1.)Get financing ahead of time/know your credit. You always want to have a financing option in hand before you go to a dealership. Nothing wrong with negotiating a better deal with them once you get there, but never go in empty handed. This way you can have idea of how much you can afford to spend, and what a car is going to cost you
2.)Do your research. Know what values KBB/NADA/Edmunds/TrueCar are listing for the cars you are interested in. Also know what other dealerships are listing similar cars for. Dealerships will prey on the uninformed, so make sure that you are
2b.)If you don't know enough about cars to inspect one yourself, arrange to get any used car inspected or bring someone who DOES know what to look for. It's surprisingly easy to polish up a turd and get it passed inexperienced eyes
3.)Never take the first offer, unless it's a place like CarMax that doesn't negotiate. Dealerships know the game, and they always get a certain number of people to bite on the first offer. make them work a little to get your business
4.)You can negotiate on more than the price. Oil changes, services plans, warranties, accessories are all fair game.
5.)In today's world, internet sales departments are your friend. You can send a blanket email to 3 or 4 dealerships and get them to compete for your business, let them haggle with each other before you ever haggle with them
6.)Get them to print you a Buyers Order for any car you are seriously, that is what you negotiate from. It will look like pic related, and itemize every line of the sale. Don't let them 4 square you or hand write shit on a piece of paper. Get a buyers order
7.)Never be afraid to walk away from a deal. If you have a bad feeling, sleep on it. There will always be other cars