Buying a vehicle of any sort is a nerve-wracking experience. When it is an RV that will become your living quarters, you really need to do your homework. Unless you’re sitting on a pile of money, payments will comprise a large chunk of your monthly budget for years after you actually select your ride. Consequently, the process of negotiating over the price can mean the difference of hundreds to thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. No wonder the buying process causes so much stress.
I learned this process the hard way. Although I’m satisfied with the last vehicle I bought, I realized later how much the dealer got the better end of the bargain due to my lack of planning. There are things you can do to overcome nerves and be prepared for anything at the negotiation table.
Strangely enough, learning to negotiate well on a big purchase will help you in all aspects of your life. You can turn conversations to your advantage by educating yourself about the options and utilizing a calm demeanor in your bargaining. What follows are some tips to help you get the deal you want.
Rather than have a face-to-face encounter at the onset, where you are likely to be charmed into paying more, it is better to spend some time comparing costs before stepping foot on a dealership lot. Start by listing reliable dealers near your area. From here, you can gather contact details and send out quotation requests to begin comparing prices.
The biggest advantage you can have over these crafty dealers is your knowledge. The more you know, the less likely you will fall for their sugar-coated words and high pressure tactics. As you negotiate for a better deal, make sure to feel and, more importantly, look calm and collected. Never divulge to the dealer just how much you are willing to spend and let the salesman know that you are in control and not the other way around.
Price, Not Payments
Don’t get suckered into talking payments before settling on a final price of the vehicle. This was my downfall when I purchased my first car. Payments hide all manner of sins and extra fees. Agree on the sales price first. Then, you can start to discuss payment terms and loan periods.
It really does not matter whether you pay in cold hard cash or through financing. When choosing the latter, however, it is better to get a preapproval from an accredited bank or lending institution rather than go through the dealers themselves. Dealerships are likely to put in an extra markup to earn a bonus for themselves. Use an automobile calculator to set your maximum purchase price and plan for the monthly cost of your new RV.
Ask for Rebates and Freebies
Never hesitate to find additional ways to save. Rebates, for instance, are typically offered by dealers and manufacturers. Apart from the standard discounts, some providers also offer special deals for military, college students, and handicapped individuals.
If they won’t give you a discount, then ask for free upgrades. Adding a nicer stereo, TV system, or interior upgrades cost the dealer very little. It can be a better deal for them to offer $1000 in free upgrades versus lowering the price by the same amount.
Timing is Key
A great trick when purchasing your RV is to buy at the end of the month. It is likely that you will get additional incentives from your purchase because dealers are given monthly incentives and bonuses from their sales at this time. With the right timing, you can end up with the dream mobile living space of your choice for hundreds less.
Play Hard to Get
If the dealers are playing it tough, play tougher. If you don’t get what you want, simply walk away and leave them to pursue you instead. Keep in mind that the last thing any dealer wants is to see a prospective customer walk away.
Even though negotiation is what car sales people do, they often will not expect someone to be well-informed come in from a position of strength. They are just as desperate to make a sale as they believe you are to own a vehicle. The most important thing is to remain calm and collected. Making yourself hard to read in a bargaining situation will give you the upper hand in the negotiations, and ensure you get the best price on your new vehicle.
Tim is a writer for OnlineLoanCalculator.org, and routinely helps car, truck, and RV buyers get the best deal on their next purchase.