Because of the commission-based structure of the industry, the salespeople have the greatest incentive to sell you a car with a lot of profit. Time spent trying to charm the salesperson is pointless since no matter how much they may like you, it's in their financial interest to get you to pay as much as possible for the car.
Automotive site Edmunds.com also offers new car-buying tools, including a True Market Value (TMV) formula.
Edmunds analysts look at the market, examine what other cars have sold for, consider the popularity of the car within your region and set the TMV price. It is the average amount that other buyers in your area are paying for the car. Usually, TMV is less than sticker price but more than invoice price.
Because it's an average, some people will pay much less than TMV and others will pay more. But by looking at TMV, you can get a rough idea how popular the car is and what you should expect to pay for it.
Closing the deal
Once you have made an offer, the dealer will almost certainly counter with a higher price. If you feel, after considering your research, that it is a fair price, then it's time to do the deal.
But if you think the salesperson will go a little lower, then simply begin to walk off the lot. If the salesperson is really willing to sell at, or near your price, it is at this point that they will let you know.
Story provided by ConsumerAffairs.