Dealership Tips for Getting the Best Deals
It may be the official start of the holiday shopping season, but is Black Friday a good time to buy a new vehicle? In fact, Black Friday may actually be the best day to get a great deal on a vehicle—if you can brave the crowded car lot.
Yes, it’s no secret that Black Friday sales can be chaos. We know this; we experience it every year, as thousands of shoppers venture to our Kansas City car dealerships the day after Thanksgiving. The shoppers who are most prepared drive home having saved a heap of money on a vehicle. Those who swing by the dealership without having done any homework—well, they’re the ones who tell you not to shop on Black Friday.
Don’t be like the latter. Follow these tips to ensure your Black Friday car buying experience is one to call home about.
Do Everything Early
Get Your Trade-In Estimate
Request a value estimate for your trade-in prior to your Black Friday visit to the dealership. Better yet, get a few trade-in estimates lined up. This will allow you to compare prices and choose which dealers are most deserving of your business, time, and money.
Inquire about quotes for specific vehicle models days, weeks, and even months before you buy. Understanding what the average price is will give you leverage on Black Friday if the prices haven’t dropped low enough.
Test Drive in Advance
Pick the models you’re most interested in, and take each out for a test drive in the days and weeks leading up to Black Friday. That way, when you arrive at the dealership on Friday morning, you won’t have to waste time or worry about driving through packed streets.
Review Dealership Inventory
In case the dealership sells out of the model you’re interested in, have a backup in mind. Better yet, secure that model you want by requesting a test drive at least 1 week prior to Black Friday.
Apply for Financing
Remember to get your financing in order before heading to the car lot. Your dealership’s financing department is going to be absolutely slammed on Black Friday. The more paperwork you fill out in advance, the better. And when you apply for a car loan or lease, be sure to ask your finance expert to apply any Black Friday rate changes in advance—to make everyone’s job easier on Friday morning.
Have All Your Documents Ready
Doing everything early is one thing; bringing everything to your appointment is another beast entirely. You’ll want to bring any pre-approval or trade-in estimate with you, printed out and ready to go. This includes your driver’s license, proof of auto insurance, proof of residency and employment, and your method of payment. Remember: most businesses aren’t open on Black Friday, so getting all that information taken care of in advance is important.
As they say, early birds get the worm. If your car dealership opens at 8:00 AM on Black Friday, get there at 7:00 AM. Park. Eat breakfast. Do some karaoke with your passengers. Just pass the time and be one of the first Black Friday car shoppers to walk in the door. Once you see the throngs of customers hoping to get a bargain, you’ll be glad you did.
As you check dealer flyers and Black Friday ads, keep track of prices and deals. When you go to the dealership, ask for price matching if you notice another store has a better deal advertised on the same vehicle. Most dealerships will accommodate you in this instance.
Sometimes Black Friday car deals come with special perks, bonuses, or gifts. This may include a free HD TV, complimentary auto service, or three months without payment. Read the terms of the sale to see what’s required of you to receive those dealership freebies, as well as when and how you’ll get them.
Patience You Must Have
Lack of Staff
Don’t be surprised if your dealership is a little slow—everyone is working their tail off, believe you me. Some dealers may be thin on salespeople, particularly around the lunchtime rush, which forces those on the floor to assist several customers at once.
Don’t Expect to Negotiate
You’ll quickly discover that “the best I can offer” really means “the best I can offer” on Black Friday. Dealerships are, again, very busy, and salespeople and financing managers don’t want to haggle over a few hundred bucks. If you expect to sit at the negotiating table for hours, focusing on decimal points and cents, you should shop on Black Saturday instead.
Try Certified Pre-Owned if You Can’t Get a New Vehicle
Having trouble getting the right price on a new vehicle? Maybe there aren’t deals that appease your budget-savvy soul. Certified pre-owned may be the way to go. You can usually get a late-model vehicle, with all the bells and whistles, at a fraction of the cost of a newer, comparable model. Plus, CPO vehicles come with extended warranties and other dealership perks.
But if you take anything away from this glorious post, it’s this: Do Your Homework. Don’t go into Black Friday car shopping without prepping for it. That’s a recipe for frustration. A well-prepared car shopper is a happy car shopper.