Price negotiation

Ah, the delicate art of negotiation. We have all seen movies which display an unwitting customer walking onto the lot of a car dealership only to be swindled out of thousands of pounds while being quite unaware the entire time.  In truth, this is more fictional than it is realistic. Car dealers and even private sellers generally have the interests of the buyer in mind and yet we should always remember that their ultimate goal is to turn a profit (or at least receive the most money possible for the transaction). This is where a bit of delicate negotiating skills can come in very handy. Let's look at some basic psychological tips and tricks that could very well give you the leading edge when looking to purchase a new or used car.

Have a Price in Mind

One of the biggest mistakes that buyers will make is to meet a seller without having any realistic idea of how much they are willing to pay. This is quite similar to providing the seller with a blank cheque. Use online resources to understand the average asking price of the new or used vehicle that you have your eye one. You will therefore be able to set a limit in regards to how much you will spend.

Friendly and Firm

If you approach negotiations with a noticeable air of stiffness and you are not willing to compromise, the seller is likely to take this very same stance. Before you know it, both will hit an impassible wall and the negotiations could stall or even break down altogether. Be friendly and yet make it clear from the onset exactly what you are looking for. The seller or dealer will respect this type of candour and they will treat you as a peer as opposed to an unsuspecting buyer.

Body Language

Eye contact and a firm handshake are two important gestures which represent the unwritten rules of any type of negotiation. Both of these silent statements are meant to exude confidence and awareness of your situation. Think of negotiating a deal much in the same way as you would a job interview. First impressions are very important.

Small Talk

Before entering into any negotiations, try to make small talk with the seller. You could talk about topics such as other vehicles, similar interests or even your children. Why is this important? Establishing rapport with another individual can help to open up both sides. In the rare case that the seller was planning on “high-balling” you in terms of price, they could very well choose otherwise. Also, you will feel more comfortable being honest with them as the negotiations begin a bit later.

Know When to Say No

As we mentioned previously, begin your negotiations with a firm figure in mind. Now, you will need to have a but of leeway here. Most experts recommend not straying more than ten per cent of this initial figure. What happens if the seller is asking for a price that is out of your financial league? How far do you continue to push? Indeed, there are times when even the best negotiating skills will not lead to an agreement at the end. If you begin to feel as if you are getting nowhere or if the seller seems to become overly agitated at your demands, simply thank them for their time and walk away. There are bound to be other opportunities out there.

The “Grass is Greener” Trick

This is another great method that will work on occasion. Relate to the dealer that after your view his or her vehicle you will be travelling to other nearby lots (mention any competitors if possible). By creating the illusion that you have other choices, you are passively letting the seller know that you are willing to look elsewhere if you do not like their offer. This can sometimes be very helpful; particularly when combined with the other strategies mentioned above.

Make no mistake; these are not considered to be “dirty” tactics by any means. You can instead enjoy a potential edge with their use and as an end result, you will be able to purchase a vehicle that provides you with years of use.