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Watch Out for These 6 Used Car Salesman Tactics



featured image: Watch Out for These 6 Used Car Salesman Tactics

There are a lot of tactics that used car salesman use to get you to buy, some sneakier than others. Sometimes, it can be hard to tell when they are being genuine and when they are trying to make a sale and a fat commission while not having your best interest at heart.

The global used car market size was estimated to be worth USD 1,332.2 billion in 2019. And used car salesmen will try to get every penny from you.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the most common used car salesman tactics. And how you can counter them. We’ll also give you some tips on how to get the best deal.

Most common used car salesman tactics

1. Drawing out the sale

Used car salesmen are notorious for trying to tire out their customers to make a sale. They know that the longer they can keep you at the dealership, the more likely they are to make a sale.

They’ll often try to draw out the process by taking many days to finish the deal. And try to pressure you into making a decision by telling you that other customers want the same car.

Yet, it’s important to remember you are in control of the situation. If you need time to think about it, tell the salesman that you will get back to him. Taking your time will ensure that you don’t make a rash decision.

2. The hard sell

Source: Gmass

The hard sell is a common tactic used by many car salesmen to pressure customers into buying. In this situation, the salesman will not take no for an answer. They will continue to try and convince the customer to buy the car, even if it is not what they want or need.

This can be frustrating for customers who want to do their research and make a decision without being pressured.

The best way to deal with a hard sell is to be prepared. Know exactly what you want and need before you go into a negotiation. Don’t let the salesman talk you into anything else. If they continue to pressure you, be firm and walk away.

3. The Trade-In Trick

The Trade-In Trick is a common tactic used by car salesmen. They make you think you’re getting a good deal on your trade-in. While giving you a bad deal on the new car you’re buying.

Here’s how it works: If you are more interested in getting a good price for your trade-in, the salesman will inflate the value of your current car while lowballing the price of the car you’re interested in. They’ll make it like you’re getting a great deal when you’re actually not.

It works the other way around as well. If you are looking most at the price of the new car, watch the price of the trade-in!

This tactic is often used to take advantage of unprepared buyers, so it’s important to be aware of it.

To avoid being taken advantage of, always keep both the value of your trade-in and the price of the car you’re interested in mind. That way, you can be sure you’re getting a fair deal.

4. Bad Information

Used car dealers have a reputation for being less than truthful, and for good reason. One of their favorite tricks is to answer a question with bad information.

For example, if you ask about the vehicle’s fuel economy, they may give you an estimate that’s lower than what you’ll actually get in real-world driving. Or they may claim that a feature isn’t available on a particular model when it actually is.

The best defense against this tactic is to arm yourself with as much knowledge about used car sales before going to the dealership.

Spend some time online researching the make and model you’re interested in. This can help you spot any red flags. Know the difference between upselling and down selling. And if the dealer tries to give you misinformation, you’ll be able to call them out on it.

5. The ‘porcupine close’

One used car salesman tactic to be aware of is called the “porcupine close.”

This is when the seller “sticks” the potential buyer with a question. It could be, “If I could get you this car with XYZ feature (you’re interested in), would that be what it takes to get you to buy this car today?”

Your answer to this question should always be no. Once you answer yes, the salesman will know that he has your bottom line and can start working you up from there. So, always say no and keep negotiating.

6. The ‘Ben Franklin close’

Source: Rightattitudes

The Ben Franklin close is a common tactic used by salespeople to try to pressure customers into making a sale.

The salesperson will draw a line down the middle of a sheet of paper. They’ll add reasons to buy on one side, and reasons not to buy on the other. This can be an intimidating tactic. It can make it seem like there are more reasons to buy the car than there are not to buy it.

The best way to defuse this tactic is to simply name it. Saying, “That’s the Ben Franklin close,” will let the salesperson know that you’re aware of their tactic. That you’re not going to be pressured into making a decision.

Once the salesperson knows that you’re aware of their tactic, they’ll likely back down and stop using it.

