By on July 3, 2008

They\'re waiting for youIn  today's depressed market, everyone has advice on how to buy or sell a car. This time it's CNNMoney with "6 things never to tell a car salesman." First, never say "I love, love, love this car." That's like chumming the waters before you jump in the shark tank. Next, never say "I need to get a car by tomorrow." That's like chumming the waters before you jump in the shark tank. Don't tell the sales pro "I need a monthly payment of…" That's like chumming the waters before you jump in the shark tank. Also, the salesman doesn't need to know "My trade-in's outside." And if you're thinking about leasing don't admit "I don't know anything about leasing." And even if you're the dweeb on the freecreditreport.com commercials, don't let them know you think "My credit's a little spotty." That's like… I think you get the picture (and it is the last one in the series). The bottom line: do your homework before you step inside the seventh circle of Hell a car dealership. In case you didn't know.

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42 Comments on “CNNMoney: What NOT to Say to a Car Salesman...”


  • avatar
    seoultrain

    how about “So I only have to pay $2.99 for gas!? Sweet!” *high five*

  • avatar
    ash78

    “Zero percent interest? That’s awesome, consider it done. How much do I owe you for the car?”

    (joking aside, this is how Saturns are sold)

  • avatar

    “Guess what’s going to happen if you reach an impasse in the negotiations and decide it’s time to leave. You’ll have to ask for you car keys back. And, odds are good, they will have been misplaced.”

    The dealership where I sold cars for a summer back in 1986 did this whenever they could.

    But is any dealer still doing this? Any recent reports of such tactics?

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    How about telling the salesman that I want it so quickly/badly that I can still drive it to work this morning? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/auto-biography-20-fun-fun-fun/

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Guess what’s going to happen if you reach an impasse in the negotiations and decide it’s time to leave. You’ll have to ask for you car keys back. And, odds are good, they will have been misplaced.

    This is why I shop with my toddler in tow. (well, also because I want to check child-seat fitment and lift-in height). If my time is going to get wasted, trust me, I’m going to let him climb in and out of every car in the showroom. Oh, and I’m not going to be trapped in an office while he does it.

    I’ve yet to resort to this, but if they’re rude, I’ll feed him something unpleasantly hard to clean, too.

  • avatar
    Redbarchetta

    That girl is my favorite of all the pictures today, far and above the Carter one. Can I have her wrapped in a bow and shipped to my house, I promise to feed her.

    Michael Karesh : But is any dealer still doing this? Any recent reports of such tactics?

    This happen to me a few years ago at a Honda dealer in Atlanta, learned my lesson after that. And they lost a future sale forever doing it.

  • avatar
    Seth L

    A just shopped with a friend a a Kia dealership who took the keys away.

    Third worst car buying experience behined the local CHevy and Ford lots.

    We walked away (with the keys).

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Actually, try this instead.

    Go in on Saturday early afternoon. Be prepared to stay past midnight. (you can leave for dinner)

    Say ALL the things they tell you not to say. However, whenever asked to actually do the deal, just say, “I don’t know”. Do this until they are foaming at the mouth.

    When you just can’t take it anymore, give them your cash offer. If they don’t take it, walk out.

    Come back next saturday, and see what happens!

  • avatar
    mmmach1

    Ya the only think lower than a car salesman would be working for CNN Money!! This moron doesnt know his butt from a donut. My great grandmother used to tell me those thingsabout buying a car before she died…..in 1973.
    Rehash of all the old stale bad car salesman BS. He should get off his butt and do some research.

  • avatar
    cjdumm

    Lots of good advice here.

    My best friend has a family legend (myth? wishful thinking?) about his construction-worker dad punching out a salesman who wouldn’t give him his keys back. My own dad, who hasn’t raised a fist in anger since the Kennedy administration, almost did the same thing in the late ’80s.

