By on February 16, 2015

Focus Ad 3After I purchased my S2000 and was about to drive off the lot, my salesperson regaled me with stories about the Honda’s previous owners – an elderly couple who loved the sports car, called it their “baby,” but traded it for a Mercedes-Benz E350 Coupe because they wanted more room. None of this history was noted in their website or internet ads for the S2000, but why wasn’t it?

It turns out that most franchised dealer’s new and pre-owned vehicle ads on AutoTrader and cars.com as well as their own websites do not tell such stories because they are composed by automated services. The fun part is that dealers sometimes never proofread them, like in the example above showcasing the ultimate in Additional Dealer Markup.  Even better is when dealers try to write the ads themselves. Let’s take a look.

Assuming you do not pop for the $114,000 Focus, you might want to jump on the deal below from a Georgia dealer. Another fat finger typo or a low ball to get you in the store? Amazingly, both ads have been on AutoTrader for several days.
$6000 C7 Courtesy autotrader.com

One of the services supplying automated text to dealers for used car ads decided to quote an published road test on the 2011 BMW 528i. It sounds like a good idea but here is the excerpt currently being quoted by a dozen BMW dealers around the country:

“Dead center in the BMW sausage case is the 5 Series, always a strong choice for buyers who want vigorous acceleration and crisp handling, but not the limited interior space of the 3 Series, nor the girth, weight and fee-fye-foe-fum price of the 7 Series.”

Bash the other cars you sell in order to move the 5-Series? Manufacturers and consumers wish dealers would be this transparent, but in the words of Lewis Grizzard, “I don’t believe I’da told that one, brother.”

Here is the first line from an Audi dealer’s self-composed AutoTrader ad designed to educate high-end prospects about the $191,350 2015 R8 V10 Spyder:

“Biener Audi does not charge any Dealer Administrative fee. BUYER BEWARE! Many of our competitors charge exorbitant Dealer Administrative fees above the previously agreed selling price or tack on charges for unnecessary items like window etching which are not disclosed until delivery!”

Hey, why talk about the car when you can criticize other dealers instead?

It is safe to say that most pre-owned managers neither have the time or the talent to write compelling used car blurbs. Witness all this Houston dealer could think of to say about one vehicle:

This 2009 Aston Martin V8 Vantage 6-Speed Coupe has had it’s annual service and is Warranty ready. It is ready to get back on the road.

Does this mean the car is ready for more warranty work? Or that you need to buy an extended warranty?

Some dealers try to be too cute. In honor of Bark’s story, here is what a San Diego BMW dealer has to say about the yellow 2013 Boss 302 on their lot:

Luxuriate from Alpha to Bravo. Be a part of this innovation Nation. Don’t pay too much for the family car you want…Come on down and take a look at this superb 2013 Ford Mustang. Power is nothing without control, and the incredible brakes on this Mustang means that you are always just a quick pedel press away from bringing life to a halt.

To be fair, here is a dealership that does a nice job of telling the story of each vehicle, witness this text from Alderson Mercedes-Benz in Midland, Texas:

“..this beautiful Certified C-Class served as the faithful travel companion of an up and coming law student, taking her back and forth from her home in Dallas to the prestigious Rice University in Houston. Now a successful attorney in the Permian Basin, she entrusted Alderson to find her C300 a new owner…”   

A lot of other dealers might have written, ” ONE WOMAN OWNER! HIGHWAY MILES! E-Z FINANCING!” to sell this Benz.

Bleary-eyed from reading hundreds of car ads in an attempt to be half as funny as Doud DeMuro in this post, I also learned:

  • The first line in Jaguar Nashville’s dealer information webpage says, “Let’s break down just how much we have to offer here at Jaguar Nashville…” Hint: never use the phrase “break down” when advertising Jags.
  • Dealer mega-group AutoNation has either 9 million or 43 Million happy customers, depending upon whether it is AutoNation corporate or one of its retailers making the claim.

**All prices exclude $599.50 Pre-Delivery Service Fee (which represents profit to the dealer), any applicable taxes, estimated tag and title fees, any reconditioning expenses, $699 certification cost (if applicable), $350 auction purchase fee (if applicable), $300 transportation expense (if applicable).

