Identifying the Shopping Pitfalls is a Customer Loyalty ‘Plus’

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Customers who walk into your dealership are either real savvy about what they’re looking for, or they haven’t got a clue. Either way, your sales team needs to be able to identify and understand the mindset of potential buyers.

“Buying a car is something people usually only do at most every few years, so naturally the right way to go about it isn’t always top of mind,” said Brian Moody, AutoTrader.com site editor.  “But a misstep during the shopping process could turn a great deal into a money pit in the long run.”

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7 of the Most Common Mistakes Shoppers Make:

  1. Negotiating the price based on monthly payment
    It may seem more affordable to stretch out your payments over a longer term to give you that lower monthly payment, but in the end you’re paying much more. Negotiate total price first. If the payment is too high, then you’re getting a sign that the car is outside your budget.”
  2. Not getting a mechanical inspection
    When shopping for a used car, an inspection is important. “Just because a car sounds and runs fine during the test drive, doesn’t necessarily mean everything is in top working order,” Moody says. “Cars are complex machines, and nothing is worse than an expensive repair shortly after you drive the vehicle home.”
  3. Buying things you don’t need
    This goes back to a key tenet in car shopping: make a list of wants and needs before ever setting foot in a dealership and stick to it. Factory and dealer-installed options add up quickly.
  4. Not running a vehicle history report
    While not a replacement for a mechanical inspection, history reports are a quick, usually fairly low-cost way to get a sense of if a car is what a seller says it is.
  5. Not taking a thorough test drive
    Test drives should be at least 45 minutes on a variety of roads and driving conditions. Also shoppers should make sure to bring family members and bigger personal items (strollers, golf clubs, etc.) to make sure the car fits their lifestyle.
  6. Falling in love with the car before you buy it
    While we know people have emotional attachments to cars, it’s important to stay focused on the fact that this is a major purchase. Play it cool until the deal is done.
  7. Not shopping around
    Test drive as many of the competitive vehicles as possible, then narrow the selection and visit several different dealerships. This will give you peace of mind that you’ve found the right car for you at the best possible price.

For more great information for helping customers make the right choice, be sure to visit the AutoTrader.com website today.

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