How close are the listed prices to what the dealer actually expects to sell it for?


Asked by Nov 10, 2014 at 02:38 PM

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

I'm buying a car for the first time. I've been doing a lot of thorough searching and
research to make sure I do everything right. I have been looking for cars within a
certain price range based on the listed prices on the website. I know this is a very
case-by-case question, but do the prices that dealers list on the website usually
indicate what they expect to sell it for, or is that more of an "asking price" with
expected negotiation?

I, for example, am looking for a used car within a $6-$7k price range, so naturally I've
been looking at cars on this website that are priced in that range. Should I actually be
looking at cars above $7k with the expectation that the price will be lower than that in
the end?


5 Answers

Okay mrchosop, I am 61 and have bought 4 brand new cars and I lost count, about 10 used cars since age 16. I am qualifying myself to answer you okay? First decide what car you want. Research reliability, re-sale value, read owners reviews. But Let me save you some time. Look for a Corolla 9th Generation, 2003-2008 or Honda Civic 7th generation 2001-2005, that part is biased. My choice, my not be yours at all. But they can be had for your price range. Maybe a Mazda3, Ford Focus. Much depends on if you are paying cash. If so, you have leverage, if not your credit score enters the scene, and how much you have down. Cash, offer 15% less than asking. Good credit expect maybe 5-6% APR Do NOT buy extended 'warranty' they are more of an insurance policy that a warranty and add so many deductibles and exclusions they are not worth it, then even if you have a claim they will try to weasel out of it. Ok onwards, need to look at cars out of your price range, they might come down but not much. Back to cash, let them KNOW, and if you are financing offer 10% below asking.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful

Don't hesitate to get up and walk out. 99% of the time the salesman will literally chase you, Wait, I will talk to my manager..then you will get. "We never do this, but for you Mr. chop, my manager is willing to get you in a car at cost. We won't make any money on this deal, but you seem like a nice kid bla blah blah. 1) There are plenty of cars for sale. Do not, repeat do not, give them your social security number until you have made a decision to buy. They will need it legitimately to run your credit, eventually, but WAIT, until you find what you want.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Oh yeah...get a warranty. Used cars are sold as-is, but ask for a 30-day warranty. Demand a CarFax! Do not buy without a CarFax. Period. Ask for, actually demand, service records, it has been in for any re-calls and fixed.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

To add, prices are asking. Around the 6-7K price range you don't have much to work with. Maybe $500. Go to or to get a fair price for the cars your looking for, and get a Pre Purchase Inspection before you buy.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Thanks for your help, both of you. FordNut, you confirmed much of what I had already discovered, and gave me a lot I didn't know that was helpful too. Thanks.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

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