This week’s blog is the second part of a two part blog about minimizing anxiety while car shopping.
How Can You Keep Car Shopping Anxiety to a Minimum?
Ask Yourself Some Questions
These include, “Can I afford this car”, “What kind of a car do I want?”, “How am I going to pay for it”, “How much is my old car worth”, “Should I buy new or used”. Also, ask “what if”? What if something unexpected comes up or What if I have buyer’s remorse?
There are many benefits to asking questions including:
- We get better answers the more we question
- The quality of our lives depends on it
- Asking questions can make you wiser and more open.
Do your Homework
In my previous blog I mentioned the causes of stress and anxiety when you’re car shopping and also the pros and cons of buying or leasing a car. Here’s a link to last week’s blog:
For me personally, doing my homework ahead of time about the car I want and being aware of possible stressors that cause anxiety can help me make better decisions when a deal is being made.
What else should you do?
- Researching Prices Online
- Ask a Friend What They Think?
- Learn Some Valuable Car-Buying Vocabulary
- Check into a Dealer’s Reputation
- Check What Kind of Financing you Qualify for
- Get an Insurance Quote
- Learn About any Past Damage Done to a Car
- Test Drive the Car
- Don’t Buy the Car Based on Looks
Get Your Finances Together Ahead of Time
Here are some things that should be put into consideration when you’re getting your finances together.
What to do ahead of time:
- Check Your Credit Score
- Get Pre-Approved For a Car Loan
- Set Your Budget Based on Loan Offer
- Find The Car You Want
- Review The Dealer’s Offer
- Choose and Finalize Your Loan
- Make Payments On Time
Dress for Success
From my experience dressing up in nicer clothes can help with boosting confidence and reducing anxiety when you’re negotiating with the dealership. When you dress-up whether business casual or a full suit you radiate self-respect and self-worth. Also, when you look good, you feel good meaning that higher self-esteem can equal a more positive mental attitude that can minimize anxiety.
Take a Day Off from Work
According to cars.com the average time spent at the dealership is more than three hours.
The time is spent:
- Negotiating The Deal (Up to 41 minutes or more)
- Selecting The Vehicle You Want To Buy (Up to 49 minutes or more)
- Time Spent at The F & I Office (Up to 32 minutes or more)
If you do your homework ahead of time through internet research before you venture into the showroom it can save you time when you’re car shopping.
Also, taking a day off from work during the week can save a lot of time. The dealerships are the busiest on Saturdays and Sundays, because this is when most people have time off. When I took a wednesday off from work to go car shopping I noticed that it was not busy at all, especially when the dealership first opens.
After doing my research about the car I wanted I headed for the dealership at 10am; since I knew what I wanted ahead of time, being aware of how much to put down and the dealership was not busy, I was out of there in only an hour and a half.
This helps me a lot to plan ahead. I know that I can be anxious when there are time restraints when I have to take time off during the work day and have to come back to work by a specific time. By taking the entire day off I’d have plenty of time at the dealership and I’d be more relaxed.
Learn How To See Things from the Other Party’s Perspective
It’s important to learn how to see things from the dealership’s perspective. Consumers would be surprised to learn how little money is made selling a new car, for example it’s assumed that thousands of dollars are made selling a new car, but in fact the dealership only makes on average $1,000 to 1,500 on a sale. Instead, dealerships make most of their money in parts and service and make a higher profit margin selling used cars.
It’s also expensive to run a dealership between operating expenses including salaries and benefits for its employees.
Putting all these factors into perspective you can see why car shopping can be stressful for both parties and realizing this can make the negotiating process less stressful when you learn why a dealership will try to do some of the things they’re known to do, such as trying to sell you add-ons like an extended warranty or nitrogen for your tires.
Alternatives to the Dealership Experience
Car shopping has a notorious reputation for being the consumer’s least favorite experience. Between the stress and anxiety of negotiating and haggling with the dealership over a car it is generally not the most enjoyable experience.
Here are some alternatives to the dealership experience:
- Buy Online: Buying a car online is a way to avoid spending time in an auto dealership. Thanks to the internet it’s possible to handle most or all of the tasks associated with purchasing a new or used vehicle. Shopping online can occur anywhere there is an internet connection.
- Car Brokers: A car or auto broker manages the car buying process on the behalf of the consumer. Car brokers offer a free or inexpensive service that often takes much of the haggling out of the car buying process. Most consumers can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars when they hire a car broker.
- Car Auctions: An auction is a public sale in which goods or property are sold to the highest bidder. Car auctions or dealer auctions have cars that are about $1,000 to $2,000 cheaper than buying retail, however dealer auctions are usually not open to the public and are only accessible to dealers that have a license. There are public government auctions open to the public through law enforcement agencies, but another way to access a dealer auction is through going online. Online auctions are accessible through websites such as eBay Motors(www.eBay.com), Salvage Bid (www.SalvageBid.com), Auto Auction Mall (www.AutoAuctionMall.com), Copart (www.Copart.com) and IAAI (www.IAAI.com)
How do you Handle Stress and Anxiety While Car Shopping?
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