I think it’s common for a person to make an offer when purchasing a car, truck or motorcycle but timing is everything.
In many cases the dealer has positioned themselves so that any offer from you that is reasonably close to the quoted price, is acceptable. Salespeople are trained and skilled on getting an offer and the management is usually good at setting up a good offer because they try to start high. There are many cliché’s and expressions used to describe this “You have to scrape them off the ceiling.” “Start high and come down fast.” “Roast beefing the price.” A high “packed” payment or a full list price plus add-on accessories, is where they try to start there price offer.
Your trade-in gets the same treatment. They deduct for things that are normal wear or the salesperson walks around you vehicle with you and points at every flaw so that you might lower your expectation of your trade’s value.
Basically, if a dealer quotes you a price that is fifteen hundred or two thousand dollars higher than they would accept and you make them an offer of a thousand less, they win and you have left money on the table that could have paid for extras or a vacation.
So what’s the answer? First of all don’t make an offer until all of your shopping is done, no matter what. If your shopping is thorough and effective you might not have to make an offer. if your shopping is complete and you decide on an offer, Okay, that’s the right time. the same goes for your trade. Let them poke at as much as they want. Don’t fall into the dealers traps.
It really doesn’t matter what they find wrong or what you expect to get for it. If you shop thoroughly you will get the highest value. This is why I suggest going to the local used car dealers and asking them for an offer to buy your vehicle. The offers used car dealers give you to buy your vehicle are very helpful. Those offers provide a guide in understanding the actual market value of your trade.
Don’t tell the dealer you have shopped your trade until it is time. It’s very possible the dealers offer might be the highest. Sometimes the used car dealer’s offer can be used to make your deal by having the dealer you are buying from sell your trade to the used car dealer after you trade it in. But don’t bring that up unless you gain an advantage from it.
There is a book, on Nook and Kindle, that explains the process completely. The name is “The Informed Buyer.” It will be the best three dollars and ninety-nine cents you have ever spent.