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Four Characteristics of a Smart Car Buyer

Getting a good deal on a new car isn't about luck.

Successful car shoppers tend to share four characteristics, all of which you can easily apply to yourself.

None of this is rocket science. In fact, most people ruin a good car deal because they can't keep their mouth shut.

Let's take a look at each of the four characteristics.

Willing to Research

Most car shoppers are lazy - they don't take the time to research prices and figure out the best method for car negotiation.

The fact that you're reading this article means you're one of the few car shoppers who actually takes the time to do this - kudos to you!

Most car shoppers do not know the most effective method for negotiating a good deal.

Car salesman will know right away if you're clueless and will easily use your lack of knowledge against you.

Sadly, salesman constantly lie to customers and if you don't know the truth, you're likely going to get ripped off. As G.I. Joe used to say, "knowing is half the battle" - this is so true when it comes to car buying.

Lack of Enthusiasm

A successful car negotiator is as cool as a cucumber.

They won't get too excited and even if they do, they certainly won't show it.

One of the worst things you can say to a car salesman is "I love it!". If they know you're emotionally attached to the car, their job just got a whole lot easier and you can bet they're going to try to raise the price on you.

If a salesman asks what you think of the car or the price, always give them a ho-hum answer such as "it's OK", or "I liked the other dealer's car better".


Successful car buyers know that it could take some time to get an exceptional deal, so they're willing to be patient.

First rule: Don't EVER buy a car on the first visit to a dealership. You shouldn't even be stepping foot in a dealership when negotiating, however some people get tempted after completing a test drive - the only time it's necessary to visit a dealership.

Having time on your side is a huge advantage. It allows you to research different types of cars, wait for the best incentives, and contact a large number of dealers.

Ideally, you will want to give yourself several months to choose and negotiate the right car for your needs.

Willingness to Walk Away

Perhaps the best attribute of a successful car buyer is their willingness to walk away.

Salesman are trained to sell you a car right away. They will use all kinds of sales technique to try to make you feel as if time is running out.

Don't believe it for a minute. Your willingness to walk away from a deal is a huge asset and don't be afraid to use it.

The worst case scenario - you walk away from a deal, then find out it was the best deal available. All you need to do is contact them and say you changed your mind.

In most cases, the deal will still be waiting for you.

My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar No-Haggle and Edmunds Price Promise are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan

About: Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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