The difference in how I think about money now compared to just a few years ago is amazing. Relentless reading of PF blogs and motivational and investing books has really opened my eyes.
I bought a car recently, and I can see several things that I did right:
- I was in no rush
- Paid cash - no debt for me, baby!
- I researched and compared cars, and knew what I wanted before I visited the dealers. They offered me a bigger Accord for the price of a Civic, but I wanted the Civic and it's better feul economy. I turned down all options and extra offers that I hadn't decided beforehand that I wanted. I knew I didn't want an extended warrantee, but they took me to a room, and the sales pitch was good. If I didn't know it was coming, I might have been influenced to buy something I didn't want.
- I visited ~6 dealers, and told them I was comparison shopping, so they had to win my business
- When I felt the car salesman was being slimy, I walked out of the dealership. One salesman tried to play hardball, and I said, OK I'm leaving, and as I was pulling out of the lot, he ran after my car to make a better offer:)
- I made an offer on the total price, and I stuck to it. The Sales Manager tried to tack on some car wash service fee AFTER we agreed on price. I said no, and was ready to walk, so he took it off. That's an effective trick, after I'm worn down from the negotiation, it is easier to add on or slip by me some extra costs.
- I had an idea of what my trade-in was worth, and how much I wanted.
What I can do better next time (after I drive this one into the ground):
- Negotiate low price even harder
- Buy a used car
- Sell the old car myself for more than trade-in value