Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Car Buying Process - Information Gathering

The Car Buying Process - Information Gathering
BAY CITY, Mich.- When you have determined that it may be time to replace your current vehicle or your household has the need to add a vehicle, the Information Gathering portion of The Car Buying Process begins. Tt is important to do your research and there is a wealth of information online regarding vehicle specifications, what the vehicle is capable of doing, colors, etc. However, there is much more to the Information Gathering Process than you may think.

You will be able to gather vehicle information very easy, however I am finding that it is difficult to find a “real life” guide to negotiation and purchase of such a large ticket item.  I believe this is because there are so many different variables involved when making a purchase of $10,000 or more.  It is my goal to bring transparency and clarification to The Car Buying Process, from the perspective of the owner of car dealership and someone who has been purchasing her own vehicles since the age 18. I believe my experiences as both an owner and consumer help me to see both sides of the equation.

First of all, you have so many options when it comes to a vehicle purchase and your background and history of purchases will without a doubt influence your purchases going forward.  I was taught that negotiation can be a fun process. However, I know that a majority of our population doesn't feel that way and in some cases see confrontation as a negative form of communication. So, for those who are not comfortable with negotiation, my recommendations are: Do your homework and find the vehicle that will fit your needs and give you the freedom you need.

Freedom can either be a simple means of transportation, or it can be a certain style that you like and desire. Freedom can be what is needed to tow your boat or trailer, or it can be what you need for your work. Once you identify your true need for a vehicle, researching potential vehicles will become easier. As you start to do homework and discover a certain type of vehicle you're interested in, don't limit yourself to just that one choice. I say this because the information gathering stage can be much different compared to the purchase stage.  Be flexible with your choices.  So really take the time to determine what needs does this new vehicle need to fulfill. From there you can decide if you are open to both new vehicles and pre-owned vehicles.

The Car Buying Process - Information Gathering
Research vehicles online at

Even though the web has quite a bit of information, you will find that once you have a relationship with a salesperson you will learn even more. The second part to this series will focus more on the purchase process of The Car Buying Process, but for starters if you are open to both new and used vehicles let your salesperson know that.  If you have time to continue the information gathering process and are not in an emergency type of situation, plan to visit and communicate with your salesperson for 1 to 7 days once you give them your criteria. As I mentioned in one of my past blog posts, be completely honest with your salesperson about your needs and your desires. I see people hold back on their desired vehicle because they are not sure if they can fit that into their budget. But, there are times that if we are aware of this we can come up with a method to help it fit within their budget. By holding back you may end up with a vehicle that doesn't completely satisfy all of your needs and desires. Yes, there are times that budget will dictate the purchase, but that is perfectly okay if the purchase is more need based rather than desired based.

In summary, it is critical to identify your underlying need for purchasing a vehicle. Once that need is identified, you can begin the Information Gathering Process whether it be on the web or in store. There is an unbelievable amount of information available to car buyers online, but that's not to say that the Information Gathering Process doesn't continue inside the dealership. Stay tuned for the second part of this series that will bridge the Information Gathering Process into the Purchasing Process when Buying a Car. Until then, if you have any questions, feel free to stop by or give us a call! Graff Bay City is located at 3636 Wilder Road, Bay City, MI 48706. For more information on Graff Bay City, or for any questions call us at (989) 684-4411 or visit our websites:

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Lisa Rechsteiner
General Manager
Graff Chevrolet, Inc.
Any questions or comments please do not hesitate to contact me at

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