Know what the dealer paid for the car… new or used

Part of your research is determining what the dealer paid for a particular vehicle. Finding out the price that the dealer paid for a specific car or truck is pretty easy if the vehicle is new. There are many websites that can help you get to this figure. Beyond that, you can find websites that will show you Holdbacks and Dealer Incentives that will affect dealer profit and, hence, price on an automobile.

For used automobiles, getting to the price the dealer actually paid at the auction is a bit more difficult. That said, you can get close by doing research on the web about comparable cars with comparable options, wear, and mileage. Kelly Blue Book (, NADA ( and Edmunds ( are good sites to do these types of comparisons.

Most reputable, new-car dealers will show you their dealer invoice, which shows what the dealer paid for the vehicle. Don’t be afraid to ask to see the dealer invoice on any new automobile you are considering purchasing. Used car dealers however, will rarely be willing to share with you what they paid for the vehicle.

For a used car on an average purchase of $10,000 to $12,000 a reputable used car dealer will earn between $1,200 and $2,500.

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