There are certain phrases you should never utter in the presence of a good car salesman. This is not to say that all car salesmen are unscrupulous, but their livelihood does depend on reading peoples’ weaknesses and upselling accordingly.
A car salesman can be your best friend if he or she finds you the perfect vehicle for you and your needs. However, this can be highly dependent upon your tone and speech at the car lot. Here are a few phrases that you should never let leave your lips when searching for a great deal on a new or used car.
1: “I’m just looking for another ‘knock-around’ rig.”
These words scream that you have money to burn and probably do not think about budgeting when it comes to vehicles. It also describes how you like to have many different vehicles for different trips and occasions. With this statement, a car salesman will assume that you are shopping for looks rather than value. Expect the salesman to cater to this trait.
2: “I’ve never done this by myself before.”
Whether you are a youngster looking to upgrade from the high school beater, or a soccer mom that usually takes her husband along to look at new cars, this statement states loud and clear that you have no real experience when it comes to buying cars. The car salesman will assume that all you know how to do is swipe a credit card on impulse when something catches your eye. That is exactly what he will try to do — catch your eye with something way too overpriced. After all, he is working on commission.
3: “Do you have this model in red?”
When you state something like this, especially early in the conversation, it signals that all you care about are aesthetic qualities, not dependability, warranties or value. After hearing this phrase, a car salesman will immediately escort you to the new models in the color you desire. If you do not talk about where to sign after that, he may refer you to a junior salesman, or say something like, “Feel free to look around,” thinking you are not really a serious buyer.
4: “We bought our last vehicle like this at a dealership in…”
When a car dealer hears about where you come from originally, he will likely adjust his price to meet what he thinks would be a great deal in that area. If you just moved to Wyoming from Beverly Hills and tell the dealer your story, he will know you are used to higher prices. He will assume that you bought a huge spread with the property payout from California and can afford to spend much more than a local person would. He would probably try to offer a deal for purchasing the vehicle with cash that would still be way above MSRP.
5: “I need a car for college.”
This is a sure sign that you are in a bind and want something flashier than you can handle. The salesman may also think that you are not necessarily paying for the vehicle yourself.
6: “Is this a good vehicle for cross country?”
Asking this will lead the car dealer to ask for enough of a bump over MSRP to cover the warranty use when you wear out the vehicle. The salesman is expecting the company to need to cover repair costs while the vehicle is still under warranty since you plan to put so many miles on it.