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How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

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Old 02-12-2011, 10:40 PM   #1
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How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

It's been 7 years since I've bought a vehicle from a dealer, it was my 94 blazer.


I'm looking at a Dodge Charger, 2010, 12,000 miles, 6cyl at one of those small used car lots. I really like this car, but its priced just above what I can spend, tho their ad says 'all offers considered'

It's stickerd at $16k. My max is $15k out the door so about $14k for the actual car. Would that be a reasonable offer? All assuming I don't find any big faults of course.
Old 02-12-2011, 10:43 PM   #2
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

its hard to say cause you dont know if they took it in on trade or bought it at auction and what they paid for it. all you can do is tell them 15k out the door and see what they say.
Old 02-12-2011, 10:44 PM   #3
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

It is from an auction. So says the vehicle history report.
I was just hoping to get an idea of how much they inflate the price expecting buyers to want to haggle on it a bit.
Old 02-12-2011, 10:59 PM   #4
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

They could have as little as a few hundred bucks (sat on lot, trying to get rid of it) up to several thousand dollars of playing room(a steal on trade or at auction). On average tho, 2 grand. Thats based on my experince working in the business.

You'll never know exactly. Take a look around in the private areas and offer what you think is a fair price that you can afford... and stick to it. You don't have to buy it the day you put your offer in. They could call you back in and except your low offer.


OH and to be honest. Sounds like you're intrested in a ex- rental car. Least sounds like it to me. V6, low milage, 1 year old mid size basic car coming from auction from what you say at a small car lot. Screams rental car all day to me. Rentals are rode hard, even with the low milage.

If it was a hemi V8 i'd think otherwise.

And, why would you want to get a charger with a 6 anyways? You're not really going to save anything in gas milage? You'll lose that power if you ever wanted/needed it?
Old 02-12-2011, 10:59 PM   #5
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

I've found it's better low ball em. With small dealers they will usually haggle with you no matter what you tell them you can spend. Go lower and negotiate from there.
Old 02-12-2011, 11:02 PM   #6
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

Ask for a carfax.
Old 02-12-2011, 11:21 PM   #7
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

Quote: Originally Posted by 556mm
Ask for a carFOX.
fixed
Old 02-12-2011, 11:26 PM   #8
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

Thanks. Got carfax already. It does show it to have been in a fleet.

My choice of this vehicle is for a few reasons. The charger is one of the few new cars I like, but I am looking for a daily commuter car. The V8 would be sweet but those cost ~$5k more for a comparable one, and get 2 mpg less in city driving. That may not sound like much but with how much I drive to work it would mean ~$500 /yr more in gas.

Working in the biz, do you have any tips on what to look out for when checking out a car? I think I know the basics. I was hoping that at 12k miles, even if the oil was never changed or any maintiance ever done, while not good that still wouldn't be TOO terriable.
Old 02-12-2011, 11:50 PM   #9
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

At the dealership i worked at they would get a car in and usually mark it up like $4000 or so from what they paid, most of the newer cars were marked up more. They always had a lot of wiggle room, but they made sure they made a good profit on every car. Offer a really low price and go from there. The salesman is just going to take it to "his manager" and write a higher number down and come back. All he is doing is putting down how much he wants to really make on comission. Do that a few times and you can probably get a decent price. Low ball the hell out of them.
Old 02-13-2011, 12:40 AM   #10
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

Quote: Originally Posted by nd4spd18
Thanks. Got carfax already. It does show it to have been in a fleet.

My choice of this vehicle is for a few reasons. The charger is one of the few new cars I like, but I am looking for a daily commuter car. The V8 would be sweet but those cost ~$5k more for a comparable one, and get 2 mpg less in city driving. That may not sound like much but with how much I drive to work it would mean ~$500 /yr more in gas.

Working in the biz, do you have any tips on what to look out for when checking out a car? I think I know the basics. I was hoping that at 12k miles, even if the oil was never changed or any maintiance ever done, while not good that still wouldn't be TOO terriable.
I'd pass on that car if it says it was in a fleet. Probably was a rental like i said in 1st post.

It's not the only charger out there.

Maybe you're looking at the wrong car then if you can only afford a 6 in car that needs the 8 and can't justify 2mpg/few grand over several years for work reasons. I dunno, my opinion. Is it looks your after or mpg?

