Last post on Sep 08, 2009 at 9:40 AM
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10 Tips: How To Buy a New Car - Here are 10 time-tested new-car buying tips culled from Inside Line's collective experience, which includes buying hundreds of new cars both professionally and as individuals ó not to mention some experience working inside dealerships.(more)
#23 of 42 this is terrible
Sep 04, 2009 (9:20 pm)
Edmunds should be ashamed. It's alarming to me the advice that they are spewing.
Keeping the ignorant, ignorant.
Way to go!!!!!
#24 of 42 What did I think of the tips
Sep 04, 2009 (9:25 pm)
1. don't give your DL before a test drive.
No test drive. I wouldn't be out with someone who won't leave a copy of their ID. It's for my safety.
Don't let your car leave to get appraised.
Where should we appraise it, at your house?
Edmunds trade in values are way off. They know this, they put them on the sight anyway.
It just reinforces the typical stereotype. This article is irresponsible, and misleading [at times]
#25 of 42 Re: What did I think of the tips [dhamilton]
Sep 05, 2009 (2:05 am)
"...Edmunds trade in values are way off..."
What I've heard on these boards is that NONE of the guides Edmunds, KBB, NADA etc. which are available to the public are accurate. It's said that only auction values are valid. This makes some sense to me because why would a dealer pay much more for my car than he can get it for at the auction.
The trouble is, the public doesn't have ready access to that auction data so we come bouncing in to your showroom with KBB trade in figures dancing in our heads. The salesman offers auction value and right off the bat we think he's trying to "steal" our trade.
I think that reinforces the typical stereotype more than any Edmunds article.
#26 of 42 Re: What did I think of the tips [oldfarmer50]
Sep 05, 2009 (7:36 am)
I've typed this so much it's making my fingers bleed, Edmunds has no interest in accuracy they just want to drive traffic to the website.
SOMEBODY who works for Edmunds could pay for the Manheim data, but where would it leave them?
Just like this article. No effort is made to actually research and give good advice.
Some of whats in there is just plain idiotic. This is supposed to HELP consumers?
No, it's just supposed to reinforce the Edmunds brand.
#27 of 42 Go back to journalism school
Sep 05, 2009 (9:35 am)
Seeing as I donít have as much word space as you, let me come right out get to the point and let you know why I printed your article and wiped my ass with it. As a car salesman, I'm not offended by the picture, I am offended by the tips as you call them, that you give. I thought you guys over there purchased a lot of cars, seems to me, you purchase a lot of hassle. Letís quickly go over your points.
1. Take your tip number 1. And choke on it with your morning coffee. The first thing you should do is speak to friends, family, and anyone you know who might have had some dealings with the dealership that you would like to purchase your vehicle from. Most of the people that step into my office, are through relationships that I have worked hard to build. Someone you know can probably send you to a good place and a good sales man. If you donít know anyone who can help you, choose the dealer you would like to go to, get their phone number, call, ask for the sales manager, tell him what time you would like to set your appointment for and what vehicle you would like to see. Be specific, if you are looking for a G35 in Black with tan interior and night vision road assistance state that. He more than likely wil pass you along to a salesperson. Set an appointment. Why? Everyday, the sales manager asks the consultants, what appointments they have for the day. Sales appointments result in sales 70% of the time, so a manager will do pretty much anything to make sure that car gets sold. Other quick points to go along with this. Donít go on the weekends, dealers are too busy to worry about your one deal, but if you are there on a day where no sales seem to be happening, then they are going to be damned sure to get the deal done.
2. Show up to your appointment on time. Like you would treat any other professional or would like to be treated professionally, understand that your deal is not the only thing the consultant is working with. Also this gives you the opportunity to see how your consultant handles himself. When you arrive on time, the vehicle you selected should already be set apart for you to inspect. It may not be the demo version youíre driving, but it should be someplace where you can easily see it. Some dealers have vast inventories and a little heads up from you can easily save you an hour of idle chit-chat and waiting for the proper vehicle to be found. If your salesman is not prepared for your appointment, get another salesman, its as simple as that.
