Well, another year is in the books, nothing to do now except take a breath and plan for the year ahead. And, realize that you missed out on “dealership” Year End Sales Events. No need to panic! There are still ample deals to find over the year and plenty of opportunities for a better deal. If you can go another year with your current vehicle, Year End Sales Events are the best bet for competitive pricing, but if you need something sooner, these are the best times to shop.
Visit dealerships during the week, not on weekends. Weekdays, especially Tuesdays through Thursdays, are slower, and dealers will jump at the chance to boost their quotas during less competitive hours. This also means fewer shoppers for you to compete with on the purchase, reducing the risk of someone buying out from under you. Keep in mind, car dealers operate on commission, and often they have quotas to fill as well as incentive-based sales targets to hit. These quotas are almost exclusively monthly, so a weekday during the final week of a month puts additional pressure on them to make that sale. Who knows? You could be the buyer who gets them that bonus. This pressure adds to your leverage in negotiating the best deal.
Next, let’s look at other Holiday Sales Events. Everyone knows holiday weekends come with sales events to help businesses move inventory. But, some are better than others. The best holiday weekends to shop for auto deals are Summer Sales Events: Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. It’s no coincidence these three holidays mark the beginning, middle, and end of the summer season – a season associated with road trips and family vacations. But remember, these events are when salespeople expect to do their best, and often dealerships receive the next year’s models between the Fourth and Labor Day. If you can, visit the dealership during a weekday during the two weeks before the holiday weekend. Salespeople are more likely to come down on prices for older year models to clear inventory for new year models, and it will give them an edge going into the main event. Ultimately, it’s a numbers game, and dealers take every chance to pad their numbers.
So, to recap: Weekdays, month’s end, and holiday weekends (specifically summer) are your best times to visit dealerships. Is it possible to combine them? Absolutely. In fact, perhaps the best time to buy outside Year End Sales Events is in the weeks leading up to Labor Day. Manufacturers typically release new year models at the end of summer, which means dealerships need all the space they have to move the new inventory. Labor Day marks the end of summer – often with an End of Summer Sales Event – and dealers often focus on clearing used and current-year models in favor of new-year models. Since Labor Day is the first Monday of September, you have the opportunity to purchase a vehicle the dealership wants to clear out, during a weekday, at the end of the month, and before a major holiday sales event. Check, check, and check!
Alright, you’ve shopped, haggled, and secured the best price – maybe they even threw in all-weather floor mats. Now the question is: How will you pay for it? If you secured financing from United Community before visiting the dealership, do not let the salesperson know until the details are finalized. Dealerships receive kickbacks for financing through their partners, and once they learn that kickback is off the table they tend to stonewall price negotiations. If you didn’t secure financing before visiting, that’s okay too! Even when you finance through the dealership, you can always refinance through your trusty credit union for a better interest rate, more reasonable monthly payment, or financial convenience and peace of mind. Dealerships only want to make the sale, but United Community has your interest at heart.
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