This is a classic car dealer tactic. The dealer goes back to speak with his manager. He comes back moments later, smiling, with another smiling person, supposedly the manager. The new smiley face asks for more money. They might keep bringing out many more smiling new faces, each telling you how reasonable their numbers are. This sort of team bullying with smiles is a common way to tack on an extra thousand or so.
There is a good reason why you should only attempt to buy a car when you're feeling in a fit physical and mental state. There any number of car dealer sales tactics that involve dragging out the time by taking you on test drives and that sort of thing in order to wear you down. A tired buyer is more likely to concede to higher prices if only to get the deal done. This is extra cash in the dealer's pocket.
The dealer walks into the back office supposedly to talk to some superior. He comes back later with a note politely requesting more money. Of course, you refuse, but he goes back and then comes back with another note asking for more money, but slightly less than the previous note. This can happen several times. You feel like you're arguing them down on the price. Sneakily, they have lured into negotiations mode. The truth is these aren't really negotiations at all; they are play acting. Internet car sellers are likely to use some version of the note system.
The dealer may take out a piece of paper and ask you what car you want, what you want to pay and everything else you might wish for that comes with a price tag. He'll then scribble down all the numbers that come out of your mouth, even if they are completely unreasonably. Then he'll start pulling out his numbers, scratching them out, writing a slightly lower number down each time. By the time he's done, the sheet is filled with ink and you're completely frazzled. Remember that this is not the only dealer tactic to overload a buyer with information, just a common one. If you feel like a dealer is spouting off numbers just for the heck of it, then he probably is.
A dealer may begin to talk about other things during the negotiation of the car price. This is to divert your focus and hopefully slip something in.
Advertising the Worst Model
Another common car dealer tactic. A dealer will identify the worst car out of a model lineup. He will then run an advertisement on these cars offering great deals, and when the customers come rolling in, the dealer shows off how horrible the car is and then switch sells the customers to a better car for more money.
This is a big one to watch out for, and is considered unscrupulous by decent dealerships. If a dealer is letting you drive out of the dealership without having signed a contract, you need to be on your toes. They give you all the terms you want, let you take the car home for a few days, then call you up saying your financing wasn't approved and that in order to get it approved you have to agree and sign to much higher rates and maybe an even bigger down payment. If you notice the words subject to financing, that is the big red warning. There are too many tricks to count. The best thing to do is not negotiating, but know how much you are willing to pay for a particular car beforehand. Once you're at the dealership, do not budge from that number.