Is Haggling When Buying a Car Offensive?

October 23, 2014

Consumers vs. Car Dealers can't agree on this controversial ad about haggling. 

The commercial makes the statement that you don't need to haggle over groceries, so why should you haggle when buying a car?

Some dealers are offended that it perpetuates negative stereotypes about the industry. Some consumers sympathize with the experience.

How does this ad make you feel? Tell us what you think!


About the Author

monicavohara is an automotive expert at RepairPal, the leading online source of auto repair resources and estimates. With many ASE Master certified mechanics on staff who have decades of experience, RepairPal knows all the fine points of car repair.

6 User Comments

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By , October 24, 2014
It looks like (unfortunately) they did pull the ad - but I was able to snag it on another site to view it. I think it's absolutely brilliant - and there isn't anything wrong with calling a "spade a spade". Who likes haggling anyways? It's time for change... #changeisgood
By , December 07, 2014
To Haggle or not to Haggle? That is the question. I suggest it all depends on whether you're buying new or used. In north america we have been conditioned to haggle by the dealers themselves. This is what makes the task of buying a car so stressful because, prior to the internet, few of us really knew the value of a car, be it new or used. If like most of us you are buying a 'used' vehicle, do your homework on line and get to know the average value of the car you are thinking of buying. This will vary depending on condition of the car both mechanically and esthetically. Yes, we all like a good looking vehicle. Most dealers have some built-in "wiggle" room in their price and it's this amount you can play with. On a used car, it's probably between $1000 and $2000 ... therefore I will ask if they would accept $13000 for a car priced at $15000. Of course the salesman will usually say NO or, "I will have to ask the sales manager". If the offer is rejected, I know he will accept something between those two figures so my next offer is going to be $13500 I will walk away if they hesitate. This makes them think they will lose the sale and get realistic in their bargaining. If it becomes too much of a hassle, I will walk away for good anyway. Remember, there are thousands of used cars on the market every day, and there will continue to be so as long as car manufacturers keep filling the Dealer lots with NEW CARS. In other words, it's just like good looking women, there'll be another one walk by any minute.
By , December 24, 2014
Having sold new and used cars as a salesman, I can tell you the haggling (negotiating) is a normal part of the process. Salespeople are good actors, especially the ones that are unscrupulous. A salesperson will laugh at your offer or pretend to be offended, so as to make you feel foolish for making the offer in the first place. Ignore this and wait to hear their counter offer. To quote Henry Kissinger - "The best negotiator is the one who makes the most outrageous offer first"
By , January 17, 2015
Haggling is only inappropriate if the seller happens to be your Mom. I think haggling is poor terminology. Negotiating a deal sounds better. It's the American tradition to negotiate. We do it better than anyone on the planet. From real estate to NFL contracts, it's all about the deal. Cars generally have considerable room for negotiating a selling price, so why pay the sticker price?
By , April 23, 2015
Buying a car it's very difficult
By , September 20, 2015
Often balanced reasoning results from a mirror image view. What car dealer would accept the buyers first offer and simply dismiss haggling. Ridiculous to think that of course. Would not happen. The auto sales industry does not have a reputation to brag about. The legal environment in America does almost nothing to regulate honesty,integrity or disclosure in the industry. And if you knew what the strategies of the F & I rep were and what he/she cost you ,you would be shocked. At this point haggling is about all the consumer has. Haggle on my friend!,,