A lot of you are going to be looking for a brand new Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram Pickup or Ford Car or Ford Truck this Spring.

Before you shop it is good for us to go over “lowball pricing again”, it seems to be rampant this year.

“Lowball” pricing is simply a low price that the dealer gives to you but has no intention of honoring when you actually want to make the deal. He can do this in an ad in the paper, a TV or radio ad or in person.  He does this to make his price look better than all his competitors, which is unfair to you and to the legitimate dealers he competes with. In fact, advertising a lowball is illegal.

All dealers buy the cars and trucks from the factory for the same price so beware when you see a dealer who seems to have prices thousands less than the other dealers there is always a catch. Look for these things:s

1) Lots of small print that is unreadable (especially on TV) or so quickly read on the radio that you can not make out what it says

2) Disclaimers that say “all rebates and incentives applied”. The dealer probably is adding up a lot of rebates you will not qualify for to get to his ad price. For example there is one local dealer advertising online prices that include the extra $1,000 rebate from Dodge that is only for those people that own Case farm tractors. His price may seem $1,000 less than the other guys but you will not know until you get there! I do not even know one person who would qualify.

3) Look for a LACK of disclaimers. There is a local dealer advertising $329 per month for a sport utility but not saying anything at all about the term or conditions.

4) Beware of the dealer who is claiming that he is really big, implying he is buying the cars from the factory at a lower price, he is not.

5) A dealer may list all of his inventory in the paper or online at a loss but refuse to honor the price unless you finance from him at some outrageous rate or buy some worthless rustproofing package, so he can get it all back and then some.

6) Be careful about a verbal “lowball”. I heard a Sales Manager in a New York City dealership once quote a customer $5,000 UNDER cost on a car as the customer was about to leave the showroom. I asked the him why he did that. He bluntly told me that he gave the customer a price so low that he himself could not honor it and so the customer had to come back to him after he shopped all the other dealers.

Like I say “two five dollar bills for your twenty” is not a ‘two for one sale”! Keep your eyes and ears open and your wallet closed until you know all about your deal.