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Old 04-07-2006, 07:21 AM
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how to talk down prices

I was just wondering if anybody had tips on talking someone down from a price on their car?
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Old 04-07-2006, 08:08 AM
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Study the car A LOT and find a dent, rust spot, pealing trim, dirty oil, oil leaks, or anything you can pick at, but don't complain, just be quiet, take your time and study the problem closely, by then the owner should know you are sharp and will not be fooled. Tell him you wanted something a little nicer to start out with....but you would be able to pay xxxx for it.
Having the cash in hand helps a lot.

Most people set their prices higher than what they want, so they can be flexible.
Don't be afraid to offend the other person with a low bid, after all, you might just get it for that!

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Old 04-07-2006, 08:16 AM
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The biggest asset in your favor to negeotiating price is if you really want the car. Don't dicker for something you don't want and back out.
Try and be honest, if you want the car and they are asking to much tell them that you like the car but the price is to high and make a fair offer giving yourself a little room to go up. I rarely try and low ball someone. If they know anything about what they are selling they have an idea what it's worth. Most think it's worth more than it really is and pad their price about 5-10% but each sell is different.
If they balk at your offer, leave your number and tell them to call if they change their mind. Call them back in a day or two and ask them if they've reconsidered.
Also a good asset if you can purchase right then. Someone with cash now vs next week can usually get a little better price.

Now if it's the car you really want and don't want to take a chance of loosing it, make your offer, if he's says no, ask what he's willing to take.
If you ask what he's willing to take first you're stuck sometimes. So I usually offer first what I think is a fair price. I feel it gives me the upper hand. The seller then knows he has a sell, he just has to decide. If his counter offer is more than you can or want to pay, ask if he'll split the difference if you can afford it, or stand your ground and say that's all I can pay for this car.

Some people always ask a seller what's their bottom dollar right off. Personally I don't like that, especially over the phone and I will usually keep my price high to them. If they want it, come look at it and make an offer.

You won't win every one, but I'm not always trying to get a great deal. Just a fair deal. Some cars are worth the asking price, others aren't.
Good luck.
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Old 04-07-2006, 09:18 AM
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428 has some good advice. A used car with a fairly high price will be difficult to obtain financing, many banks will not consider unless you have a history with them, it's a tougher sell. I usually will do the same thing as 428, write my offer on a business card, ask them to call if they reconsider. A few questions to ask about maintenance, has the timing chain/belt been replaced, service records, etc., research prices on the internet, Kelly bluebook, that type of thing, if they're asking a fair price, buy it. There's a lot of cars out there for sale, a good deal will surface. Dan
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Old 04-07-2006, 09:45 AM
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My suggestions, don't act like you are impressed. Notice ALL the blemishes. Show up with cash. Make one firm offer and be ready to leave if the guy doesn't bite. Give him your phone number and let him know the offer stands for a couple of days.

I think the most important thing is to place a correct value on the car. Consider resale value, the satisfaction of owning, and the price to fix (eg my coworker got a $800 estimate to fix a simple gasket on his viper). The rest is simple math.
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Old 04-07-2006, 11:17 AM
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Honestly, it is all BS, beating prices down is BS. There is NOTHING that pisses me off more than having some yahoo call me on a car I have for sale and have him ask "what is the lowest price you will take?". He hasn't even seen the car, it could be worth twice what I am asking or half as much, what a jerk off.

Next, you have a $9000 68 Camaro, what in the living hell is four or five hundred one way or another? What do you have to compare it with, next door there is an identical car for $9000? Can you say, "That one over there is $9000 and it doesn't have the door ding this one does, how about $8956?

How about a new car, or one you are financing? What in the living hell is five hundred less going to mean, a buck and a half on the payment?

This is how I see it, go buy a car you can afford. I have went to see a car and taken CASH, "This is how much I have" (Because that WAS all I had) and fan it out in front of the guy. "There it is, I think it is worth what you are asking but I don't have that much". If he says no, I leave and wait until one does come within what I can afford or I save more money.

I think that is the only honest way to "beat someone down" on the price. All the other stuff is BS.

Brian
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Old 04-07-2006, 12:08 PM
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I'm not tryin to start something with anyone, but let me say this, the guy only asked how to do it, not if he should do it.

I've bought and sold quite a few car/trucks so I have seen both sides of this,
and dealing with the cheapskates and nitpickers is part of the business, and it does not bother me. The same morons come here to the shop.

Selling a car...I would NOT work with a guy who says "let me ask my wife"
but say if I'm asking $3000 and a guy checks it out, says he want's it, but
only $2800 on him, and he would have to figure out how to get the other $200, am I going turn him down? Heck no! that would be stupid of me, I'm goin
to take his $2800 and let him make it.

Things to remember... Most of the time, if the same car has been for sale for a while, the owner is prob tired of it and will sell it cheaper. (or just want's too much)
Trucks sell WAY faster than cars do, (esp down south) so if your looking at a truck to buy, expect to pay close to what it's worth.
I can sell a clapped out rust-bucket of a truck for at least a G fast and easy.
Cars on the other hand....well you got the nice ones people want, and will pay
good money for, and the $800-2000 cash car (beater). The nicer cars you see at most dealers are marked up a lot from what they payed for it, so there should be some flexibility in the deal. With a cash car there is not as much flexibility because it's all ready priced low to sell fast.

Tell me what you're looking at and I could help you further.
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Old 04-07-2006, 12:28 PM
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Thers nothing worse than having a car for 7-800 and having some idiot coming up and offering you $400 cause 'your a kid' theres nothing worse than insulting the seller right off the bat. I used to buy and sell cheap ($500-$1000) cars while I was in HS and the things people would tell me Would piss me off so much that I would tell them to **********and go back in the house.

