Truck Buying Questions: How are you going to shop for your next truck?

Discussion in 'Chevy Truck Talk & GM News' started by ChevyFan, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    This is an informal poll, I am collecting data to try to prove a point. Not going into any type of marketing system or anything like that. Tell me what you think in a 1-2-3 format and like 30 words or less if you can. :)


    Question 1 - Dealer or Private Party?

    • Easy enough question. Dealer or private party transaction?

    Question 2 - How do you plan to find the vehicle that you want to buy?

    • Find a local dealership and/or lot and then check what they have in inventory?
    • AutoTrader,, eBay Motors, Craigslist?
    • Look in the local news paper or a free car magazine.
    • Drive to an "auto row" location in your local town and see what they have.

    Question 3 - How far away are you willing to look?

    • Only look local, maybe up to 30 miles.
    • Local / Regional search, maybe up to 100 miles.
    • Nationwide search, I'll go anywhere to find a good deal.
    • Only looking for warm, dry and flat climates (like Texas or Arizona)

    That's it. Answer them if you want, I'll look to gather this up in the next few weeks and see if I can learn something from it.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012

    LOVINTHESTORM Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    For me it's simple. I'm going back to my dealership and buy a Sierra Denali HD with all the bells and whistles. Just got to find the color I like.
  3. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I intend to keep what I have and replace what fails/breaks, as each such failure/breakage is a modding opportunity! However, assuming I were buying a used truck I'd answer as follows:

    Question 1:
    Either a dealer or a private party would be fine, as long as the truck is priced properly (and within my budget) for its age, mileage, and options. Dealers often have markup that private parties do not ... but they also often warrant trucks for some window of time after the sale -- which may be relevant depending on the truck's mileage.

    Question 2:
    To find the vehicle I wanted I'd use,, and Craigslist, and scan the local Carmax listings online, daily. (I'd avoid eBay because within a locality listings there tend to be redundant with listings on the tools I just mentioned). I'd also contact (there's one local to me), place a (refundable) deposit with them and effectively hire them to find me a vehicle that meets very precise specifications --which I'd provide to them as a written list of mileage range, year range, make, model, and required option list -- so that they'd be looking for me at auctions. Last, I'd scan the local paper and local dealership lots near me once a week.

    Note that this technique and combination of tools is exactly how I found the truck I now own. I was looking for something very specific and it took two months of looking every day to find it. I just finished doing something similar looking for a tandem trailer with a very specific pricepoint and set of options (which is ordered ... after a few months of looking), and I'm now using the same sort of approach looking for an ATV. (I wish I knew someone, here, who was an ATV dealer!) :)

    Question 3:
    Physically I look within a pair of 30 mile areas when driving by dealer lots. I say two 30-mile areas because I'm frequently in a city in Virginia on weekends so I look both there and where I live/work. Using online tools is, however, a different story. My limit is about 90 miles (each way) for something I find that I'm iffy about and need to see in person. If something matches my criteria very precisely then I'll go as far as 250 miles (each way) to see it. To lend some perspective, my current truck was purchased ~50 miles from where I live/work. The trailer I ordered will need to be picked up 103 miles from where I live/work.

    Something to note:
    My decisions on vehicles aren't emotional (anymore). I research things very heavily before I buy them, so I'm one of those people who knows exactly what I want and how much I'm willing to pay for it (and in what condition it should be) when I shop. I am patient when shopping, too, as I want to pay a reasonable price to get precisely what I'm after. The act of pre-thinking what I want and the hunt to find it tends to numb me from acting on instinct ... and the patient search for what I'm after tends to keep me from making rash decisions. Even if I like something enough that I think I'm going to buy it, I won't buy it that day ... I'll take 24-48 hours to stew on it ... so that there's no emotional charge to taint my decision. I wasn't always like this ... especially with sports cars. :)
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  4. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts


    Question 1 - Dealer or Private Party?

    • I would check private listings first to see how over priced the dealer is.

    Question 2 - How do you plan to find the vehicle that you want to buy?

    • I usually start with the on-line web sites first. Talking to sales people and dealing with sales manager pushing and shoving an trying to cram you into a vehicle when you are just looking is not making effective use of my time.

    Question 3 - How far away are you willing to look?

    • Well, that depends on the price. I will drive to Alaska from North Carolina if the price is right (which it never seems to be)
  5. RayVoy

    RayVoy Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    A1 - Dealer, not necessary that it be a GM dealer, but usually a dealer that sells new cars (not a fan of the small yard used only lots.

    A2 - Either a drive by, or a internet look, if I see an interesting truck on the lot, I'll check it out on the net (like the '05 SSR I saw on the local GMC lot; no, I didn't buy it).

    A3 - I'll start locally, but have been known to roan 2, 3, maybe 4 hundred miles, really not interested in more than a day away.
  6. the phantom

    the phantom Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    In 30 words or less my answers are as follows:

    1. Most likely Dealer
    2. I use any available resources while searching for example: Local dealerships, Internet, Autotrader, newspaper classifieds ect.
    3. Will look about 100 miles, I'm buying at 500 miles.
  7. MoBillyAla

    MoBillyAla Rockstar 100 Posts

    Question 1 - Dealer or Private Party?
    Question 2 - How do you plan to find the vehicle that you want to buy?

    • Find a local dealership and/or lot and then check what they have in inventory.

    Question 3 - How far away are you willing to look?
    • Local / Regional search, maybe up to 100 miles.

    Much like Surreal said, I research and make informed, not impulsive or emotional purchases. Right now in a perfect world my next truck (in at least 5 maybe 10 years) will be a Silverado HD, CrewCab, with the long bed.. engine choice will be one of the smaller but quality ones..Obviously I will have to be able to afford it, so time will tell if i get the truck I want or if I have to "settle" for less.. When it is my time to buy I will check the local dealers and also online to see what options are available and for how much money..
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  8. Hidef

    Hidef New Member

    I only buy new and if the dealer doesn't have what I want on the lot I will either go somewhere else or I will order it.
  9. Gryphon

    Gryphon Rockstar 100 Posts

    I always buy used and I nearly always buy private party. I will buy off a lot: I've bought from dealers, used lots and buy-here-pay-here lemon lots. My latest truck I picked up off of Craigslist 400 miles away....but I had my Dad go check it out as he lives in the same town. Turned out to be a good deal so far...'94 C2500 for 1300 plus I put another 500 into a tuneup and minor repairs I was expecting with any used truck.

    I won't buy new myself. I just cannot justify the extra cost, insurance and registration fees...or the taxes!!!

    My favorite truck buy was at a yard sale. Stopped to look at the junk on the ground and drove away in a new-to-me '79 Bronco!
  10. McClintoc

    McClintoc ɹoʇɐɹǝpoɯ Staff Member 3 Years 1000 Posts

    It will be 3 years or more before I look to buy a new truck. About a year from now I am going to buy a new car but it will be a sports car as I will be keeping my truck for as long I can. The next truck I want is a Suburban 2500HD. Either way, for my next car or truck, the buying process will be the same:

    Q1: Dealership
    Q2: I will probably try to find want I want through AutoTrader then go pick it up whereever it is at.
    Q3: I live in a major metropolitan area so there are lots of dealerships. I would be willing to drive up to 100 miles if I find exactly the car I really want.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012

Share This Page

Newest Gallery Photos