How to be fair to a salesman


On a major route, for about a mile, one person owns all the various car makes in one huge dealership. I have spoken to a Honda, Pontiac, and Toyota salesman. All were helpful and backed off when I let it be known I hated to be badgered by salespeople. Today, as I looked at a Matrix, the young salesman tried his best to please me and still get me to buy the Matrix. I said I was really interested also in the Honda Fit and he immediately replied that a salesman from one store can sell any car offered by the multiple dealership. Money is tight and all three men have worked hard to keep me as a customer. I will very likely choose a Matrix or Fit but which salesman should I give the sale to?


Which one told you about the post-buying customer care?


You cannot allow yourself to be immobilized over such a situation. Since there is no right answer and no wrong answer, simply consider your own needs.

If you’re really bothered by this matter, losing sleep over it, then speak to the ASM (assistant sales manager) and suggest the salesmen split the commission. Commission splits are actually a common practice in the car dealership business.


I’d buy the Matrix from the Toyota salesman and the Fit from the Honda salesman. Don’t make it hard on yourself.


Thanks for the suggestions. I had my car detailed today and will spend tomorrow test driving three or four that seem the best for me. I think I will test drive in another town and let each salesperson give me their best deal on the new and also on my trade. Then, I wil come home and see if the local people can do better. I wasn’t at the Toyota place for more than five minutes before they came up with an incentive of 1K off. Also, glad to hear salesmen do split commissions.


If you split the commission on a new car, you are being fair but not good to any one person. Used car commissions can be higher than new ones. If you force a split commission, nobody will like you. An attitude is a terrible thing to waste. The dealer has ways to advance the career of a good salesman.


Just pick the salesperson who you like to deal with. Leave it to the others to find out if they can and they will insist on sharing the commission. Running the dealership is not your problem; it’s theirs.


Exactly…Many years ago when I bought my S-15…I first went to the dealer and didn’t like the salesman at all…After I did my research I decided on the S-15 or a S-10, so I went back to the GMC dealer and spoke to a different salesman…This guy was much more pleasent to deal with…I bought my truck from him…The first guy saw me and recognized me and wanted the sale…I told the salesman I was dealing with and the manager that didn’t want to deal with the first guy…and if they insisted I’d take my business elsewhere.

Moral of the story…buy who you feel the most comfortable with.


after seeing this post kicking around, i got tired of skipping over it.

you usually don’t get to “pick” your salesman, they work on a rotation basis, each time a customer comes on the lot, they take turns in rote taking care of each one. if you happen to strike a particularly good rappor with one of them, and return, that’s great, but the next one will be on you like a vulture.

the simple answer is… you are not “giving” the sale to any one. the sales people are earning YOUR business.

you are just one of probably 20 or 30 people each salesperson sees each month. do you think they “care” about you for more than just a paycheck?


Do not discuss trading your car until you have a deal on the car you want to buy. They will play games with the prices of both to make it seem like you are getting a good deal but you won’t be. You might also shop your old car at a used car dealer. I sold my old minivan to CarMax and was amazed at how much they gave me. BTW, I did not buy a car there and did not even discuss it with them.


I don’t think I ever recall when a car salesman was fair to ME… if you think he’s being fair to you he’s doing a good sales job!

I’d walk in and buy it from a 4’th, completely different, sales guy and not lose a wink over it.


After you have test driven everything you want and have decided what exact model and options you want, write that all down and send it to the “Fleet Sales Manager” at all dealerships within a reasonable distance. Ask for an out-the-door price quote. Don’t worry about the salesmen.

Buy from whomever gives you the best deal. Sell you old car privately.