The emergence of online and mobile resources has made it easier than ever to shop for a car, but there are still many shoppers who are prone to making some of the same old mistakes. Online car shopping leader Edmunds.com has identified the five most outdated car shopping tactics and their modern solutions:
Old Concept #1: Relying only on the dealership to build the deal and crunch the numbers.
New Solution: Does the monthly payment for the car fall within your budget? Not sure if you’re better off taking a low-APR or cash incentive? Want to know how much money you will or will not save by trading in your gas guzzler for a hybrid? Having a calculator at your fingertips and crunching the numbers along with the salesperson can help you better understand the deal and feel more confident.
Old Concept #2: Working only with the first salesperson that greets you or picks up the phone.
New Solution: There are several consumer review sites where shoppers leave feedback about their positive and negative experience. Before heading to the dealership, you can read through these reviews and identify a salesperson who delivers a consistently great experience, and then make an appointment with him or her.
Old Concept #3: Not asking questions because you’re worried about looking weak or uninformed.
New Solution: Dealers recognize the value of making you feel good about a deal, so a thoughtful salesperson will answer any question, no matter how ridiculous you might think it is. But if you’re still wondering, it’s easy to quickly research your question through a third-party resource on your mobile device.
Old Concept #4: Making a deal only when you’re at the dealership.
New Solution: Dealerships typically have an online process that lets you negotiate a price and make a deal remotely. That’s a huge stress reliever for those of us who hate negotiating face to face.
Old Concept #5: Relying on your gut to arrive at your car’s trade-in value.
New Solution: If you’re planning to trade in your old car, be sure to look up its value on your own. Be sure to print out the details and bring them with you to the dealership. Keep an objective eye; you may think your car is in “good” condition when “fair” might be a more accurate label.