So just make a reasonable offer, DONT nitpick on every door ding and rock chip hoping to get the price down cause it most likely wont work. If theres body damage or bondo then you can easily drop the price with that, especially if theyre trying to hide it or cover it up. Go to garage sales and practice, its cheap learnin and you never know what you'll find

Last edited by poncho62; 04-07-2006 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 04-07-2006, 01:05 PM
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show up with a pocket full of cash. only good trick there is.
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Old 04-07-2006, 01:22 PM
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I've bought and sold over 30 personal cars, all drivers and mostly Muscle cars, sports cars or trucks. Value is very subjective on older cars. Newer cars have more guidlines to reference.

Case in point, Wednesday I went and looked at a 2002 Mercedes SLK 320. The guy said it was perfect and only had 17,000 miles. But he was asking top dollar of $32,500. Had it been perfect it might be worth it. But when I saw it it had several deep scratches and lower valance scratches (curb rash)
I had all my paperwork where I had researched it and I came up with $31,000 max as top dollar before scratches. Then I estimated it would take about $1000 to $1500 to fix the dings and such.
So I asked him how he came up with his price. His answer was the web and he showed me his paperwork he'd printed out. We were both nice about it since our numbers both came from the web and didn't jive.
I decided to pass on it as I didn't really want to offer him $28,000, dicker to maybe $29,500 and have to spend another $1500 to have a $31,000 car.
So I told him it had to many flaws in it. He wasn't happy since he thinks it's perfect and the scratches shouldn't matter. He then asked me to make him an offer. I wasn't interested in a fixer so I thanked him for his time and wished him luck.
You don't get them all but you have to look to know.
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Old 04-07-2006, 02:32 PM
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Isn't this post from the buyer's point of view?

Even from the seller's point of view, I'd love it if people showed up at my front door with wads of cash making firm offers. It's still my choice if I want the deal. Some people have cars for years and years because people don't give them their asking price (I was one of them). I say, If someone has $3500 for a car that you listed at $5000 2 years ago...take the cash and move on.
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Old 04-07-2006, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VEGA 3503508.5
My suggestions, don't act like you are impressed. Notice ALL the blemishes. Show up with cash. Make one firm offer and be ready to leave if the guy doesn't bite. Give him your phone number and let him know the offer stands for a couple of days.

I think the most important thing is to place a correct value on the car. Consider resale value, the satisfaction of owning, and the price to fix (eg my coworker got a $800 estimate to fix a simple gasket on his viper). The rest is simple math.
Fastchevy said it all, except...don't just notice the blemishes...don't say anything about them as you look and walk around the car, but touch them as you go around the car. He'll probably make comments as he see's you doing this, but don't say anything just look at him and shake your head. Old car salesman trick when looking to price a trade-in. Let's the seller know you noticed all the problems and helps justify a lower offer price.
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Old 04-07-2006, 03:37 PM
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a little experienced advice

Having bought and sold hundreds of cars as a used car manager I have a few pointers that may help. First, walk around the car with the current owner and touch and feel every blemish that you see but don't say anything. He will begin to devalue his car in his own head and begin to talk. Let him talk, talk, and talk some more but don't say anything. Feel along the panel edges and when your done even if its smooth ask him if the car has ever been wrecked or had any paint work. ( well uh I did get smacked in the front quarter by a dump truck). People will usually tell you the truth if they think you already know the answer. Always check a used cars value from several different sources. Different sources are often miles apart on value. Call a LOCAL wholesaler and ask what he'd give you for the car. They can usually give you a pretty close fair market value. When its all said and done, you can take one of two approaches. If you believe the owner has started to think that his car is worth a great deal less than he originally asked, hesitantly make an offer about 15 to 20% lower than what your really wanting to pay for the car. If He thinks the car isn't worth anything, and you think the car isn't worth anything, his expectations will be lower and your not likely to make him mad. If he still thinks his 89 ford tempo is worth five grand, positively (i.e. with a smile on your face) make an offer 15 to 20% lower than what you really want to pay for the car. Same as above, just makes him think that what your offering him may be a fair price. The 89 tempo guy is more likely to walk than the first one but he'll call you back unless some numbskull actually gives him the five grand. I guess the most important thing that I've learned is you've got to ask for something to get it. Don't be afraid of people's reactions. Take the personality out of the car for the person. People develop sentamental bonds with things like houses and cars. It's only a piece of machinery to you, you've got to make them feel the same way. Finally, don't try to rip there head off unless they deserve it. Make a fair offer, but keep your interests in the car in mind.
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Old 04-07-2006, 03:56 PM
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being desperate for a car will lose you a good negotiation. My grandfather was 100% pure blooded dutch and actually stepped off the boat into this country. He may have died the most frugal man in history and offered me probably the best advice on selling and buying and it was this: "there's always another good deal." If you're looking to buy something and its not the price you want or you notice something that turns you off, dont be afraid to walk away. Thousands of cars change hands every day in this country. Tomorrow is a new day, new auctions will start on ebay, the newspapers will have new cars next week etc etc, especially if its a common car ( I.e. anything built after 1970 domestic).

Also, you surely want to get your mind right about the market. Find the value of the car from blue book sources, but also find out what they're really going for out there. Good source here is find about a dozen of the car you want on ebay and track the auctions from start to finish. See what these cars are going for, what the good deals are, the bad deals are and what makes a car sell for less.

K
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Old 04-07-2006, 06:11 PM
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You just can't beat advice from Grandpa. That is VERY good stuff K.

Brian
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