Arriving Today: Your Dream Car
How important is a trim level? Does your car have to be a specific color? Are you loving the whole car, but you want the different wheel option? If so, car buying is going to get a little bit more complicated for you, especially if the dealership you’re loyal to doesn’t have that exact car on the lot. You could custom order the car, but then things are bound to get a little bit more complex, and a whole lot more expensive in a hurry. Little do most customers know, however, there is such a thing as a dealer trade.
A dealer trade is just what it sounds like. It means that your dealership can search for your very specific needs and find the exact vehicle at another dealership. However, there are some pitfalls associated with a dealer trade that you’ll need to be aware of before you agree to such a deal. Not everything in a car dealership is as it seems, but that doesn’t mean that you’re automatically going to get the short end of the stick if you choose to do a dealer trade. You just have to know the facts before you’re locked in.
Here are the advantages:
- You’ll get the exact vehicle that you want, no compromises will have to be made. If you need tan leather instead of black leather interior, chances are, the dealership can find that for you.
- There won’t be multiple salespeople involved, and you won’t have to break the bank on your gas tank searching for the car you want. You’ll only deal with one dealership and the salesperson who started the deal for you.
- It’s way faster than a custom order would be. If the car exists, your salesperson can find it. There’s no chance that you’ll have to add seven features you don’t want, just to get the one you do.
- You may get a better deal. If the car you want has been sitting on the other dealership’s lot for a couple of months, they might be willing to work with your dealership on the price but keep in mind that this is a rare find and you will still have to pay the fees to get it to the dealership.
- Your loyalty to the dealership will most likely be appreciated because they know that you COULD go to the other dealership and not have to pay extra fees. This will likely result in better customer service, including friendlier service and follow up on how you’re enjoying your new car.
On the other hand, there are disadvantages as well:
- There are going to be transportation fees to get the vehicle into your possession, which could mean a higher cost than you anticipated. Ask the dealership to define the parameters of what a dealer trade will entail before entering into the agreement.
- It’s not a certainty that you’ll get the exact vehicle you want. If the vehicle you want doesn’t exist on another lot, you won’t be able to get it. They’ll do what they can, but you may have to sacrifice something to get it.
- You’re locked into the deal. This means if they find you the vehicle you’re looking for, you better be absolutely sure that you want it. If they go through the process of locating and shipping the vehicle, they want to make sure that you’re 100% positive that you’re walking away with that car.
- They will also want a deposit, sometimes it’s just $500, but many customers have a hard time rationalizing the expense when they’re not walking away with their car that day. Also, if you weren’t prepared to offer a down payment of any kind, those funds may not be immediately available to you.
- It’s sight unseen. You don’t get to test drive that exact vehicle, so you don’t know if you’ll actually like it once you’re in it. If you’re waiting for leather interior, you have to be pretty sure that you’ll like it. You may find that it’s not what you were looking for, and then you’re pretty much stuck with it.
The salesperson you’re working with will use specific parameters to cast a wide search to find the exact car you’re looking for. While you may never see what happens behind the scenes, the dealer trade is somewhat complicated for the dealership with which you’re working. Sometimes a trade means calling in a favor, for which they will owe that dealership. Don’t think it means that you can’t still negotiate a good price with your salesperson, but don’t be too eager to accept this solution either.