Used car sticker price vs acceptable price

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Howard Williams, Feb 15, 2002.

  1. Howard Williams

    Howard Williams Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2001
    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Let's say you go to your average used car lot. There's a car with a posted price on the the windshield that says for example, $29,900.00. Now obviously since that is the asking price from the seller, the seller would be more than happy to sell you the car at that price but they will almost always accept less, right?

    My question is, "Is there a general rule that says they will most likely accept X% less than the posted priced? What is X? 5%? 7.5%? 10%? 12.5%? 15%? ???"

    Thanks in advance for any feedback.
     
  2. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 6, 1999
    Messages:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    There is a great deal of variation amongst cars and dealers, but in general the spread between the trade-in value and the posted retail price is a few thousand dollars. The dealer should be willing to meet you at least halfway. The trade-in value of the car you see listed for $29,900 is probably $25,000 and the eventual sales price will probably be in between those two numbers.
     
  3. Chuck Frady

    Chuck Frady Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 1998
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    having bought a few used cars in my life, there is no set percentage you can get for a discount. It's whatever you can negotiate. Before you sit down and talk numbers for any car, new or used, you must get details on the car, and then look it up on the web. Get the average retail price, average trade in values, etc. Use the net for what it does...provide you with information.

    Used car dealerships mark their cars up big. The highest margins are in the used car lot.

    my current car, a 1997 Acura 3.2TL was listed at $19,999 at the car dealership. Seeing that they had many many used Acura's on their lot, I knew that there were some deals to be had...So after going to CARFAX and other sites like Kelly Blue Book, I found that the average trade in value for that car was about $12 to $14k on the high side. Of course, the salesperson is trying to make a living, so they will be more than happy to have you buy that car at their posted price...DON'T do it.

    I negotiated the price down to $15,250. That was a very fair price for the car. You just have to be prepared to walk away from the deal table. That's the last thing they want you to do. A prospective sale, walking out, is strictly taboo to them. A dealer once told me that out of 20 people who come in looking for a car, they would maybe get 2 to actually sit down at a table. it's a buyers market.

    Hope this helps.. Remember, go to Carfax.com to get your info.

    Chuck
     
  4. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2000
    Messages:
    1,224
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ahhh, car buying. You have to love it. Anyways, the first thing I do is to look through the paper and used car rags (like auto-trader) and get a good idea of the selling price of "like cars" in your area. If the dealer is asking $29.9k for the car but everybody else is selling their's for $27k you have some room to negotiate. KBB and Nada are good sources as well, but remember that the information you read is old, those guides work by getting selling information from dealers, compiling it all and then publishing it, however that takes time (like in the 3month range).
    Also you want to get a rough idea for how much the dealer paid for the car, in order to do this you need to find a source for the "black book" pricing that dealers use (KBB, NADA, etc are all off in pricing). I think http://www.cars.com still has black book pricing available online (you used to have to pay to get the book). If that $29.9k car has a trade in value of $20k (which would be around what the dealer paid for it) this gives you some more ammo to deal with.
    So with the above, if the dealer is asking $29.9k, average used selling price where you live is $27k and the trade in value of the car is $20k, I'd walk in with an offer of $25k and maybe move up to around $26.5k. Let the dealer drop his price 2 times for your every 1 move up, or if you aren't really that hot on the car and don't have to have it now, stick with $25k and don't budge at all.
    Some general information, used cars are a big business and the dealers make a lot of money off of them. Used cars can also be very market driven, so national pricing guides don't tell you the whole picture. For instance in the great white, snowy north the price on sports cars will be lower in the winter than say down here in sunny S. Florida (where as on the new car side the Chevy dealer won't buy a lot full of Vette's during the snow months, he has more control over his inventory). SUV's are very popular down here, so on the used market they demand top dollar (this is good info for when you trade a car as well).
    If you load yourself up with lots of information, your chances of getting screwed are much less, make sure your good with math (fast talking sales guys love to do some funny math equations), or bring a friend who is. I managed to walk into a dealer one day looking for a car and found a 1yr old fully loaded Miata, the "SALE" price was $17.9k and I had them down to $15k by the time I left, because we couldn't come to terms on the financing (wish I would have pre-arranged that as it was a good deal).
    Andrew
     
  5. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 1999
    Messages:
    1,609
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Another decent sight for used and new pricing is
    http://www.Edmunds.com
    Am I the only one who would rather go to a dentist than buy a car ?
     
  6. Aurel Savin

    Aurel Savin Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 1998
    Messages:
    839
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  7. Leo Hinze

    Leo Hinze Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 1999
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I also want to suggest Edmunds, and Carfax for a title check.
    I just bought a used car, so my experience is fresh in my mind. There are also some other sites to try.
    I would ignore Kelly Blue Book. Their values are way too high. They give values for 1-year-old used cars that are higher than MSRP for new cars.
    Check out nadaguides.com. That is the NADA book that all auto dealers use. I think they changed their format a few months ago, as I recall they previously had acutal wholesale value. Now they just list dealer trade-in and dealer retail. Keep in mind that NADA stands for National Auto Dealers Association, so their prices are like a self fullfilling prophecy[​IMG]
    My experience is that no dealer will sell you the car for less than wholesale price. Why would they bother dealing with a customer when they could sell it hassle-free at auction for wholesale? Edmunds Dealer Retail TMV takes wholesale value into account. NADA trade-in value will be below wholesale - a dealer will not give you more for the car than they can sell it for.
    I looked at a few CPO BMW's at dealers, and they ended up selling (to others) for right around Edmunds Dealer Retail. I bought from a private party, and I paid Edmunds Private Party TMV.
    Good luck.
     

Share This Page