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Approach Car Buying Like HDTV Shopping

submitted on April 27, 2010 by pablos17 in "Member's Lounge"
"If you’re reading this blog, you’re most likely not the type of person that would walk into Best Buy and buy a big screen on the spot for $2500. Instead, you would look at the TV’s, pick out the beautiful 55inch Samsung LCD and write down the model number. Then you’d go home and type it into google product search to find 30 different online retailers and ultimately have it shipped to your home for only $1500. That same strategy can and should be applied to buying a new car.

Rather than going to a car dealership and getting a single price from one car dealer, you should get prices from multiple dealers and make them compete with one another. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Get Several Car Price Quotes

After you’ve done a few test drives and figured out exactly what you want, go home! Use a free online car quote service and put in a request to have multiple car dealers email you offers. After submitting a request you should get several responses within 24 hours.

Step 2: Compare Apples to Apples

The first responses from these quote services will certainly not be the best price. Sometimes they may not give you a price at all, just contact information. Do not be concerned. It may take a few emails back and forth, but you should be able get several prices for a specific model. Once you get enough quotes, organize them so that you can compare apples to apples. You want to make sure to compare the exact same make/model/trim/equipment package to really understand which price is best. It’s easiest if you put them all in a spreadsheet.

Step 3: Negotiate

After you've lined up your initial quotes, email each of the dealers and make them compete against each other. Start with the dealer that gave you the highest price and ask him to beat your best price. Work your way through all of the dealers until you get a price that makes you happy.

Step 4: Close the Deal

When you have the final price in writing (email is sufficient) make sure it includes the VIN number of your new car and arrange an appointment to close the deal. You won’t need to actually purchase the car online. But if you know what you want, you should be able to come to terms on a great price via email and then go to the dealership with everything pre-arranged."


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