Ever seen any of the classic good cop/bad cop movies, where one cop is honest and can be trusted, but another, probably a higher-up, is corrupt? Not surprisingly, this act lends itself well to the auto industry! Read this article to learn how to dodge this sneaky maneuver!
So you think you've struck a deal. After a couple of hours sweating it out with the salesperson holding your dream car hostage, he/she brokers what sounds like a reasonable deal. You're relieve, sure it's all over. Suddenly, your new best friend returns looking unhappy. He says his manager just won't OK your master plan, and you're back to the drawing board. It's amazing how stingy sales managers can be when they're making out like bandits, isn't it? This routine is called 'Good Guy/Bad Guy,' and we advise you not to fall for it! This tactic was designed to wear you down slowly, forcing you to agree to something unreasonable out of sheer frustration.
Your best bet? Take a quick walk - go outside, virist the bathroom, get a coke, whatever - then return to the table un-phased. Be ready to negotiate one item at a time. While it may mean a few more hours in the hot seat, it could save you thousands, turning the tables on the dealership. Edmunds notes that if you're talking about a trade-in, the new car's price, and options all at once, the sales manager will probably raise a few objections to the deal. If you use the salesperson as the messenger they're pretending to be, getting one item approved at a time, you're holding all the cards. This way you can't negotiate a better price, then lose the value of your trade. By itemizing everything and also getting written quotes, the good guy/bad guy ploy is far less effective.
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