in fact having cash is actually a plus?

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Wow!! That was the most detailed post related to car buying in a long while. Thanks.

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Well, this approach hits the dealership on a sense of urgency. You want to be pro-active in communication and lay all the cards on the table. You would think that is counterproductive, but in a bidding game it is prudent to do this. Plus, many financing deals do not go through, or worse yet, many people's credit is worse than they say it is. I know many dealers go by the saying "if you're buying, you're lying" so by providing such information up front, will help show the dealership that you are not playing games, and you can definitely buy the car if the price is right. Remember, most salesmen have to go to their manager to get these deals approved. So you want them fighting for you, as they're putting their butt on the line as well.

Only in the case of dealer financing do you need to tell them upfront that you need financing. In that scenario, I recommend coming right out and including in your Email what your real FICO score is.

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The way I bought my new car a few years back is similar to this:

1) I identified exactly the car I wanted, with what features and color I wanted.
2) I found the invoice price online from Edmunds or KBB.
3) I called 10 dealerships asking to buy the car in cash for the invoice price.
4) 9 Rejections, 10th dealership said sure.
5) Took bus to dealership, asked for the salesman I talked to on the phone
6) Salesman drove me to my bank. Bank made out certified check for full amount.
7) Drove car home.

I could have waited longer and got a slightly better deal for a cash-strapped dealership but my previous car was totaled and I needed a car immediately.

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One of the best deal I found is ad special. I actually got one under the Edmund value by shopping newspaper ad.

The only problem is this is only available for lower-mid end cars.

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thanks for the post. Can you please post a sample email to send to the dealers?

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Thanks OP...

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FreeAfterRebates said: thanks for the post. Can you please post a sample email to send to the dealers?

Ok, this is assuming this is sent to dealers two days prior to expected closing date.


Hello,

I have decided that I would like to purchase the following car:

2010 Hyundai Genesis 4.6L
05 - Technology package
CT - Cargo tray
IC - iPod cable
Black Noir Pearl

Of these features, the only ones I would be willing to accept a purchase without is the cargo tray. Otherwise, please be sure you have, or can obtain this car quickly through a dealer trade.

My zip code is 12345 for pricing calculations, and I will be paying cash for the car. Please provide me with an out the door quote today as I will be purchasing the car by tomorrow to obtain the $1,500 Valued Owner Coupon that is offered, and to give you enough time to ensure a dealer trade if it is necessary on your part.

Also please provide me with your phone number so I can call you once I receive the quote. To be fair, I am requesting pricing from various dealers so please be sure to obtain authorization from your manager if required before quoting a price. I do not wish to waste anyone's time and I would appreciate a confirmed offer on your part as well.

If necessary, you may reach me at the following number.

Thank you, and good luck!

Take care,

John Doe
cell: 123-456-7890

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tripleB said: The way I bought my new car a few years back is similar to this:

1) I identified exactly the car I wanted, with what features and color I wanted.
2) I found the invoice price online from Edmunds or KBB.
3) I called 10 dealerships asking to buy the car in cash for the invoice price.
4) 9 Rejections, 10th dealership said sure.
5) Took bus to dealership, asked for the salesman I talked to on the phone
6) Salesman drove me to my bank. Bank made out certified check for full amount.
7) Drove car home.

I could have waited longer and got a slightly better deal for a cash-strapped dealership but my previous car was totaled and I needed a car immediately.


And that is also what dealers know, whether you express it or not. Many deals are done out of a sense of urgency.. but usually on the customers part, not the dealers. You did good, invoice price is a great price especially given your circumstances. However, if patience can be had, and you can play the odds knowing how the business works.. you may fair better in the future. Car purchases are a large purchase for most individuals, so it's important that such a large purchase be handled carefully to ensure more money in your pocket. I used to do your method by making lots of calls.. and my list of notes got overwhelming and I would get embarrassed when I received call backs as I could forget who was who. With Email, you will reduce those phone conversations so it will help keep you organized.. and it allows you to say everything you want before giving the dealer an opportunity to speak. Otherwise, if you ramble all of that on they will interrupt you or forget half of what you said.

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ZenNUTS said: One of the best deal I found is ad special. I actually got one under the Edmund value by shopping newspaper ad.

The only problem is this is only available for lower-mid end cars.