    And I ALWAYS took our toddlers car shopping with us. A caterwauling two year-old having a meltdown on the showroom floor can really light a fire under the salesman’s arse. When our little one let go in the Honda showroom, suddenly the ‘extended warranty/paint sealant/gap insurance’ hard-sell evaporated.

  • avatar
    seabrjim

    Do they still do that Michael? In 1993 my mother asked if I would negotiate her new car purchase as usual. As she discussed the sundance (I know, bad son) I told her we would come back later when we had more time as they wanted to “rush” things. Somehow mom had given them the keys which they couldny find. I offered to help and after looking in my third desk drawer and dumping thcontents on the floor the became interested in finding the keys. Didnt get arrested, either. Even back then chrysler salemen were reptiles.

  • avatar
    miked

    I never go to a dealer without a second set of keys and a photo copy of my driver’s license in case they want it for the test drive. Then on my way out, I ask for the copy back.

  • avatar
    Mike66Chryslers

    How does the dealer get your car keys in the first place? When they want to “inspect” your potential trade-in vehicle? I’ve never done a trade-in.

    My parents took my Grandma’s car (’86 Monte Carlo) and used their ’86 Aerostar as her trade-in when she bought a new car. The dealer apparently didn’t look too closely at it. They called her about a week later to complain that they wanted money back because they assumed it had A/C but it didn’t. HA ha!

    I did show-up at the Dodge dealership once asking to test drive a new 2001 Cummins. They told me I couldn’t take a test drive because they couldn’t find the keys to their truck. I assumed this was BS and that they figured I wasn’t seriously interested, even though I drove there in my 1994 Cummins. (They were right, I still don’t intend to replace my truck for at least another 5 years, but how would they know?!)

  • avatar
    shortthrowsixspeed

    the first time I bought a car I got reamed. I had saved up $7500 from working over the summer while in college and I had my heart set on a motorcycle. I had been researching them all summer and had settled on a year old Kawasaki (supposedly the most beginner friendly). My girlfriend at the time convinced me to “just go look” at what was available at a couple local lots before getting the bike.

    2 hours later I had emply pockets and we were driving away in a six year old civic hatchback. I think I could have withstood the salesman alone, but when he and my girlfriend started the tag-team pressure, I caved.

    The next time I worked a deal on a Mazda with a bunch of “bonus cash” up front in exchange for a ridiculous 4.5% interest rate. Then I promptly paid the car off two months later. I consider myself 1 for 2 on the car buying scoreboard.

  • avatar
    Busbodger

    Man I’ve bought alot of used cars in my time but my only new car was purchased in ’99. Took about six dealerships over three months to find a deal that we liked and a saleman that wasn’t playing games.

    Vehicle in question: ’99 CR-V EX 5 speed. Still driving it today. 161K miles.

    Dealer #1: says 5 speed AWD don’t exist. 14% interest. When I need a demo, I’ll come get yours (he said) and then wash it before I bring it back. I said: look at the Honda website for a 5 speed, already financed from the bank at half that, and F*** no you won’t demo my car.

    Dealer#2: Ran my credit w/o my permission. Did not find out for a few years until we got our first mortgage. Hard sell on sealant, undercoating, etching the glass, trade-in value half what I later sold our old Accord for. Literally chased us out of the showroom heckling us when I said no deal. They went out of business later.

    Dealer#3: Bugged office. Literally. He had way too much info on us, things we were quietly saying in his absence. He was a sad sack telling us all about his myriad of personal troubles. (???) When we stepped outside to “wait” for him (and all the delay tactics he could muster) – suddenly employees wanted to come in and out of that door or stand around and smoke out there. Nobody had used that door for an hour prior. We left without warning.

    Dealer#4: Salesmen ignored us – completely. Business must have been good. Maybe my 20 year old VW van scared them.

    Dealer#5: Saleman threw a fit and told me he didn’t have to “put up with this ****” when I lowballed his price based on invoice prices I gleened somewhere else. I was expecting a counter-offer, not a fit. He announced then that he was quitting. We walked out. Prob should have spoken to the manager.

