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Know Your Opponent

In any strategic game, the more you know about your opponent, the better. When you visit the dealership, the car salesman is going to ask you lots of questions in order to learn as much about you as he can. So to even the score, here are three important facts that you should know about him:

1. He needs you more than you need him.
The car salesman can be under a lot of stress. If he doesn't sell a car, he doesn't eat or pay his rent. That's a lot to live with. In addition, his Sales Manager may be pressuring him to sell, sell, sell. So despite how cool and calm the salesman may appear on the surface, he may be desperate to sell you a car.

2. He is not really in control.
The salesman operates under the illusion that he is in control, that he's running the show. In actuality, you have the final say. If, at any point, you are made to feel pressured or uncomfortable, you can always say "no" and walk away.

3. He may not be totally honest with you.
When you ask the car salesman a question, he may give you an honest answer. Or he may lie. Or he may say he doesn't know the answer because he really doesn't know. Or he may say he doesn't know because he wants you to think that he's not as smart as he really is (that's a ploy that some salesman use).

In other words, because the car salesman is under so much pressure to sell you a car, he may say anything to get you to buy. And he may do it under the guise of being a nice, sincere guy. So to protect yourself, it pays to be a least a little suspicious of any car salesman no matter how friendly you may get with him.

Aren't there any honest car salesmen?

Yes, of course there are -- just as there are honest politicians. But the problem is that there are so many unscrupulous car salesmen and the nature of their game is so tricky, that it's best to be on your guard. It's sometimes the ones who seem the most honest who are actually the trickiest.

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