Yep, or a dealer/model going out of business sale. We picked up a new Pontiac G3 hatchback last December for less than $10k OTD because GM had huge rebates on the soon-to-be-dead Pontiac models.

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Only thing I would add to that letter or rules is I would put in there that I am looking to finance and my credit score is approximately XXX. You are likely to get a better price when financing than by paying cash. Not always, but sometimes. I would also state that I understand financing rates depend on my credit score and if I am wrong I understand the rate could change. Then I would change and pay cash once I got there.

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mikef07 said: Only thing I would add to that letter or rules is I would put in there that I am looking to finance and my credit score is approximately XXX. You are likely to get a better price when financing than by paying cash. Not always, but sometimes. I would also state that I understand financing rates depend on my credit score and if I am wrong I understand the rate could change. Then I would change and pay cash once I got there.

And more than likely, the dealer will not honor the deal because you changed it at the last minute. You made them perceive you had every intention to finance the deal and they counted on it (including the kickbacks they get for you financing through them), so you're not being entirely honest and in that case you should expect to lose the deal. My method the deal is done before you ever step foot in the door. The papers are drawn up, you just bring the check and sign a few papers and you're on your way. If you walk in there changing the deal they have the upper hand, and your time (and money) will be wasted most of the time, or the dealer will be unhappy with you and the salesman could get in trouble over it. This just isn't necessary, and is not good business.

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ilikebtmoney said: mikef07 said: Only thing I would add to that letter or rules is I would put in there that I am looking to finance and my credit score is approximately XXX. You are likely to get a better price when financing than by paying cash. Not always, but sometimes. I would also state that I understand financing rates depend on my credit score and if I am wrong I understand the rate could change. Then I would change and pay cash once I got there.

And more than likely, the dealer will not honor the deal because you changed it at the last minute. You made them perceive you had every intention to finance the deal and they counted on it (including the kickbacks they get for you financing through them), so you're not being entirely honest and in that case you should expect to lose the deal. My method the deal is done before you ever step foot in the door. The papers are drawn up, you just bring the check and sign a few papers and you're on your way. If you walk in there changing the deal they have the upper hand, and your time (and money) will be wasted most of the time, or the dealer will be unhappy with you and the salesman could get in trouble over it. This just isn't necessary, and is not good business.


Done it 3 times and it worked like a charm each time. My deal was also done before I ever walked in the door. They obviously stated that rate and/or financing options depends on how the credit check went. I make sure that I misinterpreted what I thought the rate would be and say I will just pay for it outright.

The man with the gold makes the rules and I have all the gold (At that point). Worst case is I would finance a portion with them and then pay it off within a month or two. I also never state how much I would or would not put down. I'll put down 99% and then finance the other 1% with them if they so choose.

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mikef07 said: ilikebtmoney said: mikef07 said: Only thing I would add to that letter or rules is I would put in there that I am looking to finance and my credit score is approximately XXX. You are likely to get a better price when financing than by paying cash. Not always, but sometimes. I would also state that I understand financing rates depend on my credit score and if I am wrong I understand the rate could change. Then I would change and pay cash once I got there.

And more than likely, the dealer will not honor the deal because you changed it at the last minute. You made them perceive you had every intention to finance the deal and they counted on it (including the kickbacks they get for you financing through them), so you're not being entirely honest and in that case you should expect to lose the deal. My method the deal is done before you ever step foot in the door. The papers are drawn up, you just bring the check and sign a few papers and you're on your way. If you walk in there changing the deal they have the upper hand, and your time (and money) will be wasted most of the time, or the dealer will be unhappy with you and the salesman could get in trouble over it. This just isn't necessary, and is not good business.


Done it 3 times and it worked like a charm each time. My deal was also done before I ever walked in the door. They obviously stated that rate and/or financing options depends on how the credit check went. I make sure that I misinterpreted what I thought the rate would be and say I will just pay for it outright.

The man with the gold makes the rules and I have all the gold (At that point). Worst case is I would finance a portion with them and then pay it off within a month or two. I also never state how much I would or would not put down. I'll put down 99% and then finance the other 1% with them if they so choose.


