If a car dealer puts that in front of you, you need to be ready.
5 Insider Tips for Not Getting Screwed by Car Salesmen

#4. Negotiate on the Total Price of the Car, Not the Monthly Payment
That is the now-infamous four-square worksheet. The four boxes are for the price of the car, the monthly payment, the down payment, and the trade-in value of your old car. The salesman will bounce from square to square, scratching out and rewriting numbers to keep you from getting too focused on one block, if that block is starting to upset you. The numbers are all interconnected through moderately simple math, but if you don’t have a calculator in front of you (like the salesman does), it’s all just nonsense. So, your eye will be drawn to the one square with the most easily understood number: the monthly payment.
This is by design — the dealer knows that $25,000 is a much bigger and scarier number than $350 (a month, for five years). It also allows the salesman to put things into more abstract terms.

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If a car dealer puts that in front of you, you need to be ready.

5 Insider Tips for Not Getting Screwed by Car Salesmen

#4. Negotiate on the Total Price of the Car, Not the Monthly Payment

That is the now-infamous four-square worksheet. The four boxes are for the price of the car, the monthly payment, the down payment, and the trade-in value of your old car. The salesman will bounce from square to square, scratching out and rewriting numbers to keep you from getting too focused on one block, if that block is starting to upset you. The numbers are all interconnected through moderately simple math, but if you don’t have a calculator in front of you (like the salesman does), it’s all just nonsense. So, your eye will be drawn to the one square with the most easily understood number: the monthly payment.

This is by design — the dealer knows that $25,000 is a much bigger and scarier number than $350 (a month, for five years). It also allows the salesman to put things into more abstract terms.

Read More

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