3. What you are going to do, is give me your license. I have no clue who you are and more importantly, my insurance company has no clue who you are, so before you drive my car, do me the courtesy of verifying who you are and that, you at least have a valid license. If youíre going to rob me at gunpoint after we leave the lott, which has happened on more than one occasion, I would like the police to know who they are looking for. If you donít feel like telling me about your trade, thatís fine, youíre wasting your own time. If you live anywhere near a Carmax, go find out what your car is worth. That way you have a realistic view of what someone is actually cutting a check for. I donít care about Kelly Blue Book, I donít care what you owe. What I do know, is that I canít lose money on a car, and Iím only paying as little as possible just incase, I find I have to paint the car, or find that there is a bad transmission, whatever. Chances are I can only sell your car to a wholesaler and thatís my bottom line. If you let us look at your car while we are on the test drive, then we can talk numbers when we return. If you donít like the number then, you may leave. May I also add, my sales manager, feels the same as you, ďdonít tell him about what were giving for the trade until we have some commitment.Ē Funny word that is, because my boss believes money is commitment, but you can write a check to our dealership to cover our debt and we could not cash it until you signed every little paper saying you purchased the vehicle. And in most states, even after that, you more than likely can drive the car back through the dealership windows, narrowly missing the hott receptionist and still return the car.
I'll give you a couple more pointers later when I have a little more time.
#28 of 42 Re: Go back to journalism school [dmiami]
Sep 05, 2009 (10:56 am)
"...let me come right out and get to the point..."
Wow, I'm glad you calmed down by the end of your post. I thought we were going to have a stroke on our hands.
Now tell me more about this hot receptionist...
Sep 05, 2009 (5:09 pm)
Get over it, you're a car salesman. You're an unnecessary relic of the past, one that the manufacturers would be thrilled to eliminate, if they weren't hamstrung by the absurd dealer-friendly franchise laws that exist in each of the 50 states.
The car salesman at most dealerships exists to provide the dealer principal with a disposable "layer of deniability" between himself and the public. Think back on the press explosion that erupts each time that a dealership gets caught doing something they should not be doing: "We here at XYZ Toyota would NEVER condone such behavior, and the salesperson in question is no longer employed here." Then, it's back to business as usual.
How do I know? I used to be a car salesman, then later an F&I guy and and Sales Manager. I was a good one, too, and it tore me up to see the disparities in price, trade-in value, and interest rate that were inflicted upon customers. It was wrong, and I left the business because I viewed it as immoral and unethical. I'm in a much better place now. I make three times as much money as I did in those days, my marriage is solid, and I have even discovered these wonderful things called "weekends."
Don't try and hit me with that "we provide a valuable service" tripe. The car salesman (indeed, the entire American car sales process) exists for one reason, and one reason only; to extract as much profit out of each customer as possible. I take GREAT joy in coaching friends, family, and coworkers on exactly how to get the best possible deal when purchasing and automobile, and revel in the fact that I'm making life miserable for a salesman and dealership.
I WILL agree with the salesmen on this list who have commented on the "don't hand over your driver's license" tip, as this is a basic safety precaution for the salesman and the dealer. When asked for your DL, hand it over, but go with the salesman to the Xerox machine, and get your license back immediately after it is copied. If you do not purchase a car on that day, insist on having the Xerox copy returned. If you do consummate a deal, the dealer has a legitimate reason to retain the copy.
#30 of 42 Interesting...
Sep 06, 2009 (4:27 am)
I have to agree on the driver's license...that was a stupid thing to put into the article. Some of the other information was very useful, particularly shopping based on final price: dealers love to sell based on monthly payment, because the more complicated the math is, the more places they can hide profits and money that the consumer doesn't necessarily want to pay. This one dealer I went to recently quoted me $350/month payments for a car with a loan from the local credit union. I went to the same credit union to get the loan myself and it ended up to be $280 for the same amount and the same term, which means they were padding it MASSIVELY. That's just wrong...I can see a slight premium for providing a sort of one-stop shop for everything, but $70 a month times 84 months??? The dealer just made almost $6 grand.
Salesmen are a mixed bag: the good ones can help you decide on a car, and have good information that can help the decision process. Bad ones, on the other hand....unfortunately most of them are bad ones. I work in the auto industry myself (parts and catalog), and I've run into a lot of salespersons who know a LOT less than I do about cars.
I did end up buying my car from a great dealership with a great salesman who didn't bother trying to have me do their financing and knew both cars and the industry inside and out. And they had no "F&I guy" whatsoever. Others would continue to try and sell me monthly payments even though I already had my own financing.
#31 of 42 F&I Items are WORTHLESS!