So if the dealer bought the unit at the auction in Orlando, transported it to Clearwater and certified it, you would be asked to pay an additional $1948.50 plus reconditioning charges beyond the price of the car.  I bet the locals have nicknamed this retailer, “Dimwit Chevrolet.”

I suppose we next could do a story making fun of dealer’s newspaper ads, but that would be too easy…

 

Car Ad Courtesy automotiveaddesign.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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98 Comments on “The Comical World Of Dealer Internet Advertising...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Wait, maybe that Fiesta S was signed by Tresmonos hence its high asking price?

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    There is a small car lot here that randomly (yes, randomly, there’s no pattern to it) gets classic/customized cars alongside their normal stock of late model meh-mobiles.

    http://www.krautoinc.com/1967_Ford_Mustang_Quakertown_PA_251677283.veh

    They’ve got a 1967 Mustang right now!

    • 0 avatar
      KalapanaBlack

      Hey! I`m in Hellertown!

      My favorite local ads are Gary Lee’s Brown-Daub Kia (formerly Tom Ring… where`d that guy go??) and the hilariously bad Haldeman Lincoln “red dress” commercials with that smarmy woman`s voiceover.

      The lady repping for Star Cadillac in Quakertown is pretty smarmy, too.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        Have you heard the ones for Nazareth Ford with the Bill Clinton and George Dubya impersonators? Apparently, those guys do ads all over the country because I also heard them do an ad for a Kia dealer when visiting my dad in West Palm Beach FL.

        And I have no idea where Tom Ring went, but Gary Lee might as well just be Tom Ring under an alias.

        • 0 avatar

          The same company used to do spots for me years ago. Back then we used Walter Brennan, Bella Legosi, Mae West, John Wayne, Jimmie Stewart and some others. Walter Brennan’s best line, “You can’t drive overhead, so why would you want to pay for it?”

        • 0 avatar
          ThirdPedal

          Ha, when I first read this I thought “really, a George Clinton car commercial? This I gotta see!”

          Then disappointment set in.

          Also, I bet I can haggle at least another $500 off of that Fiesta.

  • avatar

    Sadly, that Fiesta was likely priced that way on purpose. The default search on AutoTrader is “Price—high to low” so shady dealers will throw an extra digit on a price to show up at the top of searches.

  • avatar
    morbo

    I’m sure Ruggles will defend this sort of inanity as ‘gewd’ for the consumer or some such malarky.

    I will gladly pay a guaranteed markup over cost to someone like an Amazon or Costco if I could spec out the car the way I want and not deal with these jack-offs. Absolutely worth the ‘savings’ I’d sacrifice over spending months searching and haggling with sharks.

    • 0 avatar

      This may come as a shock but there were rank amateurs among the dealer ranks even BEFORE the Internet. The web has just put it on steroids.

      Don’t know the Dimmitts but I suspect they continue their advertising because it works. Who would you want to advertise to? People with money, good credit scores, and all the information? You know, the kind of customers where you take a lot of time and make no money? OR do you target a different audience?

      Those who have the answers are free to try to make a business around how to best advertise. There are some who are quite successful at that, but it isn’t successful when all you get is volume with no gross profit.

      Sorry Morbo. The world is the way it is. You can buy from Costo if you want. Get a fixed margin and go down the road with a smile. Most people take the Costco price and use that as their opening gambit with a dealer. BTW, those services aren’t free so you increase the dealer’s cost when you use them. You might be better off to go to the True Car sight to start but DON’T go to a TrueCar dealer. Use the Truecar price and use it in your negotiation. The dealer won’t have to pay TC their pound of flesh.

      I find it interesting that the same consumers who want a fixed price jump at the chance to get a better price than their brethren. I guess they don’t have enough experience in business to understand that some have to pay more so others pay less, so the average can be maintained. In fact, the FTC wants it that way.

      I also find it interesting when consumers answer survey questions saying a 10% markup is reasonable but a $3K dealer profit is robbery.

      Go figure.

      Who do you think the King of Kars attracts? Answer: Wannabe rappers who want to join the posse.

