Morning all, so how was your week? Mine was pretty manic to say the least! I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned before but our 9 week old daughter suffers from pretty severe reflux, which basically means she throws everything back at you with 10 times the force she guzzled it down with. This obviously means she’s permanently hungry and showered in sick….lovely, but we get by with a mahooosive daily serving of help from my gorgeous hubby Greg, who’s one of the worker bees over on the discount code part of the site.
So, to show my love for the husband, I’ve decided to dedicate this SSS post to his fantastically frugal skills, which have recently bagged us a whopping saving off a new car! He’s actually been on my case for a while now to post about his self proclaimed money saving genius, so this is me killing two birds with one stone…
About 5 months into our pregnancy we started to look at prams and how we’d fit it all in to our car, but after getting laughed out of Mothercare due to the size of our non-existent boot, we decided that we needed something a little bigger. After a few weeks of looking at options and seeing what we could afford, we decided a Ford Focus was the only thing that came anywhere near to the size of car we would need and our budget, but it was still thousands of pounds more than we could afford, so hubby decided it called for some seriously experimental haggling tactics to be called into play, and to my absolute amazement, they actually worked!!
So, here’s some of his crazy top tips for haggling down the price of a new car – just to repeat, he used them all in front of my eyes and they actually worked…
1. Go prepared. Load up on relevant information, prices, models, names, numbers, quotes, stats, history, in fact anything that you could call upon in a time of negotiation crisis. Knowledge is power and because my husband new the in’s and out’s of the car we were looking at and the company set up of the dealership we were buying from, he used that info to literally force the saleswomen into a corner.
2. Head for the opposite sex. Women head to salesmen, men head to saleswomen. It really does make a difference.
3. Take a parent, or someone older who can play the ‘banker’. Having an older person there and letting the sales person know that they are the one’s financing the whole deal, really does add a new dynamic that you can call upon.
4. Discuss roles before beginning. If you are serious about buying and know that you can commit to a deal if it meets your needs then you need to define the roles you will play as the negotiation plays out. I convincingly played the pregnant women, my husband played the cheeky chappy and his dad played the banker. Once you have these roles set, you can use them in different ways throughout the negotiation.
5. Set up a fake argument. This one is crazy, and something I was against, but it really worked. My husband told us that at some point he was going to start arguing with his dad about the ‘ridiculous limit he was putting on the budget’. Nothing too heated, just something to make the saleswomen feel uncomfortable enough to want to get us out of there as quick as she could, whilst still bagging herself a juicy sale.
6. Arrange for another car dealership to call during the negotiation. This was really easy to do. We simply left a message for another dealer to call us back at a time when we knew we would be negotiating. As soon as you answer the phone in front of the salesperson you’re dealing with and say something along the lines of ‘Hi there, yes we were interested in test driving a focus this weekend’, you have your salesperson in the palm of your hand.
7. Take regular breaks. Believe it or not, we were in the showroom for 3 and a half hours and even I was at my wits end with my husband. Every 15 minutes or so he would get up and have a wonder, sit in one of the show cars, pick up a brochure, get a cup of water, nip to the toilet, at one point he even popped out to the shop to get us biscuits to dip into the vending machine tea. As time passed you could see the saleswomen getting edgy, watching other paying customers walk in and out, other sales that might bear richer fruit then this stupid little focus sale she’d been slaving over. It was the perfect way to get her to want something out of the deal, no matter what the cost. No salesperson wants to give just under 4 hours to a deal that never comes through.
8. Go in late on a Saturday. If you plan to negotiate pretty hard it’s going to take you a while. Long enough so that the day turns into night and all the salesperson can think of is their sofa, dinner and Sunday rest. If you don’t show any signs off getting restless and wanting to leave, they certainly will start to. That’s when the best deals get done.
9. Ask for more, and more, and more. My husband didn’t stop. He kept on and on about what we needed, what more we would get and what he would be happy with for the deal to be done, which of course was a ludicrously low price and all the extras under the sun.
10. Play the game. Buying a new car is a game and other car dealerships are mere pawns that you can use to snatch yourself a much better deal. By grinding down other dealerships to a low price and then dropping them at the last minute we were able to use legitimate quotes, which we had on paper, to push our chosen salesperson into a corner, and it worked.
After all of the tricks and tactics my husband managed to get a £22,000 car for a mere £15,500, that’s an insane saving of £6,500 off the sale price. We were obvisouly over the moon and while you may read this and think that just under 4 hours is a long time to negotiate and sounds like a lot of work, it’s effectively a job that earns you £1,700ish an hour.