Sep 06, 2009 (2:10 pm)
I've encountered many sales-staff. Many are BAD and quite a few are acceptable. But I hate sales-staff that don't know their product. Nearly 20 years ago I had an Olds Bravada salesman tell me Explorers had no frames. The worst part is, I actually bought an Explorer back then. Worst piece of junk I've ever owned. As a result, I'll never buy anything manufactured or owned by Ford.
Back on track, I thought the article was full of good, basic advice. I would also emphasize that the buyer stays in charge of the transaction/buying process. Research is fundamental to that effort. I also fully endorse the article's position that the F&I items are worthless. The closing process is permeated with trickery and huckster-isms. Don't buy from the flim-flam man or woman. The warranties are junk or over-priced and the puncture-proof tires are crap. Don't buy worthless paint or interior protectants or add-on alarms or ANY dealer add-on crap. You can get better items cheaper if you really need any of that sort of stuff.
#32 of 42 From The Writer
Sep 07, 2009 (12:44 am)
Well, it's good to see that my article has inspired such a lively exchange here. Let me clarify a few points, some of which result from, admittedly, sloppy omissions on my part.
First, when it comes to giving up your driver's license, I should have included that its fine for the dealership to make a copy of your license before a test drive. But don't let the license out of your sight. Go with the salesperson to the copy machine, and retrieve the license immediately after the copy has been made. I base this not only on common sense, but personal experience. I remember stewing for an hour and a half in Dodge dealership back in the early Nineties waiting for them to bring me back my license as they pressured me to buy a new Daytona. They essentially held me captive and ever since I've told every one I could to never give up control of your license. And I stand by that advice now... always be ready to walk away.
Second, your trade in and the new vehicle purchase are separate transactions. There's no reason to have the dealer take your potential trade-in while you're still negotiating the new car purchase. And there's nothing worse than wanting to leave a dealership and finding they have your current car and will take their sweet time giving it back. Let them inspect your car once you've already negotiated the new car purchase. Not only should you be ready to walk away, you should be ready to drive away too.
Third, dealing with the F&I guy is tough because the F&I guy has you in a high-pressure situation... and often isn't presenting himself as a salesperson. It's not solely that the products sold by an F&I guy aren't usually worth the money, but the environment they're being sold in is so pressure packed and potentially deceptive. Remember, you're about to sign a big ticket purchase contract... that's high pressure in itself. The WHOLE purchase (including dealer installed options) should have been negotiated before getting to F&I stage. And EVERY product (including extended warranties and service plans for the extremely nervous) the F&I guy is selling is also available after the sale when the purchase can be assessed more calmly.
Fourth, the article wasn't designed to simply reinforce what Edmunds.com offers. But we're dang proud of the buying tools on this site and, well, they are free. Of course there are other avenues of research out there, but there's no reason not to use them and ours together. And every negotiation is unique in itself... no two good deals are exactly the same. Bad deals, on the other hand, often look exactly alike.
Fifth, I stand by my advice to drive the car you're thinking of buying twice. I base this simply on the fact that visibility and comfort with a vehicle can be radically different based on night or day operation. Again this isn't just common sense, but emerges from practical experience. Some vehicles are stingy when it comes to headlight operation or put up very funky nighttime reflections in mirrors and window glass. It's best to discover that before the purchase. Is it always possible to get two test drives? No. Is it desirable? You bet. And if they'll let you have more test drives than that (very doubtful), so much the better. This is a huge purchase.
Sixth, I don't buy the idea that the "good customer service" brings with it a higher price. The purchase is a one-shot transaction, and it's silly to pay a couple hundred extra bucks because the coffee was fresh and the salesman showered and shaved that morning. And the quality of a dealership's sales department often has nothing to do with the quality of the service department. Finding a good service department is whole other story.
Seventh, though I strive to avoid hackdom, yes this the sort of article that gets written often. And there's a simple reason for it -- if this article isn't up on our site then when someone goes Googling for new car buying tips, they won't be sent to our site. We're not talking down to the industry, and we want the industry to be strong. However we are bolstering the consumer's ability to get a fair deal. A dealership may have 2000 customers in a year, but we get millions of visitors a day.
A "Top Ten" new car buying tips story can't be a comprehensive guide to every nuance of the purchasing experience. But for anyone who's intimidated by the process or doing it for the first time, my hope is that this little article will fortify them for the adventure. Because ultimately good dealers and good buyers both want the same thing: a fair transaction that leads to a solid, friendly and reliable relationship over the life of the car. And the next car... and the one after that...
-- John Pearley Huffman