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View Full Version : How NOT To Sell A Car


BrenDAnn
07-29-2015, 11:06 PM
I took my car for an oil change yesterday, at the dealer from which I bought it in 2010. As I was sitting in their admittedly nice lounge, waiting for my car to be done being serviced, one of the employees approached me. She asked if I wanted to know how much my car was worth, what I could afford if I wanted a newer one, etc. She told me she has a list of people wanting used cars, one of them wanting a 2010 Impala. Mine being a 2007, she declared, was "pretty damn close". Really professional language there, but I digress. Figuring it'd be good entertainment, I went with it. This is where the dealership assumed quite incorrectly that I'm a naive little girl. The employee led me to another employee, who jumped right into showing me cars on his computer. The conversation was something like this.

SD = Stupid Dealer
ME= Not stupid or naive in the least

SD: *shows me a silver Impala* This one is a 2013 and blah blah blah
ME: I love Impalas but I'd prefer it in black.
SD: Ah, you like black cars, huh?
ME: Yep.
SD: You must like washing your car a lot.
ME: *forcing self not to give him a hard glare*
SD: Well we don't have much in black. Here's a Cruze.
ME: I really don't care for the Cruze. I'd like to stay with an Impala.
SD: Here's a Malibu. It's a 2015 and blah blah blah
ME: That might be a bit too new, and too pricey
SD: *continues to show me cars I don't like or can't afford, even talking pricing and payments with me*
ME: Well, thank you. I think I'll just wait on it, maybe keep looking. KTHXBAI

Here's a hint, if you want to sell me, or anyone, a car. First, being professional about your language and behavior might help. Second, it might help to, oh, I don't know, actually LISTEN to the person you're trying to sell to! I don't know how many times I repeated I didn't like the Cruze, that I wanted to stay with an Impala, and he just kept going on, trying to sell me anything but what I was interested in. The other thing? I was quite aware of their scheme already. They'd tried the same line about needing used vehicles to sell with my Dad, trying to get him to trade his truck in a while back. Sorry, dealership, but I'm not naive or stupid. You lose! Good day!

EvilEmpryss
07-29-2015, 11:58 PM
WTF? If they actually have a list of customers who are just sitting around waiting for the dealership to pull a used car out of their ass -- ahem, inventory -- then why the hell would someone wanting a 2010 accept a 2007? "Pretty damn close"? Hell no! Now if I want a 2010 and they have a 2013, then yeah, it's not close, but it's to my benefit, so I'll take it. But don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining.

Arcus
07-30-2015, 12:43 AM
My dad used to sell cars for awhile and they do have a list of cars that customers are looking for, but it's never the common cars. They are looking for the right year, model, color, and options. Kind of a rare thing. So when they said that they were looking for a 2010, but a 2007 was close enough, that shows they were just trying to get a sale.

gerund
07-30-2015, 01:05 AM
that shows they were just trying to get a sale.

Of course it's crap. It's the biggest pile of steaming crap I have heard for a while. The best way to deal with it, is not to call them on it - that won't do any good, just don't give them your business. Do not ever reward them for lying.

And tell all your friends about it too.

notalwaysright
07-30-2015, 01:22 AM
I have to take my car to the dealership because I got notice of a recall. I hope they see my 10 year old car and know that I can't and won't be looking for a new or pre-owned car. If not, I will gladly look through their catalog, and go on my merry way...

Argabarga
07-30-2015, 01:46 AM
New car? What's this madness of which you speak? :P

I have a buddy who worked briefly in auto sales. This is going to sound like a plot out of a movie/sitcom, but it actually happened.

A guy walked into the dealership and none of the sales people wanted to touch him on account of his shabby/dirty clothes (jeans/flannel) and the fact he looked like an old, bitter man, (at least 60).

Naturally, my buddy ended up with him as he was the most junior in sales.

So, Buddy asks him what's he looking for?

Old guy makes it clear he wants to buy a new truck, and not just any, but one of those 1-ton or bigger ones with a diesel in it.

This is already a large chunk of change, for someone who doesn't look all that well-heeled. So, Buddy walks him out to the lot, starts him off on the smallest/cheapest one they have that still fits his requirements.

Nope, old guy wants the top trim one with all the bells and whistles, so Buddy shows him over to it, answers his questions, makes whatever rebates/discounts he's allowed and is up front about everything including the taxes and titling fees.

