Black Friday Pickup Truck Shopping? Here's What You Need to Know

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By Jim Travers

If you're looking for a good deal on a new or used pickup truck as Black Friday sales begin and want to get the most bang for your buck, there are several key issues you need to keep in mind. Yes, near the end of the month and close to a holiday can be a good time to score a deal, but here are some key tips to keep in mind.

Related: Shopping for a Pickup Truck? Here's What You Should Know

Before you even step foot on a dealer lot, read expert reviews, check for incentives on the models you're considering, know your current vehicle's trade-in value, line up financing ahead of time, shop near the end of the month and always be ready to walk. Additionally, research the dealers you're considering first by checking sister site Cars.com's consumer reviews of dealers.

Ready to hit the lots? Here are several other things to keep in mind when purchasing a pickup truck, especially if you want to buy something brand new.

Accessories for Your Truck

If you're thinking about personalizing your pickup truck, consider buying installed accessories from the dealer rather than buying them later. Add-ons like light bars, custom wheels, ladder racks or extra storage boxes can be rolled into your loan and will likely mean those accessories will covered by your truck's factory warranty.

Extended Warranty: To Buy or Not to Buy?

An extended warranty can provide additional peace of mind and can even pay for itself with a single large repair. Additional coverage also can be a good idea if you plan to keep the pickup for a long time; however, at $1,000 and more, they are not inexpensive. A better bet might be to buy a truck with good reliability ratings and simply maintain it regularly.

Don't Purchase Too Much Truck

Overall, pickup trucks offer many more powertrain, cab and bed-length configurations than your basic sedan, crossover or SUV. Even a base-model six-cylinder full-size pickup will likely have more power and towing capacity than most people will ever need — about 7,000 pounds of towing and 1,500 pounds of payload. Although we understand, more than most, that more is always better in the land of pickup trucks, keep in mind options and higher trim levels add up fast. And the more options your truck has, the heavier it will be, which decreases fuel efficiency.

Avoid the Add-On Trap

Even if you choose to add dealer-installed accessories and options, make sure to get only what you want and/or need. Paint, undercoating and fabric protection plans and other add-ons can add hundreds of dollars to your bottom line. As you might expect, some of these extras may not be necessary or functional and may be easy to do yourself.

Cars.com photos by Mark Williams

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Comments

Black Friday you can save $10k on a diesel. Check it out https://bit.ly/2PSWryn

Ironic that this piece does not mention financing. A mistake made in that area can cost you plenty. Do you have a credit union membership? Your credit union will provide a lot of solid advice if they think they'll be financing your new ride, whether you actually use them or not.

It will be nice to know what they'll loan for a particular model before you ever discuss financing at the dealership. Being approved in advance for a specific amount of money will also ease your mind during the negotiation process with the dealer's sales dept.

Guts

Glory

RAM Promaster City

All dealers will tell you there has never been a better time to buy. They will say this today as well as saying it yesterday, Last week, Last month, last year. They just don't get it.

@Daren

Is this 'a bad time' to buy or did I miss something?

Not a bad time to buy. Just not the best time to buy.

The single most powerful tool you need to get the best deal is the dealer actual coast from the manufacturer. You wont get this information from them, but it can be had. Don't fall for their "cost" book. They have another book with real pricing that I saw because the salesman was green and brought the wrong one.

The end of the month is good but the end of the tax year is the best time if you are buying off the lot. Any profit is better than paying tax on inventory, abet, there wont be a large selection to chose from.

Be ready to get up and abandon negotiations if they are not willing. To continue is giving away the advantage. He's the salesman and you are putty to be gently needed into a trophy.
My friend walked out and by the time he got home, they were calling to accept his offer. They hate to let a sale walk away.


Know what you want, do all the dealing online. No phone numbers. Just email. Check other dealers in the local area if possible. Put one against the other. Have a backup financing plan at your bank ready if needed. Take the dealer financing offer and rebate for that and then refi at your bank if it makes sense.

sp. "actual cost."

The single most powerful tool you need to get the best deal is the dealer actual cost from the manufacturer. You wont get this information from them, but it can be had. Don't fall for their "cost" book. They have another book with real pricing that I saw because the salesman was green and brought the wrong one.

