Troy Tiedeman has experienced the view from both sides of the desk when buying a truck. He has purchased a number of trucks for his company, but also has in-laws who own a car dealership.
And while you may not be the best negotiator, or you may loathe bargaining for a deal, there are ways to get a lower price on a truck – you just have to be patient. “Don’t think it’s totally closed off,” says Tiedeman, who owns Tiedeman, LLC in Michigan.
“Go in there with an open mind. If he gives you an offer, counter back and say, ‘Well, what if we do this? Don’t take the sticker price.”
Tiedeman gave these five tips to remember next time you are in the market for a new truck, or if you are looking to trade in your old one for a used upgrade.
– Brian Horn
- Buy used. “The biggest thing I recommend is don’t buy new anymore,” Tiedeman says. “As soon as you drive it off the lot, the vehicle’s value depreciates.” He adds that you can get a decent financing option on a newer used vehicle. “You can still get it financed for five years if you want, and you are not losing the value as soon as you drive it off the lot,” he says.
- Build a good relationship with a salesperson. Get references from friends and family on someone they used, and mention their name when buying. “You’re not just going in there completely blind. You know a little bit more about them,” he says. “It will be one of the best relationships that you can have, similar to have a relationship with your accountant, lawyer and banker.”
- Go off the menu. Many dealers attend auctions weekly and might be able to get you a used vehicle that you specifically request. “Don’t just settle for what is on the lot. If you basically tell them what you are looking for, they can look and find something and get a better deal for you,” Tiedeman says.
- Get the facts. CARFAX (www.carfax.com) can be really good or really bad, because, everything is there,” Tiedeman says. You can get a lot of information on a truck you’re buying, but it may also hurt the trade-in value of your truck. “If you are trading in a vehicle and it’s had a lot of accidents, they may steer clear,” he says.
- Get multiple quotes. One of the last possible things to do is get multiple prices from other dealers, and use those as leverage. “If you can save a few hundred dollars, then more power to you,” Tiedeman says. And make sure you get the quotes in writing. “A lot of times, documentation is really, really good,” Tiedeman says.
Illustration by Ron Wilson