Old guy says he'll take it, walks back into the dealership, and when Buddy sits him down to talk finance, he pulls an envelope out of his pocket and pays cash, right there, in full, and drives off with the truck within the half-hour.

Turns out old guy was a farmer, he buys ONE truck, new, best he can get, every 10 years and that's it.

That sale was a heck of a commission :P

BrenDAnn
07-30-2015, 03:00 AM
Of course they were trying for a sale. Unfortunately for them,I wasn't buying! Arga, that story seems familiar, but funny nonetheless!

protege
07-30-2015, 03:09 AM
Here's a hint, if you want to sell me, or anyone, a car. First, being professional about your language and behavior might help. Second, it might help to, oh, I don't know, actually LISTEN to the person you're trying to sell to!

I never understood why salesmen think that they can get away with treating customers like crap. I mean, it's not like there aren't other dealers...who are happy to do business with someone :rolleyes:

For example, you don't attempt to bust someone's balls. Especially when that someone (me) was in an accident, and was still wearing the neck brace. I got rear-ended, totaled my car a few days prior, and really wasn't in the mood to deal with shit. So when the snot-nosed punk at a certain "minutes from the mall" Chevy dealer said that unless I was buying a car that day, he wasn't going to walk the lot with me, I lost it. I flipped out on him, flipped out on his manager, and haven't been back. They had one chance to make a first impression, and they blew it. I'm one of those people that will remember when I'm treated rudely...and I will avoid your business. I ended up buying a used Toyota from the local Chrysler dealer.

Similarly, I refuse to do business with the Mazda dealer across town. 15 years ago, I was buying my first new car. Instead of simply letting me take one of the "BMW verve for half the price" sedans out for a test drive...instead I got a lecture about budgeting. Seriously?

You're lecturing me about how to budget because I drive a 10 year old car, and I'm not wearing a suit? You know what? Fuck you. The salesman in question (who later got canned after he pissed off the wrong customer), was pretty damn lucky that I liked the car, otherwise I wouldn't have bought it.

Compare that to the local Toyota dealer. When the Mazda finally fell apart, they took care of me. They were willing to listen, tell me my options, including how I wanted to pay for it. Of course, it helped that I was connected. That is, my dad knew the service manager...and they'd bought 6 cars there ;)

mathnerd
07-30-2015, 03:17 AM
Then there's the over-eager type. I recall one incident where I was looking for a van (the first time). I made an appointment to look at a particular vehicle (my needs are quite specific, and this dealership was a bit of a drive). Anyway a medical emergency happened before the appointment and I had to cancel. I was nice and called the sales guy and told him I'd have to reschedule, but I wasn't sure when. He called me back the next day and I reiterated that *I* would call him. He proceeded to call me 3-4 times a day over the next few days. Finally I called the manager and told him that this guy had lost the dealership a sale for being obnoxious.

wolfie
07-30-2015, 03:51 AM
Just checked Wikipedia - the '07 and '10 Impalas are the same generation ('05-'13 in normal production, '14-'16 as a fleet-only model). A 3 model year gap could easily cross a generation boundary, which would NOT be "pretty damn close". For cars of this vintage, even being part of the same generation the age difference is significant (8 years vs. 5 - almost double) - I doubt if someone wanting a '10 Impala would settle for an '07. For significantly older cars (e.g. mid-'60s VW Beetles), the 3 year difference would be less important.

BrenDAnn
07-30-2015, 08:13 AM
I didn't think so myself, wolfie. Y'see, I've come to be rather an aficionado of the Impalas, having owned two now. Yes, the '07 and '10 would LOOK the same, but I guarantee you there'd be advances technologically between those years. As it's been established, though, they were truly only after a sale. They tried the same 'we need your vehicle to sell to someone else' thing on my Dad, by mail, before. The used car market can't be THAT slim to pick from!

DGoddessChardonnay
07-30-2015, 01:15 PM
I didn't think so myself, wolfie. Y'see, I've come to be rather an aficionado of the Impalas, having owned two now. Yes, the '07 and '10 would LOOK the same, but I guarantee you there'd be advances technologically between those years. As it's been established, though, they were truly only after a sale. They tried the same 'we need your vehicle to sell to someone else' thing on my Dad, by mail, before. The used car market can't be THAT slim to pick from!

