Estimated Time to Read: 3 minutes

User car salesmen have a bad reputation. They’re certainly not all dishonest or untrustworthy, but they usually do have a few sales tricks up their sleeves. Here are some suggestions on how you can ward against those tactics while used car shopping.

Do Your Research

If there is a particular car you’re interested in, do your research about that type of vehicle before negotiating a price. Always look up its fair market value using a resource like Kelley Blue Book ( Knowing this information will help you better negotiate a fair price, and you’ll know how inflated a salesman’s claims of the car’s value are.

Consider Financing Beforehand

Before you even visit the lot, check out local banks and credit unions and get approved for a loan. You’ll find out what kind of loan you qualify for and at what interest rate. This information will help you while you’re trying to decide, and you may even successfully challenge the salesman to beat the bank’s rate. Knowing your credit score and financing options will also help you determine if the financing offered by the car dealership is really your best option or not.

Prepare Questions

There are lots of questions you need to ask, especially about used cars, and it’s essential that you think about them beforehand. Write down all the questions you should and want to ask, no matter how obvious. In the middle of the lot, it may be difficult to get a question in, and you’re likely to forget something. A prepared list will help ensure that you get all of your questions asked and answered.

Keep Some Secrets

The more information a car salesman knows about you, the better able he’ll be to negotiate in his favor. The most important thing to keep to yourself is your financial situation. Do not let the salesman know the price of a car or monthly payments you can afford. Also try to keep your personal details to yourself, or the salesman will try to appeal to you with other tactics, such as befriending you with talk of personal hobbies, interests, or family.

Stay on Topic

Oftentimes a used car salesman will try to talk to you about anything that doesn’t have to do with buying a car, especially while you’re on the lot look or while you’re test driving. If they go off topic when you’re asking questions, it’s a bad sign of avoidance. When they try to direct the conversation elsewhere, don’t give in, and steer it back to what matters – the car.

Walk Away If Necessary

Car salesman will try to pressure you into making a decision any way they can, and a common way to do it is by acting as though their offer is only good for the day. No matter how much you want to buy a car, don’t give in if you’re not happy with the price. Walk away. There are lots of cars out there, and you may even find the salesman suddenly changes his mind the next day.

Dan Smith is a car expert and dedicated father who works in Nissan Sales for a living. He often tells people how to bypass sneaky sales pitches and avoid getting suckered in by car salesman.