Latest Forecourt Tricks

A chap called Matt Bath was talking about his findings at consumer filter Which? when I was having my breakfast the other day.


“Forewarned is forearmed” was his hope for potential car buyers as he divulged the latest underhand tricks appearing in showrooms. He suggest that if you know them in advance, you can beat the cheats at their own game. The Daily Mail also enjoyed this research.

A pair of tactics around trade-in that prevent the best deal are,

Ankle Tapping – “A salesman offers less than market value for a trade-in, so he can offer an unrealistically low price for a new car”

High Boarding – you’re offered over the odds for your current car, but a lesser discount for the next one

Then there’s the spectre of concocted competition,

Rival Close – someone else is really interested so you better hurry if you want to get the car

The aforementioned Mail piece has this further pair of gems,

Wooden duck: A customer who does not haggle or negotiate

And quotes Paul Buckley, a former sales trainer and head of consumer marketing at Cardiff University’s school of management,

“Time pressure works really well on most people.

Every weekend you’ll see sales that started on Thursday and will end on Monday.

Chances are you’ll go in and look at something on Saturday, then think about it later and rush back to snap it up on the Monday.”

Even the most high-brow of solution sellers use flavours of this, especially around end-of-month routines.

The Which? expert recommends three tactics to remember to avoid pain.

  1. know your budget and stick to it vigorously
  2. thoroughly research your trade-in values
  3. if you feel pressurised, stand up and walk away

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