Author Topic: Swindling a swindler? Used car buying advice...  (Read 5378 times)

Meinurgill

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Swindling a swindler? Used car buying advice...
« on: July 01, 2014, 10:38:34 AM »
Going shopping for a used car this weekend. Prefer a private seller but we are starting with dealers so we can test drive some different models. If we find what we want, we will buy.

Advice on getting an amazing deal?

What are some of the hidden tricks of the trade that we should be on the lookout for?

Skip the warranties? I will say, I bought Certified Used with my last car and the accompanying warranty saved me the expense of a new engine at 60,000 miles--cost me $0. I still question whether the replacement was needed though.

Frugal Father

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Re: Swindling a swindler? Used car buying advice...
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2014, 10:45:36 AM »
The number one thing is to be willing to walk away if you aren't happy with the price. This was the hardest part for my wife and I as our car was totaled in December and we needed to get a new car fast. It made it much harder to get the best price because we really weren't willing to walk away and keep looking elsewhere.

Meinurgill

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Re: Swindling a swindler? Used car buying advice...
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2014, 10:47:10 AM »
We are in a similar sitch. Axle is bad on hubby's van and we aren't going to repair it, so we need a replacement asap. His van is not safe to haul the family in as is.

Frugal Father

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Re: Swindling a swindler? Used car buying advice...
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2014, 11:05:48 AM »
Do your research before you go look at any car, know what it's worth. If you can get a financial calculator on your phone get it. Don't be in a hurry to buy a car, be in a position to walk away.

I bought a used car from a dealership last year, my car was still running so I didn't need one. In fact I wasn't planning on buying one for another year but I found one for sale that I liked (except for the color it was everything I was looking for in a car) so I went to test drive it. It was listed online at $19.9k which was less than anywhere else I had seen, when I called he said $17.9k which was around KBB.

After the test drive the guy asked me the standard "What would it take for you to drive this car home today?". I said $15k since I wasn't actually planning on buying a car that day. He kept coming back with other numbers and I stuck to $15k and eventually they agreed to it if I financed through them at 3%.

So then I'm working with the finance guy and he's trying to talk me into the extended warranty. Said they do some fineggeling with the bank financing/kickbacks to get me a lower interest rate so the warranty doesn't cost me anything. Stupid me signed the paperwork at 1.59% and went on my way. The next morning I ran the numbers and they added over $3k to my loan for the warranty which was NOT made up for by the lower interest rate, the original interest rate would have to have been over 8% to come out to the same payment. I called them up and complained and they said I had 60 days to cancel the warranty for a full refund....and I got to keep the lower interest rate. So in the end it worked out for me but only because I ran the numbers on my own instead of taking their word for it.
Wow. Nice catch!

And along with being willing to walk away, don't tell them about your situation. He doesn't need to know (and shouldn't know!) that your current vehicle is unsafe to drive. The other problem when my wife and I looked at the car we ended up buying was that we were so stressed out about the whole situation and just wanted it to be done with. As a result, I accidentally told him the entire situation we were in. Because of that, he knew we needed to buy a car fast and basically everything became non-negotiable. So be careful when they ask you questions. Give as little info as you can, and be confident!

Doomspark

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Re: Swindling a swindler? Used car buying advice...
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2014, 12:11:13 PM »
Don't bring your trade-in with you when you are looking.  That way, you have a solid reason to "go home and get the trade-in" - which can be a good time to do a reality-check.

Cwadda

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Re: Swindling a swindler? Used car buying advice...
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2014, 12:27:32 PM »
I looked for my Mazda3 for over 2 months. Here's what I kept in mind:

1. Have someone who is knowledgeable about cars and repairs as a contact to ask specific questions.
2. Never bother looking at a car with a rebuilt or salvaged title.
3. Ask the owner where the car was serviced, how often, and if they have service records. You will get a good idea how well they took care of it.
4. Ask if any body work has been done and why.
5. When looking at a used car, look for discrepancies in paint or parts. If there is paint that doesn't match up with the rest of the car, then you can tell there has been work done that involves replacing major parts.
6. Check the oil. Pull the dipstick out and check how high the level is and if the oil's clean. Changing the oil is a major factor in the life of a car.
7. Do research about the specific car model and see if it has any model-specific repairs. For example, Honda Civics older than 2000 have timing belts which need to be replaced every 60k miles. The newer models have timing chains which don't need periodic replacement. For my Mazda3, the big thing was that it can wear the wrong type of tire quickly (as fast as 1 year). I put on Bridgestone tires to ensure  tire maximum lifetime.
8. If you have a motivated seller, they will be willing to work with you on the price if you find any repairs that need attention. The guy I bought my car from took off $800 right away because the car needed new tires, had cosmetic dents and scratches, and needed new brakes pretty soon. I also asked for another $150 off to have the car detailed and buffed.

