Purchasing used cars online from a dealer could be a tough task for buyers with little experience; however, it can be done successfully by anyone who follows these steps:
1) Find out what the seller paid.
The first thing you want to do is to be educated about the car you are purchasing, to do this you need to know what the seller paid for it. A great way to figure this out is to view the Kelley Blue Book TRADE IN VALUE. That is usually the price the seller paid for the car.
2) Make a smart offer.
After obtaining this information, you are now ready to make an offer, but you don’t want to offer too low otherwise the seller could lose patience with you and cut your conversation short. The best thing to do is to initially offer the Trade In Value and settle on 10% above the Trade In Value. This will leave enough profit for the seller considering his advertising expenses and the general work needed to get the car ready for you to drive. If he’s willing to settle below that you have to ask yourself if there are any problems with the car which could lower its value.
3) View the Car in Person
Which brings us to our next point: view the car before paying, no exceptions. Used cars will always have problems if not given the proper care, and you could be surprised sometimes how a damaged car can be “perfect” in a seller’s eyes. Once the seller accepts your offer, it is well worth your time to make the trip to the car sale. If you find anything wrong with the car that wasn’t disclosed you should get a deduction in price that reflects the repair cost.
4) Get a Carfax
You should always get a Carfax. Carfax does not know everything which happened to the car, but it sure knows a lot. If for no other reason, the fact that Carfax makes all the information about the car public, means that you have to know what the Carfax is as well, otherwise you could end up with a car that nobody will want to purchase from you down the line. And get the report yourself, we are now in an age when anything can be digitally reproduced, so you don’t want to depend on Carfax documents you are receiving from the seller. If Carfax is out of your budget at least get an AutoCheck report.
5) Use an Inspector
Inspectors are also a must. If you have a mechanic you trust who is willing to go down and view the car, that’s great. But if not, there are plenty of inspectors that will go out and view the cheap car for you at a price of $50 to $100 like CarChex or SGS. It is well worth the investment because the average person is not keen on recognizing everything wrong with 5000 part cars. By the way, if the inspector finds something small that’s wrong with the car, it is not the end of the world, cars usually need maintenance, talk to the seller to see if you can get the problem solved before purchasing it.
YouDealit.com compliments the above steps nicely when buying cars online because you can give your best educated offer (as explained in Steps 1 and 2) and see if sellers can commit to selling you the car you want. If nobody accepts your offer, you will still get the lowest possible price for the car you want and you’ll have the opportunity to decide if you want to make a deal. It takes a couple of minutes and it eliminates the need to search and bargain. It is sort of like a Priceline for cars.