How to Buy a Used Car Like a Dealer

Consider this: You’re an experienced car buyer, making on-the-ground comparisons to find a good used car for a fair price. You’re searching for a deal, but you’re also intent on the best-possible deal you can get. So how do you go about doing that?

Well, how do you sell the cars you bought from dealers?

Here’s an example of what that might look like: You go to a Ford dealership that has a green car you like. It’s worth $15,000, and you want to buy it for $13,000. You ask the owner how he got it for that price — that is, if he can sell it.

He can’t. In fact, Ford isn’t going to sell the car. So what’s the next step? The car’s owner looks you over, used cars in sacramento and you make a small offer to buy it. The owner says, “I have to talk to my manager,” and leaves the room for a couple of minutes. He then returns and says, “I don’t have to sell this car. It’s already sold.”

That’s typical dealer behavior. The car is worth $15,000 to them, and they’re able to offer a substantial discount because they have an inventory of cars already sold to beat you down on price. For their part, you’re getting good value, because the dealer doesn’t have to sell the car.

Let’s talk about private party buying. We’ve had the “How do I buy a car” article, and we’ve also had the article about not buying cars from a dealer. But here, we’re going to look at a hypothetical example of buying a car at a private party.

Example: Buying a Car at a Private Party

There are three kinds of parties where you’re likely to find a car: A friend’s, family members’, or other relatives’. Here are some common steps in the process of buying a car at a party:

An appraisal of the car. When buying a car from a private party, or from an unappraised car, you need to determine its fair market value. If the car isn’t appraised, it will be difficult to figure out the fair market value. One option: Ask the car’s owner to have an expert appraise it for you.

A signed purchase agreement. You may be able to get the car owner to sign an agreement that gives you ownership, used cars in sacramento with no payment. You’ll have to pay in cash or through a bank check, though, and it’s likely that the owner will want to take a fair amount of cash.