      • 0 avatar

        Those are good points. I always appreciate your perspective, especially as you’ve amassed quite a bit of experience in the car retail industry…

      • 0 avatar
        morbo

        Yes yes yes, woe the poor dealer, suffering at the hands of the nasty and vicious consumer. Poor dealers can’t catch any breaks, what with those thieving consumers stealing his cars at low, low prices and the big bad credit unions using free fed money to take away their financing revenue stream.

        At the end of the day, yes, I have purchased cars from dealers which minimized my time investment and made the transaction process more frictionless than the typical stealership. And yes, I have paid more for the ‘privilege’ of not spending 4 – 6 weekends calling around / emailing / haggling.

        As a consumer, I want a Costco/Amazon model of transparent pricing and user friendly purchasing options. No the world is not that way, and I have to play by the rules as they exist. But your arguments claiming this is better for the consumer are a false canard. Prices CAN be lower and the pricing model WOULD be more transparent if not for the artificially high barriers to entry that franchise law and pay-to-play state politicians bought and paid for by the NADA members rulemaking structure.

        But relax, I’ve paid my toll to the stealership trolls, and will continue to do so. I hope they choke on the profits I generate for them.

        • 0 avatar

          Don’t feel sorry for auto dealers. The average Ford dealer netted around $850K after collecting salary and benefits.

          As a consumer, please feel free to enlist Costco etc. Dealers want you to come in and take advantage of them. Keep up the good work.

          Who is arguing the current system benefits the consumer? It actually does in that dealers can make profit and stay around whereas having dealers go out of business is NOT considered good for consumers. If the system was set up in favor of consumers, I doubt they’d be far sighted enough to want dealers to make profit. SO let’s let manufacturers force their dealers to all sell at MSRP so consumers won’t feel put upon. That will make consumers happy, right?

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        I sort of miss the old school dealers to be honest. When I go to buy a car I expect to see Kurt Russell wearing a sportcoat with elbow pads. It isnt that hard, do your research, get a fair price, and if they won’t meet it then odds are someone will.

        Now with regards to mark up, yes, people will always be more willing to let the manufacturer take their money. They are a faceless company that built the car. The dealer is personal and unfortunately most people have at some point had a negative experience. Most people see manufacturers as existing to build cars, while dealers exist to separate people from their money. Even if the car is a 77 Volare that was a POS before it was ever run down the line, most people will blame the dealer for not fixing it right.

        But I love cheesy car dealers. It is something that is just uniquely American to me. And frankly if one is dumb enough in todays world where information is a google click away I don’t have much sympathy. Guess I am one of the few that enjoys the process but I am not afraid to leave if it gets too stupid and I will never go in desperate…that was a lesson learned the hard way.

  • avatar
    kmoney

    The worst of these are the creepy programmable monotone voices on YouTube adds that just read out the spec sheet while someone pans with a camera around the car. Is it so hard to have the guy walking around with the camera speak during the ads?

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      This dealer in New Jersey that somehow gets TV time is far worse than that. They don’t seem to have a camera guy, so you get a fixed angle of the car while the “host” walks around demonstrating the features. This gets hilarious very quickly when said host walks behind the car and is now completely invisible to the viewer!

      • 0 avatar
        morbo

        Kerbeck Chevy-Cadillac in Atlantic City, right?

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          Might be, I honestly don’t remember. They have a huge time slot on Saturdays.

          • 0 avatar
            morbo

            At one point, old man Kerbeck would have his niece or granddaughter or some such female family member wearing a tight dress talk to the cars on air. Not the prettiest girl, didn’t have a good voice…actually kind of creepy now that I think about it.

            Somehow he’s still selling terrible cars to poor people. Amazing how that works.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      Probably not the easiest to deliver a compelling, consistent, and accurate monologue without a lot of…”dead air, ummm, uhh, dead air,” and get a decent looking video that doesn’t look like a seal had an iPhone duct-taped to its nose.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    I have known the Dimmitt family since I was in high school here in Clearwater FL. And yes, we do actually call them DimWit Chevrolet, they are notorious old school hardcore car sales tactics. They also regularly run newspaper ads for super-low-priced brand new cars with tiny print disclaimers that the price is applicable only after $3-5k in trade in allowance.

  • avatar
    Wraith

    One line I kept seeing in dealers’ online listings is: “Discerning drivers will appreciate the [Year] [Make] [Model]!”

