Car Buying 101 - A View From The Inside

With 19 years in the auto sales business I have decided to share some insight to the managers side of the car deal. So many websites try to coach a car buyer with out knowing the whole story. I would like to help you understand some of the things that work and some of the things that don’t as well as enlighten automobile purchasers on some of the mistakes that can cost you money!

A VIEW FROM THE OUTSIDE I have recently left the retail side of the automotive business.  After almost 20 years in the industry I am now working for a great company that provides insight to auto dealerships and teaches them how to look at the market around them vs gut feelings on how to buy sell and merchandise vehicles.

What does this mean for my blog followers?  Maybe a little more information… but not much of a change.  You see, no matter what my job description is, I am still a sales manager.

I understand how people perceive sales people… hell… I even shy away from them when I’m not in my area of expertise.  That is actually what this conversation is about today.

I found myself laughing in my own head the other day at a grocery/everything store.  When I walked in the door the young man said welcome to “..”  can I point you in the right direction.  I of course said no instantly.  Reality was… I just needed to find a cake pan.  Now he could have saved me time if I wouldn’t have done the normal thing that we all do…. went into just looking mode and assumed anyone who is trying to sell us something is not there to help us but to help themselves.  You see… gut reaction is to say “just looking”. Of course your just looking when you go out to a car dealership… you don’t buy a car with out looking at it first.  But, we are all afraid to ask for help.. or guidance.  It shows weakness and allows the salesperson to have control!!!  Well guess what.  We have a new thing called the internet.  Prepare yourself before you arrive.  Do your homework.  And don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help.  Good salespeople are there to help and guide you in a purchase.  If they do a bad job and you don’t buy a car it was a waste of their time also.. and most of them are commission based.. so it really hurts them to suck at their job.  So give them your wants and needs when you explain what you are just looking for.  But don’t show up blind.  Look online, read reviews  do some research about the car and the dealership!

You may find yourself with no help and unanswered questions… like I did.. standing in the cake mix aisle… when I should have been on the other side of the store.. in the kitchen items… 20 minutes of my life I will never get back…

It surprises me how often customers come in to the car dealership and argue about the price of the car or the car payment and never look at the entire budget decision.

As an auto dealership, we are here to sell cars.  Most of our customers are very budget minded.  They tend to focus on the payment or even the amount financed.  So we try our best to negotiate a win win purchase.  But when a customer stops  the process based on a budget and the payment is within a few dollars, I am surprised at how little they have done to prepare the budget for the purchase.

There are 4 items I try to get my salespeople to look at in every purchase decision.

1) The monthly payment of the car.  This is the obvious (duh) portion of the budget.  The customer has a predetermined payment in their head before they even set foot on the car lot.  My favorite is when that payment is $200 a month and they start looking at $25,000 cars.  Quick math… $25,000 divided by $200 a month is 125 monthly payments!  That’s right!  If you had a zero percent interest rate and no sales tax, you would be paying on a car for over 10 years!  So please…. do some research (and math) before you go shopping.  There are plenty of great payment calculators out there on the internet that can show you the price range for your budgeted payment.  But also, notice that newer cars offer longer loan terms.  $200 a month may buy you a high mile $7000 older car on a shorter term (36 months) than $200 a month on a lower mile newer car that can go 72 months financing around  $13,000.

2)  What about your insurance?  When is the last time you shopped around for insurance?  That’s right!  Insurance is mostly commission based as much as car sales!  There are many agents that come to the dealerships offering gift cards for each customer sent to  them.  Why?  Because they are commission based and more referrals equals bigger pay checks!  So shop around!  But be smart!  Make sure the prices you are getting are for comparable coverage.  And I cant stress the importance of customer service.  The best service I have ever gotten was from a commission based agent… why?  Because his paycheck depends on his service!  It is his best sales tool.  But, if you can save $10 a month on insurance… that equals out to about $500 more for the car you want to purchase… now that sunroof model looks more affordable!

3)  Fuel savings.  If you are a sales professional you may already use this tool.  If gas is $3.00 a gallon and you have an SUV that gets 12 miles per gallon and you are considering a smaller SUV you may want to look at the savings.  If the newer more fuel efficient model is getting 24 miles per gallon you are spending half as much on gas.  If you are driving the average 12,000 miles per year thats $1500 a year in fuel savings.  That frees up an additional $125 a month in payment.  Now… most of the time there is not that much of a swing… but even if its half?  Now were talking!

