• The wholesale price. This is what the dealer paid, or very nearly paid, for the car you have your eye on. Whatever he can get you to pay over and above that price is his profit. If you already have a specific model of truck or car in mind, and want to know what those wholesale prices are, log on to That is the Kelley Blue Book web site and will answer your inquiries free of charge.
  • before you LOOK at a used car, take time to determine exactly what your NEEDS are! Because if you are not sure what you want, price, even wholesale price, is moot!! Establish a criteria. A professional salesman will ask a customer, "What is important in your next vehicle?" In all my years in the business, the answer was never: "what is the wholesale price of the vehicle!!" After you have figured out what your needs are, you must establish a budget. This could be a monthly payment, or a cash price. The key is to have this figured out BEFORE you walk on to a car lot. This takes the single most important factor in the dealership's favor, EMOTION out of the buying equation. Once you have your budget set, STICK TO IT!! You must remember to detatch yourself from the vehicle you are considering, it is after all, just a hunk of iron!! If you are not able to come to terms on a vehicle within your budget at a particular dealership--leave. There is one on every corner. Remember, it is their job to EARN your business! Finally, wholesale price, retail price, best price, last price, they are all relative terms. Everyone has a different reality as to what is a good deal. A good salesman will likely get the customer off the PRICE issue with a simple question like: "Other than price, what is important in your next vehicle?" So remember, do your homework, have a budget and stick to it!! good luck!
  • I agree with model51, but be honest with yourself: If you DO know what you want, then chances are you walked onto a lot because you noticed that what you want is in stock. Therefore, price is anything but a moot point! You want it, he has it, do you get it for the lowest price? If I am looking at a specific car, which is what I want, and a sales rep asks me, "Other than price, what are you looking for in a vehicle?", I would get the very real impression that he has not been paying any attention to what I want. One point model51 makes I applaude him for: DO NOT get emotionally charged about the vehicle. You do that, you'll be putty in the salesman's hands...vulnerable. Don't become a sheep among wolves. The emotionally charged buyer negotiates less effectively and pays more for a car than an analytical buyer. Yet, the salesman can't make the high commission he wants unless the buyer is emotionally charged. Remember this one simple fact: every salesman's goal is to sell you a car at the highest possible price. He knows that the more YOU know about a car and what it's worth, the better a consumer YOU become. The better consumer YOU become, the less YOU pay for your car. The less YOU pay, the less commission he earns. That is why knowing the wholesale price is so important. A "good deal" is a relative term to them, not you. Once you know your budget, learn which models have a wholesale price that matches that budget. Shop for those models, and negotiate up from the wholesale price, NOT down from the sticker price. And under no circumstances should you negotiate according to monthly payment.
  • I hate to dissent from popular opinion, but web sites such as Kelley Blue Book and NADA are very rarely useful for anyone at all. Most dealers, in todays climate, have to pay more for a vehicle than "wholesale" if it's a trade in, just to put a deal together with a customer. "Retail" on Kelley Blue Book is ridiculously high. The absolute best research you can do is to FIND a vehicle you want, then look for other, similar vehicles in your area, and find what they're priced at. (For example, a dealer near me is advertising a 1999 Blazer LS with 60,000 miles on it for $17,988. Another dealer, less than 30 minutes from the first, is selling 2003 models with 20,000 miles for 2 grand less) A good deal is in your mind, not in the salespersons or anyone else's. Find a dealership that is reputable, a salesperson who is helpful, and a service department that is reliable, find out what they offer to keep you a happy customer, and pay a reasonable price. You'll be happy, they'll be happy, and the world will be a better place. Salespeople have families and loved ones to feed, too...they're not the enemy.
  • I would think you want to check the history of the car. Was it used in a robbery, murder, or accident? It would be creepy to drive around a car that someone died in.
  • I would do a car history search to make sure that car is exactly as advertised. You will need to make sure that the car wasn't refunished, been in an accident, had major engine work, had the odometer tampered with, etc. I would recommend a place such as
  • test drive
  • Mileage, take it to a mechanic first to make sure it isn't a money trap.
  • It was the wrong answer! My Bad!.......For me......Comfort.....
  • For me the most important thing is to know if the company or a certain merchandise is legal. Then the rest follows, the papers, car's status and etc. ^_^

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