Well if you want to take the credit inquiries, and chance the dealer running your credit several times (this is common) to obtain financing then so be it, but I have rarely found this approach to be worth it. If the dealer is in trouble and needs money you will get the best deal paying cash. Many times with financing they do not get the cash from that company right away, and sometimes for quite some time. So if your superior pricing is given because of their cash situation, then this would actually hurt your chances by financing as they have to take that into consideration. Having family in the business, I know this holds true in many situations. I can't speak for all financing arrangements of course, but more often than not they will not see the money that was financed for the car that day as they would with your check. So if they're taking a loss on the sale for cash flow needs, which is what my method is gearing you towards, then this is counterproductive.

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This is one of the better posts I have found on FWF in a while. While I am not a highend car new buyer, I'll offer my advice which was simple and has saved me money in the past. I'll preface this with I have only bought American and always go with the employee discount.

1. Do you know anyone that works at the car company or even a friend of a friend that you are trying to buy? I come from an "auto" family and while my family members work for one or more companies, I always get the employee discount so the negotiations are limited (see below). If a friend is interested in the company or a specific car, it is pretty easy to get the same discount for them with a phone call (for instance Corvette included, one call may save you THOUSANDS over public best deal pricing). Usually the employee can get you the discount as an incentive to buy if you currently have another brand. I will say that if you go this route, buy the car because someone else went through a hassle to help you and it is pretty douchey to then go on your own.

2. If #1, Find the car and colors you want and call the dealership and ask for the employee price/build date. Why? Because a little known trick is that manufactures raise prices several times a year and the same car that was sitting on the lot for months will have a cheaper employee price/invoice price.

3. Ask for dealer coupons on the car. These are dealer incentives that are added on top of normal incentives. Two different dealers may have the same car at the same price and may be over a thousand difference on the same car because of dealer coupons.

4. Nail down the OTD fees like documentation, etc. Even on employee pricing, some dealers will try to screw you on the fees.

Even on 15K cars I have saved over 1K by using these tricks with minimal time and effort.

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tripleB said:
I could have waited longer and got a slightly better deal for a cash-strapped dealership but my previous car was totaled and I needed a car immediately.


Let me guess you hit someone while posting crap to FWF on your smart phone.

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ilikebtmoney said: mikef07 said: ilikebtmoney said: mikef07 said: Only thing I would add to that letter or rules is I would put in there that I am looking to finance and my credit score is approximately XXX. You are likely to get a better price when financing than by paying cash. Not always, but sometimes. I would also state that I understand financing rates depend on my credit score and if I am wrong I understand the rate could change. Then I would change and pay cash once I got there.

And more than likely, the dealer will not honor the deal because you changed it at the last minute. You made them perceive you had every intention to finance the deal and they counted on it (including the kickbacks they get for you financing through them), so you're not being entirely honest and in that case you should expect to lose the deal. My method the deal is done before you ever step foot in the door. The papers are drawn up, you just bring the check and sign a few papers and you're on your way. If you walk in there changing the deal they have the upper hand, and your time (and money) will be wasted most of the time, or the dealer will be unhappy with you and the salesman could get in trouble over it. This just isn't necessary, and is not good business.


Done it 3 times and it worked like a charm each time. My deal was also done before I ever walked in the door. They obviously stated that rate and/or financing options depends on how the credit check went. I make sure that I misinterpreted what I thought the rate would be and say I will just pay for it outright.

The man with the gold makes the rules and I have all the gold (At that point). Worst case is I would finance a portion with them and then pay it off within a month or two. I also never state how much I would or would not put down. I'll put down 99% and then finance the other 1% with them if they so choose.


Well if you want to take the credit inquiries, and chance the dealer running your credit several times (this is common) to obtain financing then so be it, but I have rarely found this approach to be worth it. If the dealer is in trouble and needs money you will get the best deal paying cash. Many times with financing they do not get the cash from that company right away, and sometimes for quite some time. So if your superior pricing is given because of their cash situation, then this would actually hurt your chances by financing as they have to take that into consideration. Having family in the business, I know this holds true in many situations. I can't speak for all financing arrangements of course, but more often than not they will not see the money that was financed for the car that day as they would with your check. So if they're taking a loss on the sale for cash flow needs, which is what my method is gearing you towards, then this is counterproductive.


And if the dealer is not in trouble financing can be the better deal. SO in essence paying cash gets you the best deal unless paying cash doesn't. You(or I) have no idea what the dealer currently wants more. From the deals I have done I have gotten better deals the majority of the time (not all) when I wanted to finance. We have even agreed to the price when paying cash and gotten a better deal when we were "open" to financing a few times.

