Edmunds Retracts Haggling Parody Amid Dealer Outcry

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

As you all know, the TTAC Zaibatsu prides itself on not having to worry about things like upsetting brands for telling it like it is for a given product. Of course, this does sometimes mean we get blackballed by said brands for not drinking the Kool-Aid, but we have our ways around those roadblocks.

Alas, Edmunds doesn’t have those ways, resulting in a series of ads retracted after a number of dealers took issue with the content.

According to AdAge, the automotive research site created a series of ads parodying outdated sales techniques that made car-buying a headache for quite a few; the headache hasn’t gone away, with 83 percent of consumers surveyed in 2014 by Edmunds would like to do away with negotiations altogether.

The parodies focused on a supermarket cashier using said techniques to persuade shoppers to haggle for their purchases. The results were filmed via hidden camera, then posted on YouTube.

Alas, it was not to last: A number of its partners found little humor in the adverts, feeling they undermined their relationship with Edmunds. A few showrooms went as far as to unsubscribe from the site’s portfolio of services.

Though it had no intention to take the series down at first, Edmunds relented. President Seth Berkowitz said the series “missed the mark,” and that the company would go back to improving the car-buying process with its dealer partners “for car shoppers around the country.”

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Oct 28, 2014

    Cue Ruggles................... I've had one sale that did not fit the typical sales process panned by the Edmunds parody. I do not mind haggling but I do mind being treated like a post lobotomy patient.

  • Ryoku75 Ryoku75 on Oct 28, 2014

    This is why we don't get much good satire these days, we can't laugh at ourselves, at least if it doesn't involve video games. With dishonesty and salesman I just want to say this, I've been car shopping for a few weeks now and I've found more liars and poor manners over craigslist than hitting the dealerships. Worse case was a "low mileage" Volvo 240 I test drove, drove more like it had 300k on it. The owner lied about the ownership history of it, and claimed that "all the lights work" despite a warning on the dash for a bad light. He also didn't mention the CEL being on. Another case was a "police spec" Chevy Nova that turned out to just be a plain Nova with a V8 shoved into it. I left with the warning some guy would be picking it up for $1500 later, they never showed up for the car. Last case was an Opel Kadette wagon, the owner was VERY instant on that it "ran and drive" repeating it to no end. How you drive a car with one flat and three old dry rotted tires is beyond me. I'm sure that it ran though.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Oct 28, 2014

    As with everything, Buyer Beware. There are good sales people and there are bad ones as there are good people and bad people. Unfortunately there are more bad people in car sales and politics.

  • Don1967 Don1967 on Oct 29, 2014

    What an asinine video, with the $9 jug of milk and the clerk goading the customer to haggle. Reality in the new-car business is more like a $2 jug of milk which Edmunds goads the customer into haggling down to $1.90, while thinking nothing of paying full MSRP - which often includes markups of 100%, 200% or more - on just about everything else in their lives. In my younger years I was one of the good car salesmen - honest and knowledgeable - but after awhile I just had enough of "educated" consumers. Today when I hear them complaining about the lying scumbag who occupies my old job, I just smile and wave.