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Conquering the Car Dealer Four Squares

By: StaffPublished August 26, 2021

If a car dealership wants to use the foursquare worksheet to their advantage, the scenario will probably play out like this: You sit down at the table, ready to get a great deal on the car. The salesperson will usually have you initial a box that says you will agree to buy the car if you arrive at a price that is agreeable to both parties. The salesperson will then take the paper to the “tower” and have the manager fill it out. When he comes back, the number for the monthly payment will likely be much too high and the number for the trade in will be way too low. This is meant to put you on the defensive and keep your attention away from the actual price of the car. If for example, you concentrate on negotiating monthly payments, your trade value or down payment might go up, but the final price of the car will remain unchanged. If everything goes according to the dealer’s plan, the salesperson will make several trips to the tower, the sheet will be full of large numbers and scribbles, but the final price of the car won’t change a dollar. Instead, the money will have just been pushed around among the trade value, the down payment, and the monthly payments.

The more squares you control, the better you’ll be able to shift the focus to that one magic number – the final price of the car. You can start by taking control of your monthly payments and down payment. Get pre-approved for a loan before you even walk into the dealership, so you don’t have to go through the dealership’s financing department to pay for your car. Next, consult services like the Kelley Blue Book to find out exactly how much your trade in is worth, and don’t accept any less than this price no matter what excuse the salesperson gives you. You can also eliminate the trade-in altogether by simply selling your old vehicle. Defeat the car dealer four squares by eliminating all but the most important square, and you’ll be able to negotiate the best deal possible on your vehicle.

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