Dear Dave,

My husband and I are looking at getting a second vehicle. We found one we like, and it's in great shape, but they're asking more than we can afford to pay. How do you make a low offer without making someone angry or insulting them?


Dear Angela,

It's always a smart move to try and stay on the seller's good side. You want to be classy and diplomatic, and never point out the bad things about an item someone's selling just to drive down the price. If you insult their merchandise or insinuate the price is unfair, you're likely to blow the whole deal right off the bat.

How about this? Tell them it's a fine vehicle, and their price is fair, but the amount they're asking is outside your budget. Let them know how much you want to work out a deal, but, in order for it to fit into your lifestyle, you can only pay a certain amount. You might throw in that a lot of people are selling things right now because of the economy, and you're just looking for the very best deal.

Maybe that, and letting them know you're standing there with money in hand, will help swing this thing in your favor. Good luck, Angela!

Dave Ramsey is America's trusted voice on money and business. He's authored four New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover and EntreLeadership. His newest book, written with his daughter Rachel Cruze, is titled Smart Money Smart Kids and is out now. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 6 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at