cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Negotiating Through Internet Sales/E-mail

Gladius
Frequent Contributor

Negotiating Through Internet Sales/E-mail

I have read a lot (including on this forum) about people who do ALL their negotiating through e-mail/internet sales before they step foot inside a dealership.  Out of curiosity, if you have settled on the vehicle you want, do you provide your SSN# for them to run your credit?  I understand you negotiating the price of the car first, but in order to get the "full picture", wouldn't the dealership have to have your concrete credit scores to see what the finance rate/terms/monthly payments will be?  And if you do have your own financing, they would probably offer a better rate if you use their CU/banks.  And what if you have a trade-in?  Just curious how some go about this.

 

This isn't for people who pay cash or who insist on using their own financing.

Message 1 of 18
17 REPLIES 17
Horseshoez
Established Contributor

Re: Negotiating Through Internet Sales/E-mail

There's a lot to sort through in your list of questions...

 

Personally I am not a fan of negotiating via the internet, I don't think many (most, all?) dealerships don't take such negotiations seriously.  My advice would be to your research up front and then visit a dealership selling the vehicle you're wanting to buy, take a test drive, and then start negotiations.  The card you have to play when you visit in person is being able to get up and walk out the door if the negotiations aren't going your way, regardless of whether we're talking about the price of the car, the value of your trade in, or what type of financing is being discussed.  The fact is, dealerships absolutely HATE it when someone gets up and walks out, and as often as not, will bend over backwards to accomodate you.

I categorically refuse to do AZEO!

Message 2 of 18
Cowboys4Life
Contributor

Re: Negotiating Through Internet Sales/E-mail

One of the WORST tactics dealers use is "what do you want your payment to be?" and then set the price of the car to equal that based on the credit score of the customer.  BIGGEST mistake you can make because you could be leaving thousands of dollars in discounts on the purchase on the table which would have lowered the payment.  I always negotiate the price of the car and refuse to tell them what payment I want.  That is for me to know once you pull my credit but then again I have only bought a car with subprime credit during rebuilding twice.  When you have tier 1 or high tier 2 credit your power shifts more in your favor.  MY personal plan is to negotiate the price of the purchase first. Then negotiate the price of any trade separate from that.  THEN the dealer can pull my credit.  If I don't like the terms:  I walk.  I have only walked 3 times and never regretted it any of them.  

Message 3 of 18
disdreamin
Established Contributor

Re: Negotiating Through Internet Sales/E-mail

Not only do I believe dealerships take internet shoppers seriously, it's become far more common for buyers to shop that way. I would not, under any circumstances, send my SSN via email though. Usually I secure my own financing in advance. For a trade-in, that's another thing that would need to be finalized at the time you go into the dealiership, but you need to have a solid idea of a reasonable trade-in value beforehand.

 

Frankly, using "I'll walk if I don't get my way" as a negotiation tool is a game I don't play - if I make the decision to leave, nothing will bring me back in. I don't care how good the deal would be.

 

Edited to add: 100% yes to what @Cowboys4Life said about negotiating price of vehicle first and price of trade-in separately.

Message 4 of 18
4sallypat
Frequent Contributor

Re: Negotiating Through Internet Sales/E-mail

@disdreamin is correct again!  I have only done internet purchases the last 4 cars.

 

Only deal with the Internet sales manager by making contact via email - do not CALL the deaelership - they will find you a rookie sales floor person that is not Internet savvy.

 

Do your own homework to find out what incentives / rebates / promotions apply to you before you make an offer via email or text.

I try really hard not to leave money on the table for the dealer to keep.

 

Never accept a call from the dealership to negotiate - only to establish that you are a serious buyer.  Numbers over phone are not binding.

 

Make sure the dealer does not have hidden fees / costs such as $1000 alarm system add on, $500 plastic door guards, $400 paint protection, and other silly stuff...

 

Have your own financing ready so that you have a base rate to go with if the dealer can't beat it.

 

Have your trade appraised ahead of time - use CarMax as your baseline price....

 

Only give out your SSN in person if you want them to pull many credit inquiries and only if you want them to "beat" your financing.

I never give out my SSN if I know my financing is the best/lowest.

 

Do NOT ever leave in the car off the lot when the dealer says you can drive it off without a lender approvel (spot approval) or if you are taking the options contract to your bank/CU for funding.

 

If you leave the dealership in the car without secured financing, you are basically at their mercy and you may end up with increased down payment.

Message 5 of 18
Dj4Money
Established Contributor

Re: Negotiating Through Internet Sales/E-mail

 The last three cars were bought mainly via email.

