BBB Offers 5 Tips for Presidents’ Day Shopping

MARLBOROUGH, MA — February is here and while known for its celebration of past presidents, consumers often look forward to substantial sales during Presidents’ Day on big ticket items such as new cars. Better Business Bureau Serving E. MA, ME, RI & VT (BBB) offers the following tips for those who are ready to take on Presidents’ Day deals.

“Savvy shoppers should plan ahead and stay mindful of their budget,” says Paula Fleming, spokesperson for the local BBB. “By developing a plan in advance and being aware of sales and discounts, consumers are more likely to have a successful and stress-free experience.”

In 2015, BBB received 884 complaints on new and used car dealers regarding guarantee or warranty issues, problems with the product or service, and advertising or sales issues. However, last year, customer reviews surpassed complaints as BBB published 1,071 on new and used car dealers.

BBB also reported an overwhelming 141,986 inquiries into used car dealers alone, making it the most inquired about industry of 2015.

Fleming explains, “These numbers demonstrate that consumers are doing their research, checking out businesses before making a purchase and submitting a review on their experience for future customers to read.”

Before you hit cruise control on your new or used car purchase, BBB offers the following tips for car shoppers:

  • Search for sales ahead of time. Check out dealers’ websites and online advertisements, as there are specific discounts being offered this Presidents’ Day. Don’t be afraid to comparison shop and check prices on the same vehicles at different locations. If an offer sounds too good to be true, think twice.
  • Do your homework. If you’re shopping around for a new car, Presidents’ Day is an ideal holiday for it. But before you sign on the dotted line, be sure to do your homework to find out exactly what you’re looking for, how much you can afford, and the type of customer incentives being offered. BBB offers consumers the Accredited Business Directory to find reputable dealerships in your area.
  • Research the manufacturer as well as the dealer. Over 51 million cars were recalled in 2015. Especially if you’re in the market for a used vehicle, it’s important to be familiar with the history of your desired car’s make and model. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers resources for safety problems. Their tool using a car’s VIN number allows you to look up a vehicle’s safety recalls over the past 15 years including recalls that are incomplete.
  • Stand your ground. If a dealer offered something in an advertisement but that vehicle is no longer available, make sure what they do offer in its place is comparable. Plus, don’t hesitate to negotiate. Don’t lose your motivation to drive away with a deal just because it’s a busy time to car shop. If you’ve done your research, you’ll be ready to “talk shop.” Stay calm and be confident. The dealer still wants to move inventory and they need you to make the sale.
  • Share your experience. If you’ve had a great experience with a business, we want to hear about it! Submit a customer review with us at bbb.org/boston/customer-reviews to help your fellow customers make their purchasing decisions.

For more information you can trust, visit us at bbb.org/boston or like us on Facebook.

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2015, consumers turned to BBB more than 161 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses, all available for free at bbb.org. BBB Serving Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont, founded in 1912, is one of 113 local, independent BBBs across North America.

(NOTE: The above press release is from the Better Business Bureau of Boston.)

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