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Should You do a Dealer Trade?

Car dealers can only keep a limited number of cars in inventory, which means they won't always have the exact car you're looking for.

Salesmen are trained to sell whatever is in stock and will do and say nearly anything to get you to buy what they have.

While you should be somewhat flexible with your color and option choices, don't agree to buy something you don't want just because that's all they have in stock.

It's better to wait for more inventory rather than regret your buying decision. The only exception is when you're shopping for leftover models which have limited and depleting supplies.

Should You Do a Dealer Trade?

When a dealer doesn't have the exact car you want in stock, they can do what's known as a dealer trade.

Competing dealers regularly trade cars with each other, swapping similar cars in order to meet the demands of their customers.

When a dealer swaps cars, they incur the transportation cost on both ends, and will usually ask for a deposit from you before doing so.

The problem is that the transportation cost has to be factored into the selling price of the car. You're usually better off trying to buy the car from the dealer who already has it in stock.

For this reason, I always recommend against doing a dealer trade - unless you really want to buy from a particular dealer and don't mind paying a little extra.

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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