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Should You Tell the Car Salesman Your Maximum Budget?
Car Buying

icon/user/avatar/20 Created with Sketch. By Travis Triggs

Buying a car is exciting, but negotiating with salespeople can make the process stressful. As you browse our lot here at Dream Machine, one key question comes up - should you share your maximum budget for your potential new car? Our advice: don't reveal the absolute maximum you’re willing to spend.

Why keep this information private? Simple - most salespeople will just try to meet your stated number, instead going to bat to get you the lowest real market price. Their first offer won’t be their best if they know your budget ceiling already.

Imagine you’re willing to spend $22,000 max on your new ride. You tell the salesperson. What happens next? They may start by showing you vehicles priced at $21,500, expecting you to now negotiate up towards your max. Instead of beginning lower and truly working to get you the fairest deal on the car you want.

Our guidance? Start the negotiation significantly below your absolute max budget. Why? It leaves breathing room for some legitimate back and forth while still ensuring you get a great price.

For example, if you can swing $22,000 at max, maybe you kick things off by saying your budget is closer to $18,000. The salesperson then presents options to try meeting you in the middle. This back and forth means you get the best discounted price, rather than just being met at your max.

The bottom line when car shopping? Research typical prices for the vehicles you want so you know a fair deal. But keep your top budget to yourself and always start lower. This small car-buying tactic leaves money on the table for you to score the best offer. Stop by Dream Machine today to experience no-haggle transparency and trust during the car buying process.

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