Tag Archives: getting the best buy on a car

Don’t Accept No As The (Only) Answer

Welcome to 2010. Does this seem early? Well, you better get on board. The old days are gone and they’re not coming back.

You could almost hear when the band stopped playing, right?

As we open the new era, it looks as if the U.S. is settling into a major reset in terms of income and spending. While some continue to spend, most have pulled back and savings has surged as people deal with fear of not knowing the future.

Of course, we’ve never known the future. If we did, we would probably mess it up. However, we can develop a strategy to improve our personal financial performance in the rough economic weather.

As the reset continues to develop (some would call this “trickle down”), a new era of “the consumer” should sweep the nation. While downward pressure is applied to income, consumers are going to have to reset their thinking about negotiation. In fact, you are going to have to become much more skilled at negotiation. Gone are the days when you could say, “I am embarrassed to negotiate.” Gone are the days when it was okay to “let price slide.”

What Is True Negotiation All About?

These days it should be all about research (in advance), pricing set up before you go (if possible) and the #1 tool in the woodshed for consumers: Be prepared to walk away.

Think of it this way. Any product you desire – a home, a car, a blender, a phone, a television (and the list goes on) – can now be purchased by you at a wider variety of retailers than ever before, on-line and in a variety of second-hand or used environments (not to mention E-Bay and Craigs list). So, if you don’t buy X at X Superstore, you can get it at Y Superstore or on-line (and often for a better price).

When you negotiate you need to play along, have patience and knowledge on your side. Don’t allow a salesperson to “frame the issue.” Get ahead of them and use the knowledge you have about them (their stock, their quotas, their competition) to put downward pressure on them. Consider that you likely only have to purchase one (1) or one (1) TV, but they have to sell hundreds or more. Each month comes with a quota. They have goals.

When you save money with negotiation, make sure you take the money saved and shift it from checking to savings. If you don’t do this, you have saved NOTHING.

2010 (and you might as well start now) is your year to make ’em earn it. Negotiate on EVERYTHING!

Negotiation is not only for things you purchase. Are you up for a great job? Don’t think only in terms of standard compensation. Sometimes businesses can pay a cell phone bill or put you up in an apartment for thirty (30) days (or six months). Think about other options Vs. cash or standard compensation. Maybe you can gain access in negotiation before you accept the job to an additional week of paid vacation per year.

The main thing is this: Start thinking about how you can harness value out of everyday interactions. Don’t settle. Don’t accept no as the (only) answer.

Look for ways to give people what they want in return for a real deal for yourself. Experiment with negotiation. But always be willing to walk away.

The world has gotten tough for the 2010 model. You get tough right back.

Go to our main blog to sign up for your FREE monthly e-saver @ http://www.stickyasset.com/blog.

Thanks for spending a few minutes with us.

Loyd Ford

The Plan For Surviving The Great Recession

We are all hopeful that a depression has been avoided. Of course, the serious economists are still watchful of the possibility that the government cannot hold on and keep us away from still slipping into a modern version of the 1930’s style depression. If you are someone who likes to plan for the future, you shouldn’t be sounding the all clear to your friends and family either.

We continue to watch company earnings, unemployment, home sales and a variety of other factors in determining if we can truly “turn the corner.”

The truth has not changed. You must have a plan for surviving the “Great Recession.” This plan should include a reality view of the world YOU live in today.

You should have or work to build an emergency savings fund that includes 15 to 18 months of expenses in money market savings or certificates of deposit (or best in both). Now is NOT the time to pull back from a 401k unless you are carrying extra credit card debt and cannot afford to pay that debt off and push ahead in your 401k.

You must work to eliminate credit card debt and see these guys for who they are: The devil. That’s right – I said it. They are the devil. Your enemy. You should always treat them as such. Too many millions of Americans are still chasing their credit score when CASH IS KING.

Once you have secured your debt (eliminated or highly reduced it) and you have the proper emergency savings fund, work to steadily invest in mutual funds and diversify. We like no-load mutual funds. Look for low fees.

See your home for what it is: your home. Many millions of Americans refuse to see their home for what it is in terms of your wealth or poverty – your BIGGEST LIABILITY. Work to pay even small amounts extra in principle if you can because it will save you more than you realize in the life of the loan. In fact, if you steady-up on paying principle in addition to your monthly house “note,” you could knock YEARS and many, many thousands off of your debt. Homes are to live in. They are not speculative investment.

Invest in yourself. This means personal education. You can do it at the local community college or on-line. You can do some formal learning or training or teach yourself about saving and investing and work to generate passive income streams in addition to your “day jobs” to fund savings and investing.

People often only think to save when trouble comes. Steady and automatic savings will add up faster than you think.

You can do this. Develop wealth as a hobby. Be serious about it. Look to purchase things that begin to generate money on their own. This can be savings or mutual funds. It can – eventually be more.

Sign up for our FREE E-SAVER now at our main blog (www.stickyasset.com/blog). Good luck!

Loyd Ford

Some People Are Finding A Way Around The Recession

None of us can control the economy. You and I cannot control economic downturn where we work. While we have some control over how we are perceived at work and how that may impact our job status in a downturn, for the most part we cannot control who is downsized and who stays as it relates to our own personal job.

What can you control?

