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Used Cars: Wants Versus Needs

February 20, 2012 Leave a comment

I had a customer visit the dealership and wanted to test drive a Range Rover, SL550 and a 750Li because she wasn’t sure what she wanted. However, test driving different types of vehicles is not the solution.  This will create more confusion instead of helping you make up your mind.  Finding the right car to match your lifestyle can be a ovewhelming experience.  A good salesperson will carefully listen to the customer’s needs and concerns to help them make a suitable purchase.

 

Shave the Fat

Before you begin your search, understand your stage in life.  If you have young children at home and are shopping for a “main” vehicle, a two seater convertible is obviously out of the question.  Don’t wast your time (or the salesperson’s) test driving something that clearly doesn’t fit your lifestyle.

There are blogs that tell you to be stone-faced and impersonal with your salesperson. (This is not my point of view).  Understand she/he  is there to gather information to show you cars that meet your needs and make a qualitative decision.

Some reasonable questions may be:

Will this be your main vehicle?

Are you married / have children?

How long have you had your current car?

  • This is to understand if they are a 2 – 3 year and out “kind of person.”
  • Do they plan on keeping this car 10 years then give it to their children?

 

Add to Cart

Let me start by saying, cost is important but not the main factor in finding your perfect vehicle.  When starting your search you need to make a list of your wants versus your needs.  Take into consideration your day to day interactions, i.e. kids, hobbies or shopping.

What options are a must have?

  • Passenger seating (3rd row seat)
  • Miles per gallon (MPG’s)
  • Cargo space
  • Heated seats (rear) / steering wheel
  • 4WD
  • Backup camera
  • Navigation

What are you willing to COMPROMISE?

When searching for a pre-owned car, it may have the right options but not be the right color.  It can be the perfect color and is missing an option you really want.  You should be willing to compromise to get the right deal.  Don’t win the battle just to lose the war.

Mike Goodall

Select Luxury Cars, located in Marietta, Ga. on Highway 41, hand “Selects” every vehicle. We specialize in the highest quality automobiles available in the market. Whether you live here in the Atlanta area or anywhere around the world, we will find the exact car you are dreaming of. If you are looking for a Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Audi, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari or other high end model, begin your search here and we won’t disappoint.

Negotiating Your Trade-In

February 13, 2012 Leave a comment

One of the most frustration components of buying a new car is trading in your current vehicle.  Let me share a few pointers that will help alleviate some aggravation.

Getting Started

If your vehicle is leased or financed, contact your bank and find out your dealer payoff.  This is one of the more important matters because you need to know if you are in a positive or negative financial standing.  Whether you lease, finance or own your vehicle, you always want to do your due diligence before contacting a dealership.  You can visit various websites to research what your car is retailing for.  The figures on the sites are “retail” amounts NOT “trade-in” value.  Some reliable websites are www.autotrader.comwww.cars.com and www.ebay.com.  This research is to help you understand the market and provide a clear understanding of what your car value is on the open market.  In the car business, we have a saying “being upside down in your trade.”  This means the payoff is more than the ACV (actual car value.)  When this happens you have two options:

  1. Add cash to the purchase of the new car (if you can).  This will prevent you from financing [some of] the car you are trading in.
  2. Finance the negative equity from your trade-in in the deal of the new car you are buying. This will eliminate you from having to put any money down.  This is a good tip if you are getting a low interest rate to finance your new car.

Where Has Your Car Been

If you are not the original owner, know the history of your car (if you have Carfax accessibility.)  Most dealerships will do this for you.  Be 100% honest when the salesperson asks you certain questions such as:

Has your car been in an accident?

Has your car been painted?

When was the last service date?

What conditions are the tires and brakes in?

Did the primary driver(s) smoke in the car?

These aspects will affect the value of your car.

Pimp My Ride

We all love to put our own personal touches on a car and there is nothing wrong with that.  However, you should not make dramatic changes to a vehicle like painting it unique colors, placing bumper stickers on the actual paint of the car and some stereo modifications, including rewiring speakers. This can harm your trade-in value.  It is best to keep personal touches to a minimum so the next buyer will be interested in purchasing your vehicle.  You want your car to be marketable when the time comes to trade it in.