Tips on how to get better deals

1. Don’t let them rush you

When you are car shopping, the dealers will try to rush you into making a decision. They will tell you that the car you are interested in won’t be there for long. That another customer is interested in the same car.

They will do everything they can to pressure you into making a quick decision.

You need to be firm and not let them rush you. Take your time and never feel like you have to make a decision on the spot. If you do, you are likely to end up with a car that is not right for you or that you overpaid for.

Instead, tell them that you need time to think about it and that you will get back to them.

Then, do your research and compare prices before making a final decision. By taking your time, you are more likely to get a better deal on a used car.

2. Beware of high-pressure tactics

Source: MBAskool

Used car salespeople are known for their high-pressure tactics. They will try to get you to buy a car that is not right for you, or that is overpriced.

They will also try to sell you extra warranties and products that you do not need. If you are not careful, you can end up spending more than you need on a used car.

Here are some tips on how to avoid being taken advantage of by used car salespeople:

  • Do your research before you go to the used car dealership. Know what kind of car you want and what it is worth. This will help you avoid being pressured into buying a car that is not right for you.
  • Do not be afraid to walk away from a deal. If the salesperson is being too pushy, or if the price is not right, walk away. There are plenty of other dealerships out there, and you will find a better deal elsewhere.
  • Do not be afraid to negotiate. Used car salespeople expect you to negotiate, so do not be afraid to haggle over the price. You may be able to get a better deal than the one they originally offered.

3. Watch out for fake reviews

Fake reviews are designed to make a car dealership look good, and they can be very convincing.

It’s important to remember that not all reviews are genuine.

If you’re thinking about buying a used car from a particular dealership, carefully read through some of the reviews. Look for red flags such as excessive praise or overly positive language.

Also, check to see if the reviewer provides any specific details about their experience. If they don’t, it’s possible that the review is fake.

By taking the time to research a dealership before making a sale, you can avoid getting scammed by fake reviews.

4. Ask lots of questions

Buying a car is a big purchase, and it’s important to do your research before you buy. That research should include not only finding the right car, but also the right dealer.

When you’re talking to a car dealer, it’s important to ask lots of questions. You can get a sense of what they’re like to work with and whether they’re likely to give you a good deal on a car.

Some things you might want to ask about are the dealership’s policies on negotiating price, trade-ins, and financing. You can also ask about the dealer’s history with the make and model of the car you’re interested in.

By asking lots of questions, get a better sense of whether a particular dealer is likely to give you a good deal on a car.

5. Get a car history report

A car history report is a valuable tool when selling or buying a used car. The report can offer important information about the vehicle. Such as whether it has been in an accident, its servicing history, and whether it has been recalled.

This information can help you to negotiate a better price for the car. If you are selling a car, a car history report can help to give buyers confidence in the vehicle.

If you are buying a car, a history report can help you to avoid paying too much for a car with hidden problems.

To get a car history report, you will need the vehicle’s VIN (vehicle identification number). This number can usually be found on the dashboard, on the driver’s side door pillar, or on the insurance card.

Once you have the VIN, you can request a report from a variety of companies that specialize in this service.

6. Test drive the car

One way to get a great deal on a used car is to take it for a test drive. This will allow you to get a feel for the car and see if it is the right fit for you.

Make sure to take the car out of the car lot and onto a variety of roads. Including highways and surface streets. This will give you a chance to see how the car handles in different driving conditions.

Also, be sure to pay attention to the condition of the car. If the car is in good condition, it is more likely that the sales manager will be willing to negotiate on price.

If the car is in need of repairs, you may want to look elsewhere. By taking the time to test drive the car, you will be able to get a better sense of its value and find the best deal possible.


It can be hard to know what’s a legitimate tactic and what’s just a ploy to take your money. But with a little knowledge, you can outsmart the used car dealer every time. We hope our list of six used car salesman tactics will help you do just that.

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