Here's a tip, try to pass on the small used car lots(they 9 times out of 10 buy from auction). Stick with a ford,chevy,honda,etc lot thats been around for awile. Try to find something late model,low miles,in your price range, that fits your "needs" rather than "wants" that was "traded in" rather bought from a auction. There will be more room to move price wise and you'll get a good car. And always, never buy a car without a proven carfax without any "gaps". Thats my advice from knowing the business well.
Old 02-13-2011, 01:16 AM   #11
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

Looks and mpg. My buddy has this exact car, I drove it and liked it. Power is decent, better than the blazer. Not like my chevy 1500 with the 350 but I don't need it to be.

It's actually the 3rd one I've seen that looks like what I want... the first 2 were about the same price with more miles. All showed 'fleet' on their history reports.

I'm going to trust your instincts on them being ex rentals, so I'll have to think about this one... I don't like the rental car thing at all even if only for a short time, but then at only 12k I don't think the chance of it having been damaged is too high.
But thanks for the tips.


I don't know why everyone hates on 6cyl cars tho. It's like ppl who have 6cyl camaros/firebirds. Nothing wrong with wanting a cool looking car that is still somewhat economical. If I need to feel a V8 under my foot I go drive my pickup for a day. lol.
Old 02-13-2011, 01:33 AM   #12
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

Think about this, how many ppl on this forum have cool modded S10s with 4 banger motors?
Old 02-13-2011, 01:50 AM   #13
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

My mom drives a 95 Buick Regal that was once a rental car. It now has 170,000 miles and its still going. So sometimes there are good deals to be had by buying a rental.
I hope to be buying a newer vehicle sometime this year. Seriously comtemplating a 2008 ranger. One of my customers buys vehicles at auction in Atlanta once a month. He told me he has gotten some insane deals and would be willing to bring a ranger back for me, but its impossible to know if they will have one with all the options i want.
Old 02-13-2011, 01:53 AM   #14
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

the people who would rent a buick regal are prolly gonna be old people, the people who rent "muscle cars" are usually the younger crowd which are more prone to beating the shit outa it...same with economy cars
Old 02-13-2011, 03:18 AM   #15
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

I had a Charger as a rental a few years back and beat the hell out of it. Just saying. lol
Old 02-13-2011, 11:55 AM   #16
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

Quote: Originally Posted by nd4spd18
It's actually the 3rd one I've seen that looks like what I want... the first 2 were about the same price with more miles. All showed 'fleet' on their history reports.

I'm going to trust your instincts on them being ex rentals, so I'll have to think about this one... I don't like the rental car thing at all even if only for a short time, but then at only 12k I don't think the chance of it having been damaged is too high..
I hear ya, i'm not saying all rentals will give you problems down the road. But i wouldn't want to invest in a car that i know for sure was beat to hell. The lot i worked for had a in house 100 plus car rental service. mostly taurus and 500's, few trucks,suvs. Even the employees at the lot would beat them to hell when they got in them. The guys in detail, forget about it. I don't know how many times i would get in one that hadn't had the oil changed in 6000-7000 miles,etc. Thats why i'll never buy one lol.

Most likely if you're looking at a V6 charger at any car lot its going to be a ex-fleet. Thats what they were made for basically. That's why the last 2 you looked at said fleet as well. If you're dead set(which is never a good thing when buying a car) on a V6 charger best thing you could do is look at private sellers who are original owners or hope you come across a non fleet.
Old 02-13-2011, 12:51 PM   #17
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

Quote: Originally Posted by nd4spd18
Think about this, how many ppl on this forum have cool modded S10s with 4 banger motors?
Ok but the s10 is an economy light duty pickup. The charger is a classic name And a representation of american muscle and it's a disgrace to even make a v6 version so all the donk driving po' gangstas, soccer moms, and spoiled little girls can own one. Just like the mustang and camaro. Insee it as such of a waste to have a v6 version.
Old 02-13-2011, 01:32 PM   #18
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

when I bought my kia spectra 3 years ago, they said they where going to give me a deal at 15G, called my brother and blue book was only like 8. They then came back with 'all they can do' of like 12G. Needless to say I got it for around 9500 after taxes and what not. If I where you just find the Bluebook for dealers and shoot for that number. I wouldnt worry about there wiggle room, but rather come in with a number that the car is actually worth, and not worth to you. Make it that you have the upper hand at the begining.
Old 02-13-2011, 03:20 PM   #19
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

