Former car salesman: Never say this 1 thing when negotiating a deal

An employee at a Mercedes-Benz car dealership.
Dmitry Rogulin | TASS | Getty Images

If you play your cards right during a car negotiation, you could score a great deal and save thousands of dollars.

There is one thing you want to avoid saying when negotiating with a dealer, though: "I don't like the car."

That's according to former car salesman Matt Jones, who is now senior manager of insights at car review site Edmunds. "People used to say, never let the dealership know that you like the car," Jones tells CNBC Make It. However, acting unenthusiastic won't necessarily land you the best price today.

"Nobody is going to spend thousands of dollars on something they don't like," Jones says. And the salesperson knows that.

In today's world of social media and word of mouth, dealers want to sell to people who are happy.
Matt Jones
senior manager of insights at Edmunds

Rather than playing too hard to get, "a better idea is to actually say: 'I like this. And if you make me a good deal, I'll tell all my friends that you gave me a good deal and you're a good place to buy from,'" says Jones. "In today's world of social media and word of mouth, dealers want to sell to people who are happy.

"They don't want to sell to people who are miserable. If you're happy, you have the chance of referring your friends, your family, your colleagues — but if you're miserable, nobody wants to deal with that."

Plus, entering a negotiation pounding your fists could backfire, Jones says. "If you're mean and tough and act like you don't care about the car that you're buying, a lot of dealerships will be like, 'If you don't want it, that's cool. Go buy something else then.'"

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