"When it comes to buying a car, women often feel uncomfortable
negotiating with car dealers," says Chip Perry, president and chief
executive officer of AutoTrader.com stated in a recent interview. "Many are concerned they won't get the best deal."
Women more likely see negotiation as an uncomfortable experience. Women see negotiation in the context of a relationship, and are concerned that pushing too hard will damage the relationship.
Here are some startling facts from a study conducted by Princeton University and Edmunds.com:
• 2.5 times more women than men said they feel "a great deal of apprehension" about negotiating.
• Men initiate negotiations about four times more often than women.
• When asked to pick metaphors for negotiations, men picked "winning a ballgame" and a "wrestling match," while women picked "going to the dentist."
• Women will pay as much as $1,353 to avoid negotiating the price of a car.
• Women are more pessimistic about the rewards available, and so come away with less when they do negotiate-on average, 30 percent less than men.
• 20 percent of women (22 million people) say they never negotiate at all, even though they recognize negotiation as appropriate and even necessary.
• Approximately 80 percent of women feel pressure when browsing for cars in showrooms — and yet women play a critical role in nearly 60 percent of new vehicle purchases, according to Edmunds.
What can you do to become a great negotiator at the car lot?
Research vehicle pricing via the newspaper and use online resources to get up to speed on new and used car prices. Determine the dealer invoice price, transaction cost and the blue book value of the trade-in on your current vehicle. Understand what your budget allows you to buy, and use that as a framework when it comes to to negotiate with dealer personnel.
Investigate a range of financing options before visiting a dealership. Few customers take time to understand the auto loan landscape in advance of negotiating to purchase a vehicle. That neglect can cost thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. To gain more control of the process of purchasing a car, women should look at financing from all sorts of sources: dealers, banks and credit unions.
Approach the vehicle purchasing experience as three distinct transactions: determining the vehicle price; calculating the trade-in value of your current car; arranging the best financing. Negotiating each of these separately can help a shopper save considerable money.
Read the sales contract thoroughly and insist that the dealer salesperson you’re working with explains anything you don’t understand. Some experts go so far as to suggest you pick up and study a blank contract from the dealer beforehand.
Remember that you are in control. Be willing to get up and walk out of a new car store if it fails to provide the vehicle, price and deal you seek.
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