How to respond to car dealer quotes

By now you’ve probably learned that it’s a mistake to negotiate a car price at the dealership because there is no competition.  And you’ve also probably read the success stories of people calling every dealership in a 100 mile radius or using a fax machine to do a “blast fax”, “fax attack”, or “fax-a-thon”.  But is there a benefit to all that extra work?  Here’s why sending email to car dealers will get you the same results or better with less effort:

  • It’s easy. Quickly personalize this email to a car dealer and send emails to multiple car dealers.  You can have an email ready to send in under a minute.  Car dealers respond to your car quote requests using email templates (at least the good ones do) so why shouldn’t you?
  • Faxes are a pain! Let’s face it, this isn’t 1985.  Who uses a fax machine anyway?  First, you have to find one or plug your computer into a land-line.  And who even has a land-line these days?  Then you’ve got to type a letter, print, scan, dial, send, whoops-forgot to hit “1”…..redial, send, wait…and wait.  Enough already!
  • Prevent the salesman from running his game. Car salesmen want to talk with you to convince you to spend more money.  When you speak with a car salesman over the phone or in person you give them the opportunity to use their selling skills.  They are trained in the art of negotiation and make a living off it.  Don’t give them the chance to scam you or make the hard sell.
  • You can get right to the point. In an email you can clearly tell them exactly what you want (make/model/options) and set expectations so no one wastes their time.  It’s best to express urgency so they know you are serious.  Example: “I’m interested in buying a 2010 Honda CR-V LX.  I’m accepting offers from multiple dealerships and would like to make a purchase by the end of the week.”
  • Reach multiple dealers quickly.  You can easily reach multiple dealerships in a short period of time and move on if you don’t get an acceptable response.
  • Car dealers can respond quickly. Car dealers can quickly copy and paste specific pricing and model information into a reply to your email and tell you exactly what you need to know with minimal effort.
  • There’s a record.  If you communicate over email you’ll have documentation.  You can save every email you receive and every sent email should be in your Sent folder.  When you settle on price, make sure the dealer has included all car details including what options are installed, the total out-the-door price, MSRP, and VIN#.  You can take this with you when you close the deal to keep ’em honest.