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Beware of "Dealer Stickers"

By law, every new car is required to have an official MSRP sticker on the window.

MSRP stands for "Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price" and it includes information about the vehicle including standard equipment, factory installed options, and the suggested retail price including destination charge. It also displays the vehicle's fuel economy ratings.

Only suckers pay MSRP, but that doesn't stop some dealers from trying to charge even MORE than MSRP.

They do this by displaying a "dealer sticker" next to the official MSRP sticker. The dealer sticker will look official, but its only purpose is to fool buyers into paying more for the vehicle.

The dealer sticker will include options that were installed AFTER the car arrived from the manufacturer. They're usually worthless and some aren't even options at all, but simply made-up charges.

For example, you might see things like "Special Value Package" which includes fabric protection, or charges labeled ADP or ADM. Those stand for "Additional Dealer Profit" and "Additional Dealer Markup". They are completely worthless!

But a lot of consumers don't realize the dealer is trying to pull a fast one on them. They think these additional markups and options are just part of the vehicle.

If you notice one of these dealer stickers on a new car, your best bet is to avoid doing business with that dealer. They are likely to be high-pressure dealerships and not even worth negotiating with, especially in this day and age when most dealers have stopped trying to use this scam.

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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