On the Other Hand… "It's a Bloodbath"

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
on the other hand it s a bloodbath

A reader writes:

Several weeks ago, I took my 18-year-old daughter to Pennsylvania to find her a used car (I don’t believe in buying a new car for a kid). We found a Honda dealership that had a nice, clean 1998 Civic for about $4000. My daughter had $3000 saved up from working at the mall. We gave the salesman the cash and I asked if I could get a loan for the balance. “No loans”, he replied. “We had a guy in here this morning that had an 800 credit score that had to walk away from the car because he couldn’t get approved.” I then agreed to give the salesman a personal check from my account and we were able to buy the car (which, by the way, has been a real gem). The Honda dealership is right across the road from a Cadillac store. “I sold more Hondas myself in December than all the salesman over at Cadillac combined,” he told me. I think this experience is a good indicator of what’s happening in car sales in the USA right now. It’s a bloodbath.

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  • Kurt. Kurt. on Feb 06, 2009

    Monday, I walked into my bank and took out a $10,000 car loan at 8%. Walked out cash in hand in less than 15 minutes, and that included flirting with the girl at the desk. They offered me an additional "pre-approved" new car loan up to $50k and they would give it to me right then. I think it was said elsewhere, the salesman just didn't want to do the paperwork for $1000 and knew you'd pony up the extra cash for your little gems (both your daughter and the car) - and he was right. You should have taken her to a bank and co-signed a loan (either a signature or used car).

  • SupaMan SupaMan on Feb 06, 2009

    dwford Don't mean to bash you, but it sounds like you're not very motivated to sell cars and with the economy being the way it is, I can see why. However, it is your JOB to greet people in such a way that will make them feel comfortable right away and they'll feel they can do business with you. Believe me, get short with the wrong people and you know how the "tell 1 customer, that one tells 2, those two tell 3..." goes. Sure people want to get the lowest price they can and it's obvious why. I'm car shopping right now and trying to get my hands on a Mazdaspeed3. The dealer has it listed for $16937 and I met him at $16000 flat out the door (I have my own tags) and he simply refused. Why is that? Anyway, maybe you need to find some other work if that's the attitude you're gonna have with customers. I'm not saying you shouldn't have bad days, but shit...doesn't mean every customer should be treated like crap because "a few aren't worth it".

  • on Feb 06, 2009

    "The dealer has it listed for $16937 and I met him at $16000 flat out the door (I have my own tags) and he simply refused. Why is that?" Maybe, just maybe, the dealer feels he/she is entitled to make a profit. And they decided to decline your offer. You have the choice of either upping your offer or simply walking away. You can keep trying other Mazda dealers as well. If your offer is continuously rejected, you can probably deduce that it is not a realistic proposal. "Monday, I walked into my bank and took out a $10,000 car loan at 8%" I am sure that a dealer could have done you better than 8%. Unless the collateral is an older vehicle.

  • Revhigh Revhigh on Feb 06, 2009

    dwford : February 5th, 2009 at 8:56 pm revhigh: Normally in the sales process, once the customer agrees to a price, fills out the credit application, signs the purchase order and leaves a deposit, they buy the vehicle from you. Especially when you have taken the time to establish a rapport (or so you think), help them decide on the correct vehicle for their needs, find that vehicle out of state etc. If you non-salemen out there think the sales guy does all that out of the kindness of his heart, just to help you out. You are mistaken. I am just pissed that I lost the deal to the free tires and batteries scam. ************************************************* Hey DW, Enough with the bashing. What I'm trying to say is that ANY salesman has to be professional in GOOD times and BAD times. It seems to the buying public that when times are GOOD, the salesmen are cocky and arrogant, and during BAD times, the salesmen are whiny obnoxious crybabies who don't want to work. You see it in real estate too ... when times are good, every housewife on the planet is a realtor, when times go bad, 80% of the 'professional realtors' disappear and work at Walmart. I'm not saying YOU are, since it seems you're doing OK even with the bad times, and I'm glad for that. I realize that you can sometimes go above and beyond the call and lose the deal, but that's sales. There's no telling why customers do that. I know this because I was in sales myself for many years, and the truth of the matter is that sales is a damn tough profession. If you have a personality that doesn't take rejection and disappointment well, it's very easy to develop a 'customers suck' attitude. Clearly this attitued is not conducive to further sales activities. When I felt that attitude developing, I got out of sales. I can understand being pissed about losing the deal to the tires and batteries scam. Did you ever find out why the lady called you back to tell you about buying the car elsewhere ?? Was she so clueless that she didn't realize that it was a tasteless thing to do ??