Negotiation is usually par for the course when buying a used car, whether from a dealership or a private seller. One way to formulate your bid involves calling a local dealership giving a description of the car you are thinking about purchasing to see how much would be offered if you traded it in. This number can be a base point of negotiations for you. You might also consider bringing the amount of money you are willing to pay for the car in cash—seeing all that money and knowing it can be available immediately can be very powerful in persuading the seller to take your offer. Right off the bat, you can ask the seller what he is willing to take for the car—this lets him know you do not plan on offering the full amount. Depending on how long he has been trying to sell the car, or how desperate he is for cash, you may get a good offer.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about various auto topics; if you are looking for a used car in the Little Rock, Arkansas area, she recommends visiting Bill Fitts Auto Sales.