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mikef07 said:
And if the dealer is not in trouble financing can be the better deal. SO in essence paying cash gets you the best deal unless paying cash doesn't. You(or I) have no idea what the dealer currently wants more. From the deals I have done I have gotten better deals the majority of the time (not all) when I wanted to finance. We have even agreed to the price when paying cash and gotten a better deal when we were "open" to financing a few times.


With that I agree in your thinking, it is not optimal. Remember the point is to find the dealer that has a cash problem. Frankly, you WILL score a better deal this way. Someone who is not in a crash crunch will not lose $2,000 on a car for financing kickbacks. They just won't do it unless they are making a killing on your financing, which won't happen unless there is huge markup on the financing, and they will have a clause that you have to finance X amount, and of course keep it for at least 60 days. They don't make thousands on financing normally, but several hundred, yes. My method is based on numbers.. and those numbers include sending the Email to many dealers, including some outside of the area unless that is not possible for you. If you send to enough, you will find a cash strapped dealer willing to lose money, and that is when you will score the best deal. Even as I posted above, that Jeep Liberty is not a high priced car but at a $19,000 OTD deal for a fully loaded liberty is a deal that otherwise would not be done with any amount of financing as that dealer was literally begging for me to bring 100% cash to pay his payroll that day.

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ilikebtmoney said: mikef07 said:
And if the dealer is not in trouble financing can be the better deal. SO in essence paying cash gets you the best deal unless paying cash doesn't. You(or I) have no idea what the dealer currently wants more. From the deals I have done I have gotten better deals the majority of the time (not all) when I wanted to finance. We have even agreed to the price when paying cash and gotten a better deal when we were "open" to financing a few times.


With that I agree in your thinking, it is not optimal. Remember the point is to find the dealer that has a cash problem. Frankly, you WILL score a better deal this way. Someone who is not in a crash crunch will not lose $2,000 on a car for financing kickbacks. They just won't do it unless they are making a killing on your financing, which won't happen unless there is huge markup on the financing, and they will have a clause that you have to finance X amount, and of course keep it for at least 60 days. They don't make thousands on financing normally, but several hundred, yes. My method is based on numbers.. and those numbers include sending the Email to many dealers, including some outside of the area unless that is not possible for you. If you send to enough, you will find a cash strapped dealer willing to lose money, and that is when you will score the best deal. Even as I posted above, that Jeep Liberty is not a high priced car but at a $19,000 OTD deal for a fully loaded liberty is a deal that otherwise would not be done with any amount of financing as that dealer was literally begging for me to bring 100% cash to pay his payroll that day.


Makes sense. Again I have gotten better deals when willing to finance (not always, but sometimes) at times. Depends on the car, dealer, model, etc. So yes if things work out like you said then they work out. If you are buying a certain car you may only have 2 or 3 dealers near you and none may be in trouble.

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* December and January are one of the best times to shop for a new car.
* Before I close the deal - just as I put the tip of the pen on the check as if starting to write, without lifting my eyes I say..this does include a full tank of gas, right? Sometimes they hesitate a bit but this NEVER failed for me (it's similar to taking your money out when negotiating with a merchant..once they see the cash it works magic).

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awesome faq.....please please any chance of you making one for used cars?

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ilikebtmoney said: [..] dealer was literally begging for me to bring 100% cash to pay his payroll that day.

Actual currency or figuratively speaking?

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Mr. ilikebtmoney, I sold cars for six months. I wish I would have sold every single one to you. Most customers I dealt with thought I was going to or trying to rip them off. Even if I jumped through hoops for them they wouldn't care if I made any money or not. I wasn't the "throat-slitter" like most of the other sales guys were. I just wanted to sell cars so I could have fun and feed my kids.

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rgnawlins said: Mr. ilikebtmoney, I sold cars for six months. I wish I would have sold every single one to you. Most customers I dealt with thought I was going to or trying to rip them off. Even if I jumped through hoops for them they wouldn't care if I made any money or not. I wasn't the "throat-slitter" like most of the other sales guys were. I just wanted to sell cars so I could have fun and feed my kids.

When you were there what did you see. People would love to know here.

