As a follow up to Part One, I want to make it clear how knowing what you want saves you money when purchasing your next car.
There are basically three reasons why people go to an automobile showroom. One, they are there solely to look at different models on display. Two, they are there to gather information, i.e., fact finding, and, three, they have already finished steps one and two and are ready to buy the car, either today or soon. The trained sales person qualifies potential customers to find out why they are in the showroom, and, since it is this third group of people who are the ones most likely to buy a car, the sales person’s focus is directed exclusively to them. Customers who are “just looking around” or strictly there to gather information are least likely to get a competitive price from the salesperson because they are not willing, at this time, to commit themselves to purchasing a car today. The customer who is “looking around”, getting information and asking for prices and not committed to buy, will not get a competitive price: the sales person will quote (and I know this from personal experience as a retired car salesman) an approximate price. For example, the 2018 Toyota Camry LE is “around” $25,000 plus taxes and fees. If a customer was not ready to purchase the car that day, some sales people are instructed, by their managers, to not quote prices at all unless the customer disclosed they were ready to buy the car today. This was the conclusion of Part One: No customer commitment to purchase equals no competitive price.
Commitment means that the customer tells the salesperson, up front, that they are interested in purchasing a car today; or, that they have already received quotes from other dealers and are ready to buy, now, if your price is competitive. Note: it is the salesperson’s job to find out what the customer’s time frame is for buying a car, if the customer has not disclosed this.
This brings us to another way in which the customer can save money: get at least three quotes, in writing, from the salesperson at three different dealerships, make sure that each quote has the make, model, trim level desired equipment and/or packages and MSRP of the exact car you are interested in. By doing this, you are guaranteeing that you get each dealer’s best price on the car that you want.
I also purchased many cars before I became an auto salesperson and for years I didn’t know that this was the best course of action in securing a “good” price, and, as a result, I paid too much for the car. Being in the car business for many years, I learned that the best way to get the best price from each dealer was to get at least three quotes on the exact car you are interested in. Many customers purchase from a dealer with the lowest price. But others, like myself, will compare quotes and purchase the car at the dealer whose price is competitive and whose salesperson I preferred because the salesperson treated me with respect.