Knowledge is power
Knowledge is power. If you’ve used the Autoweb.co.uk valuation service and your asking price tallies with that figure, say so. If you’ve a laptop handy, go to the site and key in your car’s details as proof.
Remember though that the price shown may have dropped since you placed the advert.
Restate your car’s good points: service history, new tyres, year’s MoT certificate, whatever. Mention the value of these to the buyer (£300 for new tyres, £54.85 for an MoT test).
You could also use your laptop to browse Autoweb.co.uk and show vehicles similar to yours but advertising at higher prices. A little advance research, bookmarking links on your web browser, will pay handsomely here.
Whatever you do, smile, be polite and keep the tone courteous. The haggling may become spirited but remember that it isn’t personal: the buyer is merely trying for the best price, just as you are.
Having stood your ground, we’d expect the buyer to put forward a lower figure. The accepted tactics are that you in turn name a higher figure, with both sides eventually agreeing to a figure that falls midway between the two.
If you instinct is that the buyer is going down such a road, do the maths and calculate the haggling steps so that they arrive at the end figure you want. That done, offer a higher bid and follow up by re-stating the car’s good points: low mileage, service records, extra equipment fitted, whatever.
The buyer may fall silent at this point. Don’t feel you need to fill the space so left by justifying the price or, worse yet, by lowering the price.
Let the silence hang. If it continues, don’t be afraid to say something like: ‘shall we break for a few moments to consider where we both are?’
One tactic the buyer may try is to pull out a bundle of cash and count out the exact amount he or she is bidding, and try to put it in your hand.