Anton Andres / Patrick Cardano de Guzman | June 27, 2018 16:59
Your guide to becoming a better buyer
We all want a good bargain. Who wouldn't want a good deal on a car you always wanted? Haggling however can be one of the trickier parts of buying a used car or auto parts and accessories. Some fear haggling out of respect to the seller while others simply just lowball and hope they get the price they want.
So what is the more respectful way to haggle for prices? Here are some tips on how to get the price you want without sounding belligerent.
Read the ad
It's easy to get carried away by asking for the last price as soon as the ad comes out. Do take time to read through the ad first and look at the product description. See if the price is even negotiable in the first place or if the seller is open to a swap. Don't make offers just yet.
Research is the key
If you want to know how much you can negotiate, do your research. Take a look at the market values of the car you are prospecting. Do a quick online search and look at the lowest price you see available and see the condition of the car. Just because the price is low doesn't mean it will be a good car. At the same time, look at pristine looking examples on the web and check out the values. That way, when you test drive the car, you'll be able to make a better assessment come negotiation time.
See and test the car first
Inspecting the car is where you will gain leverage. As we mentioned before have a thorough look at the car and don't forget to take it on a road test. Dings and dents, along with various noises, can be your starting points for negotiations. Of course, it goes without saying that if there are too many issues with the car, it's time to walk away. It also helps to bring a mechanic along.
So you've driven the car and had a thorough look. It's now time to talk about price. During negotiations, state your observations but do so in a polite manner. For some sellers, the discount depends on the attitude so be on your best behavior. You might even get a better deal than you'd expect.
Compare with other sellers
We're not saying to go for the first car you see and not look at other prices. What we are suggesting is not mentioning lower prices from other sellers before you've even inspected, or even seen the car in the first place. If the price seems high for your liking, take a close look at the car first, there might be a fair justification behind it. You don't have to tell the seller "why is this person selling the same car for much less"?
Joy bid / Ridiculous offers
If you tell a seller you want to check his or her car out, then it's safe to assume that you have the means to buy it, right? However, it isn't always the case for some. Some go look at the car, point out its flaws, haggle, saying they'll pay up next time and never return. That is called joy bidding and it's a waste of time for the seller who probably took time off to accomodate your request. Again, if you're in the market to buy a car, make sure you have the means.
Also, if a seller says they are not open to swaps, don't insist or push for it. Yes, swapping can be a means of negotiation but respect the ad. No means no. With that, don't try to swap your 20 year old, mega-mileage car with a relatively fresh 5 year old one in the hopes of bagging a bargain. And please don't offer payment in GCs or a trip to a certain country. Ask me how I know.
Bash to save cash
With thousands of kilometers under their wheels, second hand cars won't always be the freshest examples out there. While it is fair to point out parts that need work, you don't have to bash it to shave off a couple of thousand pesos. Mention the parts the need work (in a respectful way, of course) to the seller and make a fair offer. Realistically, a door ding does not equate to a Php 100,000 discount.
Getting a good deal isn't always about getting something for a low price by any means possible. Sometimes, all you have to do is be courteous and respectful when dealing with sellers. Always remember to negotiate within reason. Should the seller not go for your proposed price, that's okay. Don't rush into it. The market is awash with second hand cars and, by then, you might just get the bargain you always wanted.