Quote: Originally Posted by truedetailer
Most likely if you're looking at a V6 charger at any car lot its going to be a ex-fleet. Thats what they were made for basically. That's why the last 2 you looked at said fleet as well. If you're dead set(which is never a good thing when buying a car) on a V6 charger best thing you could do is look at private sellers who are original owners or hope you come across a non fleet.
Don't forget there's 2 V6's in the Chargers, the 2.7 and 3.5. The 2.7's were usually the ones that were rentals. They're junk motors anyways. Go for a 3.5 or nothing if you're set on a V6. I was going to buy a Magnum wagon from a small dealer back in 2009 and it was most likely a rental as it was scratched to hell on the outside. I test drove it and it seemed fine but after thinking about it I decided I didn't want to deal with the hassle of a beat on rental car. You should search Craigslist and Ebay classifieds for a private party car. You can usually get better deals and they're more willing to drop their price if they're not in a bind to sell the car.
Old 02-13-2011, 03:54 PM   #20
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

All the ones I looked at are 3.5s. I was aware of the 2.7 only being made for rental cars, and that motor has no power anyways.
Old 02-13-2011, 04:42 PM   #21
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

Quote: Originally Posted by s10gmconversion
The charger is a classic name And a representation of american muscle and it's a disgrace to even make a v6 version
You realize after mid year of '68 the 225 Slant Six was the standard powerplant for the Dodge Charger? Before that it was a 230HP 318 when coupled with an A727 3 speed automatic it surely was no speed demon. Same argument with the Pony cars you mentioned, they both had standard 6 cylinder engines and most came with them. I don't see anything wrong with buying a standard V6 car today that puts out more HP and is quicker than the standard cars built then, you're still getting more for your $. You want to compare 0-60 times with a '65 Mustang equipped with the 170 I-6 to a new Mustang? The new Mustang with the 3.7 V6 produces 305HP, the standard 390 FE big block V8 was rated at less power HP. The 2011 Charger with the 3.6 putting out 292HP produces more HP than the standard mid 60's 383B big block V8. Both the V8s produce a lot more torque but the point being the 6 cylinder is not anything near what it was 50 years ago. I don't believe there's anything wrong with getting one of the hopped up 6's today, especially if you base your argument on the claim that the car is "a classic name And a representation of american muscle" when all the cars you mentioned had and continue to still have 6 cylinder base motors.

To the OP: I once got 3500 knocked off the price of a car, as mentioned above give NADA/KBB quotes and then tell them what you will be willing to pay for it. If it's only 1-2K I'll bet they bite.
Old 02-13-2011, 05:01 PM   #22
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

Blue book is 15-16k so I think I will go look at it, if it checks out maybe make the offer and see what happens.
Old 02-13-2011, 07:15 PM   #23
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

Quote: Originally Posted by nd4spd18
Blue book is 15-16k so I think I will go look at it, if it checks out maybe make the offer and see what happens.
Considering it was a fleet vehicle it's worth a little less. And do make it known to the salesman that you know most likely that the car came from a rental lot so it's not worth as much as a private party 1 owner vehicle.

Lowball the hell out of the car if you're set on it. They probably don't have much into it and see where it goes.
Old 02-13-2011, 07:18 PM   #24
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

Quote: Originally Posted by Zeeke98
Don't forget there's 2 V6's in the Chargers, the 2.7 and 3.5. The 2.7's were usually the ones that were rentals. They're junk motors anyways. .