Presentation

Present your trade-in in the best light.  Before getting an appraisal, it is beneficial to detail your vehicle inside and out.  Thoroughly look over your trade-in as if you are the potential buyer.  This will give you the opportunity to make sure you are showing your car at its best.  Don’t forget to remove all personal items in the glove box, arm rest and CD player.

Let’s Make A Deal

Make your trade-in a separate deal from the car you are buying.  A lot of dealers will give you a bottom line price on the car you are buying which will include the car you are trading in.  This is a method widely used by dealerships. You don’t want to be confused with how much you will pay for the new car and how much you are getting for your trade-in. To avoid this puzzling practice, have your salesperson negotiate the cost of the car you are purchasing THEN negotiate your trade-in and how much it is worth.  This will allow the separate deals to come together in the end.  This is also a way of keeping your dealer honest.

Once you have completed all steps, this should lessen the hassle and you can go home with peace of mind knowing you got a good deal. Hopefully you will pass this information along to someone you know who is car shopping.

Mike Goodall

Internet Sales at Select Luxury Cars

Select Luxury Cars, located in Marietta, Ga. on Highway 41, hand “Selects” every vehicle. We specialize in the highest quality automobiles available in the market. Whether you live here in the Atlanta area or anywhere around the world, we will find the exact car you are dreaming of. If you are looking for a Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Audi, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari or other high end model, begin your search here and we won’t disappoint.

Internet Car Sales (Internet vs. Traditional)

February 1, 2012 Leave a comment

Internet Car Sales

Pros

  1. Shop from home

Your sales representative can negotiate the best deal without constant discussions with a manager.  Part of the frustration with buying a car is sitting across the desk of a salesman (possibly new) to the car business.  Do you really have time to watch your salesman run back and forth getting answers while trying to get the best price for you?

  1. Ability to shop across the country

You are not limited to one region.  Once you’ve established the car you want, you’ve opened yourself up to different cities and states, and in the case of some internet dealerships, a different country.

  1. Shop on your own time

Internet car buyers want the same kinds of deal online shoppers seek, convenience.  Shopping from a remote location will reduce the hassle of spending hours in one dealership or spending your weekend driving to 5 dealerships.  Everyone’s time is valuable.

  1. Best way to negotiate best price

You are able to compare prices throughout the country, not just your local city.  When you say, “I’ll take it,” you know you’ve maximized your due diligence.

Cons

  1. No contact

You cannot touch or see the vehicle.  Some people prefer the old school way of car buying.  They want to touch, smell and sit in the car before committing to purchasing.

  1. Pay for shipping

Although the cost can be offset when you get a good deal.   Some people find it a hassle to pay for shipping then waiting for their car to be delivered.

Traditional “Used Car Dealer”

Pros

  1. Sit in multiple cars

This allows customers to get a good sense of making sure this is the car of their choice.

  1. Communicate

People like face to face contact.

  1. Test Drive

Getting behind the wheel helps to seal the deal.

Cons

  1. Time

You can spend a lot of hours in the dealership trying to negotiating price and being approved for finance which will lead to frustration.

  1. Managers

Several managers will be involved in your deal.  Between the salesperson, sales manager and finance manager in your face is not only time consuming, but it is aggravating.

  1. Getting the best deal

It is difficult to compare cost for the best deal.  The salesperson may make you believe you’ve got the best vehicle and deal, when in reality; the best deal for you is actually two states over at a low cost of shipping or a road trip away.

My Opinion

In conclusion,  I have been in the car business for over 15 years, held every position from detailing cars to operating a high line dealership, I would always recommend internet sales over traditional purchasing to my friends and family. Internet buying is a safe and easy way to get the best deal that you are looking and once you buy on the internet you will never walk back into a dealership again. This will save them from having to call me to help fix the jam they’ve gotten themselves in (which has happened multiple times to people I know).

Mike Goodall, Sales Consultant

Select Luxury Cars, located in Marietta, Ga. on Highway 41, hand “Selects” every vehicle. We specialize in the highest quality automobile made all over the world. Whether you live here in the Atlanta area or anywhere around the world, we will find the exact car you are dreaming of. If you are looking for a Mercedes, BMW, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, Ferrari or other high end model, begin your search here and we won’t disappoint.

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