    Dealer#6: Last round. Walked in, test drove the car we wanted and sat down to negotitate. Told him I had my own money, no trade-in and my price was $xx,xxx. He had 20 mins to make the deal happen or I was walking out. He countered $300 more and we signed the deal. Might have helped that we were his last customers of the day and it was the end of the month. Dunno.

    I’m not sure that I will ever buy another new car of any brand. I surely admire new cars but the customer experience SUCKED! Dealership experiences since then for parts or service (not my car I might add) have SUCKED. Liars, overpriced, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a problem customer. I come in, ask for the parts I need. On a few occasions I have asked questions and thanked them and left knowing that what I was just told was an outright lie based on the repair manual, internet forums, etc. Heard dealers lie to friends too. Sad, sad, sad.

    Add to that all of the horror stories I have witnessed and been told over the years. Went to a Hyundai dealer to look at a mini-van with my sister-in-law. The guy literally had a microphone and web cam aimed at us I quickly noticed on his bookshelf behind his desk.

    And car dealers complain that customers have them all wrong… I’m sure there are alot of bad customers too. Definitely think dealers need to be like Saturn. Here is our price. Sign here. As the customer if you don’t like it you can go somewhere else and buy a different brand. I think GM got it right with Saturn. No if only they had not starved them for product until recently…

    Yes I have accompanied several folks who negotiated trade-ins vs private sales, payments instead of ultimate price, gushed over cars they then had to negotiate for, etc. Ridculous what people go through to BUY something. It ought to be the dealers jumping through hoops to sell me a car – not the other way around.

  • avatar
    Mervich

    @ Landcrusher: Go in on Saturday early afternoon. Be prepared to stay past midnight. (you can leave for dinner)

    Say ALL the things they tell you not to say. However, whenever asked to actually do the deal, just say, “I don’t know”. Do this until they are foaming at the mouth.

    When you just can’t take it anymore, give them your cash offer. If they don’t take it, walk out.

    Come back next saturday, and see what happens!

    Excellent! My father used a very similar scheme nearly every time he went car shopping. Another of his favorite games when dealer A wouldn’t meet his price was to walk out, go to dealer B down the street, take one of his cars for a test drive right up to the showroom of dealer A, beep the horn a few times, big wave and drive away! Usually, the salesman at dealer A would rush out pleading for him to wait.

    He also had a rule: Never shop at the beginning of the month…only at the end when the salesman’s/dealer’s monthly quotas come into serious play.

  • avatar
    skor

    A few years ago, my neighbor,an older gentleman, decided he wanted to buy a new Cadillac, and that he wanted very specific features and color combo, so he was going to have the car made to order. I informed him that GM doesn’t do “made to order” — for the most part. He was incredulous. Why wouldn’t they build his Cadillac to order? He was an American citizen. He was a veteran. He was going to pay cash. He implied that I was an ill informed lout, and probably a communist to boot.

    A few days later, he walked over and waved the dealer papers in my face. “There you are, commie!” “One Caddy on order the American way!” He put $4K down, and was told that his car would be delivered in 4 to 6 weeks.

    6 weeks came and went, no Caddy. I, being a the annoying commie that I am, asked about the car. Mr. Neighbor informed me that the Caddy dealer had not received the car because of a strike at one of the parts plants. “God damn commie unions!” He was assured that the car would be on it’s way in 4 weeks time.

    4 weeks came and went, no Caddy. This time the car was delayed by a “railroad strike”. “God damn commie railroad workers!” The car would be along in 4 weeks.

    4 weeks came and went…..the car was built, but recalled to update it to new engineering specs. 4 weeks more.

    4 weeks…..car sent to other dealer by mistake. 2 weeks more.

    2 weeks.. he gets a phone call from the dealer and is told that the order is canceled and they will return his deposit check unless he buys a car off the lot. He bought a car off the lot.