Didn't know that, not to up to date on dodges. Thought there was only the 3.5 . Just know that if a vehicle usually comes with a v8 and you're looking at one with a 6 it was probably a fleet car.
Old 02-13-2011, 07:36 PM   #25
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

if the dealer is asking bluebook price i would not buy the car. If the car was in good condition he would ask more for it. Also i would stay away from the dealers that buy the cars at auction. Even if they weren't fleet vehicles they are most likely not good. Whenever the GM dealer around here gets a car with more problems than is worth fixing they sell them at auction.
Old 02-13-2011, 08:34 PM   #26
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

you have to wonder why a 2010 car is auctioned off.
my buddy owns a used car lot and buys all of his cars from auctions. it's a red flag to see one so new at a auction. right now 95% of the cars at auctions are between 95-2004.
a real dealership should have no problem selling it at their own used car lot. there has to be something wrong with it.
my buddy thought he was getting a deal on a 2007 dodge ram and once we got it back to the lot and started looking at it, you can tell the motor was replaced. it has the junkyard's marker writing on it and it's out of a 2006.
so there goes the miles being accurate too.

but my truck was sold to the big chevy dealer I got it from through auction. but we're talking one dealership selling it to another dealership. not a dealership taking it in on trade etc and unloading it at a auction where all the buy here pay here guys go to buy cars.
Old 02-13-2011, 09:29 PM   #27
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

I thought when a vehicle was leased to a fleet, they always end up at auction by the lease company when the lease expires, no? I was thinking 1 yr lease maybe.
Old 02-13-2011, 10:18 PM   #28
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

Quote: Originally Posted by skfury440
You realize after mid year of '68 the 225 Slant Six was the standard powerplant for the Dodge Charger? Before that it was a 230HP 318 when coupled with an A727 3 speed automatic it surely was no speed demon. Same argument with the Pony cars you mentioned, they both had standard 6 cylinder engines and most came with them. I don't see anything wrong with buying a standard V6 car today that puts out more HP and is quicker than the standard cars built then, you're still getting more for your $. You want to compare 0-60 times with a '65 Mustang equipped with the 170 I-6 to a new Mustang? The new Mustang with the 3.7 V6 produces 305HP, the standard 390 FE big block V8 was rated at less power HP. The 2011 Charger with the 3.6 putting out 292HP produces more HP than the standard mid 60's 383B big block V8. Both the V8s produce a lot more torque but the point being the 6 cylinder is not anything near what it was 50 years ago. I don't believe there's anything wrong with getting one of the hopped up 6's today, especially if you base your argument on the claim that the car is "a classic name And a representation of american muscle" when all the cars you mentioned had and continue to still have 6 cylinder base motors.

To the OP: I once got 3500 knocked off the price of a car, as mentioned above give NADA/KBB quotes and then tell them what you will be willing to pay for it. If it's only 1-2K I'll bet they bite.
and? Great they had options back then just like today. And I'm sure people thought the same thing then. A muscle car is a muscle car. You don't go to a classic car show or a drag strip looking for the v6 chargers and mustangs, people don't come down here to Myrtle beach for mustang week to see the v6 mustangs. Whatever the option they had they are still cars that should have v8s, standard.
Old 02-13-2011, 11:01 PM   #29
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

Now I'm finding that even lots of the dodge CERTIFIED used cars were fleets. Didn't think they did that.
Old 02-14-2011, 12:08 AM   #30
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

Quote: Originally Posted by s10gmconversion
and? Great they had options back then just like today. And I'm sure people thought the same thing then. A muscle car is a muscle car. You don't go to a classic car show or a drag strip looking for the v6 chargers and mustangs, people don't come down here to Myrtle beach for mustang week to see the v6 mustangs. Whatever the option they had they are still cars that should have v8s, standard.
I wouldn't go to a vintique/classic car show looking for V6 Mustangs either, you would be searching long and hard (in vein might I add) to find one, almost all domestic 6 cylinders were INLINE 6's back then. I can literally argue all day about why the Mustang/Pony cars in general are just inferior to the real muscle cars of the day, especially in the example you gave of dragging. All I'm saying is that the V6s are part of the cars' history, and today they are becoming more powerful than they ever have been. You used to have to buy a V8 to get a 300HP Mustang and now it's standard in a 6 cylinder that goes 0-60 in 5.1 and does the 1/4 in 13.7. You're definitely going to get your $ out of some of these newer base model engines, so much that I know I couldn't justify going for a GT. I'm quite content with those figures, you may not be but the average consumer who just wants a Mustang sure would rather have that than the old 4.0 for sure.