After my car buying experience, I would be more concerned on getting a very reliable car than getting an amazing deal. There are pretty good deals all around; they're good only if the car runs good and has been kept it good shape.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 12:29:05 PM by Cwadda »

AlfC

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Re: Swindling a swindler? Used car buying advice...
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2014, 01:53:37 PM »

so.mpls

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Re: Swindling a swindler? Used car buying advice...
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2014, 01:57:53 PM »
I was a car salesman for a short time - here's what I can tell you.

Basically, a dealership will have a minimum price set that they will accept for each vehicle.  It can change over time, but you won't influence it by negotiating.  Letting the customers negotiate price is a sales technique and nothing more. 

Your salesman will probably want to keep you as close to sticker price as possible to maximize their commission, but at the end of the day they want the sale.  Patience is the key.  Let them know you're not in a hurry and will be shopping around, and they're likely to drop the price to whatever they can pretty quickly.

If you want the best value, buy from craigslist.  If you want to go the dealership route, try to find one with a 'one-price' policy as that removes the negotiation and gets you a fair price upfront.  If you end up buying from a traditional dealership, just know what you want, what you're comfortable paying, and be patient.

On the extended warranty - SKIP IT unless you like throwing money away! This is where dealerships make most of their profit, and where salesman make most of their commissions!

Cwadda

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Re: Swindling a swindler? Used car buying advice...
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2014, 02:09:56 PM »
I was a car salesman for a short time - here's what I can tell you.

Basically, a dealership will have a minimum price set that they will accept for each vehicle.  It can change over time, but you won't influence it by negotiating.  Letting the customers negotiate price is a sales technique and nothing more. 

Your salesman will probably want to keep you as close to sticker price as possible to maximize their commission, but at the end of the day they want the sale.  Patience is the key.  Let them know you're not in a hurry and will be shopping around, and they're likely to drop the price to whatever they can pretty quickly.

If you want the best value, buy from craigslist.  If you want to go the dealership route, try to find one with a 'one-price' policy as that removes the negotiation and gets you a fair price upfront.  If you end up buying from a traditional dealership, just know what you want, what you're comfortable paying, and be patient.

On the extended warranty - SKIP IT unless you like throwing money away! This is where dealerships make most of their profit, and where salesman make most of their commissions!

+1 on buying from Craigslist and NOT a dealership

My goodness, I'm still pissed about a local dealership trying to sell me a 2004 Mazda3 with 150k miles on it for $7100 out the door! And they wanted a deposit the same day I went in to look at it.
I got a BETTER car, a 2007 Mazda3 fully loaded with 86k miles on it for the same price.

so.mpls

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Re: Swindling a swindler? Used car buying advice...
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2014, 03:02:31 PM »
+1 on buying from Craigslist and NOT a dealership

My goodness, I'm still pissed about a local dealership trying to sell me a 2004 Mazda3 with 150k miles on it for $7100 out the door! And they wanted a deposit the same day I went in to look at it.
I got a BETTER car, a 2007 Mazda3 fully loaded with 86k miles on it for the same price.

Yep... people have their reasons for buying from a dealer, but it is in no way the best option financially and I would never recommend it to anyone.  You'll pay a lot more for the same car, and after seeing how dealerships acquire and inspect their used cars, I'd feel much safer buying from a private party with good records anyways.

DollarBill

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Re: Swindling a swindler? Used car buying advice...
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2014, 08:46:27 PM »
So many good post on here so I won't quote. If I were to buy from a dealership it would be from Car Max but you will still get taken. I sold my truck for $7K on craigslist and Car Max offered $4K. I bought a 2012 ford Focus for $10K on craigslist and Car Max wanted $18K. Lesson is do the work yourself. 

Cwadda

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Re: Swindling a swindler? Used car buying advice...
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2014, 09:35:18 PM »
+1 on buying from Craigslist and NOT a dealership

My goodness, I'm still pissed about a local dealership trying to sell me a 2004 Mazda3 with 150k miles on it for $7100 out the door! And they wanted a deposit the same day I went in to look at it.
I got a BETTER car, a 2007 Mazda3 fully loaded with 86k miles on it for the same price.

Yep... people have their reasons for buying from a dealer, but it is in no way the best option financially and I would never recommend it to anyone.  You'll pay a lot more for the same car, and after seeing how dealerships acquire and inspect their used cars, I'd feel much safer buying from a private party with good records anyways.

Then the dealership called me 2 weeks later saying that had another Mazda3 just in. My parents stopped by to check it out. IT WAS THE SAME CAR. Now I've worked myself up...

Good luck with your car buying endeavors, OP.