8 moves that drive car salesmen crazy
Asking for prices by phone, shopping around for financing and lying are some customer tricks that dealerships hate.
The website Reddit asked car salespeople to weigh in on this. What's something you don't want customers to know when buying a car?
What took place was a wide-ranging discussion on the frustrating and often intimidating process of negotiating for a new or used vehicle. Overall, the consensus was the same: People who do their research and come armed with information stand a much better chance at nabbing a great deal. And when you're negotiating on a car, one of the best advantages you have is patience.
From that discussion, here are eight moves that drive car salespeople crazy:
1. Using your phone to check prices. "As a former car salesman our greatest fear was your smartphone," one contributor wrote. "If we gave you a number and you had a smartphone in your hand with Autotrader or some other site pulled up, we were neutered."
2. Asking for the sales manager. The salesperson approaching you on the lot has no power. The sales manager is the one making decisions, and customers can ask to speak directly to that person. "You won't believe how many times we were told what to say to a customer," wrote one person who said he was a former car salesman. "I started hating myself. I even started smoking and my anxiety was through the roof."
3. Calling in to check prices. Customers call up dealerships, say they have other offers on a car and ask for that dealership's best offer. "Basically, the customer actually makes the dealer give the lowest out-the-door price they're willing to," wrote one contributor.
4. Asking for the Carfax report. Carfax is a company that keeps a database with background information about specific vehicles. "CarFax is pretty much extortion for dealerships," wrote one person. "They have created a semi-false sense of security for consumers who MUST have the CarFax stating that their sweet used ride is not actually a lemon, when in reality CarFax can and does make a lot of mistakes -- and the dealer must pay for the service regardless."
5. Lying. Car salespeople have zero trust in buyers, one contributor wrote. Buyers lie about whether a trade-in has been in an accident. They lie about getting a better price from another dealer. They promise to show up the next day and never return. They spend hours negotiating and then walk away. "So everyone who says sales people are scum, customers are 10x worse," that person adds.
6. Obsessively inspecting a used car. Dealerships will do anything to get a used car looking brand new, but appearances don't hold up. "Our repairs are sometimes just a quick patch not meant for the long haul," wrote one contributor. "When you buy a used car, make sure you check every square inch of the body to make sure nothing is awry, and ask to see a list of repairs done on the car."
7. Shopping around for financing. The finance department is one of a dealership's major profit centers. Dealers often make more money on the finance than on the car itself.
8. Skipping the add-ons, like protection for the car's paint. Those packages are another profit point for a dealership. "Paint protection packages (and even many undercoatings) are a fancy way of saying 'special car wax,'" wrote one person who claimed to have worked for a dealership for six years.
The whole haggling process is archaic and needs to go away. A salesperson's jobs should be to go out and bring customers in the door, demo the cars.. maybe even persuade me that your Ford is better than their Chevy. But this thing where a Ford dealer offers me a price and I call up another Ford dealer to put them in competition with each other... that's just silly. Give me a price... a price that makes you a respectable profit and that you can stand by... and let that be the price. Not just for me but for everyone, from every dealer. The thing that pisses people off about car sales is the feeling, true or not, that someone got a better deal than them and they got screwed.
i have sold cars for 30 years. i have no problem with educated buyers. they do their homework and they are actually less of a problem than those who have no idea what they want. where does MSN find these so called experts. dealerships have'nt sold paint sealants in over a decade
most dealerships do a fine job of fixing up their trades. they want to sell you your next car. only trash dealers selling to people who can't finance a car patch their cars.
any real dealerships is fine with you knowing as much as possible and teach their sales people not to lie. it's not about selling you that car, it's about selling you your next 10 cars and everyone in your family and you only do that by treating people right and being hoest.
seems like they found a bunch of washed out car salesmen to get their story from
I don't know why anyone would want to sell cars in this day and age. I sold them for a short time back in the early 70s and it was tough enough then. People acted like they hated you no matter how well you treated them, and now these day they walk into a showroom with the invoice on what your selling them. You get paid on the net profit which must be pretty small now. Believe it or not an honest customer can be as hard to find sometimes as an honest salesman. It goes both ways. We used to get paid 20 per cent on the net profit and I would be willing to bet that hasn't changed to this day. A raise is an unheard of word for a car salesman. They just tell you to sell more cars. There are a lot of good honest people in the car business. It can be the most frustrating experience of you life. Go try it.
One of my most favorite memories of my Dad was in the summer of 1966. He was wheeling and dealing for a new 1966 Mercury Comet. He were trading in 1954 Chevy. He must have been dealing for over two hours, and the dealership finally came down to a price with the trade of $3,636 and change. My Dad looked at the number and simply stated that he could only write round numbers in his checkbook.
They were so pi$$ed. They took that 54 Chevy for a test drive,,,,peeled out the lot, up the highway, came back...nearly setting the chevy sideways in the gravel. The guy came in and said in a huff, give him his damn $36 dollars. My Dad wrote the check for $3,600.
You know, I still use that tactic myself.
The reason car salesmen get such a bad reputation is partly the fault of the customer. It is one of the only businesses where you can still argue the price but the consumer's quest to make sure that the dealership makes as little profit as possible only hurts the salesperson. If you truly want a great buying experience, determine how much a fair profit would be for the dealership for the particular vehicle you are looking for and negotiate that. There is not a dealer in the country that will turn down a profitable deal. The issues arise when customer's believe they know more than the dealer about what the dealer paid for the car and what the trade is worth. Just FYI.. you don't. Profit is not a dirty word. How can you expect the best experience from your sales person when you expect them to not make any money when you buy a car. Almost everyone at the dealership is paid on a commission only pay plan. When the customer changes their perceptions that the dealer shouldn't make a profit, the easier it will become to buy a new or used vehicle.
I have been to dealerships and purchased many vehicles since I got my drivers license. I am a professional businessman and I have seen bad apples both on the dealership side and the customer side. I can honestly say that I have only had one bad experience myself but I have witnessed countless situations wher the customers were rude and hateful to the salesperson. I have even heard them bragging to each other while the salesperson was away how they were lying to him. The thing is these guys have a job to do and have to support thier family. I am sure if we took a poll we would probably find that people like RJ2cents probably lead a miserable life and I bet if we ask those who know him we would find out that their opinion of him is probably not far from what his is of the car saleman. I have actually had worse experiences in electronics or furniture stores than I have at car dealerships.
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Quotes are real-time for NASDAQ, NYSE and AMEX. See delay times for other exchanges.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Thomson Reuters (click for restrictions). Real-time quotes provided by BATS Exchange. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Interactive Data Real-Time Services. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by SIX Financial Information.
The convicted fraudster says he's making $40 a month in jail -- about the same as Bangladesh garment workers.
- 'The Office' finale: Fact and fiction at work
- Southwest Airlines turns less legroom into $773M
- 'American Idol' gets sorry ratings for season finale
- Powerball's wacky sense of humor
- Millions of Facebook's users are actually pets
- Can crowd funding rescue the LA Times?
- Domino's debuts a DVD that smells like pizza
- Average US retirement age climbs to 61
- McDonald's aims to slim down its 145-item menu
More Market News
All hail the bull market, which ended the week with a big rally. But it also is starting to look a little like 1987, which suffered an epic blow-out.