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Bankrate's 2007 New Car Guide
Dollar$ & $en$e
Status and styling aside, many car-buying decisions boil down to bucks and budgets.
Dollar$ & $en$e
Select a conversation:
Closer (salesman):
"Mrs. Dunn, your husband loves this truck. You are qualified to finance it. You obviously want him happy with his decision. What do we need to do to send him home a happy man?"
  [Not to put any pressure on you or anything.]
Decider (customer):
"We need a $2,000 trade-in for his old truck, not $1,500, and that monthly loan payment needs to come down from $400 to $350. If you can do that, maybe we'll have a deal. "
  [Look how smartly dressed you are. You know how to make this work.]
"If we extend the loan period out to 72 months, we could keep your payments at $350. Or we could add a balloon payment at the end of the 60-month loan to satisfy the principal. Which would you prefer?"
  [Who worries about six years down the road?]
"We will accept the 60-month loan with no balloon payment at $350 per month or we'll arrange financing through our bank, perhaps at another dealership. Which would you prefer?"
  [Balloons are for children.]
"Mrs. Dunn, it's a deal. A Dunn deal."
  [How did that whole "weaker sex" thing get started anyway?]
Where she went wrong:
Give the Decider credit: Right down to the last card, she was ready and willing to walk away from the table until she was satisfied with the deal. Did she get the best possible deal under the circumstances? Hard to tell.
That's because the Closer was successful in getting her to focus solely on the financing and trade-in aspects without reopening discussion of the sales price. Doubtless she saved her family money by rejecting the longer loan term.
Likewise, the balloon gambit could have come back to haunt them down the road. But had she remained focused on the sales price of the vehicle instead of the monthly loan payments, she might have ferreted out some needless costs there as well.

By Jay MacDonald -- Posted: Aug. 2, 2007

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