I have been passively hunting for a new car for a few months now and a friend recently asked me what I was waiting for. I told her I was waiting for the best deal and the best financing options which typically come in the last quarter of the year. She asked why and that started an hour of me rambling and talking her ear off (my friends are so patient with how excited I get about deal hunting).
So there ARE best times of day, week and year to buy a car!
1. Day of the Week-Not all deals are made the same and they happen on different days of the week! Weekends are the worst time of the week to buy a car. Why? Because most people have their weekends off and want to use that time to run errands including buying a new car. So when you go to the dealership on a Saturday and are iffy about a deal, the dealership will shoo you away to make room for the next person in line! 2. Time of Day-According to Autotrader.com, the best time of the day to buy a car is at the end of the day. According to the car site, salespeople might be more likely to be weak willed at the end of the long day and thus willing to discount more as long as it means they get a commission at all. 3. Month(s) of Year- The last quarter of the year is the best time of year to buy a car from a dealership. The dealerships are trying to move out all the old inventory to make room for the new. I have personally purchased 2 new cars from dealerships in the month of December at fantastic deals.
If you are really looking to buy a car from a dealership (new or used), reach out to your friends and family and ask if anyone you know is looking to buy a car, too. Heck, go on facebook and ask your facebook friends! The best car deal I ever got in my life was when my dad, sister and I all needed new cars so we walked into a Honda dealership here in Georgia, and walked out with 3 top of the line Accords (leather heated seats, souped up etc, in 2007) for insanely low prices. At one point the Honda dealership manager came over to us and told us, somewhat irritably, that his sales rep wasn’t make as much commission on each car but was pleased to do so because of the aggregate.
Don’t be afraid to walk away! There’s no such thing as a “one time deal” that “cannot be matched”. I have walked away many times and had dealerships call me begging me to come back with an even better deal!
This usually goes without saying but I will say it anyways: do your research. I once had a dealership salesperson try to tell me the KBB value of a car I was interested in was $2000 more than it really was. This was back in the day before smartphones so I had to pull out the printed out KBB estimates but now you can download the app and save the information for when you arrive.
Be over-inclusive-By this I mean if the rebate asks for “the original UPC” I often collapse the box and send the WHOLE THING. I started doing this 12 years ago when a company said they could not “verify the item based on the UPC alone”. This also helps because a lot of packages have 2 UPCs so it’s hard to know which one to send. By sending the whole box you get rid of the confusion.
Keep a copy of the receipt-If the rebate asks for the original receipt MAKE A COPY of it for your records! This tip comes from an electronics company that had a mail in rebate for $50 on a $200 item. I sent in the receipt and the company said they never got it. I learned my lesson.
Write Legibly-Even if your address is clear on the envelope, if it’s not clear on the form they can refuse to send you the check. Do not give them any reason to deny to claim!
Put the correct email address-I used to put fake email addresses because I did not want to get SPAM. Unfortunately, a lot of rebate companies will communicate issues or problems with your rebate via email, so make sure you put the right one. in general fill out the form correctly.
IF Rejected-Write or call them! I was recently rejected for a rebate on a item. The item had an online form and I filled it out precisely. A week later I got a letter in the mail saying that I did not purchase a qualifying item. What?? I 1000% did! I had the box to prove it! If only they’d asked for the original UPC! Well, in fine print on the bottom of the letter there was an address to send appeals. I sent in the box, the form, the receipt and crossed my fingers. Alas, I got the check in the mail 2 weeks later! So don’t let a rejection discourage you!
Check your rebate status-Follow up on the company’s preferred method whether it’s a 1-800 number or website. And don’t be afraid to complain! You are not in the wrong to ask for what you are entitled to!
Cash the check ASAP-A lot of times the checks or prepaid cards that companies use for rebates expire within 30 days so make sure you use them as soon as you get them!