Car Dealership Sales Tactics and How to Avoid Them

Car dealerships are notorious for using sales tactics that can lead a customer to a purchase that they hadn’t originally planned on. However, there are common sales methods that you can lookout for so that you best handle them when buying a car.

The Typical Hard Sell

This is probably the most common tactic that you will see salesmen use when trying to sell a vehicle. They will directly and somewhat aggressively attempt to make a sale. Some examples of this are phrases like, “This is a deal you would be crazy to walk away from,” or, “I will only give you this deal today.” These are examples of hard sells that you may encounter. If you do come across these types of salesmen just stick to the original budget that you had in mind and if they cannot respect that then leave.

The Highball or Lowball

There are multiple ways that this sales trick can work. They can either lowball the cost of your trade-in or they can highball the price of the car. If you want to counteract this tactic then you should come prepared. You can use online tools like Kelley Blue Book to get an estimation of your car’s trade in value. If your value is priced higher than what they are willing to give you, then have them explain why. You also can do the same for the car they are trying to sell you. If you are interested in a specific make and model of a car yet they are charging you more even though the value is less than that you can figure out why. Preparation is key with this tactic.

The Bait ‘n Switch

This is also a tactic that you may encounter in car dealerships, but it is usually illegal. However, car dealers might try this tactic, so you need to be aware. This is a type of tactic where a car dealership will advertise a deal but then when you arrive for that specific deal they will explain that they’ve sold out of the car they were advertising but they have other available options instead. The other available option they will show you will likely be more expensive. If that is the case, then you have run into a bait n switch and the best course of action is for you to just leave.

Other Ways to Enter a Dealership Prepared

Now that you know some popular sales tactics that dealerships use, and how to avoid them, you can take the extra step in knowing some other ways to be on top of your game at a car dealership as well. Besides researching and preparing beforehand, you can also be mindful in the dealership. You should be considerate of what you say. You don’t want to sell yourself out and explain your whole financial situation to the car dealer. You should take the negotiation process one step at a time. You also want to bring a friend. You can either have a friend that supports you and inspires you to be more confident when talking to car salesmen or you can even have them do the negotiations for you. They can be there to step in when you feel overwhelmed!