Many times, dealers or private sellers will see a woman buyer and think, “guaranteed sale”. The stereotype is that women are less knowledgeable about cars and easily manipulated with fast talk about complicated cars. Break through the glass sunroof of women being inferior in car buying practices by checking out these tips for women buying used cars.
Know what you want:
It’s important to plan ahead and to have a solid idea of what type of car you want. Narrow it down to s specific model and then research everything you can. Also, once you know what you want, it’s best to stick with it (try not to be wishy-washy, so only give up on a car if there is a good reason). When you are dealing with the seller, don’t get flattered or “impulsed” into buying something that looks shiny and pretty. It also helps to be as specific as possible in your research and with the seller. When you start naming off mechanical specifications, down to cylinders and engine size, the seller will immediately know that he is dealing with a serious buyer and that he shouldn’t waste his time trying to up-sell you for a large commission or bigger score.
Be Cool, Confident and Reserved:
When you get on the dealer’s lot or meet the private seller (in a neutral and public location) do not discuss cost upfront or, if relevant, do not mention that you have a trade-in. It’s best to wait until you decide exactly what you want before talking money. A good sales person will try to convince you to buy the most expensive thing he thinks you can buy (it’s his job!) and a private seller wants to sell his used car for as much as possible, so any mention of your budget early in the transaction can only hurt your chances of getting a good deal. When it is time to talk price, go lower than you’re your willing to and then haggle your way up—don’t begin with your budget leaving no room to bargain.
Also, narrow down the price before mentioning that you are planning on doing a trade-in; it is also important to know the price of the trade-in. If you aren’t given a good deal, you might be better off selling it through classifieds. Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com) is your best friend when it comes to finding price estimations for used cars. Which brings us too…
Kelley Blue Book:
Whether you are buying used or new, selling your own car or trading it in, use Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com) pricing guides to know what to spend and what to expect to get! The website is very easy to navigate and can provide you with both trade-in values and private party values for hundreds of different makes and models, based on year, mileage, and specifications.
Don’t get caught up in the moment:
Sales persons are good at what they do. They will act like your best friend and that they would stop at nothing to make you happy, but this is not the case. Don’t let him talk condescendingly to you or make you feel uncomfortable. If you do feel uncomfortable at all, ask to speak with a manager. You should never feel pressured to do anything!
Test Drive It:
Take your time with it. This will be the car you will drive to work, to the park, everywhere, so you want to be sure you are comfortable in it, driving it. And if you are buying a used car from private owner, get it inspected by a professional and trusted mechanic. When you are test-driving the car, it’s common practice to simulate different situations on familiar roads or routes, to get a strong feel for how the car responds—handling curves, applying heavy brakes, maneuvering tight spaces, etc. Try parking the vehicle, and when you are away from the dealer or seller, you can even stop and inspect the car more without feeling pressured or being “sold”. Check the trunk, back seats, etc. When you get back, play it cool. Do not appear too anxious to sign away all your money.
Take Your Time:
You don’t need to decide right then and there on the lot. The salesperson will make you feel like this is the case, but it’s not. You can always go somewhere else, find a different car or dealership, and of course you don’t need to be afraid to walk away right then and there. Have the seller give you the details of the purchase and vehicle, paper documents, so you can review it at home and get back to them. This will give you a little more time to research if you’ve learned anything new during the process that you might have overlooked in your initial research. Mull over it. Sleep on it. Now that you are nice and comfy on your own couch, you can make a better, well-reasoned decision.