Many dealerships recommend that if you’re in the market for a car, to head to an auto dealer on Black Friday. However, despite boasts of some of the best discounts of the year, it’s imperative to do your research before heading to the lot to receive a superficially great Black Friday Car Deal. When looking at Black Friday deals, it’s important to look at more than just the discount. Here are Carvana’s top tips of what else to look for to ensure you’re getting the best car deal on Black Friday.

Lot Price vs. Internet Price

Some dealerships will price their cars on the lot at a higher value than their internet price so when they deep discount, it seems like you’re getting a better deal than you are.

Example: ABC Audis lists a 2011 Audi A5 Coupe online for $34,900; however at the dealership, the car might be listed for $36,900. If you walk into the dealership, the salesman might give you a $2,500 Black Friday Deal right away. However how good of a deal did you really get? If you had known the online price, you’ll find that you only received $500 off the internet price.

Solution: Make sure when you go to the dealership, you have a copy of the internet price in hand, whether printed or on your phone/tablet.

The Carvana Difference: At Carvana, we have one, no-haggle, fair price. You’ll see right away, an honest and transparent price of the car.

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Inflated Prices

In #1 we addressed doing your research on the dealership site to ensure you know the best price that dealership is offering. But how do you know if that price is fair? It’s not unheard of for dealerships to mark up their prices in order to allow deeper discounts.

Example: You checked the site and know ABC Audis is listing their 2011 Audi A5 Coupe online for $34,900. The dealership gives you a $2,000 Black Friday Deal. You know that you’re getting the best deal at that dealership but is it really a great deal? If you check any Fair Market Comparison Tool such as Kelley Blue Book, you’ll find that the fair price for that Audi is approximately $33,297, meaning that $2,000 savings is really only approximately $397 when you take into account the fair market value of the car.

Solution: Don’t skip your research just because it’s Black Friday. Make sure you’re looking at third party market comparison tools and other similar vehicles in your area to ensure that the car you’re looking at is priced fairly.

The Carvana Difference: At Carvana, we offer a Market Price Comparison for every vehicle in stock. We’ll show you where our car compares to similar cars in your area, including a clear side by side comparison.

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Hidden Charges and Fees

Have you ever purchased a car and found that once everything was said and done the car cost thousands more than the price that brought you into the dealership? This is because dealerships will sometimes list the base price and add additional charges and fees once you start the purchase process.

Example: You found a different 2011 Audi A5 Coupe at XYZ Audis for $33,900. You’ve done your research and you know that this is a fair price for the car. At the dealership you’re offered a $2,500 Black Friday Deal, so you sit down to start the purchase process. Immediately the car is $36,900 due to $3,000 in Fabric and Paint Protection, VIN Etching, and other prep charges that have been automatically added to your purchase. Suddenly this car is more costly to the first Audi you examined at ABC Audis and you haven’t even seen the processing fees, dealer fees, etc.

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Solution: Don’t be afraid to question every charge and fee and definitely don’t be afraid to walk out. You may need to get into the purchasing process at a few dealerships before you can really see the true cost of your car. To learn more about charges and fees commonly incurred at dealerships check out our blog: Profit Pockets and How to Avoid Them.

The Carvana Difference: In order to provide an honest and transparent purchasing process, Carvana charges zero dealership fees and provides the amount of taxes and fees you will incur before you enter the purchasing process. That’s right, zero surprises.

Financing Deals

Another seemingly great Black Friday Deal utilized on to get customers onto the lot are “great” financing rates. Because financing is one of the top four frustrations in car buying, many dealerships will use this opportunity to take advantage.

Example: You’ve sat down at both ABC Audis and XYZ Audis to figure the out the door prices (after all the charges and fees are incurred) and even though the ABC Audis was slightly more expensive — $38,900 vs. $37,500—because they’re offering “$2,000 cash back or .09% financing!” However, the question remains, do you qualify? It’s a definite possibility that you don’t.

Solution: It’s important to be very careful with these offers as they can be easily limited to new cars, specific inventory, certain credit scores, certain financing terms, etc. Closely check the terms before letting the enticing financing deal suck you in. You don’t want to be two-thirds through the purchasing process only to find out the financing deal that brought you in doesn’t apply to you.

The Carvana Difference: Carvana financing is all about visibility and control. We want you to be able to get your options while you are sitting comfortably on your couch and we want to build tools for you to use that help you shop smarter.  Our Finance Dials will show you every combination of down payments, monthly payments, and terms that are available. Want a monthly payment of less than $400 and a term of less than 48 months? Our tool will show you exactly what your interest rate and down payment options are with those choices. Play around and see what works for you. BF4

About Carvana

Carvana is the first complete online auto retailer that allows consumers to shop, finance and purchase a car entirely on the Web in less than 15 minutes. The company puts full control into the customer’s hands and break away from the traditional car buying process by providing a secure, intuitive online shopping platform that allows individuals to browse the company’s inventory of vehicles, dynamically set their unique financial terms and coordinate delivery method, all from the comfort of their home. Upon delivery, customers are able to test drive their vehicle in their own neighborhood, and also enjoy Carvana’s 7-day “test own” return policy. If the customer decides they don’t like the car for any reason, they can return it within seven days, no questions asked.