Car Dealer Negotiation Scam: The 4 Square Method

People usually walk into the lot with much emotions and less preparedness. Yet, it would be wise if they leave emotions at the door and arm themselves with knowledge on how to prevent themselves from being taken for a ride. Most car dealers are pretty cunning dudes who master a number of shrewd tactics to lighten your wallet considerably. The 4 square method is a widely practiced car dealer negotiation scam that aims to throw car buyers into confusion and grab more money.

Being aware of the notorious 4 square method can definitely help you avoid getting ripped off by shrewd dealers. The 4 square method is basically a psychological thimblerig profiteering during car selling negotiation process. In this extent, shrewd car dealers change four variables on a worksheet to trick customers into paying more for a vehicle.

How the 4 Square Car Sales Method Works

The 4 square method is a fraud negotiation technique that is meant to confuse potential car buyers by mixing the price of the car, down payment, trade-in value, and monthly payment into one sheet of paper divided into four squares. From the first sight,  it is just a simple sheet of paper with four squares or boxes drawn on it, each for a different type of payment. Normally, the top left square contains the trade-in value of the vehicle. The top right square is for the price of the car. The bottom left one in the amount one is willing to put down. And finally, the bottom right square is for one’s monthly payment. On the top of most worksheets, there is usually a statement that says the buyer will buy a car today if the numbers are agreeable.

Everything seems as easy as ABC until the car dealer begins to mix the amounts of 4 squares supposedly to make a good deal for you. The fact is that you are getting ripped off instead of getting a good deal. The sheet is taken to the sales manager after being presented to you. The sales manager is actually the main negotiator and the one who puts numbers in the boxes. Most sales managers focus on the monthly payment since it’s the easiest to manipulate. It will be helpful if you pay attention to the bottom line-the over the price you will pay for the car, instead of getting into too-good-to-be-true tricky numbers that supposedly offer a great deal for you.

Not all dealerships will use the 4 square negotiation technique but many will. If you are among the thousands who were ripped off by devious car dealers, using the 4 square method, consulting an experienced dealer fraud attorney will be the best choice. The experienced and aggressive car dealer fraud lawyers at the Margarian law firm have long and successful experience in representing consumers against deceptive car dealers. We fully understand the sophisticated methods and tactics car dealers use to cheat buyers and know exactly how to fight for our clients’ rights to get back the recovery they really deserve.