Just call me The Negotiator ... →
So, I test drove a lovely Prius today. Wow, aren't they great to drive? Very light steering, and although it's a while since I drove an automatic, I soon got back into the swing of it.
After the drive, I told the salesman I would come over to the showroom later to discuss business (I don't talk business in my home). So, this afternoon I turned up at the showroom with my game face on.
I had my prescription sunglasses on, and decided to keep them on so he couldn't see my expression. I'd also come prepared. This car was way overpriced, so from the Toyota UK website I'd printed off details of three other cars which were about the same age/mileage and which were way cheaper. Two of them I knew had already been sold, because I'd tried to arrange test drives. The other I was due to drive tomorrow, but it would've meant a long trek to the dealership, a round trip of a few hundred miles.
I'd also printed off details of other cars available at the same or similar price to this one, which were newer and lower mileage.
I'd also read a ton of stuff (thank you intarwebs) about negotiating with car salesmen, and knew not to shake the outstretched hand of the salesman during the negotiations (because, culturally, that signifies agreement and an end to the negotiation) and I'd also learned about the Power of Silence.
So, I started by saying that I liked the car, but that I didn't like the price. He said that there was a little room for movement, but not much. He gave me the usual sob story about how they couldn't go below X price or they'd lose money, blah, blah, blah ... I just let him talk.
I said "well, I'm looking at other vehicles, in fact I have test drives arranged, and they are much better value than this car." He asked if I had details, and I gave him the list of the cheaper cars. He tried to argue that those dealers were a long distance away and that's why the cars were cheaper and I said, "I realise that, but the test drive I have organised tomorrow will cost me £25 return on the train, and it'll be worth it for a car at that price."
So, off he went with the list of the cheap cars to speak to his manager. He was gone a while, but when he came back he didn't come up with a price anywhere near what I was willing to pay. I let him talk some more without really responding and then produced the second list saying "For what you're asking for this car, I can get something much better, so it doesn't look as if we're going to be able to do business on this car." Off he went again to talk to the manager.
When he came back, he asked what I wanted to pay, and I pointed to the lowest priced car on my list (which I knew had already been sold) and said if he could do it at that price, then we could talk. I knew I would have to shift upwards a little, which I did (only a little), but I also got him to agree to give me £200 for my old car (which is worth next to nothing, due to rust and a broken electric window motor, which will cost way more to fix than the car is worth), plus a year's insurance, and road tax (which is only £10 anyway). In total, with insurance, trade-in and my mad negotiating skillz, the price came down by 25%.
I pick up the new car on Friday.
Here it is.