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Secret Tricks of Car Salesmen

Got a question for Car Talk’s car sales informant, “Deep Plaid?” (Also known as “Frank,” since, well, that’s his real name.) Post it here, and Deep Plaid will get back to you.



Also, if you’ve heard of other tricks of the trade, or you’ve personally experienced coy tactics on the part of your local car salesman, share it right here. We’d like to hear your story.



Yours in careful maneuvering when confronted with plaid, toupees and sans-a-belt slacks,



Tom and Ray

“…when confronted with plaid, toupees and sans-a-belt slacks”

Isn’t that how youse guys dress? :wink:

How Tom and Ray dress is usually beside the point, way, way beside the point. Dunkin has no dress code. Maybe they do. No shoes, no shirt, no service. That’s three things they warn us about. Car sales people are told that a buyer is a liar and you can therefore subject him to constant telephone harassment. It impresses them a lot when you forget that they have bad credit and can’t get a loan anyway. With apologies to the person I woke up way too many times. You can do a lot of damage in just six short weeks. I made some money but no friends. The key with salesmen seems to be “fill them with crap but don’t really train them; it’s best if they don’t know too much.”

Heck No,I never ever dressed like that. Dress shirts, Dockers slacks, & always very comfortable footwear.
Texas summers would “fry” you down here.
I was on my feet a lot. Comfortable shoes were always a top
priority of my “sales attire” & wardrobe.

That’s why I wanted & tried very hard to obtain all the referels I could get.
You have a “head start” on their histroy.
it’s much harder for them to lie to you. You know their family and their freinds
and they are not there to waste your time! they are there to buy!
When your new, to survive, you become a “Lot Lizard” and try and take all the “ups” then
you subject yourself to those tire kicking idiots with 532 bureau scores.

The two most recent ones I have seen are the “We need a deposit before we can even give you a price” and if you don’t have the car they want, tell them you will get it, call them up in a week and tell them they have it, then when they show up give them the keys to their new car which of course is one you had on the lot last time and is very little like what they really wanted, but maybe they will not notice before they drive off the lot. Then of course they always treat women as idiots and if a man is with him, always talk to the man as if he is some sort of interpreter.

Yeh, stuff like that has always gone on. Mostly in bigger cities, at larger new car stores.By sales people who are just passing thru, & don’t intend to make a career of car selling.
All of the new car dealers that I worked for were very honorable men. They didn’t let us “hook & crook” and if anyone did, we got our butt “chewed out” or fired if we got caught screwing around with a customer like that. That’s the frigging crap that gives this business a bad name.
Sure it’s a good idea to get a deposit. It’s known as glue! From day one in this business your taught to get the customer to committ! The deposit is a committment. No dealer that I ever worked for in 20+ years ever kept a deposit if the customer backed out! Each state’s court system has different laws that address that stuff. Another reason is that it keeps another salesman from selling that car out from under you too. Infact, I believe the deposit concept is in place mostly so sales managers wouldn’t have to referee a dispute when two sales people had the same car sold. The “un-written” rule is: first one with a signed “write up” sheet and a deposit, gets the deal! no arguments. But, thats just my opinion.
The average customer wouldn’t believe how many fights and arguments take place on the lot
or behind closed doors everyday between sales people and their sales managers.

Deep Plaid:

thanks for sharing from ‘the other side’

i am sure we all want to know how to get the best deal possible on buying a car.

of course everyone has to make a living. so how do we (as buyers) tell how/when we are getting the best price? so many times we hear "rock bottom’, ‘dealer invoice’, and ‘bottom line’. how do we tell when ‘you’ are there, at the real bottom line?

thanks

All very true. There as some honest and honorable dealers. And yes all but the real jerks will return the deposit, but I have never given any one a deposit, until I have picked a specific car (in my case that has usually meant that they are ordering it.)

My pet peeve is being manipulated. After appearing to be close to a decision on a particular car, a typical scenario is being asked for your drivers license, “to enable us to get a jump start on confirming your loan eligibility” while we complete the deal, then letting you stew alone in the pen (salesman’s office) for an indeterminable length of time, ostensibly to soften you up. Repeated requests for what is taking so long are typically answered with, “the manager is reviewing the deal”. I have already reached to point of threatening physical action if my DR was not immediately returned so that I could WALK. Which I did on two occasions.

I now never allow myself to be lured into such situations. I set the tone for how the transaction will be conducted, and control what takes place. My attitude is it?s my requirement and my money. If a salesman wants to sell me a car, it will be on my terms. Of course, the more time you have on your side, the easier this becomes. Salesmen thrive on the emergency buyers??.?my engine just blew up and I need a new car by Monday?

