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Watch out for Black Friday deals when shopping for cars

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“Black Friday” in 2019 was one thing. Black Friday in 2020 is another. It’s still Friday after Thanksgiving, and it’s still the official and informal beginning of holiday shopping nuts. Have you heard about the COVID-19 pandemic? That changes a lot.

Forget all the regular dealer come-ons. Yes, I still have ads in my treatise (if I find one) and when I search for a car on Google, I see pop-up ads of all kinds. But the big change is that even in Black Friday hysteria, the best strategy for 2020 may not be to join a dealer.

All precautions associated with social distance and virus avoidance mean that the dealer should come to you. Would you like to see an intriguing car for sale? Call the dealer and tell them to come to your residence for a test drive. Work in your area and control transactions.

It’s best to line up multiple test drives a day. This allows you to resist marketing by (honestly) claiming that another car is on the way.

It’s also later this year that dealers are looking at the remaining 2020 models and planning ways to wipe out their dying inventory soon, and will soon be drowning in the “December to Remember” promotion.

In short, it’s a convergence of timing and holidays for car buyers. But don’t be offended. This isn’t February’s President’s Day, when people start getting tax refunds and dealers want to absorb their freely fluctuating cash. No, as always, the best thing is to be serious while everyone else is blinded.

Links that scream about Black Friday deals often lead to websites that are silent about the day. Instead, it features promotions built around the entire holiday season. The next day is Saturday and the offer is unlikely to change, so there is no urgency to sign the contract on Black Friday. For example, if you buy on Black Friday, even if the dealer offers you the car you want at 40% off, you can still ask for the same deal the next day or the next week and get the chance to get it. Their deadline does not have to be yours.

The dealer has a long game. They have been in business for some time and are keenly aware of how purchasing patterns change during the year. After all, there was Thanksgiving and Black Friday again last year.

Apply some simple strategies to stay calm, relax and get great deals.

Look behind

First, the end of the year. So ask about the car that was in the dealer’s inventory for a while. Don’t expect these to be hot sellers like the Hyundai Palisade or special beasts like the Audi RS7. These are abandoned kittens hanging around behind a lot, but don’t let it discourage you: they may be just what you need. The secret here is the information sticker on the side pillar of the door on the driver’s side. If you are on the premises, please take a picture of your mobile phone for reference. It shows the month of manufacture, and if it is extended by 5 or 6 months, the car has been protracted for too long. Make a low ball offer. It’s not embarrassing to ask.

Do your research

Second, there may be some real deals buried in all the hype. Scrutinize the web, look at one of the probably anachronistic newspapers, and pay attention to the big signs hanging on the dealer and its website. It’s more likely that you’ll find more when you’re looking out than when you come across just one.

Raise funds in turn

Third, shop for your funding before you enter the dealership. Interest rates are low at this time. So don’t get hooked on paying more than you need for the money to buy your next car. Call your bank and ask your credit union to find out your credit rating. Then go to the dealer and try to get them to outperform your best offer. Many manufacturers are now supporting interest-free lending. And when you reach zero percent, there’s no reason not to take out a loan, even if you have cash to buy a car completely. Recall the economics class and the principle of net present value.

But don’t be distracted by finding the lowest price by financing. If you are paying a lot of money for a car, what are the points of low funding? You need to aim for both low prices and cheap money. If you don’t have both, leave the dealer and call Uber.

Understand your own bargaining style

And finally, always be aware of your own limits. You can be fooled, you can sometimes be unreasonably enthusiastic, you can do stupid things. Self-awareness is always your most valuable asset in any negotiation.

Yes, these four tips aren’t much different from the advice you’ll get for the rest of the year. This is because Black Friday is not much different from other years. If you want to trade real Black Friday, go to Walmart and buy a cheap flat screen TV. It may not be as fun as getting a new car, but at least you can be confident that the deal is genuine. Or even better, buy it online and get them to bring it.

Happy Thanksgiving. There is a vaccine on the way. Calm down now and let the dealer fight for your business.

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Watch out for Black Friday deals when shopping for cars

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