Hardly. The used car market here in my area is HUGE. There are places everywhere, especially the "buy here pay here we finance" places that will charge an arm, leg, thigh and your firstborn.

My mom has dealt with those kind of places before and we are aware of the pitfalls of them. We've rode by the lot at JDB just the other day (Arby's is right next door and I wanted a French Dip sandwich :love:) and they don't have much selection. On a good day they'll have a handful of minivans and some smaller sedans.

Not impressive when one is looking for a medium to full size SUV.

So we'll go by Competition (where we've stopped by and talked w/someone just a few years ago who assured us that when we were ready to buy, they would be happy to help and if we didn't see exactly what we were looking for on the lot, they had a network of dealers they worked with and could find it for us.) Guy was really friendly (they have to be, they're selling cars, of course;)) but something about this place seems pretty good.

Hoping this coming year we can have things set so we can afford a car payment. And they've assured us they can help us find something that will fit our budget as well as our needs, so that will be the first place we go when we get ready to bring a newer vehicle into the family.:)

Catwoman2965
07-30-2015, 02:27 PM
I've lucked out on most of my car purchases. Well, kind of. I bought two, used, from a reputable used car dealer, but i did my homework, and KNEW specifically what i wanted out of what he had. Went in, told them, test drove both, and bought. I also knew the price was fair for each. Could I have gotten the same car for less elsewhre? perhaps, but not much, so it was worth a bit more to me to not have to deal with all the crap of car buying.

However, not due to anything they did, just crappy cars, BOTH had to have the tranny replaced, a few years down the road for each. So being superstitious, I haven't gone back.

My current car fell into my lap. I'm the type to buy one and drive until its dead. So the depreciation of a new one isn't really an issue for me. Narrowed it down to new Corolla or used Camry. New, since I've never had a new one, but the Camry, based on size. Still trying to make up my mind, when I had what I thought was a huge repair on my last car, but turned out to be minor But that was it. I decided to look then, vs. the few months away I'd initially planned on.

Found one, at a Chevy dealer which is owned by the same guy who owns a lesaing company my friend's dad works for. Pristine condition, former lease, that her dad HAD handled. Low miles and about 1400-1500 BELOW book value for a 3 year old car. Hmmm. What's wrong with it? Since Toyota's tend to hold their value, and others same year, double the mileage i saw on Toyota dealer's websites were a couple thousand more.

Turns out, nothing, and it just happened the dealer bought the car from the leasing co, and it was there when I decided to buy. Its now mine. 2 years later, nothing but oil changes. Its due for some maintenance, and brake work, but has never given me one problem. And luckily, not subject to ANY of the various Toyota recalls over the years. I got lucky. Its now 5, and has just under 40K miles.

jedimaster91
07-30-2015, 03:18 PM
I'm the type to buy one and drive until its dead.

Same here. Which is why for the last car we bought, we were willing to pay a little more for a newer car for a bit more money.

Some years ago, I had a late 90s model Nissan Altima that I loved. It sadly died a fluid-spraying, smokey death one day (IIRC, it was a blown head gasket or somesuch), but I will never forget how much I just loved that car. So when we were in the market for a new (or at least new to us) car, I wanted to get another Nissan. Before then we'd always bought used cars mostly through private party sales because we just didn't have the money for anything else. When I got more steady hours, we had more money and more of a budget to find a good, reliable car. So we hit up the local Nissan dealer.

Really we weren't looking for anything fancy. Just a basic car with heat, air, and somewhere for me to plug in my iPod. Newer cars get better mileage anyway, so the MPG wasn't a huge factor for us. We didn't even care that much if it was a used car or brand new from the factory, as long as the price was right. So the sales guy took us around to a few cars and we had a couple we were interested in looking into further. So we all went back inside to discuss pricing. For some reason around here, the sticker price of the car is rarely listed on the windshield; they always have to go look it up. Which is more than likely a ploy for them to sell you more than you need. We ended up going round and round with the sales guy about how much the car was. He would say it depends on what interest rate you're eligible for and what extras you get. Hubz and I say yes, we know that, but we just want to know a ballpark price to know if we should even continue this conversation. Well, says sales guy, how much do you want to pay a month? WE JUST WANT TO KNOW THE STICKER PRICE OF THE CAR. What monthly payment did you have in mind? JUST TELL US HOW MUCH THE CAR COSTS. That depends on your interest rate and extras. LOOK, WE KNOW THERE ARE OTHER FACTORS AND WE'RE NOT HOLDING YOU TO THE EXACT AMOUNT YOU TELL US. WHAT IS THE @#$&*ING BASE PRICE OF THE CAR?

