Friday, August 15, 2008

How to Buy a New (or Used) Car

Probably one of the most unpleasant tasks you have to do at least once in your lifetime: Buying a car from a car dealer. I've generally used a lot of different tricks myself when buying - er, negotiating to buy - a new or used car. Most of them are common sense, meant to even the odds against the typical car dealer's bag of dirty tricks:
  • Buy your car in the last quarter of the year (the new models come out then and everything depreciates a year more);
  • When you go up to the receptionist, try to find out which salesperson is in second place for the month (he or she will be a lot more eager to close a deal than No. 1);
  • Show up late on the last weekend of the month (particularly good if it's a drizzly and miserable day outside with no customers around and Superbowl Sunday is especially good);
  • Go outside from time to time to make a phone call to consult with a nonexistent spouse or girlfriend/boyfriend, especially after each time your salesperson has to go back to "talk to his manager";
  • Be prepared to walk out of the showroom without looking back if things reach an impasse.
Anyway, this is all a prelude to a 6-minute YouTube video by Rob Grule at the 2007 Ignite Conference in Seattle on the same subject. A lot of these ideas are basically Negotiation 101.

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