“Go get your husband little lady, and come on back” was a familiar phrase many women shoppers heard not too long ago at car dealerships. Auto salespeople often showed women the makeup mirrors in a car before they ever showed them where the ignition switch was. Luckily, those days are by and large gone.
A day never goes by that I don’t hear from a lady listener who expresses concern about shopping for a car. Many times, they are extremely anxious and dreading the car buying experience. Some ladies drive their cars for way too long, just to avoid a car dealership. Luckily, there really is no reason to be afraid of a car dealership.
The biggest reason not to be afraid: there is safety in numbers. Recent studies have shown women buy 54% of the cars sold in America, but influence 84% of the car buying decisions. Rest assured dealers know this and the smart dealerships will pay much more attention to you these days and actually cater to you and compete for your business.
I think the instinct of the ladies is much better than that of men. Women can see through a salesperson who is patronizing them much quicker than men can, and luckily, there are enough tools out there on the Internet that women can win the battle of control. The battle is won when the consumer, no matter what gender, has enough knowledge that they can’t be told something that is not in their best interest.
With websites like Edmunds.com, you can go online and find out the actual true market sale prices of new vehicles in your area. This will give you a really good idea of what others are paying, to keep you from paying more. Edmunds TMV (true market value) is pulled from actual transactions all over the country. This information is invaluable.
There are also ways to find out what your trade-in is worth, although not as reliable as the new vehicle data out there. You can still get a close idea of your old car’s value, which removes another piece of the puzzle. Many dealers will give you an actual offer to purchase your car which is the best way. As I say on the air all the time, a car is worth what someone is willing to write a check for. Call a dealer near you and ask if they would make you a cash offer on your car. Most will say yes with no obligation.
Last, it is a good idea to look into a loan and know what interest rate you can get. Banks and credit unions will give you a pre-approval amount and a firm interest rate in most cases. Knowing you don’t have to worry about getting a loan will remove much pressure and empower you while shopping. It’s fine to go with a dealership for financing if they can offer the same terms.
Remember too, if at any time you feel uncomfortable and feel you are being lied to, you can always stand up, thank the salesperson for their time, and walk out the door.
So ladies, if you follow my instructions, when you walk into a dealership you will know what you should pay for a car, what you should accept for your trade, and what kind of finance terms you can get. Just those three things will make sure you get the best possible deal without any fear.
The best part is, this information is easy to obtain. Armed with this information, you will be able to get in and out of a dealership in a hurry and leave feeling good about your purchase.