And on and on. We gave up.

Some months later I found a car online that was being sold by a rental company. In the mean time, we'd bought a car at auction that turned out to need a whole new transmission and we were trying to unload it. So we headed out to the lot one evening to look around. And we were impressed. We told the guy what we were looking for and while we perused the lot had a couple cars we wanted more information on. They printed us the CarFax reports then and there. The price was listed right on the windshield. We test drove both cars that day. One was a Nissan and the other was a Toyota. In the end, we decided on the Toyota and went to sign the paperwork. At one point I had expressed concern over buying a used rental car and the sales guy really put my mind at ease. Yes, it was one of their fleet, but any car that has over $1000 worth of damage isn't sold on their lot. They send it to auction. We also had a few days to have it looked over and if our mechanic found something majorly wrong, they'd take the car back. They even worked with us on our lemon of a trade-in. Whether they could sell the whole car or part it out, they'd give us whichever trade-in credit was higher.

We left happy and with a great car. I just recently put new tires on it because we've had it about a year and a half or so and it was time. There are a few features I wish I had--like cruise control and more than three windshield wiper speeds--but all in all I love that thing. Hubz' car is pretty much hanging on by a prayer at this point, so we're starting to look around for a replacement. My car should be paid off by the end of the year (no penalty for paying it off early) which will free up the cash for another car payment. I'd go through that rental company again in a heartbeat before I'd set foot on any dealership.

lordlundar
07-30-2015, 03:53 PM
Of course they were trying for a sale. Unfortunately for them,I wasn't buying! Arga, that story seems familiar, but funny nonetheless!

Well not sating that it wasn't true for Arga's buddy, but it's a classic story that managers of commission staff use to teach them to give every customer proper attention.

Of course, a few weeks later the same manager will then tell their staff to ignore the "scruffy looking" person and lavish the well groomed one because they shouldn't be wasting time on a non-sale.:rolleyes:

protege
07-30-2015, 04:36 PM
My current car fell into my lap. I'm the type to buy one and drive until its dead. So the depreciation of a new one isn't really an issue for me. Narrowed it down to new Corolla or used Camry.

Gotta love those Corollas and Camrys :) But seriously, I tend to hold onto my cars--and I usually run them until an expensive problem (or accident) sidelines them. My Mazda went because it had failed its state inspection twice, and I wasn't about to put more money into it. Now, my '07 Corolla is 8 years old, and I'm going to run it into the ground. It's in great mechanical shape, but the cosmetics are starting to look a bit odd. Rust splotches on the roof and other places (the car got caught in a hailstorm some years ago) mean that it looks like a blue ladybug. I've ground out the rust, and temporarily hit things with some rust converter/primer. It looks like shit, but eventually I'll take care of it.

Same with the "bean can" repair in the trunk. After come crackhead tried to force the trunk open and tore the latch staple out of the expensive-as-balls-to-repair panel just ahead of the bumper. The dealer wanted a grand :eek: to fix it. We're talking about a 1-inch circle here, folks. My repair cost? $1.99 for a can of beans, some sheet-metal screws, a pair of heavy-duty bolts, and some cheap spray paint. 20 minutes of work bending metal, drilling holes, and bolting things together. Sure, it's crude, and doesn't look pretty, but it does the job, and the cheap purple paint is mostly hidden.

April
07-30-2015, 06:53 PM
I refuse to shop at the Accura used car dealer in town. I was hit by a vehicle and my car was being totaled out. We didn't have a lot of money to spend, so were looking for the best we could find for 3 grand. We weren't actually buying that day, just trying to see what was out there. Accura high pressured us from the second we walked on to the lot. We had told them 6 or seven times that we were not, under any circumstances buying a car that day. You would think that would make them back off. But nope. And when the salesman couldn't force us to buy a car, he brought over his manager to push even more.