1. Reduction in spending. You can review your expenses over the last three months and look for where you can cut spending and apply that money to savings for “future trouble” or short, medium or long-term goals (depending on your planning up to this point).
2. Money Diet for bills. Start a process with credit cards first and then all of the businesses that send you a bill on a monthly basis. Your goal is to do what good businesses do: reduce bills or expense by a percentage. Perhaps that is 10 or 15%. You are simply going to start with the question: “What can we do to reduce your bill by 15%? I want to keep doing business with you. Please help me.” Don’t take no for an answer. Ask for a supervisor. Put the savings to actual savings. That is the real bottom line.
3. Automatic Savings. Everyone talks about “paying yourself first.” It’s the hardest things to do until you make the decision to do it. You can do automatic savings thru work or your checking account. It is the most organized way to pile up savings (faster than you think). Do your research. Make sure your bank is FDIC-insured. Look for the highest rates on money market savings. Don’t just leave this in some local bank account getting .0000234% interest.
4. Emergency Savings Fund. In today’s world you should have a 15 to 18 month emergency savings fund. That means 15 to 18 months of expenses in savings incase you are laid off from work or experience one of the many other things YOU WILL EXPERIENCE over time in today’s world. With automatic savings (see #3), you can build savings faster than you think. You just have to get started!
5. 401k. This is a savings vehicle that is best judged over a thirty-year period of time. If you are not doing this today and your company offers it, you should begin —- even if you start with a 2% contribution. We are big believers in STARTING. Don’t wait. Go, go, go!
6. Roth IRA or Traditional IRA. If you qualify for the Roth IRA, you should do it. Yes, in addition to the 401k. If not, go traditional. Do your research on the internet and always look for low fees. Low, low, low is the way to go.
7. Negotiating. In the old days (the 1990’s), it was okay to be a little shy about negotiation. You are standing in front of someone selling you a product. They are applying a certain amount of pressure (as they have been trained to do). You blink. That’s the way it has always worked, right? No, we now live in an era of the CONSUMER. You must do your research before a purchase. You must seek multiple places where you can get the same product. You must make them emotional. You must frame the issue so you can gain the advantage ahead of time. Eliminate emotion and time table from your purchases (patience) and you will save THOUSANDS.

And put that money in savings.

Now get out there and save and invest like a smart consumer (remember to do your research first).

Good luck.

Loyd Ford

What Car Dealers Don’t Want You To Know

Everyone knows that car dealers have been having a more difficult sales environment. Americans are holding off on purchases of cars, trucks and vans for famlies in early 2009, but the current downturn will turn. When your personal economy does “turn” and you are ready to purchase a new or used vehicle, you should plan your purchase well in advance of your arrival to sign on the dotted line.

We offer a lot of money saving strategies in “The Sticky Asset: How To Survive Any Financial Crisis,” but we offer this one to you in today’s blog because sooner or later you will make this purchase. Saving thousands when you do will make your life richer.

Our first recommendation is that you do your research in advance on the type of car, truck or van you want before ever going to a dealership. Excellent resources are the Kelley Blue Book and Consumer Reports. You want to use these two resources as research because they can tell you about:

1. Quality
2. Pricing

Our second peice of advice: Don’t go to any dealership.

Research how many dealers there are within 100 miles of your home. To to their websites and find the internet sales manager. Use at least six (6) dealers. After doing your research on what the actual cost is for the dealers in the exact “add ons” or features you want in your vehicle, e-mail these internet sales managers individually. Tell them the exact vehicle you are looking for with the exact features you want on the car, truck or van. Tell them that you are looking for the best price and that you are consulting with multiple dealers. Tell them this next thing is critical. You are only interested in the “out-the-door” price. That is after taxes, after everything. If you’ve done your research, you know what the dealers are being charged for each “feature” and the overall cost of the vehicle. Make sure you put a date in your e-mail such as “I will be purchasing this vehicle from a dealer in the next three weeks or on February 27, 2009.” I will only be visiting the dealer with the lowest price to purchase the vehicle on that day.

If you will take some notice here: We are moving the emotion from the consumer to the auto dealer. Get them emotional about the sale – they will make you a much better deal.

You will likely get a response from each dealer. When you do, tell them they are the actual highest bid. This will intensify the pressure. Repeat to them that you are looking to purchase the vehicle, but now change your date. Give them a date closer to today (such as “Friday, January 20, 2009) and tell them a specific time (like “between 5 p.m and 8 p.m.”)!

Frankly, some dealers will be offended. That’s okay. Don’t budge. Don’t visit a dealer. Tell them that you are close to making your purchase. Don’t buy into the bull that might come your way about their expense to get a car with the features you want. You should not care what it cost them to get the correct car to sell to you. Please. They are in the business of getting the cars to sell. You are the consumer – and you have almost all the power. You just have to eliminate emotion and keep your bottom-line attitude to get the car you want at the very best price. This can save you THOUSANDS.

Once you have identified the lowest bidder it is time to visit the dealer. Tell your sales person that you want them to write up the deal exactly the way it is described. In other words – no changes or add-ons in price. Then, go to the dealership on a pre-determined appointment. Check every feature and the final after-tax price. Be prepared to walk if it isn’t exactly what you agreed upon.

No, you will not want additional add-ons (you know about these, right?).

If you have already read “The Sticky Asset: How To Avoid Any Financial Crisis,” then you also know about the real danger at auto dealerships (hint: it’s not the sale person). If you know that, you will avoid the real trouble that happens after most people think the “deal” has been made and the “trouble” is behind them.

Do your research. Believe in yourself. Negotiate without emotion. You’ll be the winner.

Good luck!