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Marino on Money: March 29, 2011

READ MORE: Marino on Money: March 29, 2011
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Buying a car can be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. If you've walked onto a car lot, you may know the feeling of insecurity--the feeling that you might not be getting a good deal. Buying a car should be enjoyable, with minimal stress. Here are some tips to help make the process of buying a care a little easier.

1) Do your homework before heading for the dealer. There are so many resources on the internet that there's no excuse not to know what cars cost, and which features are available. You can read reviews of your favorite autos, compare miles-per-gallon, and even find the price your dealer paid online. Check out www.edmunds.com . It's one of my favorite sites.
2) Don't get trapped into a monthly payment discussion. Your goals are to find a car that fits your needs, and you can afford. Don't be a payment buyer, be a car buyer. Focusing too much on the payment can lead to poor decisions. Instead, focus on what you need and the final price.
3) Avoid impulse buying. Don't be afraid to walk away and sleep on the decision. You can call back later to agree on the price. Shopping around is usually a good idea, but not just because you want a good price. Visit other dealers so you can drive other cars. Looking at cars is never as effective as driving them. Unless you are buying the car just to look at it.
4) Treat everyone with respect. Salespeople are paid to sell things, and there is nothing wrong with that. That is what they do. Negotiate with them honestly and firmly, and chances are, they will operate the same way. Even if they don't, how I treat people should be based on my value system, not how someone treats me.

Finally, think about your budget. Salespeople will sell you what you want to buy. Its not their job to know my budget, it's mine. I must know what I can afford, and stick to it. That will make the process much enjoyable for me, and the salesperson.

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