HOW TO: Buy A Car Without Putting A Shotgun In Your Mouth

Browsing Metafilter, we found this excellent post detailing the smart way to make a purchase from those plaid-skinned abominations who lurk in the primal shadows of every consumerist’s nightmares, grinning their straight razor smiles and beckoning us to sign contracts in bilesome blood: the car salesman.

It’s long and there’s too much good stuff to quote, but here’s the bottom line: When you walk into a dealership, just remember that every single person you talk to is going to do everything they can to take every last penny they can get out of you. They might pay lip service to ‘customer loyalty,’ but EVERYTHING is motivated by profit.

Here’s another great bit:

After you’ve set a target price and written your message, find the “quick quote” tab on the edmunds site. Send out a request for info to any dealership within about an hour or so from where you live. When I did it, I provided them with a temporary e-mail address and a fake phone number.

Boy, am I glad I did.

What occurred next was nothing short of an communications onslaught. Every dealer (I sent messages to 11) sent me at least 1 email, and the average was two or three. In one round of messages, I accidentally used my real phone number; every single one called me. Be prepared… when these sharks smell the blood of a car buyer (especially one in a hurry), they get scary.

If you’re looking to throw your flesh amongst the hucksters, you might make this your Bible.

How To Buy A Used Car [Metafilter]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.