Buying from a dealership presents a lot of benefits, but not the one you are most interested in.
There is a wider selection. Dealers usually have a website that can be perused at your leisure. A dealership likely has their entire inventory of cars listed either on their own site and a classifieds or car listing site, making used cars available at dealerships easier to find online.
But that also means that dealerships have incurred the fees that are associated with having their inventory online. Besides just selling you a car, they also have to worry about all the other online competition and getting you to their listings.
That means they have to pay for advertising to make sure you reach their website. They may also have to pay for their listings to be placed higher on car listing sites.
And as friendly as your local car salesman may seem, the dealership isn’t eating these costs. They are funneling whatever they are having to pay for online advertisement, placement, website hosting, etc. right into the bottom line of that cheap used car you are searching for.
Your great bargain just turned into an alright bargain.
Everyone is looking for the better value. By buying used cars for sale by owner, you are more likely to find a diamond in the rough or an overlooked cheap used car bargain.
Your neighbor down the road that wants to be able to finance an end-of-summer vacation to Aruba is much more likley to sell you a car for a great price than a business that is constantly looking at their bottom line.
Unlike dealerships, you will likely be able to haggle with a seller, especially if you are standing in the person’s yard with cash in your hand.
Since a private seller doesn’t have to answer to a boss (well…maybe just their spouse), if you set down a stack of Benjamin Franklins and fan them out on the hood of the used car, there’s a much better chance of the private seller taking $500 or $1000 less than what they may be asking for the vehicle.
Turning away your money, which is so near to being in their grasp, is like accepting a defensive penalty on a made field goal and going for a fourth-down conversion. The points have already been put on the board after the field goal went through the uprights…why continue to battle to try to squeeze a few more dollars out?
While dealerships can offer a better variety, an even better bargain for cheap used cars is usually waiting with a “For Sale” sign in someone’s front yard or in your local classifieds.