Dancing around what the costs are and the added dealer costs. Thier liking confrontation and simply winning the sales game with them knowing most sheep do not.

hey these new car dealers have millions invested. they are gonna make money! you arent going to stop that.
so quit trying. next time you drive by a dealership look up on the roof. see the satellite dish up there?
, they are all directly connected to their respective mfg. and secret electronic mails come in each day, some of these memos are incentives that only the dealer principal reads, & for good reason, it might be $1000.00 payments for every Toyota Tundra he (Delivered) the month (Before). DO you think he wants those 10 salesmen he has finding out that he got another $1000.00 per unit after the deiivery?? hell no! cause then he’d actually owe them a commission on that $1000.00 now wouldn’t he? SO THEY KEEP THIS A SECRET!
AGAIN…
ask your friends where they buy, how many they have bought, from which dealer, which sales person they use
ask, ask, ask, ask questions to friends neighbors and relatives. you’ll find those folks are going back to that same dealer for a reason. ask your friend or relative to call the salesperson in advance of your arrival at the dealership. have them say hey im sending a really good friend to buy a car from you, take care of them! your friend might even get a perk or “bird dog” fee for sending you over there.
then you go in ask for that same sales person (never see another sales person)
and say my friend or relative, mr. bob so-in-so sent me to see you!
they will usually roll out the red carpet. and treat you like royalty.
or at least I did. if they dont, tell your friend. the sh—t hit the fan too!
another solid theroy I always tell friends & relatives is a way to get te 'biggest bang" for their buck$$
is to stick to (that’s not “fool proof” by any means) ,
but, will always give you some measure of leverage…
is to always “cut your deal” on or about the very last day of the month.
I remember how hungry I was to get one last deal or two
in on the last day of the month! I always cut some pretty skinny deals for my customers in those final hours with the dealer, the sales manager, and the used car manager cause they all usually had secret incentives ,quotas, & bonus money on the line that last day of the month. and with only hours left to collect it, if they reached certain goals set by the factory or their dealer/manager. so they wanted their share too! and would always cut the salesman a better deal on that last day! the winner is: the customer!
TRY IT… GET YOUR CAR APPRAISED ON THE 10TH OF THE MONTH.
THEN GO BACK ON THE 31ST, WITH A SERIOUS ATTITUDE ABOUT TRADING…
A TRADE IN IS ALWAYS WORTH A LITTLE MORE. LIKE $500.00 OR MORE ON THE LAST DAY OF THE MONTH.
hope this helps.

IN MY OPINION, THEIR IS NO NEED FOR AN EXCHANGE OF MONEY PRIOR TO SALE OF A CAR. YOU DO THAT IN THE F& I OFFICE. THAT DEPOSIT DOESN’T MEAN “SQUAT” ANYWAY!
HECK THIS ISN’T A REAL-ESTATE TRANSACTION. IT’S A CAR DEAL.
THEIR IS NO ESCROW REQUIRED. AND IF YOU THINK FOR ONE MINUTE THAT A SALES MANAGER OR THE SALESPERSON THAT TOOK YOUR DEPOSIT WONT SELL YOU OUT & TAKE A HIGHER GROSS ON THAT SAME CAR FROM ANOTHER CUSTOMER, YOU’RE KIDDING YOUR SELF! IF HE COULD GET A HIGHER GROSS OFF ANOTHER CUSTOMER…
YOUR SALESMAN MIGHT CALL YOU AND SAY
I’M SORRY BUT THAT CAR WAS SOLD AND I DIDNT KNOW IT, CAN I MAIL YOUR DEPOSIT BACK TO YOU? OR WOULD YOU LIKE TO COME PICK IT UP? THAT HAPPENS A LOT. WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO? SAY HEY I HAD A DEPOSIT UP? THAT CAR YOU LOVED IS LONG GONE! YOU GOT NO LEGAL RECOURSE. YOU GONNA TAKE THE DEALER TO COURT? HA HA BETTER THINK AGAIN
ABOUT THAT. ANYWAY JUST DONT DEAL WITH CAR DEALERS WHO ASK FOR DEPOSITS UP FRONT. THEY ARE LIKE FISH IN A POND THEY ARE EVERYWHERE. SHOP FOR A GOOD DEALER, LIKE YOU SHOP FOR A GOOD DEAL. THEN WHEN YOU FIND ONE ,STICK WITH HIM!
HOPE THIS HELPS.
DEEPPLAID

THE G.M. “RED TAG” SALE IS A GOOD DEAL. IT’S A “NO STRINGS ATTACHED” DEAL.
AND COMES AROUND ONCE OR TWICE A YEAR. IF YOU ARE WANTING SOMETHING MADE BY GENERAL MOTORS.
I CANNOT ELABORATE ON TOYOTA OR HONDA, NISSAN
OR OTHERS CAUSE I NEVER SOLD THOSE.

USE THE K.I.S.S. METHOD
KEEP IT SIMPLE!
KEEP THE CAR DEAL
AND THE FINANCING SEPERATE.
THATS IT SO SIMPLE.
FIRST: FIND THE RIGHT VEHICLE- COLOR, INTERIOR,
MODEL, EQUIP. ACCESS. ETC ETC.

