Negotiating with car dealers is not fun, but writer Megan Thode reveals a secret that saved her $1,000 off the factory price when she bought a car! Megan is auditioning for a staff writer position on BargainBabe.com! Missed the audition announcement? Here it is. Each day this week we are running one audition post.
Did this post help you save money? While I will make the final decision on who to hire, your input is extremely valuable. Here is Megan’s audition post:
One of the more stressful buying experiences can be purchasing a new car. If you are anything like me, you have little time (or patience) to drive from dealer to dealer, haggling for the best price and deal. The process can be frustrating, confusing and rarely do you feel like you walked away with exactly what you want for the price you feel good about.
That’s why when I bought my Kia Soul in 2010, I did things differently. I made the dealers do the haggling and the searching around for the exact car – and I got a great deal! Here’s how I did it:
1. First, I did my homework. I test drove three different cars that I was interested in, while asking a ton of questions at each dealership. I made it clear upfront that I had no intention of making a purchase that day, I was simply doing research. That took the pressure off of both me and the salesman who was helping me.
2. After I had narrowed it down to the car I wanted, I “custom built” my car on Kia.com with all the bells and whistles I wanted. Most car manufacturer sites have this feature, giving you an estimated total of what your model will cost with the features you’ve selected.
3. Next, I headed over to TrueCar.com, a website that let me see what others near me have paid for the car. This gave me a jumping off point and helped me set a limit of what I was willing to pay. I also browsed Kelley Blue Book’s Fair Purchase Price tool and read their 10 Steps to Buying a New Car article. All of these online resources were great in solidifying my car choice.
4. Lastly, I collected the email addresses of four different dealers in my area and sent them a detailed group email. I listed out the exact make, model, color and list of features I was looking for and that I was not interested in anything different. I also gave a price I was not willing to go over, (which was a few hundred dollars lower than my actual limit) based on the research I had done. I asked that the dealer please reply all with the best offer they could provide, and that the lowest price would win my business.
5. I sat back and watched the games begin. Some dealers replied that while they didn’t have my EXACT car, they “could offer one of another color/feature/body style for the low, low price of”! I simply replied that while I thank they for their interest, I am not willing to budge on what I want and have a nice day! In the end, two dealerships ended up getting in a bidding war over my business and I walked away with the exact car I wanted for $1,000 less than the factory price (or what I would have paid on the lot).
While buying a new car was a success for me, you can also have a great experience buying a used car. Check out this great article on Bargain Babe about How to Buy a Used Car.
No matter which way you go, the experience should and can be stress-free, enjoyable and most of all, budget-friendly! Good luck!
About the writer
Megan Thode’s mom has been telling her she’s a writer since Kindergarten. While acting in Los Angeles (IE waitressing, baristaing, nannying), she gave it a shot. Since then, she has written everything from sports and fashion editorials to national commercial campaigns and reality TV (yes, it’s scripted folks). Megan currently lives in Kansas City, enjoying less traffic and more tornadic activity. She blogs at fiterature.com to share her passion for health, fitness and leotards on a budget.