4) This one is a real surprise to me.  It has become more researched by consumers in the past few years and that’s a great thing!  INTEREST rate!  Depending on the size of your loan, this could save you $5 $10 maybe even $20 a month.  Get pre-qualified for your own good!  Visit your credit union.  Get an approval and print it off.  Take it with you.  Tell the salesperson while you are negotiating that you are pre-approved and ask them to give you a better offer to earn your financing.  They want your financing!  We are signed up with numerous credit unions to work on their behalf.  They pay us for the contract!  We make you a member at the dealership and give you the same rate as they would give you at the credit union branch.  So give us a chance to match or beat the rate you have. It can only benefit you.  But you need to have a starting point.  And please understand… get pre-approved!   Don’t walk in to your bank and ask what the best rate is and come tell us.  We know most of the rates.  And they are usually short term loans. Bring in the letter and use it as a bargaining chip.

If you use this advice you may be able to  upgrade  to a nicer car… or just save yourself some money that you could apply toward your other debt!  But don’t go in so  stubborn about your budget that you miss out on a really good deal.  Get your ducks in a row and make the right decision!  Just a shout out to my friends over at GreenCash4Cars who have been paying the most cash for cars in Anaheim, California & surrounding Orange County areas for nearly 30 years.

Constructing A DIY Wooden Fence

wood fence plansFinding wood fence plans that can withstand the forces of nature can be a daunting task. It is really a difficult task to come up with wood fence plans that can last for years while being able to withstand all sorts of weather conditions since it will be installed outdoors. What’s more, it should also keep its natural beauty intact regardless of what nature throws at it. Considering all these factors can be pretty overwhelming but this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find wood fence plans that fit these needs perfectly. What you need is to carefully think of what wood fence plans should you consider to get the best fence there is in the whole neighborhood.

When coming up with wood fence plans the first thing you should think of is to create a fence design that will last for a long time. During the conceptualization of your wood fence plans you should also consider outside factors such as the UV rays coming from the sun, the moisture coming from the ground and other environmental factors too. If you are going to make customized wood fence plans, you should focus on what weather conditions can cause damage to your fence and how best to prevent it.

You can begin your wood fence plans by taking the heat and sun into consideration. Since you are planning on having a wood fence on your property you should look for materials that can withstand constant exposure to the sun’s rays as well as the heat. There are some wood stains that offer better protection against UV rays. There are some homeowners who find that wood fence plans are not suitable for their area that’s why they invest more on fences that are made from iron or aluminum instead. The good news for those who are on a budget but would like to have a sturdy fence on their property, there are wholesale aluminum fence kits being sold today that can fit your budget.

Another environmental factor you need to consider for your wood fence plans is snow and rain. Wood is always prone to warping, bending and breaking when constantly exposed to water or moisture. Think about the condition of your wood fence when you combine heat, with moisture and water. Your wood fence won’t stand a chance! However, don’t panic. There are still wood stains available today that you can include in your wood fence plans to help strengthen your wooden fence. Applying stain to your wood can help create a barrier against moisture and water so your fence posts can last longer.

Wood fence plans should be crafted with the goal of having a wood fence that can provide you not just beauty but security and privacy too. You can seek advice from your local fence contractor to determine what type of wood fence plans will be applicable to your area. Ask if they will provide free estimates for your wood fence plans and what other services they can offer you in terms of fencing.

Make a Complete Fence with Wood Fence Plans

There are many types of privacy fences available today not just those that are made from wood. There are those that make use of electric gates on their property with matching security pad to make their place inaccessible to everyone except to those who are living on the property. If you are still interested in wood fence plans make sure that you take into account the factors mentioned above so you can come up with the best plan for your own fence. Taking the time with your wood fence plans can help you plan the perfect wooden fence that can withstand all kinds of weather conditions while still providing you with appeal, privacy and security as well.

If you want to bring your wood fence plans to life, make it a point to consider whether or not you will need the assistance of an expert. For DIY homeowners, you can always enlist the aid of your family and friends so you can finish the task easily. There are many wood fence plans that you can consider when building a perimeter fence on your property. Just make sure that the wood fence plans you will be getting are suitable for your location..

I have been working in the home repair industry my whole life as well as doing professional fence repair in oceanside, california. I want to share my expertise in fence repair and more. I hope my free DIY guides will help you and if you have any questions please feel free to ask.