Buying a new car, whether for the first or umpteenth time, is always an exciting experience. You've probably done your research at this point, and you've already got a make and model in mind. Your next step would be to head down to your local dealership and have a look around.
When you walk in, a friendly salesperson will greet you and tell you everything about the car you’ve got your eye on. A good salesperson will be friendly, but a great one will make you feel like you’re their best friend in the world!
Sure, car salespeople are regular people like you and me, and probably 95% of them are honest individuals. But make no mistake! They’ve got a job to do, and that’s to get you to buy a car according to terms that are favourable to them.
That's why you have to be careful about what you say to or around a car salesperson. When you buy a car, you're engaging in a business transaction and negotiating with the salesperson, whether you realise it or not.
Things You Never Say or Do Around a Car Salesperson When Buying a New Car
To help you avoid some car-buying blunders, here are some things you should NEVER say to or around a salesman when you’re out car buying.
1. “I Don’t Know Much About Cars.”
You don’t have to be a ‘car guy/girl’ to go car shopping. But whatever you do, never let the car salesperson know that you’re clueless about cars.
The reason is simple. If the salesperson knows that you don’t know much about cars, they may exaggerate certain features and try to mislead you into thinking it’s more important than it is. That’s not to say that the features don’t matter, but let’s be honest, some car features may sound impressive but are not critical.
The marketing teams of car manufacturers have put a lot of work into coming up with the best ways to make their vehicle sound like the best one you can buy. So, whatever marketing terms they come up with, car salespeople will be the ones to repeat it around the dealership.
My best advice? Never let them know how little or how much you know about cars. When they try to impress you with some vague feature that sounds impressive, just nod and smile.
If you honestly don’t know what it means, you can always go home and look up those terms online to see if they’re essential or not.
2. “I Really Love This Car!”
When the time comes that you find the perfect car, it’s always best to play it cool. Why? Because if they know that you really love a specific vehicle, they know they have the upper hand. They know that you’ll be willing to pay a little extra to get the ‘car of your dreams’, so they might not give you the best deal possible.
Remember: whenever you’re talking to a car salesperson, you’re already negotiating. So, even if you already know that you’ve found the car that you want, play it cool. Act indifferent, and look at other models to ‘weigh your options’.
Then, when you’re ready, you can tell them that you’ve made your decision.
3. “My Credit Score Isn’t That Good.”
Most people use financing to buy a new car, and they’ll need a healthy credit score to do that. Even if your credit score is in the dumps, never let the car salesperson know.
Unfortunately, some salespeople may lose interest and won’t try to give you the best deal possible if they know that your credit score isn’t good. The reason for that is because they may assume that you won’t get your financing approved and that the sale will not happen.
My only advice is this: your credit score is nobody’s business except for you and whatever bank or financial institution you’re hoping will help you pay for that car. The salesman doesn’t need to know about it, at least not while you’re still in the process of choosing a car to buy.
4. “I Need To Buy This Car Really Quick!”
What does this kind of language communicate? It tells the salesperson that you’re desperate. Remember what we discussed earlier regarding “I really love this car!”? Just like that phrase, this one shows the salesperson that they have the upper hand in this business negotiation.
So, how do you ask the right questions without coming off as desperate?
One good question would be “If I choose this car, how soon can I drive it?” Plus, if they ever ask you why you need the car so quickly, you can brush it off and say “I don’t like waiting too long for things, that’s all”.
You can be creative, of course, but here’s the point: never show the salesperson that you’re desperate.
5. Don’t Tell The Salesman What You Do For A Living.
Lastly, don’t tell the salesperson what you do for a living. Unfortunately, even the most well-intentioned people will make assumptions about you based on your vocation or occupation. In the case of a car salesperson, that information might lead them to assume your income level and treat you differently because of it.
For example, if they know you’re a doctor or a lawyer, they’ll assume that you have a lot of money to burn. Some salespeople may try to squeeze every dollar out of you instead of offering the best prices possible.
On the other side of the coin, a salesperson may assume that you can’t afford a specific model just because you’re working what they assume is a low-paying job. As a result, they might not work very hard to sweeten the deal for you to buy the car.
Learn More about Various Cars First Before Visiting Showrooms!
One more thing you can do before going car shopping is to read the blog over at Carpart.com.au. Its Carpedia is one massive resource about all car makes and models in Australia. You will also find articles about every part of a car to help you make better-informed decisions when you decide to go car buying. When you equip yourself with enough car knowledge, no salesperson will be able to outsmart you at the dealership!
By Ray Hasbollah