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  • Writer's pictureEkene Uchenu

How To Negotiate Buying A Car

In the words of Chester L. Karras, “ In business as in life you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.”   Remember the saying, you make your money when you buy the car not when you sell it.

Negotiation starts from the moment you contact the car owner for a purchase, your major aim is to get the owner to reduce the price as low as possible. It pays to be as jovial and polite as you can, do not engage in a negative argument with the seller as this would make it difficult for you to get a good deal. Once the seller becomes defensive, your deal has gone wrong. The key is to make the seller feel good as far as you are still there.

Find out the why for selling the car. Knowing the reasons for selling the car would inform your choice of words for negotiation. Do respect the seller’s decision not to negotiate as some sellers would not remove a cent from the listed price of the car. Read the listing carefully, spot some indicators of the reason for selling, find out if the seller needs money urgently. Be cautious of dealers who would not disclose they are dealers online. You cannot really make much buying from these dealers as they want to make as much as possible like you do.

Ensure you research major problems the car model would have so you do not end up with nasty surprises. After inspecting the car list down all the problems so the seller can see it on paper or on your phone. It softens their minds and would most times work in your favour with negotiating down the price.

Just to remind you, research that you do not caught up with a scam or very bad car. Be very careful with the cars advertised below the current value it might be a scam. Also bear in mind sometimes that the owner does not know the value of the car or the seller wants to sell quick to pay some debts. Most times people list undervalue due to issues with the car or trying to rip you off. Do not fall for send some deposits online to hold the car for you.

Here is how we negotiate. After inspecting the car, we would list all the issues and show it to the owner with a smile . “ Hi Paul, we have inspected your car, as you know the car drives good just few marks, dents and scratches. You looked after this car not sure if you notice the ticking noise in the engine. Engine work would most times be expensive and my friend is new to the country with limited finance. Would you be kind to take $4500, I know you want $6000 for this car, but this would help to fix the engine noise.” If you think the seller is a bit stubborn with the price, look around and ask about another thing just to reduce the tension, then back to the negotiation. Sometimes the seller might like to get a second opinion from the wife, husband, kids etc. Be quick to seal the deal if in your favour without letting a third party in.

Some years back, we found a 2007 Toyota Corolla the fellow moved from another state so he was not prepared to change the plates and do the paperwork. He wanted to sell it cheap. Listed for $5500 we offered $3000 cash, he accepted, we went to withdraw cash from the nearest ATM coming back the young man changed his mind and asked for $4500 last. We lost the good deal. Lesson here, always have some cash in your pocket. Seal the deal, put down deposit sign the papers come back and finish up. Good deals do not last in car flipping.

The most important tip is to always buy car so cheap, you can replace the engine if needed and still get your money back. This single tip would save you heaps of money and still make you heaps of money.

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