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How can I negotiate a lower price on a used car being sold by a dealer, (not a private seller)?

I want to buy a used compact car and spend between $7,500 – $9,500. I’ve seen several cars advertised online by dealers and private sellers that come close to meeting my criteria, but I would prefer to buy from a reputable dealer (like Carmax or similar) that does a 100+ point mechanical/safety inspection. I know that dealers price cars above the Blue Book value to make a profit. So how can I negotiate the price down closer to my preferred minimum price of $7,500? Also, can anyone recommend online references/resources that provide advice on how to negotiate effectively with auto dealers, for either used or new cars? (I live in the Washington, DC/Baltimore, MD metro areas if that’s relevant.)

The only reasonable response I have seen to your question is to check or Everything else is hogwash. These two webs sites provide you with a reasonable knowledge of what the car is worth and will provide you with trade in value, as well as, retail value. The dealers will have close to trade in value in the car plus their reconditioning costs. Get this info so you are not offering something that is completely unreasonable, and offer somewhere between trade in and retail. Make sure you are looking at cars that are within your price range of course.

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