    After he came home with his new car, he told me, “I think they lied to me when they said they special ordered the car.” No kidding.

    Apparently lying to this guy was OK, because this past spring, he bought a new Caddy — off the lot.

  • avatar
    folkdancer

    I agree with most of the advice from CNN Money but take issue with not saying “I love this car”.

    A long time ago Reader’s Digest had an excellent article on how to bargain. Their rules have served me well for buying many products in many places in the world. The Reader’s Digest rules are:

    1. Make damn sure you want the item. Don’t waste time and bargaining power on Yugos or Escalades because you are curious when you need a 4 door Camry.

    2. Praise the product. Even thank the owner for having this product availble. This puts the seller in a good mood.

    3. Time. Have lots of time. Have a book to read while they look for your keys. Sitting calmly after a couple of jerks have tried to work me over and filled a paper with incomprehensible figures has unnerved a sales staff. Of course if 2 salespeople try to work you over that is time to ask for your keys back, sit calmly, and then walk out.

    The other ideas about not revealing how you plan to buy etc are the same as CNN Money.

    A final note: Don’t buy where the music is loud.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    The majority of our car purchases have been pleasant and productive. The worst was a visit to an Acura dealer. The salesman insisted on photocopying our driver’s licenses, saying it is a demonstration drive prerequisite. We had no issue with him examining the licenses to confirm we are legally entitled to drive but steadfastly rejected photocopying, referencing local police identity theft cautions. He said we might not bring their expensive car back! Our late model Acura was parked in front of the showroom. It was also serviced there regularly, though the salesman may not have known that. As we walked toward our car to leave he hurriedly consulted with his associates and chased after us, withdrawing the photocopying requirement as he ran.

    The salesman touted us on to a demonstrator on showroom display. He wanted way too much money for it. He also attempted to apply freight and PDI charges to the transaction notwithstanding these charges are not applicable to used cars! That was all we could tolerate. We ran, this time for good.

    Significantly, neither the Infiniti nor Lexus representatives asked to see or photocopy our driver’s licenses. We purchased a new Infiniti. It was a very pleasant transaction. The salesman was helpful and attentive to our needs. A dealer representative calls every few months and asks if everything is OK; can she do anything for us?

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Many moons ago, I shopped a Dodge dealership that held the keys to my (potential) trade. In return, I held the keys to their demo.

    The entire sales staff ganged up on me in the parking lot. I was forced to become loud and belligerent. Finally they gave me back the keys to my car.

    At which point I promptly and quickly heaved the keys to their demo onto the ROOF of the dealership :)

  • avatar
    Skooter

    Good advice! Make sure you do not tell the salesperson anything. lie about your monthly budget. Lie about your intended time frame of purchase. Don’t tell them anything about your credit. Bring along distractions (toddlers) to make the deal more difficult for the dealership to consummate. Oh, and if you have a trade in make sure to disguise any defects and hope the dealer gets “stuck” with your problem.
    And the auto dealer is dishonest? Hmmm.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    I don’t understand why anyone negotiates car purchases prices in person. This is how you give the dealer ALL the power. You have no tools, research, numbers, calculators or any other research material infront of you!

    My only new car purchase was my new 2005 STi.

    I made a list of the closest 30-35 dealerships. I picked the furthest one away and worked my way in. I called & asked for a price quote. I then called the next dealer, and told him I had a quote for my STi with Y options, in the color of HIS choice (I didn’t care) for $previousprice-$500 out the door. Could he beat it ?

    I ended up going to a dealership 52 miles away signed the papers, took the car, and that was it.

    I did finance 80% of it @ 2.9%, but you better believe I already new what my monthly was before their finance guy worked it out. I also, of course, brought in an e-mail quote from the salesman I spoke with, copies of my credit reports, and copies of the math behind what my monthly payments should be. I think in total it was about 50 pages of paperwork.

    They gave me no problems and I was out the door in an hour. I also had a “backup” quote incase that dealer tried to screw me.