Apologies to the OP I won't do anymore bickering in your thread.
Old 02-14-2011, 06:02 PM   #31
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

Quote: Originally Posted by nd4spd18
Now I'm finding that even lots of the dodge CERTIFIED used cars were fleets. Didn't think they did that.
You'll find that at most domestic lots, actual franchise lots.

Most of the bigger lots have rental departments. And once they hit a certain mileage they either get detailed and thrown on the lot or brought to the auction depending on condition.

Some of ther smaller franchise lots buy those ex rentals at the auction and stock em up.

The lot i worked at for years had probably 15-25 ex rentals at a time on the used car lot.

So yeah make sure you get a car fax man you don't want a fleet car trust me.

Either way, you get anything going with the charger?
Old 02-15-2011, 07:07 PM   #32
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

If you're looking for a charger/300c/magnum, be sure to check out the front suspension if you have the opportunity. I was a used car tech at a dealership and it seemed like every single one of those I inspected needed tie rod ends, ball joints, wheel bearings, or tension struts - if not all the above. Sometimes they wouldn't even make any noise, but I'd put them on the hoist and the tie rods would have a good .5-.75" of play in them.
Old 02-15-2011, 07:15 PM   #33
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

they dont have chit into them my bud owns a ford /dodge/ chrysler dealer and my bro bought a 09 300c hemi with 26000 miles for 12000 from him he said 300s challengers come up at auctions all day long CHEAP!
also my 09 CTS had 26000.00 on the window I got it for 19500.00 certified preused 100000 mile warranty
Old 11-29-2012, 10:05 AM   #34
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

I am looking at buying a 2010 Chevy Malibu LT Patinum editio with 62,000 kilometers on it.. they are asking $14.990 with taxes say it'll cost about $17,000 to take off the lot. What do you think I could offer cash?? it's a Hyundai Dealership. We want the car? any advice would be appreciated!!
Old 11-29-2012, 01:23 PM   #35
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

tell them you have the X amount of dollars in cash on hand waiting to be paid right away for the car and see if they take it? You have to go into these things with a number you would feel comfortable with and go from there. Each dealer is different and depends on who you are dealing with.
Old 11-29-2012, 01:36 PM   #36
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

Thank you I'm going to walk in 15 cash not sure if I should say we brought $14,500 cash or say $15,000 and try to go from there? any thoughts it's a hyundai delearship. The car had only been at the lot for azbout two weeks
Old 11-29-2012, 02:17 PM   #37
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

2 weeks, end of the month, walk in and say I have 14k cash ready to pay for this car today and see what they say. although i wouldn't be carrying around 14k in my pocket, keep that shit locked up.
Old 11-29-2012, 03:00 PM   #38
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

Heres what you do, go down there about 2hrs before they close on a Friday or Sat. Bring a friend that can hang out, it shows the dealership you can get in the new car and drive it away right then. Bring $15k or whatever youre going to spend. Say youll give them $14K cash out the door. Theyll tell you no, so you spend the next couple of hours kicking the tires and hanging out in the parking lot. Guaranteed the salesman will come out a couple times and offer you a different price, but stick to your guns until they hit a number you want to pay. They're not going to go home for the night without making a deal.

I just bought a '03 crew cab that was marked $6500 for $4700 using that same technique. He would absolutely not go any lower than $5500 and came out of the office twice to tell me that. 15min before close he came out and said "I need a yes or no answer and Im going home: $4700. Of course I had $5500 in my pocket the whole time, but he didn't know that. It works, they want the commission, and they prob only paid $11k for the car, if that.

Theres one thing against you and that its a manufacturer dealership and not a private lot. They have more overhead and more managers and aren't as willing to make a deal, but its worth a try!
Old 11-30-2012, 09:36 PM   #39
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Re: How much 'wiggle room' do used car dealers usually have in their prices?

x2 on the small lot vs. big lot thing. I went to a small lot to look at a sonoma crew cab for 7,400. They offered me 3,500 trade on my salvage title xtreme without even looking at it through a window, and said there would be a little wiggle room on the sonoma.

The same day i went to a large chain dealership and look at virtually the same truck for 7,900. After thoroughly inspecting and test driving my truck, they offered me 2,000 trade and would not come down at all on the price of the sonoma.
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