CNNMoney: What NOT to Say to a Car Salesman

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

In 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 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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  • Jckirlan11 Jckirlan11 on Jul 04, 2008

    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.

  • Steven Lang Steven Lang on Jul 04, 2008

    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.

  • BKW BKW on Jul 05, 2008

    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.

  • Megan Benoit Megan Benoit on Jul 07, 2008

    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.