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Quick Auto Buying Tip for 8.17.11 – Avoid the “Hurry” Trap of the Car Dealer

Even Auto Buying Services such as Car Pal must beware of falling into the “hurry” trap, and urge you, the car buyer to  be wary as well. While it is sage to hurry a bit if you are purchasing a one of a kind used car (so it doesn’t get sold prior to your making your final decision) or a high demand new car, the same generally does not hold true for the majority of new cars. Car Pal advises: “Don’t ever let a car dealer rush you into making a purchase decision.” I know I’ve said it before, and I will say it again as one cannot be reminded enough.  Both of these examples took place last Saturday: one on a Ford Focus purchase in Los Angeles, and the other car purchase, a Kia Optima purchase, near Macon Georgia.
Here are the two examples:

Example One:  Car Pal had just wrapped up a lease negotiation on a Ford Focus at Sunset Ford in Los Angeles, CA.  However, the co-signer, who was out of state, wasn’t able to do her part of the paperwork until the following week.  The salesperson called me and, to put a sense of urgency into the transaction, he said, “You know, we can’t hold the car and it might get sold.”  I said, “Really? OK then.” I was thinking to myself, “I will just call another Ford dealer then, I’m sure they would be happy to have our business…” A Ford Focus is hardly threatened by extinction. (!) Sensing my indifference, the car salesman quickly backpedaled, “Oh, well, if it sells, we’ll just trade for another one.”  I had the urge to pat him on the head for his cooperative spirit.  We were on the telephone, however.

Example two:  Many Kia dealerships on the East Coast said the same thing when I called in search for the best price on a 2011 Kia Optima SX with a premium package.  “If you’re not going to offer above sticker price, don’t bother.”  This comment was followed by a “hurry and don’t wait though, because we’re running out of inventory, so if this one sells, there won’t be one to replace it.” While what we were being told was true about the supply and quickly dwindling supply of the Optima SX, fortunately, neither my client nor I rushed to pay full sticker. 

We worked seriously and rapidly as a team and found our client’s first choice color less than a day later at a price under invoice, a few thousand less than most Kia dealerships were telling us it could be purchased.  While a Kia Optima SX with a premium package and no navigation system is indeed a much harder find than a Ford Focus, and is truly threatened by supply and demand, we remained calm and collected and the net result was thousands of dollars worth of savings.

Conclusion and Lesson:  March to the beat of your own drum.  Keep your own counsel.  Don’t be swayed by the fast-talking, speed loving salespeople that want your money NOW not later.  You’ll be delighted at the end result!

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