They finally said "What can we do to insure you will drive off the lot in your new car today?" and I told them "Sell me that car, for 500 dollars, no dealer fees, no extra fees and you have a deal"

Funny, they were done with me at that time

katzklaw
07-30-2015, 10:12 PM
many years ago my car died so i went car hunting with my then fiance (now husband), and the first place we checked had a decent car that was *just* in our price range. we had cash in hand, and the price on the window was exactly how much we had, so we went in to discuss it. (i forgot exactly how much it was, but for the sake of argument, lets say it was $2000) guy says the car is $2000 + the taxes and tags and whatnot. hubby says "have $2000 cash. what can you do for me?" guy responds that it's $2000 + taxes and tags etc. hubs reinterates that he only has $2000... and it's in CASH... greenbacks, clams... guy asks if there's anyone we could borrow the rest from. we walked out

Gilhelmi
07-31-2015, 09:44 AM
Turns out old guy was a farmer, he buys ONE truck, new, best he can get, every 10 years and that's it.

That sale was a heck of a commission :P

If the man looks like he's been out working in the field, he probably has. *spits in spittoon*

Some people (mistakenly) think Farmers are rich for always buying new trucks. In reality, new trucks are just the most cost effective way to buy a truck that will last you for years. We beat them to death, then after they are too old and tired to do the heavy lifting, we use them to haul trash or light(er) supplies. My father never sold a truck, except to the scrap yard (only exception was at his retirement auction).

catcul
08-12-2015, 05:34 PM
I took my car for an oil change yesterday, at the dealer from which I bought it in 2010.

That was your first mistake.

In all seriousness, it sounds like that salesman was desperate for a sale. I'm surprised he didn't show you a picture of his wife and kids. :rolleyes:

My mistake was buying a truck with a four-cylinder engine. :no:

wolfie
08-12-2015, 08:52 PM
My mistake was buying a truck with a four-cylinder engine. :no:

Yep, SERIOUS trucks have six-cylinder engines. Anything with a four (or a V-8) is a toy.

otakuneko
08-13-2015, 01:35 AM
I've bought cars from dealerships twice. The first time, the salesman was helpful, understanding (I only had to tell him my budget once) and very laid back. When I was ready to buy, I actually bought a car more expensive than the one he'd shown me before since it was a few years newer.

The second time the salesman let me test drive the car on my own and practically let me sell the car to myself.

Accura high pressured us from the second we walked on to the lot. We had told them 6 or seven times that we were not, under any circumstances buying a car that day. You would think that would make them back off. But nope. And when the salesman couldn't force us to buy a car, he brought over his manager to push even more.


Must be a common thing. I had a similar experience on an Acura lot. Very similar.

I hate when they say this and I've never bought a car from someone who has:

They finally said "What can we do to insure you will drive off the lot in your new car today?" and I told them "Sell me that car, for 500 dollars, no dealer fees, no extra fees and you have a deal"

Funny, they were done with me at that time
I hope you pointed to an NSX. :devil:

Catwoman2965
08-13-2015, 03:20 PM
Gotta love those Corollas and Camrys :) But seriously, I tend to hold onto my cars--and I usually run them until an expensive problem (or accident) sidelines them. My Mazda went because it had failed its state inspection twice, and I wasn't about to put more money into it. Now, my '07 Corolla is 8 years old, and I'm going to run it into the ground.



I adore my Camry. its now 5 years old, with just under 40K. I did a 60 month loan but hoping to pay it off before then. But even when it is paid in full, it will be, at the most, 8 years old, and probably have less than 65K on it. Which is nothing. ANd now that my mom is moving back to my state, i won't be putting 900 miles at a time on, several times a year. I love it. Will totally buy another one when this is done.

What's funny is my boss loves Honda. he has an Accord, which is similar to my Camry, size etc. I just like the design of Toyota better. Alhtough not a fan of the new Camry. Too square for me.

nutraxfornerves
08-13-2015, 10:41 PM
I had a friend who had a similar experience to Argabarga's "rich farmer buys truck" story.

Same kind of beat up old man shows up at the dealership and gets foisted off onto New Guy. New Guy has nothing to lose, so does a professional sales pitch. Mr. Beat Up buys a top-of-the-line fancy sedan for cash. He likes new ones and replaces them every two years.

Not only that, but Mr. Beat Up--I mean Mr. Wealthy Farmer--replaces a certain number of his company trucks every year. He refused to go with the dealership's fleet services after that, and demanded that New Guy handle his fleet purchases. Plus his every-other-year new sedan. And the one he buys for his wife. Not to mention the friends who got referred to New Guy.

In one year, New Guy went from dealership peon to the person with all those stupid corporate plaques on the wall and a bank account full of bonuses.