Ask a shopper: How do you Negotiate?

The Art of Negotiation-

Wow, I am exhausted! We embarked on the horrible task of car buying. I think I should say car “test driving” since we haven’t actually bought anything yet. We are in the hunt for a mommy van. I can’t believe that we are looking for a van. I also can’t believe the prices. I guess I am out of the loop since we haven’t bought a new car in a long time. Nor did we buy our last one from a dealer.

The first step is clarifying your needs. I narrowed down my search based on needed items. We need 8 leather seats and a tow package. Then qualify the amount you have to spend. We have a budget that we have to stick with. Once you have determined what you want and what you want to spend then research. I went through all the vans to determine which brand can seat 8 people. I had to determine what would be the best value for my money. What are the best vans with the best resale value? What van has the least amount of out of pocket expenses? What van has the most options for the least amount of money?

The next step is how am I going to pay for this? Do we need financing? If so, what is the lowest rate? I contacted my bank, credit union, and looked on the websites for the two vans we are considering. I determined what would be the best rates available in case we went the route of borrowing money. The final step was determining price. We have USAA and they have an exceptional buying service. They guarantee the lowest prices on the new vehicle of your choice.

We went to the dealership and test-drove the vans we were looking at. Then the negotiation dance began. The number came in 3k over our budget.  We told the sales person our budget. Then he went back to the big guy and came back with a lower number still out of our reach. We then showed them our USAA price; I thought they were going to fall over. Then came the next offer $2k less. This is thanks to my research.  I mean my research knocked off $2k just like that. It was still out of our reach but my husband said, “Can you give us a bumper to bumper warranty for that amount?” We were prepared to pay more for additional features but not for the actual car.

They weren’t able to meet our expectations so we left. The art of negotiation involves being prepared, being firm, and being able to walk away. When we got home I called the USAA dealers and we can get what we want for the price we are willing to pay… so why don’t I have a new van yet?  I can’t figure out what color I want. I also want to sleep on it because an expensive decision is best made in time.

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  1. ev says

    We’re looking for another car soon too. Not sure if our car accident will make it harder for us to keep our car, though the damage is just to the bumper area, and cosmetic. But we’re told it’s considered “totalled” since insurance doesnt want to pay for the work their client caused. It’s a very valuable and good car. we’re so upset.

    Anyway, I had heard Dave Ramsey say it’s better to get a used car, save up what you would have paid with monthly payments, to then sell your current car, take that money and the money you saved to upgrade yourself, and continue to do that till your comfortable with the car you have or can buy a new one. Great advice. This is what we plan to do.

    Maybe that helps!


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