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Avoid car dealer tricks by buying your next car online

Avoid car dealer tricks by buying your next car online

Car Nation Canada has prided itself on being fair and transparent in all its dealings with customers. We know that isn’t the case for all car dealers though. That’s why we think buying a car online is the way forward, as you won’t have to contend with any tricks of the trade.

Some dealer tricks are designed to convince you to buy dealer finance. Others are to promote an upgrade you may not originally have wanted. Other dealer tricks are far more nefarious!

Buying a car online avoids all that.

Here are some dealer tricks to watch out for that won’t work online.

The hard sell

The hard sell is something we have always disliked about our industry. Pushy salespeople, fake time limits, bully tactics and all those tricks some car dealers used to compel you to buy.

You don’t get that online. You see the price, you research the value and you pay, or not as you like. No hard sell and no pressure!

The waiting game

The waiting game can be part of the hard sell or used separately. You give the keys to your trade-in to the salesperson, who gives it to their assessor. You test drive a car and sit down to make a deal. The salesperson then has to ‘check with their manager’ at every stage of the negotiation.

The idea is to wear you down and make you accept a deal rather than sitting for another hour of exhaustive negotiation. Or, if you want to walk away, to cause you maximum inconvenience by spending forever trying to find out who has the keys to your trade-in.

None of that happens online. You discuss the deal via email, phone or web chat, have your trade-in checked out and sign the contract, or walk away.

Here’s what you could have

Here’s what you could have is a cunning trick used by a lot of dealers. They will advertise a base model car at an amazing price only for it to be available in some shade of beige that nobody wants. Instead, they offer a higher trim version in a much better colour for a little more money.

The sale car is a loss leader and is used like a bait and switch. It’s a common tactic used to draw customers in only to be switched onto a more expensive model. It doesn’t always stop there but can include a serious amount of cost creep.

That doesn’t work online. You choose a car, research it, talk to us about it and buy it. Or not. There is no bait and switch. You’re in control.

Hidden fees

Hiding those extra fees is another very common tactic of car dealers. You negotiate a price for your trade in and your new car. When it comes to signing the contract, you are suddenly faced with processing fees, title fees, registration fee, licencing fee and local taxes.

While all those fees are genuine, they can add significantly to the price of the car. Had you known in advance, it may have changed your mind or made you negotiate harder.

Buying a car online avoids that. All prices are clear, all fees are listed. While we do pay a lot to the state in fees and have to pass some of those on, we are very transparent about it.

There are many more tricks car dealers use that online car buying avoids. So many in fact that I may cover more of them next week!

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