TAMPA (FOX 13) - Car dealers are not kidding you when they say there is excess inventory this time of year. So yes, it might be a great time to shop for a new car.
But 'volume pricing' alone will not land you the very best deal. You need to be strategic.
For pointers that will save you time and money, we reached out of Shawn Spiegel, the Car Haggler. Spiegel professionally brokers for buyers who don’t want to negotiate on their own.
He charges a flat $275 fee.
“I'll even be with you when you go to sign your paperwork," he said.
Spiegel agreed to share a few of his secrets for those of us who prefer to go it alone. We boiled his advice down to three important bullet points.
1.) THE RIGHT MINDSET
Spiegel says your psyche will drive much of the deal. The better informed a buyer you are, the better the negotiating will go – and the less you will likely pay. When it comes to options and packages on your dream car, do your homework. Learn the dealer’s lingo, and let them know you're informed.
Combative buyers invite trouble at the closing table, Spiegel said, and ultimately overpay.
"Don't go into a dealership thinking the dealership is the bad guy," he said. “They’re going to walk all over you.”
Remain positive and professional. Treat the deal for what it is: business.
2.) THE RIGHT DAY
We’ve long advocated car shopping at the end of the month – when dealers are angling to meet quotas. We’ve long said that’s when prices sink to their lowest.
We’re right. And we’re wrong.
Data from the car buying website TrueCar.com indicates the best day to buy a car is the first or the second of the month. As it turns out, some dealers don’t start their sales months until the third or the fourth – which, technically, makes the first or the second the end of the month.
As for the best day of the week to buy a new car, TrueCar’s analysis concluded Sunday wins. It's all about price. Sunday buyers pay the lowest prices of the week.
Friday is the worst day to brokers a car deal. In fact, TrueCar found that Friday buyers paid, on average, $2,000 more than Sunday buyers.
3.) THE RIGHT DEAL
If you ask Shawn, a simple mantra dictates a great car deal. "You always negotiate on price," he said.
Got that? Price. Period.
Spiegel warns that dealers’ many gimmicks tend to muddy the water. Their offers are creative, but should neither be deal makers nor deal breakers.
Just some of the “specials” we’ve recently found include:
-Free car washes
-Free oil changes
-Buy One Get One Free (the ‘free’ car is a lease)
-Free airport parking
-Free airport shuttle service
How do we handle those carrots – especially when a dealer is pushing a “special” hot and heavy? Spiegel says your best strategy is a gentle reminder of your mantra.
Tell them: “Thank you very much. I'll take those. Then go back to the price," he said.