THEN TEST DRIVE IT. IF YOUR SURE YOU WANT IT,
GO IN TO F&I AND DISCUSS FINANCING WITH THE FINANCE MGR. NOT THE SALES PERSON.
NONE OF YOUR PERSONAL INFO SHOULD BE GIVEN TO A SALESPERSON OUT ON THE LOT.
NEVER GIVE YOUR D.L. DOB OR S.S # TO A SALESPERSON ON THE LOT. NEVER.

How true are “no haggle” policies?? Such as those advertised by Saturn and such. I’ve bought used only because I prefer a stranger to take the depreciation.

Similar thing happened to me, though I was stupid enough to give them the keys to my car for them to look at for trade in value. The salesman kept trying to get me to sign on the dotted line, even though I said I wanted to think about it. After about 10 minutes or so, the finance manager(or whoever she was) finally pulled my keys out of her pants pocket and handed them back to me. Next time I’m just gonna give them a valet key so I can walk out and tell them I’ll be back for the spare key later.

So true. I spent some time as a car salesperson. It was a real education. The things salespeople are allowed to do to their customers is amazing. It’s almost like you can just reach in someone’s pocket and take their money.

But a savvy shopper can avoid, or at least minimize, the hassles. You have to keep in mind, it’s YOUR money. DO NOT let the salesperson take control. They are trained to do this. “Lead the customer around by the nose” is what I was taught.

I know people claim they were “manipulated” etc., but that only happens if you ALLOW it. I used to feel sorry for people who get taken, but now I know they get taken because they allow themselves to be taken. DON’T DO IT.

If you don’t like what’s happening with the salesperson, walk out the door, get in your car, and drive away. Oh, wait, you can’t, because you were foolish enough to give someone the keys to your car, and now the keys have been misplaced, and you’re stuck at the dealership.

Seriously, if you feel even slightly uncomfortable, complain! Just say, “Forget it,” and head for the door. You do NOT have to sit there and be abused, manipulated, or jerked around. YOU, the customer, should be in control, but unless you demand to be in control, you will not be.

I’ve purchased a few cars from dealers since the time I worked as a car salesperson. It’s a tedious process, but I’ve always gotten the car I wanted at the price I wanted to pay because I did my homework ahead of time and I did NOT budge on the price I was willing to pay.

You have to offer a fair price, and be willing to walk away without a car if they won’t accept it. If the price you are willing to pay is, indeed, fair, they WILL accept it, eventually. It will take some time, but if you stick to your position you will prevail.

Good luck to all you car shoppers.

IN THE OLD DAYS THEY WOULD THROW THE KEYS UP ON TOP OF THE BUILDING. NO NOT REALLY…
YEH SOMETIMES,
OR HAVE THE WASH & LUBE BOYS JUMP IN IT WHEN THE CUSTOMER WASN’T LOOKING & DRIVE IT AROUND BACK TO THE OIL CHANGE RACK & WASH BAY & LIFT IT UP IN THE AIR, ON THE RACK & PRETEND LIKE THEY WERE CHANGING THE OIL. SALESMAN WOULD APOLOGIZE TO HIS CUSTOMER, IN FRONT OF THEM AND PUT ON A SHOW AND GRIPE THEM OUT AND SCOLD THEM FOR GETTING THE WRONG VEHICLE. WHEN IN FACT HE HAD REALLY TIPPED HIS LUBE MEN $5.00 TO PULL THIS STUNT IN ORDER TO DELAY AND STALL HIS CUSTOMER. ANYTHING YOU COULD DO TO STALL THAT CUSTOMER. BECAUSE ONCE YOU GAVE HIM THE NUMBERS THEN YOU WERE AT HIS MERCEY! SO SLOWING HIM DOWN WAS THE NAME OF THE GAME.

WAY TO GO MCPARADISE! JUMP IN HERE! AND YOUR RIGHT! MOST CAR SHOPPERS DO NOT DO THEIR HOMEWORK AHEAD OF TIME.
NOW YOU HAVE GOT THE TOOLS- INTERNET. MAKE SOME CALLS, NARROW YOUR SEARCH OF MODELS, AND CALL A FEW DEALERS IN YOUR AREA. USUALLY THREE DEALERS WILL GIVE YOU A QUOTE OVER THE PHONE. NEVER GIVE YOUR S.S# D.L. OR DOB OVER THE PHONE. WITH GAS $3.25+ PER GALLON SAVE YOURSELF SOME MONEY. LET YOUR FINGERS DO THE WALKIN. AND ASK YOUR FRIENDS, NEIGHBORS, RELATIVES, LAWYER, PHYSICIAN, MINISTER, WHERE THEY BUY. I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH!
THAT SAME SALESPERSON WHO SOLD YOUR LAWYER, OR YOUR SISTER WILL REMEMBER HIM OR HER OR THEY SHOULD, AND PROBABLY WILL CUT YOU AN INCREDIBLE DEAL TOO!THAT TOOL WORKS WELL! AND SAVES YOU TIME AND MONEY!