Purchasing a car can be a very frustrating experience with the many concerns and needs involved. There are a number of questions to ask and find answers to such as; what type of car, what car has the best mileage, less repairs after a few years, the best warranty, and the list goes on and on. To add to the confusion you notice a commercial where a car dealership is having a special sale so you make plans to visit the dealership. However, in the back of your mind you ask yourself a new set of questions, can they really get me in a car for no down? Or can I really get that much for my trade-in? Most of the time these so called “special car sales” are too good to be true. Find out why they are too good to be true and what you need to know to avoid the special car sale deceptive tactics.
You’ve heard it before on the radio or saw it on TV a car dealership is advertising a huge tent or super sale on cars. So even though you may purchase a car with $99 down payment or with zero down payment, you end up paying much more in the long run with higher monthly payments or paying over a longer period of time, which means you will pay more for the total price of the car. The next deceptive tactic is the “push, pull, or drag” sale. The dealership promises to give you an unbelievable trade-in for your old broken down car no matter what type of condition the car is in. Similar to the last deceptive tactic, what happens is that the price of the new car you’re purchasing has been significantly marked up. You end up paying much more for the new car to recoup the cost of the loss the dealer takes with your old clunker.
The next deceptive tactic is the “slasher” sale. The salespeople rip price tags promising a very impressive discount on a new car. Similar to special sales at specialty stores and other merchants these slasher sales involve raising the original price of the merchandise, or in this case, the cars. What you didn’t see or hear on TV was the dealership marking up the price of the vehicles in order to offer such a nice discount. You think you are getting a great deal when you are not getting a discount at all just buying a car at the regular price. It’s funny to see people rushing to a “midnight” or “earlybird” sale believing they are getting huge savings on selected or all merchandise when in reality the merchant has marked up the original cost of the items. Also, the merchant will raise the price tag on other items to recoup their costs on the “discounted” items. So when you buy something for $10 less when you purchase another item that wasn’t on sale, you probably have paid $10 more than the original price of that item.
Next is the “pre-approved” sale. This tactic focuses on people with credit problems. You either get a “check” in the mail with a pre-approved amount or you hear the salesman advertise on the radio or TV about the pre-approved sale saying “if you have credit problems, don’t worry you’re pre-approved.” So you rush to the dealership believing you are pre-approved for any car on the lot, right? Wrong. What the dealership doesn’t tell you is that you are pre-approved for select cars with select prices and to make things worse these select cars come with the very basic necessities, no fancy stuff, just plain and basic. Some come with just a radio or manual brakes and windows. Remember, since you have to make the car payments get something you will enjoy driving for several years.
To make this deceptive tactic worse the dealership may try to sell you unnecessary items to make the car look more appealing such as, extended warranties, extra insurance, etc. The last deceptive tactic is the “gift” sale. The dealership promises you a gift for taking a test drive. The problem is that the “gift” is either redeemable through a company that charges an outrageous shipping and handling charge to receive the gift or you have to join a club or continue to purchase from a company on an ongoing basis. Because of this “gift” you received you will end up paying a nice sized sum for that test drive.