 

 The last had pre-approval from Capital One, I thought I had one amount/limit but it turns out I got a lower rate as my score went up. I paid down my credit cards to 8% of total balances so when the dealer ran it again, I got a lower rate from Capital One.

 

 First buy the pricing information from Fighting Chance. That gives you a floor, what you'll find is that when you have this information and pre-approval dealers will play fewer games.

 

Last three cars were purchased far under invoice.

 

 Of course it helps when you buy cars the general public largely doesn't want. But it also works with anything if you are willing to shop and get out of your comfort zone.

 

 The truth is except in cases were initial quality is subpar (Jaguar) all cars are reliable. You might want to avoid model changeover but to be honest minor issues don't bother me, covered under warranty and solved in a day.

 

 For example companies looking to increase marketshare are Kia, Hyundai and Mitsubishi for most models but the Telluride/Palisade twins which are very popular and average less than 10 days on dealership lots.

 

 German companies offer aggressive leases if that is an option and can be negotiated too. 

 

 

 

 

Message 6 of 18
Gladius
Frequent Contributor

Re: Negotiating Through Internet Sales/E-mail


@Horseshoez wrote:

There's a lot to sort through in your list of questions...

 

Personally I am not a fan of negotiating via the internet, I don't think many (most, all?) dealerships don't take such negotiations seriously.  My advice would be to your research up front and then visit a dealership selling the vehicle you're wanting to buy, take a test drive, and then start negotiations.  The card you have to play when you visit in person is being able to get up and walk out the door if the negotiations aren't going your way, regardless of whether we're talking about the price of the car, the value of your trade in, or what type of financing is being discussed.  The fact is, dealerships absolutely HATE it when someone gets up and walks out, and as often as not, will bend over backwards to accomodate you.


This has always been my thoughts also.  Thanks for the reply.

Message 7 of 18
Gladius
Frequent Contributor

Re: Negotiating Through Internet Sales/E-mail


@Cowboys4Life wrote:

One of the WORST tactics dealers use is "what do you want your payment to be?" and then set the price of the car to equal that based on the credit score of the customer.  BIGGEST mistake you can make because you could be leaving thousands of dollars in discounts on the purchase on the table which would have lowered the payment.  I always negotiate the price of the car and refuse to tell them what payment I want.  That is for me to know once you pull my credit but then again I have only bought a car with subprime credit during rebuilding twice.  When you have tier 1 or high tier 2 credit your power shifts more in your favor.  MY personal plan is to negotiate the price of the purchase first. Then negotiate the price of any trade separate from that.  THEN the dealer can pull my credit.  If I don't like the terms:  I walk.  I have only walked 3 times and never regretted it any of them.  

 

I agree.  I have been burned by that tactic in my younger (dumb) years.  I  now know how to avoid that game they play.


 

Message 8 of 18
Gladius
Frequent Contributor

Re: Negotiating Through Internet Sales/E-mail


@disdreamin wrote:

Not only do I believe dealerships take internet shoppers seriously, it's become far more common for buyers to shop that way. I would not, under any circumstances, send my SSN via email though. Usually I secure my own financing in advance. For a trade-in, that's another thing that would need to be finalized at the time you go into the dealiership, but you need to have a solid idea of a reasonable trade-in value beforehand.

 

Frankly, using "I'll walk if I don't get my way" as a negotiation tool is a game I don't play - if I make the decision to leave, nothing will bring me back in. I don't care how good the deal would be.

 

I agree.  Yes, when the time comes for me, I will be getting a written offer from CarMax for my trade-in.

 

Edited to add: 100% yes to what @Cowboys4Life said about negotiating price of vehicle first and price of trade-in separately.


 

Message 9 of 18
aj2121
Regular Contributor

Re: Negotiating Through Internet Sales/E-mail

Negotiating online through email, text, and even calls works at many larger dealerships in urban areas. If you are in a more rural area, most dealerships will not take internet shoppers seriously and won't negotiate via email or text. As everyone else has said make sure to lock down the sale price of the vehicle, then the amount for your trade-in, then bring up financing last. Dealerships focus on manipulating the monthly payment number in a manner that you leave hundreds or thousands of dollars on the table.

 

Resources like Edmunds and KBB are great for determining a fair value for the vehicle you are purchasing and the value you should get out of your vehicle.

FICO8 as of 4/9/21:
Message 10 of 18
Advertiser Disclosure: The offers that appear on this site are from third party advertisers from whom FICO receives compensation.