How to beat the car dealers at their own game

Buying a car is a pretty daunting experience for most people. When you combine the size of the purchase with the less than stellar reputation of the car selling industry, many of us break out in a cold sweat at the idea of visiting a car lot.

Doing some research into the industry as I prepare to buy a car, I found some great resources:

A former used car salesman offered readers of Consumerist 3 great tips for buying a car: do your car shopping in December when car dealers are desperate for business, bring your own financing from your own bank, and watch out for an unseemly tactic known as "the squeeze."

In an interview with New York, top-performing car dealer Victor Almonte summed up his strategy this way: "Think of selling cars as being like winning over a woman, he says. Be confident. Be funny. Be in demand. Be relentless." Dealers will do anything to win the heart of a prospective buyer, often pretending that bratty obnoxious kids are cute. How do you resist this? Resist making any kind of human connection with the dealer -- it will weaken your defenses.

A great Motley Fool feature from 1999 offers tips on beating the sales manager, using the Blue Book to secure a good deal, and learn to be a good negotiator.

The best feature on the car sales industry is this brilliant investigative piece -- Edmunds hired a journalist to go work as a car dealer and write about what he learned.

Understanding how the industry works is key to securing a good deal, and any prospective car buyer would do well to check out these 4 articles before setting foot in a showroom.
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