    During my phone calls, I started from the outside in so I could (hopefully) get the best price closest to me.I would say about 5-6 guys told me I was lying or slammed the phone or swore at me. I had another 5-6 who refused to give me a quote over the phone (“Sorry buddy I”m not playing 4 square with ya!”), and the rest seemed ok to give prices out over the phone.

  • avatar
    dwford

    There’s a simple solution to all those tales of woe: PAY FOR GOOD SERVICE! Instead of chiseling for the last dollar with a bunch of dealers, find one that treats you right and gives you a fair deal. Maybe it’s not the lowest price, but its one deal less for the dirtbags. And maybe the next time you need a car, the nice guy is still in business and the loser is gone. Just a thought…

    The best advice has been said before: do your research ahead of time, know the invoice price, and know if the car you want is selling or not. If it’s a hot seller, don’t be a dick and ask for $500 under invoice. You are just wasting everyone’s time. If it’s a slow seller, the salesman knows it too and shouldn’t fight too much once he knows you are informed.

  • avatar
    Skooter

    Robstar-
    You called 35 dealerships? Got a quote and then lied to the next salesperson by $500? And did 50 pages of financial paperwork to support your monthly payment basis? Do you work?

  • avatar
    John Horner

    I used to use Robstar’s method of calling a dealer in a big city a few hundred miles away and then asking the local guy if he could come close. I bought two cars that way. In both cases I said I would be willing to pay a couple of hundred dollars more for the convenience of doing business closer to home, and the local guys went ahead and met to out of town quote.

    Now I do the same thing buy using the internet and email. Messages to the ‘net/fleet manager at a handful of dealers is normally enough to make a good deal with a minimum of hassle.

    The WORST way to buy a car is to just walk into the showroom and deal with whoever grabs your collar. The fleet/internet managers are typically much more experienced and much more straightforward. In dealers around here they often have an office in an entirely different building or trailer as compared to the regular salesdudes and dudettes.

  • avatar
    Skooter

    dwford-
    Now, YOU get it! That is the most sound advice I’ve seen on this entire topic. Well done.

  • avatar
    rxphink

    I went out looking for X5s recently, I know an SUV shame on me, and I couldn’t any of the three local dealers I went to to actually deal with me.

    I walk in tell them exactly what I want and what I’m comparing them to. (Merc ML and Range Rover)
    Two of the three instantly decided I wanted to buy whatever the oldest one on the lot was, no matter the spec, and started crunching the numbers for me. Each time I had to throw the breaks on and try to get them to let me look at the truck and let me drive it. Not a one of them would even deal with me after that.

    First sales guy told be he’d “open one up and let me crawl around it for a bit”.

    Second sales guy takes me out to “the one I want” and proceeds to give me the run down on the car all the while another sales lady was showing the truck to a family. Once I told him I wanted to drive it he takes me inside to get the keys and promptly disappears never to be seen again.

    Third dealership I had to ask for a salesperson, and once I get one assigned to me he doesn’t have time for a test drive. So he runs off to find someone who can take me out for a drive and seems to forget that I’m even there. Sad thing is they had one on the lot that I would have bought right then and there if I liked the way it drove.

    The last two places I ended up waiting around a good fifteen minutes for someone to help me after my “salesman” disappeared.

    Who knew that buying a car would be so difficult right now, especially one the dealer should be jumping to get rid of. Who knows maybe they didn’t like the fact that I wasn’t trading (2nd vehicle) or that I seemed to actually know what I wanted.

    Going into a dealer I expect the salesperson to, I don’t know, sell me on his/her car. That’s one thing I can say for the Rover salesman he knew his truck and everyone else’s too.

  • avatar
    seabrjim

    take the witch doctor guy with you and shrink the salesmans head.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    “Guess what’s going to happen if you reach an impasse in the negotiations and decide it’s time to leave. You’ll have to ask for you car keys back. And, odds are good, they will have been misplaced.”

