There are six types of car buyers who are more likely to lose big when purchasing a vehicle.
In my time as a car salesman I’ve learned who gets the best deals and who pays more than they have to. I am going to tell you who I think typically pays too much and why they don’t even know it.
Bad credit customers
If you have bad credit you already know you are going to pay higher interest. But if your a bad credit customer, what you may not know is that the type of vehicle you choose to buy will change your interest rate dramatically. Typically, people with bad credit tend to look at older used cars because they think they are more likely to be approved for those vehicles. Actually, it is the other way around. A brand new car and specifically a lease may be the best option for someone with poor credit. The interest rate for a new car is typically lower on a brand new car than a used car. A lease may be the best option because you only have to pay more for a short period of time while you increase your credit score. If you do have bad credit wouldn’t it be better to pay those higher rates for only two or three years instead of paying for five or six years? I advise people with marginally bad credit to always consider leasing if possible. And to never let your bad credit stop you from shopping. Many people think running your credit lowers your score, so they only shop at one dealership. This is exactly what they want you to feel. Always shop your interest rate, even if you have bad credit. Remember: the newer the vehicle and the fewer the miles, the lower the interest rate. You may be able to get a newer nicer car for a similar payment as an older higher mileage vehicle.
Busy professionals, busy parents
Busy professionals do not have time to play the game. They end up finding the vehicle they want and they buy it with little negotiations. They do not have the time to contact multiple dealerships to ensure the deal they are accepting is a great deal or not. Their time is usually more valuable than any time spent researching and negotiating the best price, so they accept the deal out of convenience.
“I love to tow my kids around the car lot and on test drives and juggle everyone’s emotions for hours at a dealership.” – SAID NO PARENT EVER!
The question becomes: is it okay to pay more just because you do not have the time to contact multiple dealerships?
I say NO.
People who are uncomfortable negotiating
Lets face it not everyone feels comfortable asking for a discount. I know this because when I was buying furniture for our new house my wife left the store because she was embarrassed that I was asking for free delivery after I had already negotiated a lower price on the bedroom set she picked out. She was so appalled, she snapped a photo and tried to shame me on Instagram for it! Can you believe her?!
She simply wanted the furniture and felt the price was fair and didn’t want the confrontation. I on the other hand thought asking for free delivery was the obvious thing to do. Turns out, we saved another $125 and got the free delivery.
It takes a certain personality to negotiate a good sale price. It is why you are willing to pay a top tier real estate agent a little more to sell your home. If you are not comfortable asking for discounts, you will settle for what they give you. When someone takes this approach they are always going to pay more than they have to.
BTW… she didn’t lose her brains. #dramaticmuch
Lack of knowledge
A car deal is a very complicated transaction. I know this because I am a numbers guy and it took me a couple years to be able to identify whether or not the customer got a great deal or not. For the first couple years I would have to wait until the next day when I received my commissions to know whether the deal was a good one or not. Obviously I was paid more when the customer paid more so I was excited to see a larger commission. The client typically thinks they got a great deal or they wouldn’t have agreed to the deal. If you have nothing to compare your deal to then how can you be sure the deal you got was a great one? The problem is that most people do not contact multiple dealerships and most do not even know how to tell you which deal is better if they do. I’ve witnessed clients take my advise from a free consultation which included the exact amount he/she should pay for the vehicle we discussed but then go and switch to a different vehicle at the dealership that cost less but end up paying upwards of $1000 more because he/she didn’t understand the difference in vehicle pricing. Knowledge is the key factor in negotiating a great deal. Most people do not have the knowledge to make the dealerships compete and the dealerships like it that way. Customers with complete knowledge get the best deals.
There is a saying in the car business.
Your most loyal clients and your happiest clients pay the most money.
Isn’t Lassie cute? Chances are, you look a lot like Lassie to your salesman if you’ve been a loyal customer.
If your salesman or dealership knows you are not going to buy anywhere else and they are not going to have to compete on price, then you are not going to get the best price up front. Unfortunately, your loyalty can get you into trouble if you don’t make them work for your business. This is one of the main reasons I decided to start this business. I felt a huge conflict of interest. I wanted to work for the client and not have to worry about the dealership’s profit. If you have been buying from the same guy for many years do not take my word for it; test them. Next time you need a vehicle call a couple different dealerships to keep him honest. I will be surprised if that guy you always work with is giving you a great deal up front. I am not saying to not be loyal. I am saying that buying a vehicle is a huge purchase and you should negotiate and check that every car you buy is a great deal.
Without contacting multiple dealerships you are putting yourself in jeopardy of getting ripped off. How can you know the deal you are getting is fair? On top of that, the salesman knows you haven’t contacted any other dealerships because most likely you have told him this is the first place you stopped. This is the absolute worst way to purchase what is most likely the second biggest financial commitment you will make. To be honest, I used to be an impulse buyer. I saw something I wanted; I bought it. I have had buyers remorse more times than I can count. Now, I never make a purchase over 100 dollars without first contacting my wife. Believe it or not. This type of buyer is a car salesman’s dream. Do not be this type of buyer.
Listen, one thing I want to be clear on is my loyalty to the consumer. But I am not anti dealership. I am a friend of dealerships, because I know we need them. Dealerships are in the business to make a profit and will try to extract the most profit possible on every transaction. They are in the business to make money. It’s what makes the world go round. But if someone pays too much for their next vehicle, it is not the dealership or the salesman’s fault; it is your fault. After all, it’s their goal to get you to say yes. Your goal should be to say yes only when you know the deal you are saying yes to is a great deal. If you are one of the types of buyers discussed, Your Car Buying Advocate has a solution. I will work for you. I know from research what the best deals are and will recommend vehicles you may have not considered. I also know the difference between a great deal and the dreaded rip-off. I advocate for you on all aspects of the deal. I only have your best interest in mind! Contact us for a free no pressure consultation.
Mike is a former high-performing car salesman turned car-buying consumer advocate. Now he spends his days breaking the rules the auto industry has set for the consumer buying process. He’s got a love for God, a love for his wife, and a love for his two boys Elijah & Israel. When he and his wife Corrie are not changing diapers, they like to frequent Lake Erie, try new restaurants, travel and serve in their church.