buying a used car [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

: buying a used car

05-07-2008, 02:18 PM
Ok, my question is: How do you approach someone to make em an offer on they're car. say they're sellin it for 6k and you want to offer 5K, what is the proper wording to go about this?

05-07-2008, 04:02 PM
Anything BUT "So, how low can you go on this?"

05-07-2008, 06:49 PM
lol, alright, so would "hi sir/ma'am, i really like your car and would really enjoy it, but ima poor college student and my parents offered to match me on what ever i could save and all i have after it's said and done is 5k, would you take that for your bimmer?" or summn like that?

05-07-2008, 07:21 PM
Plan B; Do your research on Edmunds, Yahoo Cars, CarMax, Auto Trader, your local paper, etc. to find out what said model is going for in your neck of the woods.

Depending on what comes out, make a reasonable offer based on what you know the car is worth, contingent on a pre-purchase inspection (which you shold pay for) and a clean bill of health. Ask for receipts for maintneance or spend $15 on a Carfax report. If there's stuff that needs attention, negotiate the asking or offer price less what it takes to take care of whatever's necessary to put the car in roadworthy condition. If the car has serious problems, walk away.

How much you want to give or take depends on how much you want the car, but Negotiation 101 means getting the seller to the point of no return before he gets you there. If the seller won't budge or meet you halfway on a reasonable price, walk away. There's no shortage of good cars on the market, just as there's no shortage of crappy ones, either. Take your time, use your head.


05-07-2008, 08:20 PM
ya, ive been reasearching now for about 3 months, and keepin tabs on multiple cars in my area, and ive watched a couple really good deals slip away, but im waitin on money to get in line so i can make a purchase. thanks for the sites, ive only been checkin autotrader and cause they were the only ones i knew about. thanks yall, any more advice?

05-11-2008, 02:56 PM
Negotiation is all about leverage so its a good thing you seem like you're being patient and looking at all the deals out there. If it were me I'd walk up with a print out of all the other cars I could buy in my hand as leverage. When you first talk to them, go over all the maintenance, care type stuff first and the price last. You want to make sure this is a car you actually want first and you want to know why they are selling the car. Make sure you get a good idea of why they are selling the car because this could tell you how much leverage you have(or if it looks like the car was treated poorly might be in the info you need to walk away). If they need cash quickly then they'll likely be more willing to knock off a few hundred bucks.

As for the price, first figure out what is the max you would pay for the car. If its $5k, then don't offer $5k, offer something like $4,500 and see what they say. Tell them you are a poor student and can't go much more over that. They might not be happy, but you don't need to be their friend. If they say thats ridiculous then mention how you like their car but you think thats a fair offer and there are lots of other cars on the market you are looking into. Ask them if they won't take $4.5k then what would they take?

I have very limited negotiating experience(none of it with cars so maybe take this with a grain of salt ;)) but this next number is key. If they come down quite a bit then they likely have more room to go. For example if they offer $5.5k, you just got them to drop $500 without breaking a sweat. If that happens I'd imagine you could get them down to $5k. Once they make that offer you up yours by $150. Whatever the case may be, whatever you are conceding(in this case $200) make sure its much less than they are conceding($500). Thats leverage; they'll think you really can't go much over $4.5k meanwhile they are telling you they can do less than $5.5k. You're in good shape here. With research in hand you just keep chipping away from them until you get them as near to $5k as possible. Its all about leverage. Remember, they want to sell the car probably as much as you want to buy it.

If they don't come down much at all or they say $6k firm then give them your contact info and tell them to call you if they change their mind. If they are willing to come down they'll call you eventually. If they aren't then you won't get your car for much less than $6k and you would have saved plenty of time not dealing with them.

In the end, don't get dead set on a single car since there are lots out there and always have a plan when you negotiate. Hope this helps.

05-11-2008, 04:05 PM
yeah that helps, thank you. yall thank i should print out the KBB value on their car and take it with me?

05-11-2008, 04:43 PM
Good stuff, OCADA.

FWIW, I'd stay away from KBB, they tend to be high. Edmund's has worked much better for me, they use sales data from your area. Definitely bring printouts and listings, it bolsters your case and they can't say "you're dreaming . . ." By all means, do your homework and don't in a hurry, don't be afraid to walk. If you miss a nice one, just see it as an opportunity to find a nicer one. Most people don't like to haggle, they just want to get it done. Good luck!

05-11-2008, 05:43 PM
alright, thank yall