    Then you could demand for a locks smith to unlock your car, or towed to you home.
    See how fast the keys re-appear again.
    Once they did that to me, I told them I need to go, holding me up will only diminsh my chance or any of my fnds coming back.

    Or tell them u need a loaner car untl they have found your keys.
    Is almost like a false imprisonment.

  • avatar

    blowfish Then you could demand for a locks smith to unlock your car, or towed to you home. See how fast the keys re-appear again. Once they did that to me, I told them I need to go, holding me up will only diminsh my chance or any of my fnds coming back. Or tell them u need a loaner car untl they have found your keys. Is almost like a false imprisonment. Or you could do like I did: announce loudly that if they didn't produce my car keys within 90 seconds I was calling the police and reporting the car stolen. The salesman laughed and said "you can't be serious." I replied "do I look like I'm joking?" as I pulled out my cell phone and started dialing 911. You should have seen how fast they "found" my keys and brought my car back around front.

  • avatar
    phil

    i was 54 before i learned with utter wonderfulness of a good car broker. the one i use has their fee paid for by the dealership. i email what i want to the broker, he comes back with a price (usually an awesome deal) and if i want to move ahead i either drive to his place to sign papers and pick up the car or he will deliver it to my home and sign the papers. i never set foot in the dealership. why didn’t someone tell me about this 20 years ago?

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    Are there no good car databases in the U.S.?

    Over here in Germany, buying a car is easy. I log on to mobile.de or autoscout24.de, which list a few million new and used cars each. Say I want a new Merc C200 in silver, auto trans, cloth seats: mobile.de points me to the cheapest deal on offer (of 113 nationwide). I call the dealer, make an appointment for the next day, have a buddy take me there, inspect the car, hand over the cash, and drive away. The beauty of a well-functioning market.

  • avatar
    John Williams

    I’ll admit I’ve never set foot in a dealership — all of the cars I’ve bought to date have been purchased at public auto auctions. Probably a much less stressful experience than having to cajole a dealer into selling you what you want to buy.

  • avatar
    lprocter1982

    A Chrysler dealer once tried the misplaced keys trick on me. I asked him, quite nicely, if he could get me the local phone book, so I could look up the number of the local police to report a stolen car.

    He returned, very quickly, with my keys. I then bought a Chevy Impala from the Kia dealer (who woulda thought) next door.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    Last time I purchased a vehicle, I just took a calculator with me. The sales guys would put togther complicated proposals that would sound as if they were including all sorts of goodies and concessions. When it got down to the final offer, the schemes always boiled down to X bucks per month, and how many months? I’d pull out the calculator, do the monthly x months right there in front of them look at the bottom line, and walk on ‘em. A few were visibly upset. I ended up with the vehicle I wanted for a total of about $4,000 less than the $18,500 MSRP, including the interest on the five year loan, which I proceeded to pay off in three years.

  • avatar
    Busbodger

    Database: yeah I found one called vast dot com. Funny thing is that if I look for something arcane I’ll start getting results in Europe.

  • avatar
    Megan Benoit

    Martin: Autotrader is pretty darn good, it includes dealer and private listings.

    I’m getting a kick out of all of this because we had a heinous experience at a VW dealership last weekend… no one there had a freaking clue about the new Tiguan and Sportwagen (options, dates, anything). We finally found a salesman who could give us a test drive on the sportwagen and he was a total wanker. I swear it took us a half hour to find someone who was willing to let us do a test drive, and another 20 minutes for him to get the keys and everything. He refused to let us deviate from the extremely short test drive route (didn’t even let us take the car on the interstate), and whined about not having the air conditioner on, stating that he thought our blissfully sleeping baby was ‘uncomfortable’ (we rarely use the air during test drives because of the performance hit). And he didn’t seem thrilled when I openly mocked the 2.5 engine and outright stated that we’d only consider the one with the 2.0T engine.