The end of the month is good but the end of the tax year is the best time if you are buying off the lot. Any profit is better than paying tax on inventory, abet, there wont be a large selection to chose from.

Be ready to get up and abandon negotiations if they are not willing. To continue is giving away the advantage. He's the salesman and you are putty to be gently needed into a trophy.
My friend walked out and by the time he got home, they were calling to accept his offer. They hate to let a sale walk away.

You wont get this information from them [actual dealer cost], but it can be had. . .Posted by: Stevadore | Nov 23, 2018

Unless you know what the dealer is paying in state/local taxes you can't know cost.

Unless you know what the dealer's paying for real estate you cannot know his cost. Unless you know what the dealer is paying for personnel, you cannot know his cost. Unless you know what the dealer pays for radio and newspaper adverts, you don't know his cost. Ditto his utility bills

In other words, unless your friends with the dealer's accountant and/or the general manager, you don't know dealer cost.

no exceptions.

"The single most powerful tool you need to get the best deal is the dealer actual coast from the manufacturer. You wont get this information from them, but it can be had."

Whatever. Invoice and net cost (3% less than invoice on American made products) are both listed on the invoice. If your dealer's honest, he or she will let you see it.

Don't make buying a new truck hard. Enjoy the process.

rest assured. The general manager knows the cost or he won't be g.m. for long. Ditto the accountant.

If the VP Sales is a trusted member of the owner's family he knows too. Not many others know. I've worked at two dealerships and it's a very well kept secret.

If you think you need an extended warranty, don't buy. New or used, also CPO units are often the worse deals, due to the hidden costs. If you really need the extended warranty shop around, USAA is a good source of you can use them.

I just picked up a used Toyota minivan with low miles on Tuesday. I went in with my own financing and two other leads. So I felt no pressure at all to play their game. When I made my offer they said “yes” as long as I financed through them (No Way!) I restated my out the door price and said they had five minutes to decide or I was out the door. The benefits of having a father in law who is VP of loans at the credit union. 🧐

^ The moral of that story is that dealers sell more than just vehicles. They sell accessories, they sell service products and they also sell financing. It’s the majesty of capitalism. Buyer beware!

The article also should have made clear that you shouldn’t try to live above your means. No one will think very highly of you if you put your family in financial danger because you felt the need to compensate....

First you say buy all the accessories you want, but not a warranty because a grand is too expensive, then you say don't buy too much truck and then lastly don't buy any accessories?

Make up your freaking mind!


First you say buy all the accessories you want, but not a warranty because a grand is too expensive, then you say don't buy too much truck and then lastly don't buy any accessories?

Make up your freaking mind!


papajum,
I really do consider your UK socialist comment as unnecessary.

I do believe my views are wildly different than yours.

It appears some who comment on this site, like yourself limit your potential by being one eyed with your views on the US industry.

Like the current POTUS you live in a different world. The world of alternative facts.

I’m consistent with my views across borders. Nationalistic views that you exhibit (with others) distorts reality.

I even support the demise of vehicle manufacturing in Australia.

This site is very US centric, so expect much more from me regarding the US auto market.

Like your POTUS you only want to hear warm sweet comments regarding the US market.

The TRUTH is the global auto industry is a dog eat dog business. The US build consumer appliances with many overt and hidden forms of protection. I will highlight this at every oppotune instant.

All you see is chaos, complete chaos, a mess, a real mess;)

Be cautious when looking at GM products this just reported.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/gm-faces-federal-probe-over-faulty-braking-on-2-7m-pickups-suvs/

Steveadore is right they hate to let a sale walk away. My truck was certified used and i still beat them up on the price. Idgaf because the dealers make at least 5 grand on every new car they sell anyways. So we go back and forth and i get up and try to walk away a cpl times until they agree. Works better on a used vehicle obviously. Plus my credit union always gave me a better finance rate when the dealer tried to beat theirs. Happens every time. I prefer the old fashioned haggling..make those suits work for their dime haha.

expect much more from me regarding the US auto market.

@***

I have actually come to expect ZERO from you on almost any topic.

I'm no longer very surprised by your inability to recognize the danger that you represent to yourself and the people around you. A ticking time bomb you are.

You should listen to the Steely Dan song Aja sometimes--not the music itself, just the words.

All this time I thought P.J. was a dealership insider. Fooled me.

