Do taxes or buy a car; what would you choose?
Buying a car is an expensive decision that’s not easily reversible. It can bear far-reaching financial consequences that bake extra anxiety into the process.
Surprisingly, one in three Americans find that doing tax returns are far more interesting than buying a car. And this has zero bearing on the IRS check in the mail.
“Irritating and overwhelming,” “painful, stressful, and panic-inducing.” These are some choice words consumers use to describe the new car buying process.
Unscrupulous dealers pulling the classic bait and switch and other questionable marketing and sales tactics don’t help. Mandatory add-ons are one of the latest weapons in some car dealers’ arsenal.
So, just how do you avoid dealer markups?
Push Back Against Unnecessary Add-ons
Most people rarely walk away from a bad deal at a car dealership because they’re bombarded with high-pressure sales tactics that have left them disoriented, confused, or worn down.
Dealers often tuck in a few add-ons that range from window tinting to anti-theft devices in thinly veiled price markups. If you aren’t interested in these extras, which are often way overpriced, you shouldn’t be forced to buy them.
Checking the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the model you wish to buy is the best way to push back against dealer add-ons.
Wield a Secret Weapon
A Monroney sticker is your secret weapon against dealer add-ons and markups. Car dealers are legally required to affix these stickers to their entire inventories. A Monroney sticker prominently displays the MSRP of any new car.
If you’re not keen on any add-ons, never pay a cent over the MSRP. The MSRP, as displayed on the Monroney sticker covers all costs, including tax, title, and license.
Never be suckered into paying additional costs in the guise of transfer fees. The car’s shipping costs are tucked into the MSRP, often stated as a destination charge.
Anything above the sticker price is a money grab by the dealership – pure and simple.
A Bulletproof Way to Avoid Dealer Markups
Markups.org, a specialty database, turns the car-buying process into a cakewalk. Founded in 2022, this platform lets you identify and avoid car dealerships that force markups and add-ons onto unsuspecting buyers.
You may use the platform to check which dealers in your state, and the neighboring states, offer the best deal. Since you can verify the MSRP of any make and model, markups.org paints a vivid picture of which dealerships are on the up and up.
- Identify your dream car’s make, model, and trim.
- Do an online inventory search to determine the nearest dealerships with the vehicle in stock and make a list of them (and their contact info).
- Use the OEM inventory websites such as Toyota, Ford, Chevrolet GMC, or Kia to get its MSRP or Monroney sticker. Please also consider contributing your own findings to Markups.Org.
- Cross-reference the dealers on your list against Markups.org listings to see if they have a track history of markups.
- Select and contact the dealer that appears to offer the best deal for what you are looking for.
- Let the dealer know you found them on Markups.Org
Say what you will about car sales reps, but these are seasoned negotiators. They’ve trained to manipulate and exploit shoppers’ objections and weaknesses.
That won’t be you though; you’re a sophisticated car buyer with the marksup.org community advantage.
Leveraging Markups.org When Buying Your Next Car
Check markups.org for car dealerships within a few hundred miles of your location. Create a neat little table with their asking prices and location and print it out – this is your secret weapon.
Car dealerships have monthly, quarterly, and yearly sales quotas. Time your move to coincide with the end of any of these sales periods and leverage their desperation.
Sales reps are more accommodating because they’re desperate to hit their quotas. Use the printout from markups.com to pit dealerships against each other and drive the price down as they desperately try to land the sale.
Rock up to the dealership and show them that you mean business. If you have a flair for the dramatic, take a cashier’s check with you. You’re ready to buy the car on the spot – but not with the pesky, costly add-ons and markups.
You’re prepared to drive to the next dealership, but you’re considering giving them a chance – you’re in a philanthropic mood.
Explain that if they strip away the extra BS, you’ll not only buy the car but also add them to the markups.org database as a progressive and customer-centric dealership.
A positive listing on markups.org denotes them as genuine and authentic car dealers who aren’t out to rip off local motorists. Tell them that being listed on markups.org as a rip-off or markup dealer can cripple their sales. See… philanthropy.
A positive markups.org listing is the undue advantage car dealers need to effortlessly crush sales month after month. Let the dealership know that a blackmark on markups.org reminds car shoppers how the business took advantage of them during economically desperate times.
If all these tactics fail, cross them from your list, report them to markups.org and head over to the next dealership on your list. After all, you’re immune to their high-pressure sales tactics and have a list of non-markup car dealerships to run through.