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I remember sitting down for Thanksgiving in and listening to my uncle tell my father about his car-buying experience the week before. He described in great detail about how he played coy for a while, letting the salesperson lead the conversation up until the point when it came down to money. The back and forth, the getting up and trying to walk out, the manager chasing him into the parking lot, the cut price, the regretful looks of the manager and his salesperson, culminating in the glorious and triumphant results at the end of the sale when he drove off with what he considered a steal.
The two discussed every nuance, every scowl and head shake. They made it sound... fun.
My first car-buying experience didn't go as well. By that time, there was already information available on this new thing called "the internet" that gave me insight into the numbers. I was instantly despised and practically tossed out of two dealerships before finally buying a car. I was lectured by the sales manager and the sales person about how invoice and holdback pricing on the internet was either going to be outlawed or the car business wasn't going to survive.
They were wrong on both counts. Now, the internet is a tool for both buyers and sellers. The market has been normalized so that most car deals are fair for both to some extent. Despite all of the knowledge out there on both sides, the negotiation phase is still something apparently loathed by most buyers.
This infographic by KBB shows information about this and other aspects of the buying process. It's interesting information that can be used to make the car-buying experience easier on both sides of the table. Click to enlarge.