So, you want to buy a car. You’ve figured out the best fit, in terms of the unique demands of your budget and lifestyle. You’ve found the financing option that best suits you, and you’re ready to pull the trigger. Sure, you’ll inevitably audit the online inventory of one or more dealerships but, in most cases, you’ll eventually have to come face-to-face with a salesperson.
If the thought of a car salesman still conjures visions of slick personal space invaders, over-dressed, over-groomed and over-zealously pursuing you to drive up their sales numbers…well, you’re not alone. Like any good stereotype, it’s been validated time and time again. That said, one could argue that an even more deplorable stereotype presents itself when we’re talking about used car dealers.
Now, maybe the image of a small, privately-owned roadside dealership operated by an aging misogynist with an uninspired comb-over and checkered sports coat might be dated. But the modern equivalent, yelling into the camera for community-access screen time while an inflatable ‘tube-man’ waved in the wind behind him, is still very much real. And with the prevalence of social media and YouTube marketing, the reach of such efforts is amplified immensely.
With apologies for the language, I still laugh every time I imagine THIS guy with the modern reach of YouTube
That said, finding the right dealership is a major component of any satisfying car experience, but especially when buying pre-owned. When buying new, you have the luxury of factory warranties to provide you with assurance and security in your purchase. But when buying used, you’re relying on the credibility of the salesperson, as well as whatever information and warranty coverage they provide.
Fortunately, today’s buyers have the added luxury of visibility, courtesy of Vehicle History Reports and other forms of online research. This makes it all the more important to research any vehicle you’re considering buying, and to employ the assistance of someone well-versed in automotive to inspect the vehicle (if you yourself are not capable, or comfortable doing so yourself).
That said, it’s important to remember that there are plenty of honorable dealerships out there interested in building relationships with their valued customers. Not everyone is out to get you, and…
Not all Used Car Dealers are Created Equal
It’s a fair statement. Trust in both your instincts and the quality of the due diligence that you performed prior to arriving at the dealership. Despite the potential of it resulting in a sale, a dealership’s largest obstacle in gaining the upper hand is a well-informed and well-qualified customer. Arrive with a strong understanding of what you want and what you qualify for, and you’ve empowered yourself to enjoy a satisfying experience (regardless of what stereotypes you might encounter).