Could you get the best deal paying cash?
Could you get the best deal financing through you guys?
Did it depend on the dealership?
Did it depend on the time of the month?
Did it depend on the model?

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I couldn't agree more on the research. My last car purchase was the end of 2006. I determined a good price but one that would be initially rejected. I put my offers out mid-December and got rejections but invites to come to the dealerships. I refused to set foot on the lot until my price was accepted. Finally, the last week of the year, one dealership got close on their counter offer. I told them to call me back when they could sell at my price. They called the next day and we bought on 12/29. My price was fair and this was 2006 (before the bottom fell out of the car market).

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mikef07 said: Did it depend on the time of the month?

It probably does depend on the time of the month if the owner and/or the salesperson is a woman

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tripleB said: The way I bought my new car a few years back is similar to this:

TripleB how did you manage to buy a car even before you were eligible to get a Drivers License

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Tampons are expensive!
Dealer car driven into the side of a grocery store while getting tampons, more expensive!

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This is a very good and thorough post. I've read on other places how to factor in "dealer profit" when making such offers for higher demand vehicles. Unfortunately, the last new car I bought, I bought for MSRP+TTL. I didn't feel bad about it since I turned around and flipped it for a nice pocket change profit.

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If you are lucky enough to have USAA then their car buying service is a great place to start.

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ilikebtmoney said:

12) Now is the time to negotiate further. Let's say you have three great deals all within a couple hundred dollars from close dealerships. Get on the phone with all of them, get them to compete for your business. First ask them if the car is there, or do they need to do a dealer trade. If it's there, then they are ready to move quick. If it's a dealer trade, they very well could be trading at one of your other best bidding dealerships, but in that case they have to lose a car of their own (and it's usually a better car) and drive to the other dealership and do that deal with them first. This will DOUBTFULLY result in a better deal for you, but if they are really the lowest bidder already.. then you may want to consider taking a hit on a feature or color as they will go lower for a car they have on their lot if they have a close match to what you want. Maybe $300-1000, sometimes even more if it's a specialty vehicle.

*


I'll add a 12b that worked great for me. After the initial e-mail to 15+ dealerships... I did nothing and let them e-mail me back their best quote. When I had my lowest priced dealership I simply wrote the others back, "Thanks for your quote; however, your price was significantly higher than a quote from another dealership. If you would like to submit a new quote please do so by X date."

I found those other dealerships will then call and say, "How much lower do we have to go?" The key is not to tell them. I would just let them know that I initially asked for the best price and if they have a better price they are welcome to submit it. If that is a low as they can go, I understand and thanked them for their time.

I found this method is great because I already had my lowest quote in hand and this allowed the dealerships that were trying to "jerk me around" to weed themselves out. I could then deal with the 3 or so dealerships that were serious about my business.

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I'm actually in the market for a nice used car. Do you know if these strategies work on used vehicles as well?

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fixfox69 said: * December and January are one of the best times to shop for a new car.
* Before I close the deal - just as I put the tip of the pen on the check as if starting to write, without lifting my eyes I say..this does include a full tank of gas, right? Sometimes they hesitate a bit but this NEVER failed for me (it's similar to taking your money out when negotiating with a merchant..once they see the cash it works magic).


Excellent tip, and definitely something to remember with the gas!

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okaythen said: awesome faq.....please please any chance of you making one for used cars?

I'll think more about it, but used car deals can vary greatly as the market is highly dynamic. There have been other good threads however discussing used cars and dealing though already. One of my personal favorite methods is to use a licensed salesmen/dealership to buy cars for you at the auction. Give them a set fee to either take you there, or buy one specifically for you. My wife has a dealer license so I have access to a Manheim account and we will login every now and then to see what's going on in the area. This has usually been the best way to score deals on used cars, otherwise eBay has also been a good option. Sometimes though you can do well with dealers.. it just depends on a lot of variables.

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Kalun47 said: I'm actually in the market for a nice used car. Do you know if these strategies work on used vehicles as well?

Not exactly. These strategies are targeted for apples-to-apples dealings. Used cars, well you can't exactly propose this deal to 20 dealers when they will all have different cars, obtained on different terms.

Skipping 498 Messages...
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Thank you for this thread. I followed the instructions and got a local dealer to match, about $3k below invoice.

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