Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Cliff asks: I’ve been told that one’s likely to get the best deal on a car buying from inventory. Is this true and if yes why? Thanks for all you do!
My reply: Yep, it’s true – and there’s a good (legitimate) reason for it, too. When you buy a car from a dealer’s stock, you relieve him of inventory on which he is paying out money to keep on his lot. Each month a car sits on his lot, the more it costs him. Which is why he has an incentive to get rid of it, by making you a deal on it. The incentive grows especially urgent toward the end of a calendar year, when the new cars he has in stock are on the verge of becoming used cars; or at least, last year’s cars. Even if they’re still brand-new, they just depreciated in value a bunch vs. the brand-new calendar year cars that just rolled in.
But there are downsides, the chief one being (usually) less choice. You shop what’s there – and what’s there may not be the color you want or have the options you want or have the options you don’t want. But even that can be turned to your favor – as a haggling point. You can legitimately tell the dealer/saleseman that you really want to buy that model – but not that color. If it’s the only color he has is tock, the dealer has an incentive to cut you a deal. Same goes for the getting-ripe 2020 (as an example) in the late fall of this year; the dealer will want to get rid of it before 2021 – and the 2021s – arrive.
Your best bet is to go to a dealership with a large inventory as that will kill both birds with the same stone. You will probably find the car you want equipped the way you want it – and be able to buy it for less than if you ordered it.
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Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!
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