When to bring up a car trade in

The advice is  this: First, negotiate your best price on the car you’re thinking of buying. Then, and only then, should you tell your salesperson you’re planning to trade, and ask for an appraisal of your car. The thinking behind this seems to be that if you tell the salesperson up front that you’re trading in your car, he will somehow be able to use one of his Jedi mind tricks and talk you into paying too much for his car and accepting too little for your trade. Gosh, I wish I knew one of those mind tricks! I’d be rich.

There are two problems with this advice: One, it doesn’t work. and two, it requires you, the customer, to lie.

Now the reason customers hate car salespeople is that we lie, right? And we like to “play games.” So what do all the experts tell you to do when dealing with car salespeople? Lie and play games.

They even tell you how to lie, giving you the exact phraseology. “If asked whether you’re trading in your vehicle by the salesman,” the magazines say, “tell him you haven’t decided yet.”

Of course, you already have decided. You know you’re planning to trade. But revealing this information too early in the process will hurt you, according to the experts. So you lie.

Well, guess what? I know you’re planning to trade, too. Every salesperson on the planet knows what the words “I haven’t decided yet” mean. They mean you’re planning to negotiate your best price first and then drop the trade-in on us later. We’re not stupid. And we read the same books and magazines you do.

In fact, this is such a well-known customer tactic that there’s even a phrase for it in the car business. It’s called “parachuting the trade.”

But here’s the truth. You might call this one of Mark’s Maxims.

No. 1: Tell the Salesman About the Trade

The only thing “parachuting the trade,” or holding back the fact that you’re trading, does is increase the amount of time it will take you to make a car deal. And one of the biggest complaints consumers have about buying a new car is how long it takes. So why prolong it?

Second, parachuting will cause your salesperson to distrust you, because you’ve shown a willingness to lie. With human nature being what it is — and yes, salespeople are human beings, too — knowing that they’ve been lied to makes it easier for any salesperson to rationalize lying to you.

And third, it actually hurts you in the long run, because it eliminates your bargaining power when it comes to the trade-in. The fact is, this tactic adds absolutely nothing to the value of your trade. The actual cash value of your trade-in is what it is, whether you introduce it at the end of the process or at the beginning.

Now, you’re probably wondering, how can it hurt me? Easy. Think of a car deal as a pie. There’s only so much profit available in every car deal. You can think of the total available profit as the size of the pie. Now, you can slice that pie up a zillion ways. As a customer, you can take half of it, or two thirds of it, or only a tiny slice. But if you take all of that pie right up front when negotiating the purchase price, that means there’s less pie left over when it comes time to talk about your trade. That means you’re likely to get less for your trade-in, not more, because the dealership will be trying to get back some of the profit they’ve already given up.

The best way to handle a trade-in is to tell your salesman up front that you would like to trade your current car in, but don’t have to. It all depends on what you get for it. Your main concern is, and should always be, the overall deal: the payments, the interest rate, etc., not just the trade-in value. Never focus solely on only one aspect of the deal, but take everything into account. Hey, that sounds like another maxim!

No. 2: Always Focus on the Overall Deal — Don’t Get Hung up on Only One Aspect

If you take the honest, direct approach, most salespeople will appreciate it and work even harder for you, which is what you want. And if you can get the salesperson working for you instead of against you, you have a better chance of getting the best deal possible on the car you want.

Most Improved Cars of 2012

2012 Ford Focus

Redesigned for 2012, the European-inspired Focus is praised for its sporty performance and premium electronics. Its total car score rose 7.95 points from 2011, the most of any vehicle. It’s now the highest-ranked compact car.

 

2012 Hyundai Accent

The much-improved Accent’s Total Car Score jumped 7.78 points over the previous generation. Still, that was only good enough to place it in the middle of the pack among economy cars. 

 

2012 Toyota Camry

Already a good car, now the Camry is even better, with more fuel-efficient engines and more engaging driving characteristics in the 2012 model. One of the highest-ranked mid-sized sedans, the Camry earned a Total Car Score of 81.64, up 6.84 points. 

 

2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid

Like gasoline-powered versions of the redesigned Camry, the Camry Hybrid has crisper styling and is roomier on the inside. The big change is in Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive System, which has been re-engineered to provide up to 30 percent better fuel economy. Reviewers like the seamless transition between hybrid and gasoline modes. Its Total Car Score was 85.59, up 6.77 points.

 

2012 Toyota Yaris

Panned by Consumer Reports for its rough handling and Spartan interior, the redesigned Yaris nonetheless is one of the most improved cars for 2012 by virtue of a 6.51-point jump in its Total Car Score, to 75.42. Overall, reviewers praised the Yaris’ reliability and safety features.

 

2012 Kia Sportage

Among compact SUVs and crossovers, the redesigned Sportage is much improved, with its Total Car Score jumping 5.33 points to 79.45, well above average for the segment. The consensus among reviewers is that its turbocharged engine and sporty suspension in higher-trim levels are a great package, but the base engine is merely adequate.

 

2012 Cadillac SRX

The consensus among reviewers is that the new 3.6-liter V6 in this entry luxury crossover is vastly improved over the two smaller engines it replaces. They also liked its handsome styling, smooth ride and confident handling. At 83.01 (up 4.9 points), the Cadillac SRX had one of the best Total Car Scores in a very competitive segment. 

