How to Save Money and Con the Salesperson Part 2

It can be fun to get a new car but terrifying to go through the process of buying a car. 

I don’t particularly enjoy it, but my wife and I thought we would come up with a strategy that would be fun and also save us a bunch of money on buying a car. It didn’t quite work as well as the awesome piano con that saved us more money…but you should try it out!

Running the Con to Save on a Car

My wife and I hate to pay top dollar for anything. One of the fastest ways to save money is to keep as much as you can on large purchases. Saving $10,000 on a house or $1,000 on a car is a big deal and faster than trying to earn extra cash on the side.

We know that prices are listed at the highest point in order to negotiate so we go in with a strategy to get the price down and have some fun while doing it. I played the part of “grumpy husband” and my wife plays the part of “super excited to buy a wife.” My wife and I have the same exact philosophy on finances so we are a great team.

Our very first attempt at “grumpy husband/excited wife” came when we were looking for a new car. My 4-Runner was 19 years old and had served me well, but needed to be taken behind the barn with a shotgun. I donated it to a local charity for the tax deduction since I couldn’t really get it to run very well.

Since this was our first try at our “con game” we didn’t do as good of a job playing our parts as with our piano purchase, but we still had some success. We also ran into a slick and savvy salesman who had practiced as much as us and that also factored into the overall dynamic.

Just Look Around and Drive What You Want…Whatever

We spent a ton of time researching online first into what we wanted, prices, and dealerships. We looked at people selling online and didn’t find what we wanted that way. We found a small dealership with a great selection and targeted them for our con.

When we arrive no one really ran out to us since it was a small dealership. I expected a lot more sales pressure and the guy who saw us was so laid back that it threw me off my game to start. He didn’t even ask what we were looking for, he just introduced himself and said let me know what you want to try out and I’ll give you the keys and went and sat down at a desk. That was it? Does he even want us to buy a car? He wasn’t lazy…he was good.

Uh Oh, The Car We Want isn’t Going to Work

We were looking at a Honda Pilot for my wife. My wife was pregnant and we needed another 4-wheel vehicle because things can get dicey in the winter. However, my wife couldn’t see over the front of the Pilot…which was an unforeseen circumstance and something you can’t really test online. She isn’t the tallest person in the world.

However, we found another car that we liked way more than the Pilot, a returned lease Acura MDX with lower mileage than the Pilot and it was cheaper. I couldn’t figure out why it would be cheaper and we checked the car history and everything was clean. They had a bunch of them on the lot for a good price.

Sounds Good, Whatever You Want to Do

We drove the MDX and loved it. My wife could see over the short hood and it was simply a better car all around. I think the sales guy knew it too. It simply is a better car so it sells itself.

My wife was super excited and didn’t really need to play the part of “excited wife”…and actually so was I, but I still wanted to negotiate and play my part of “grumpy husband” so I told the salesman after the drive, “no I think it is too much.”

The sales guy just shrugged and said, “hey you got to do what you feel is best.”

He didn’t push a sale at all. “Can you do any better?” I asked.

“That is the best price on that car anywhere you will find.”

Dammit, this was not going at all as expected. I knew he was right because I pulled out my phone to comparison shop online before we went back to the dealership. I still didn’t want to admit defeat and said, “we’ll have to think about it and left.”

You Better Not Mess This Up With Your Game

My wife really wanted the car and on the way, home told me, “we better not lose that car.” I was thinking the same.

The next day I drove my the dealership to see if the car was still there. I didn’t stop in because I would lose all leverage being too anxious. The sales guy called a few hours later and said he could offer a free warranty for the next while and a really good rate on the loan. We didn’t need a loan on the car, so I said that doesn’t really do much for us and asked what else. Since he called and offered we had some slight leverage at this point.

“I have a lot of people looking at the car so that is the best I can do, I don’t think I’ll have it by the end of the day.”

Dammit! Maybe we don’t have leverage. I don’t want to cave to this guy, but I’m really starting to waver. I told him I would talk to my wife. We decided to wait one more day, but now I was feeling more pressure from my wife than anything else.

We Won!

The next day I got another call and $500 off the price. It wasn’t a lot but it was something. I was glad I had held out but again was more worried at the wrath of my wife if we lost it. It was a terrific deal already and a perfect fit for our family.

Take the Time to Negotiate and Save Money!

What do you lose when you say no? You are still in the same spot you were when you walked into the store. Take all the pressure off of you and put it on the salesperson. 

They are the ones that need to make the sale. Do your due diligence to know to price ahead of time so you know what you are dealing with. Stay strong and learn to say no or to walk away. You have worked hard for the money and need to keep it.

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