Typical Dealer Sales Process

Previous Page - Car Buyer Research

Dealership sales procedures vary considerably from dealer to dealer and also inside a dealership. Various sales staff are trained to follow recommended selling methods while other dealers remain flexible and allow their sales staff to vary their approach to each customer. Either way, dealer sales practices can be broken down into distinct, easy to understand concepts.


Deciding which car or truck to buy is something you should do before you go to a dealership. Choosing your new vehicle is not something you want to do in a high pressure sales environment. It would help you to find out which dealerships in your area sell the type of vehicle you want to acquire, and then to refine the list to those dealers who have the precise make, model, color and equipment you think is important.


If you decide not to prepare for your car purchase then you are basically allowing the dealer to make these decisions for you. In these cases the dealer's staff will determine what is best for you based on what you can afford, what you will pay and what they have available. Not any of these considerations necessarily benefit you with savings or even guarantee the vehicle will ultimately meet your needs.


Do not allow the dealership to define the terms of the sale. Ultimately, the vehicle you purchase will be yours for a long period of time and you will be obligated to make the payments. If you allow the dealership to decide your payment, the equipment package you get and/or your financing then you will certainly pay a premium. Be prepared to assert yourself and take command of the negotiation to ensure you get your vehicle at a fair price.


It should not surprise you that dealerships are staffed with professionals tasked with buying and selling new and used cars and trucks. The majority of persons who purchase vehicles are not usually car-buying professionals and are at a disadvantage both in buying a new car or truck and in negotiating a fair market value for their trade-in. You should not simply accept a dealer's initial appraisal of your trade-in. They will offer what is in their best interest without regard to what is best for you. Before you go car shopping you should take steps to get the most profit from your trade-in.


Allowing a dealership to arrange your financing is a decision that can cost you hundreds to thousands of extra dollars. You should make every effort to obtain financing at your bank, credit union or using an online lender.


Dealers are very concerned with profits. In an effort to further boost their per-sale profit margins dealerships will try to pressure you into buying add-ons such as third party extended warranty plans, GAP, Credit Life and or Disability insurance plans, and other dealer extras such as paint and fabric protection, rustproofing, floor mats, truck bed protection, security systems, etc. In some instances, purchasing these items will void your warranty while in others you are simply wasting your time and money. You should very carefully consider each and every option before agreeing to purchase dealer extras and add-ons.

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