 

2012 Honda CRV

The best-selling compact crossover has a quieter cabin, smoother ride and lots of new standard features for 2012 including Pandora internet radio, Bluetooth and a rear-view camera. A nifty new seat-folding mechanism also drew praise from reviewers. The CR-V’s Total Car Score is 81.56, up 4.85 points, and 10 points above the segment average.

Meet the Dealers – Spurr

Steve Bruckman, Spurr Dealerships

 

Q: What is your role at Spurr Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and how long have you been with the company?

I HAVE BEEN WITH THE COMPANY FOR THE PAST FEW MONTHS. I AM AN AGGRESSIVE YOUNG SALES MANAGER WHO IS LOOKING TO OFFER THE BEST PURCHASE EXPERIENCE, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME I WILL NOT LOSE A DEAL TO ANOTHER DEALERSHIP OVER SOMETHING SIMPLE LIKE NUMBERS.

Q: How many years have you been in the auto industry?

I’VE BEEN IN THE AUTO INDUSTRY FOR 6 YEARS NOW.                 

Q: How does Spurr compare to other dealers you have worked for? 

SPURR IS A VERY FAMILY ORIENTED DEALERSHIP WHICH IS AWESOME. THE OWNERS ARE HERE EVERY DAY TRYING TO DO WHATEVER THEY CAN TO MAKE SURE WE DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO SELL CARS, AND MAKE SURE CUSTOMERS ARE COMPLETELY SATISFIED WITH EVERYTHING FROM SALES TO SERVICE. IT REALLY IS A BREATH OF FRESH AIR COMPARED TO MY PAST FEW DEALERS I HAVE WORKED FOR.

Q: Is it nice to have multiple brands / choices for your customers?

YES, WE HAVE THE BEST OPPORTUNITY HERE TO SELL NEW CARS TO CUSTOMERS AS WE HAVE 4 DIFFERENT BRANDS THAT WE OFFER, AS WELL AS THE AVAILABILITY TO GO TO USED CAR AUCTIONS TO PURCHASE JUST ABOUT ANY PRE-OWNED CAR WITH LOW MILES WITHIN ONE OR TWO MODEL YEARS OF CURRENT. SIMPLY PUT, IF WE CAN’T FIND A CAR THAT IS PERFECT FOR YOU, I DOUBT THAT ANYONE ELSE CAN!

Q: Do you have any goals this year?

YES, WE ARE ALWAYS GOING TO HAVE GOALS. THIS YEAR WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO PUSHING OUR GM LINE TO NUMBER TWO IN THE ROCHESTER MARKET, AS WELL AS MOVE OUR SUBARU AND USED NUMBER.

Q: Do you find that it is a hurdle that you aren’t close to all the other dealers that you compete with?

IT CAN BE, BUT IT IS ALL WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT, WITH THE INTERNET AT EVERYONE’S FINGERTIPS THESE DAYS THE DISTANCE FACTOR DOESN’T EFFECT DEALERS LIKE US AS MUCH.

Q: So Spurr is worth the drive then?

ABSOLUTELY! WE HAVE VERY SEASONED SALES PROFESSIONALS, AND SERVICE STAFF WHO ARE FOCUSED 100% ON CUSTOMER SATISFACTION, WEATHER IT IS GIVING THEM THE BEST ADVICE ON THE PURCHASE OF A NEW OR USED CAR, OR THE BEST ADVICE ON WHATEVER SERVICE THEY NEED TO HAVE DONE.

Q: It seems that GM is making a turn for the better.  How do you feel about some of their new vehicles?

I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE EXCITED ABOUT WHAT GM IS COMING OUT WITH IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS. THEY HAVE THE MOST FUEL EFFICIENT LINE UP ON THE MARKET, AND THEIR QUALITY HAS NEVER BEEN BETTER!

Q: If you had to say anything to future buyers, what would it be?

GET DOWN TO SPURR DEALERSHIPS FOR YOUR NEXT PURCHASE FOR THE “SPURR EXPERIENCE” ! I PROMISE IT WILL BE WORTH THE DRIVE!

Democrat and Chronicle Announces New Pricing

Rochester, N.Y. – The Democrat & Chronicle released increased prices for its newsstand copies, as well as its newdigital pricing plan on Wednesday.

The daily newsstand price is increasing a quarter to $1. The Sunday newspaper price will now be $3, up from $2.

The newspaper also rolled out new smartphone and iPad applications. Access to the applications, and online stories that currently are free to read, will cost readers $13 a month.

What the World’s Richest Drive part 2!

Mark Zuckerburg (CEO of Facebook) – Acura TSX: $30,000 value

Michael Dell (Founder of Dell Computers) – 2004 Porsche Boxter: $20,000 value

Steve Ballmer (CEO of Microsoft) – Hybrid Fusion: $19,000 new

Phillip Knight (Founder and CEO of Nike) – Audi R8: $120,000

François-Henri Pinault (CEO of PPR) – Lexus SUV: $40,000

Laurene Powell Jobs (Widow of the founder of Apple, Steve Jobs) Audi A5: $37,000

Eric Schmidt (Executive Chairman of Google) – Toyota Prius: $11,000 starting.