    We were going to drive the tiguan after that but were running short on time, and honestly did not want to deal with him any longer… *then* he was all like, “Well, I was going to let you take this one on the interstate.” Yeah, buh-bye. We went to a different VW dealership and they treated us fabulously… hmm, guess who *isn’t* getting our business if we decide to get another dub? I won’t say which dealership it was, but I’ll say it rhymes with ‘Tim Smellis.’ Should have learned my lesson from when I got my GTI and just avoided them, but they’re the closest dealership. *sigh*

  • avatar

    Megan:

    Autotrader used to be better, when private listings were free. These days it’s mostly dealers.

    On the VW dealers: there’s one around me I simply don’t visit anymore. They act as if they’re doing you a huge favor with a test drive.

    On the Tiguan: I’d pass based on my test drive a few weeks ago.

  • avatar
    jckirlan11

    Gardiner Westbound;
    I think you went to the same Acura dealership I went to as the worst dealership experience ever. In the western burbs of Toronto. Sherway I think or 2000. They demanded my credit card prior to a test drive along with my drivers license. Innocently and nievely I gave them both, only to find out that they wanted me to buy their vehicle at their price, while demanding I put hundreds into my car as a trade in or they would charge my credit card $3000 dollars. This was 1992 when $3000 was alot of money to a young graduate trying to get ahead.
    A violent and expletive filled yelling spree ensued that lasted for the better part of an hour, enough to clear the floor of any potential consumers. I learned a valuable life lesson that day and unfortunately for car dealers I keep my cars running for 12-15 years so I don’t have to deal with them.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    I know the Tim Smellis group quite well. The moral compass on those guys is about as screwed up as I’ve seen anywhere.

    I had an auctioneer friend of mine buy a Jetta TDI from them only about 10 days ago. My friend is also responsible for liquidating their vehicles at the auctions, and if there’s one commandment in the auto auction business it is, “Do not screw with the guy who is selling your cars to the dealers.”

    When my friend asked about the Jetta TDI, the Tim Smellis rep swore up and down that it was fine. He buys it for $10800, brings it down to LaGrange, and the vehicle had more problems than you can shake a stick at. He brought it back to the sale and resold it the next day for a $1000 loss. That means in essence that he worked two sales in a row for virtually nothing.

    Now keep in mind, the auctioneer is the one who is responsible for making the dealer as much money as possible. On a given run of vehicles, a good auctioneer can add several thousands more to the bottom line and in essence is their most important relationship at the wholesale level. They STILL screwed him. I can’t even think of what these folks do to the general public.

  • avatar
    BKW

    The misplaced keys is an old ploy that’s been around at least since the 1940’s. Back then everyone left their keys in their cars, so when ppl parked on a dealers lot, a salesman moved the car to an obscure location, took the keys and stashed them, usually on the top of the right rear tire.

    The latest ploy around here in LA LA Land is hide the registration. Salesppl ask to see it, then disappear into a back office, and you’ll wait…and wait..and wait, till you finally get it back.

    Make several copies of your reg before going car shopping, then if things don’t pan out, you can just walk out.

    The registration isn’t the title, at least not here in CA, it’s the yearly “white slip.”

    btw: Despite the free sodas, coffee, snacks, and the “glad hand” treatment, the salesperson is NOT your friend. And never, EVER feel sorry for a salesperson if he/she comes back with a sad look on their face and sez…I’m sorry, my boss sez we can’t make a deal based on your offer.

    I love dealing with salesppl, just love it. My family were new car dealers for nearly 80 years, and I know every damn trick in the book. I know what I want to pay before walking in, and if a deal can’t be made in 30 minutes, I walk out…with my keys.

  • avatar
    Megan Benoit

    Michael:
    The Tiguan is a great car… five years ago. Now? I don’t know why VW bothered. The Sportwagen has just as much space and is cheaper and gets better gas mileage. Don’t know why anyone would get a Tiguan.


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