EMOTION CONTROL (from Chapter 5:
Buying a used car can get very emotional and it's extremely important to hide your emotions when negotiating. This isn't always easy to do. Consider the following: You've looked at six cars in the past month. Three were junk and two others you had checked out by your mechanic failed because of hidden body damage. With the last car you called about you were certain you had finally found your car, but someone else swooped in and bought it before you even had a chance to look at it.
At this point, you are down a $100 in mechanic's fees, your frustration level is high, and your patience is worn thin. You need to find a car. Finally, you come across the perfect car. It has all the right features, it runs excellent and checks out with your mechanic, and it's even your favorite color. You are happy as a lark.
Do you know what happens when the seller sees your face beaming while you're doing cartwheels of joy? Suddenly he gets real firm in his price. He knows he has a buyer who wants his car bad, and is unlikely to budge in price. If you want to get anywhere with the seller at the negotiation table, then your emotions have to be 180 degrees from this. You have to be deadpan.
Remember, the seller will be observing you as well. When you're checking out the car you must act like you're not impressed with it. Even though inside you're screaming with joy, on the surface you must convince the seller that you're not really interested that much. This keeps the seller guessing as to whether you will even make an offer and he will remain much more flexible when it is time to haggle. It's the reverse-psychology thing. Think like a poker player who's just been dealt an ace-high full-house. You wouldn't want to give yourself away, would you?
Plenty of times I have looked at cars that were reasonably priced where I would have gladly paid the full amount, but instead I bought them for hundreds less. Even though I was willing to pay what they were asking, I would still make a lower offer. If they say no then I make another offer closer to their price. What's the worst that could happen? They don't budge, and you pay full price. But nine times out of ten they will bend a little, if not a lot. And when they do, you have recouped that money spent on mechanic's fees, giving you even more reason to be happy as a lark.