In the old days, you had very few resources to rely on when it came to buying from a used car dealer. You had to hope that you could find a salesman you could trust, and while there are probably more than those than the industry’s reputation would indicate, it didn’t exactly inspire confidence. Today is a new era, of course. The Internet means everyone has access to a variety of resources and tools that can help them get the best deal when looking for a pre-owned vehicle. If you’re hesitant about making your next purchase, here are some valuable tools that can help you.
If you want, you can practically avoid shopping in person altogether. There is a plethora of vehicle websites where you can find ads for privately owned vehicles as well as those available from dealerships. While it’s never a great idea to buy a vehicle sight unseen, these can give you a line on what’s out there. Perhaps more importantly, you can start to get a sense of what people are asking for these days. By making some comparisons, you can start gathering together your budget. Even if you decide you would rather go to a used car dealer and browse in person, you’ll know right away if their prices are in line with the market.
The Kelly Blue Book
For years, sellers and buyers have used the Kelly Blue Book alike to determine fair prices for vehicles. The book lists nearly ever vehicle you can think of, their models and years, and will tell you how much they are selling for in the current market. This is an invaluable resource if you’re looking to buy from a used car dealer. A lot of buyers feel uneasy about negotiating the price of a vehicle, whether pre-owned or new. This is because they really don’t know how much they should be paying. The KBB gives you some insight into that figure, which should give you more confidence in your negotiations.
One trick that has been in use for a long time at nearly every dealership in the country is refusing to talk bottom line price with the customer. The salesmen are encouraged to guide the buyer into a conversation about payments and payments only. This is a terrible way to buy, however, as a good used car dealer can usually find a way to sell you just about anything for any monthly payment. But you don’t want a six-year loan on a $8,000 vehicle. Use online loan calculators to determine what kind of deal you should get and stop letting salesmen dictate the conversation.