Finally, a significant change in the car industry occurred after on of the most tragic events in our country’s history, September 11th, 2001, another date that will live in infamy alongside Dec 7th, 1941 (Pearl Harbor Day). Over three thousand Americans died that day; and the car business in the US came to a screeching halt. Carmakers rose to the occasion and a new way of selling cars came to light: Customer Incentives. This approach first began as a way to jump-start the economy. Then, based on the positive response from the public, it became a way to aggressively compete with each other. Hence, The Incentive Wars began. And Incentives are still a large part of selling vehicles, so there’s no secret way of getting prices way under the MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) on a vehicle any more (unless you have an “in” with someone high in the food chain at a particular carmaker like GM, Chrysler, Ford or Toyota).
However, there IS a way to get a better vehicle price than your neighbor. Something that you DO have control over: The value of your trade-in vehicle! Remember, trading a vehicle is, in fact, selling it to the dealer. So how do you get a higher price on your trade? Build a case for a higher trade value. Keep in mind that dealers are looking for clean, well-maintained vehicles to sell. There are things you can do to realize a higher trade value.
• Professionally detail your vehicle. By professionally having your vehicle detailed, you save the dealer the cost in cleaning the vehicle for presentation and you bring out the higher attributes of the vehicle.
• Organize your vehicle’s service history in a clean, easy-to-read manner. This way the prospective buyer can see that the vehicle was well maintained during your ownership.