Hammer Time: What?

Steven Lang
by Steven Lang

Ever have someone test drive your car and then seriously piss you off? Lowballers. Nickelshitters. Liars and scum aplenty who think they have the right to NASCAR your car? Phony little fruitcakes who drive to your place in a complete POS-mobile and then whine about a loose cupholder? Unfortunately, I’ve seen it all in the retail world and as an auto auctioneer… and I’ve created a few healthy coping mechanisms.

If someone lowballs by a country mile while I’m on or off the block, I try to offer quick answers. “What?” in Steve Austin speak tends to be the favorite answer for me and most auctioneers. Repeated as many times as possible until they ‘hopefully’ get the joke. Sometimes I get to say it about four to six times. When done right everyone’s laughing their vital organs off. While the fellow either gets increasingly irate or finally realizes the joke’s on them. Several times I’ve even seen a societal dumbass turn into three shades of purple while offering $1000 for a $3500 car at the auctions.

When they’re at least civil while lowballing me, I’ll always be nice. There are five responses you can have to any potential conflict. Reason, guilt, threat, avoidance, and confrontation. For my world reason rules, and by simply stating something in the lines of, “I can see that if the car had xxx miles and dents…” I try to keep a worthwhile conversation intact. Sometimes they come back later and buy it. Both in the retail world and in the auction barn. Sometimes… it’s oh bla di oh bla da. Life goes on. Ha!

Steven Lang
Steven Lang

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  • Sherman Lin Sherman Lin on Oct 24, 2009

    saponetta : “I just turn things around in a condescending way……..I’ve also ran people off. If they were being ignorant to a salesman and I had to come in and didn’t get anywhere sometimes I’ll be a jerk right back.” How about a simple answer of no. I guess simple decency is too much to ask from a car salesman

  • Gogogodzilla Gogogodzilla on Oct 24, 2009
    Liars and scum aplenty who think they have the right to NASCAR your car? How else do you find out what the limits of car are unless you test it? Better to find out in the test drive... and not the few seconds before an accident.
  • DweezilSFV DweezilSFV on Oct 24, 2009

    JMO: [Re; Real Estate Intervention] I looked it up and added it to my Season's Pass on Tivo. Thanks. Sorry,but I despise the entire process. If the price is clearly marked and seems fair and I want the thing, I'll go with that, either at a car lot or a flea market.Just bottom line the damn thing and cut out all the voodoo. What I hate is the low ball trade: I was offered $500.00 for a 10 year old Olds Calais with 40,000 miles on it, on a used 95 Cavalier. The car had every drop of oil, gas and repairs documented from the time I bought it and it was immaculate. It wasn't sentiment that took umbrage at that offer.This car really was a cream puff.I just really liked the styling and everything else about the Cavalier and wanted one. I said no.These Calais at the time were selling on other lots with twice the mileage for nearly 3-4995 They came back with an offer of $1500.00. That sounded more reasonable. Until I got to signing the papers and discovered they had added $1000.00 to the price of the car to "give me what I wanted" for mine. And stuck a $300.00 alarm system into the deal. For $300.00. Which I had told them I didn't want. I ripped that contract up and demanded my keys back. This "salesman" should have been selling financing on skid row rather than at a major new car dealership. Low ball all around. The Cavalier was a come on with a low price at the big Chevy dealer on LaBrea in L.A.It was only a year old and going for something like $6995.00 with 24,000 miles on it. Eventually I did buy a new car. A Cavalier. But not from that bunch of crooks. Priced as marked using all incentives, nothing hidden. The Ford dealer did the whole 4 Square dance and "what can we do to get you into that new Focus today?" number when I went to trade with them. I walked and haven't been back. And may not go into the car market for another 10 or 15 years. There is plenty of obnoxious behavior on both sides of the transaction.

  • GS650G GS650G on Oct 24, 2009

    If I hear "But the blue book is...." or " On ebay they go for ...." I tell them to go on ebay and buy it or ask Kelly to sell them a car. A simple no is an answer. If they are Kyl Busch behind the wheel they will find it much harder to negotiate me down in price.