Nope. Just worked there.

Formerly worked for a company that owned Volvo, VW, Mercedes and Subaru shops. It was hard for them to make a living selling new Volvos and Subies. The VW and Mercedes business was like a fire-sale 24/7

Mercedes and VW enjoy huge brand loyalty, and their customers---gladly it seems---pay ridiculous labor rates for maintenance and repair. Who knows why.

My extended family includes folks who owned---until last year---a dealership. I hear plenty about the day to day operations and challenges of the business.

I find it hard to believe that a dealer would make at least 5 grand on each new vehicle. I have heard that the profit margins on most new vehicles are razor thin and that the real profit is in parts, service, and in pre-owned certified vehicles. Maybe papajim can clarify this but the manufacturer has the bigger profit margin on new vehicles. The service and parts department from what I have heard can make or break a dealership.

Jeff S

So right. Razor thin.

Sometimes they do well on a particular model that might be in-demand, but 5k is hard to picture except maybe on something like a Mercedes AMG

Maybe papajim can clarify this but the manufacturer has the bigger profit margin on new vehicles. The service and parts department from what I have heard can make or break a dealership...Posted by: Jeff s | Nov 24, 2018

I won't try to estimate the profitability of manufacturer's various lines or models. At the dealership, EVERY department has its own targets for categories like cost control and profitability. Service and parts are more complicated than 'sales.'

Service departments are required to comply with the manufacturer's many dictates, and Parts is obligated to carry products that the parts manager knows in advance will be a bomb.

Still they have to do it. Service also has to operate a fleet of loaner vehicles that they routinely lose money on, but it's required by the manufacturer.

Seasons come and go in the auto business and changing times can have a big impact.

When I was working there, the US economy was having it's worst season in about 50 years so a lot of what I learned may be different today, when so much economic news is bright.

Thanks for wonderful post, man. We loved it.

The cold weather is here time to refresh those old truck batteries, try this out https://bit.ly/2PSWryn

Take the dealer financing offer and rebate for that and then refi at your bank if it makes sense.

I second papajim whole heartily on financing.

I assume the ratio of cash buyers (would be in single digits) to finance. His advice to seek financial advice from credit union than commercial banks will definitely save you dough.

Treatment - remember if you head into the credit union it is like riding a public bus - you will have to be patient with Ralph Kramden - if you go to the commercial bank, it is like riding a limousine (you will pay dearly then after - the buyers remorse will rear its head).

I have only financed a vehicle once taking a 0.9 percent 5 year loan on my wife's new Honda. I have are heard that financing thru a credit union is better.

As for profit margins I have read that the profit margins on trucks, suvs, and crossovers for the most part is greater for the manufacturers and dealers. Even on those vehicles the profit margins increase with the higher trim models. That is one reason why the rebates on pickups tend to be higher especially on the higher trim models--more room to deal. If you are buying a car especially a compact or midsize there is less profit but you can still get a good deal because the market is saturated with them.

I agree that you should not buy more vehicle than you need but at the same time you should also not buy less than you want or need because you will likely be less satisfied and not keep the vehicle as long. I wouldn't buy a vehicle only because it is on sale especially if you don't really need a vehicle and are not sure that you really like it. We all have our own reasons for buying a certain type of vehicle and for how long we plan to keep it. Usually the longer you keep a vehicle the less it cost you in the long run but not everyone can or wants to keep a vehicle a long time especially if they put more than the average amount of miles on a vehicle or their particular needs for that type of vehicle change. I tend to keep my vehicles a long time usually 10 plus years. My S-10 I have had for almost 20 years but that is because the amount of mileage I put on a vehicle has dropped drastically over the past few years, the S-10 has been very reliable and is in excellent shape, and I like my S-10 and enjoy it otherwise why keep it. Eventually when I retire and move in a few years I will give my nephew my S-10 but for now it does everything I want it to do.

This article is a good article and many of the comments are very helpful. You can never know too much about vehicles or how to buy them. The way we buy most things has changed over the last decade especially with online shopping. Even the auto industry continues to change in the way they make and sell vehicles. More people buy things over the internet. Even dealers have gone to internet sales. I like being able to shop and research over the internet but when it comes to making a decision on what vehicle to buy I still want to see the vehicle in person and drive it.



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