Never Make a Counter Offer and Other CarWoo Tips

UPDATE: CarWoo has gone out of business. I recommend using these other car price websites to find the best car prices.

CarWoo is a fantastic tool for negotiating with car dealers.  But to get the absolute best car price, you must know how to use CarWoo properly!   In my last post I reviewed how CarWoo works and  today I’m sharing my tips for using CarWoo to get the best possible deal.

First off, never make a counter offer!  I’ll explain why, but first I’ll show you a few other tips to get the best prices from car dealers on CarWoo.

Follow the 10 tips below to get the best deal using CarWoo:

  1. Start your CarWoo negotiation the last week of the month.  The best time to buy a car is when car dealers are trying to make their monthly sales quotas.
  2. Figure out the ONE make and model of car you want before starting a negotiation.  On CarWoo, car prices are free on for the first vehicle you choose.  If you change your mind and decide to negotiate a second or third type of car it costs $89.  While that’s not much in the scheme of things, every dollar matters.
  3. When you request car prices, you can select up to 15 dealerships to hear from. That’s 10 more dealerships than any other service offers so take advantage. Make sure all 15 dealerships are checked.  There is no reason to limit yourself to only a few dealerships since CarWoo manages the process for you.  The more dealers you include, the lower the price you’ll get.
         Create account and select dealerships
  4. CarWoo guarantees you’ll hear from at least 3 dealerships, however you probably won’t get prices from all 15 you check.  Ideally you want around eight quotes to get a good price. Anything less than 5 quotes is not competitive enough!  If this happens, make sure you get additional car prices from dealerships that may not be signed up for CarWoo.
  5. After, you create an account and click Receive Offers, you’ll be taken to the Summary of Your Offers page. Scroll to the bottom and click, Change your preferences for this car.

    Then scroll to the bottom again and say you want to finance through the dealer.   
    This does not commit you to anything, but car dealers are more apt to give you a better price if they think there’s a chance you’ll finance through them.  Car dealers don’t want you to pay cash because they make money through financing.  And you won’t be lying to them.  You should give car dealers a chance to provide you financing, but only take it if they can beat the best rate you find online.
  6. After getting quotes, wait at least 48 hours before negotiating.  This gives more dealers time to see each other’s prices and provide you with competitive offers.  You can wait even longer if you like.  All dealers put expiration dates on their quotes, so you can always see if any offers are close to expiring.
  7. Even though there’s a very slick option to speak to a car dealer without providing your phone number, DO NOT call any car dealers.  When you talk to a dealer on the phone, their main goal is to convince you to come to the dealership.  They are seasoned negotiators and know all the tricks to get you in the door.  Avoid any conversations and stick to the facts by only communicating via comments.
  8. Unlike some services, CarWoo does not tell you average prices paid for cars in your area.  So make sure you know what you should pay for your new car before accepting an offer.  At the start of any negotiation, it’s important to have a target price in mind so you know what to consider a good deal.
  9. And the most important point:   DO NOT make a counter offer! You may be tempted to enter a price and click the big Send Counter Offer button, but don’t do it.  Why?  As soon as you throw out a number to a salesman, you’ve set a price floor for yourself and they will not go below that number.  Why give them a price they won’t beat?  This can end up costing you hundreds of dollars.  Don’t prevent yourself from getting the best possible car price.
       CarWoo counter offer   
    Instead of making an offer, type in a comment and ask them to beat your lowest price. I’ve created an email template you can use for this purpose, and at CarWoo, you can just copy and paste the text into the Comment area.   Go into every offer and ask each dealer to beat the best price that you have.  The key is to ask them to provide you with new offers instead of throwing out a number yourself.
  10. Lastly, CarWoo does not handle your Financing or Trade-in.   Once you get a great car price it’s not time to rest, you’ve only finished 1/3 of the deal.  When you get to the dealership to sign for your car you’ll still need to negotiate your trade-in and auto financing on your own.

UPDATE: CarWoo has gone out of business. I recommend using these other car price websites to find the best car prices.