The art of the deal

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Whether you buy a new or used vehicle, it pays to know how to haggle. Haggling is the art of bargaining, and car dealers are generally masters at it. You can be, too, if you follow these tips.

Be knowledgeable

Do your homework before you enter the dealership. Research the value of the car, review as many car value reports as possible and compare prices across the board. That way, you will know whether the car you have your eye on is priced too high.

Be timely

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Go at a good time. The best time to haggle is during a major sales event or at the end of the month or quarter when prices are extremely flexible. Stop by when the salespeople have more time to talk, usually early in the morning or late at night.

Be quiet

Silence is your best weapon in the negotiation process. Explain that you are interested in buying the car and then let the dealer talk. Do not start off the conversation with a number. Let the dealer do that and go from there. Never say more than you need to, as silence can often lead to concessions.

Be respectful

Respect is everything when it comes to haggling. You won’t get the price you want if you act hostile, take an accusatory tone or refuse to budge. Listen to what the dealer has to say and respond with grace, tact and appreciation when necessary.

Be patient

Don’t expect to seal the deal in a few minutes. It takes time to work up to a satisfying price. Take your time to work through the negotiation process carefully, else you could wind up paying far more than you wanted to.

Be strong

Don’t crumble under the pressure to buy. Know what you can afford and stick to it. Never let the salesperson know how much you want the car or are willing to pay for it. Be prepared to walk away should a satisfactory deal not be met.

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