How many times have you bought something, simply because it was discounted, even though if truth be told, you didn’t really need – or want – it at all? Why? I’ll tell you: because it’s a bargain.
Inanimate objects suddenly become so more appealing when the magic words “on special”, “discounted”, “the last one”, “cheap” or “70% off” appear on the price tag.
I’ll admit it. Yes, I’ve fallen victim to the bargain-hunting bug too. In fact, few haven’t! And this is what the salespeople at car supermarkets rely on: bargain hunters.
Disguised among little old ladies and eager youngsters who just got a license, enthusiastic bargain hunters lose sight of the big picture and focus only on how much they can save. Car supermarket sales personnel use this during their pitch.
In fact, car supermarket sales people are basically trained to find out if a customer has money and if he or she does, to sell the highest-priced car to them along with as many “extras” as possible, at any cost.
This means he or she will say anything in order to make the sale.
On car supermarket websites, lower car prices are advertised as an “invitation to treat” which basically means that they are not obligated to sell them at that price, they are simply expressing their willingness to negotiate with the public.
Of course, if you don’t have much money, most car supermarket sales people won’t have much to do with you, as they not on a salary or paid a commission on each car sold. They earn a percentage of the “extras” they sell you such as financing, insurance, and additional warranties that are useless.
Car supermarkets sprung up onto the scene a little while ago when prices of cars were, in some cases, 30% higher in Britain than in its EEC counterparts, for exactly the same model.
Pitched to make things fairer on the consumer, many were unaware of the dodgy dealings that went on at car supermarkets. Many still are, so here are a few things to watch out for:
- Finance: read the fine print as the finance terms can sometimes mean the rate you pay could be up to 30%. Coupled with all the extras, your cheap used car could end up costing you more than double the price of a new one!
- Additional coverage: extra insurances such as ones that protect your payments, as well as assistance in the case of a breakdown, are unnecessary and can increase your final costs significantly, particularly if you have chosen to use the in-house finance options.
- Complex warranties: worded to confuse the customer, in some cases these are just worthless.
So it’s important to know what you want before you talk to anyone. Do your research and find out the going rate of the model you like. Make a list of the criteria you want from your car. Take an informed friend with you and ensure you stick to your list.
Also, haggle with the salesperson. If there is anything wrong with the car you like, such as small dents that can be easily repaired by a paintless dent removal specialist, then use that to negotiate a lower price.
Don’t fall for the trick of buying all the “extras” that the car supermarket sales person will tell you are “necessary”, even if he or she rounds the price down “especially for you”.
Since it’s fairly hard to tell who is genuine and who is not, the secret of getting yourself that desirable bargain is to buy just the car at a price you are happy with. If you do that then you can give yourself a pat on the back.
Remember: a bargain is not a bargain unless you need it.