    Which led me to search for it, and see how often this kind of pre-packaged text gets reused. (I guess discerning drivers will buy anything, huh.)

  • avatar

    The only thing a dealer has to offer me in a listing is the spec sheet of the car (which they regularly screw up anyway).

    They could fill the other text with Moby Dick, Mein Kampf or Lorem Ipsum and I wouldn’t care.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I wonder if manufacturers understand how many sales are lost to buyers like me. I’d really like to buy a new car. I’d be fully willing to pay MSRP + sales tax, just to get the deal done and walk away. However, dealer nonsense like this prevents me from even seriously shopping.

    A commenter on this forum pointed me to Borman Mazda in Las Cruces, NM, as a straight-up dealer. I checked out their website and exchanged some emails with them.

    That $19,999 2015 Mazda CX-5 looks like a great deal. Except that figure is only good with a trade in and Mazda’s “Trade Assistance Program”. Otherwise, it’s $20,751. Except it’s not $20,751 at all, because a buyer is required to pay their $299 DOC fee. Now that $20k car is $21,028.

    MSRP on the car is $22,425 including destination. So they’re offering the car for $1400 below MSRP. That’s a reasonably good deal. I might just do it. Except the deception and the asterisks make me even hate the deal. If they had just said, “2015 Mazda CX-5 for $21,028 plus sales tax”, I’d be more inclined to do business with them because of their transparency.

    Automakers take note: Your dealers and their asterisks are costing you sales.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Yeah, but they all do that and you have to buy from someone

      **Read the fine print

      ***Dealer prep, Dealer installed options and Doc fees extra

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      Its really discouraging that buying a new car has to be such a pain in the ass. Home buying isn’t even as bad, although it’s close…

      I think that the low frequency at which people buy new cars is the reason they can get away with such shenanigans. People are more willing to put up with it if they know they don’t have to do it that often, and people are less likely to amass large amounts of knowledge about the car buying process or the local dealership options just for a single purchase. Although, the internet should help to give customers a leg up, it really hasn’t seemed to change dealership methods. Maybe if Tesla (or someone else) does in fact get the model III off the ground and starts selling a few hundred thousand a year with their no pricing game BS/treat the customer right policies, then more dealerships will be forced to copy that model. Although it will always be an uphill battle for the consumer as long as dealer protection, anti-free market competition laws exist.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Here’s the issue in a nutshell:

        Some customers won’t pay much. Others will pay a lot.

        The dealer’s job is to figure out which person you are. If they give everyone the low price deal, then they’ll be out of business. But if they try to get the high price deal out of everyone, then they won’t sell enough cars to make it.

        The sales process is used to figure out what kind of customer you are. If you know how to play the game, then you will lead the dealer to the conclusion that you are one of the low payers.

        Just saying that you are a low-price buyer doesn’t prove the point. There are certain things that low-priced buyers do that others do not. If you want to pay low prices, then you need to do those things. The dealer eventually gives up when it becomes clear who you are, but it takes time for the dealer to make this determination.

        Airlines use complex software to do something quite similar. Car dealers use guys in bad suits who are generally not as well educated as the guys who wrote the airfare software.

      • 0 avatar
        Joss

        +1 Here you are buying the 2nd ticket item and you get friendlier, less insulting service at a donut shop.

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        Home buying and selling is way worse.

        6-7% total commission? Makes me sick to think how much in realtor fees I have paid over the course of the years for someone to put some pictures online and another to let me in the list of houses that I prepared for them to see if I want to buy.

        Worse yet, you can’t negotiate withth the buyer or seller direct, you have to use said middle person to muck up the whole process. At the end of the day the car salesman has no control of how the dealer advertises and with everyone getting skinny these days on deals you know they are making a flat to sell the car, so their only interest is in finding the one you like, if you want obscure options better know that ahead of time, the kid selling you the car has no clue.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      For the automakers, none of this probably makes any difference at all. There is a certain demand for cars, and the sales process probably does little to determine the sales volumes of the various brands.

      Dealers use these tactics because they work. They may be unpleasant, distasteful, unethical and annoying, but the overall margins are probably higher than they would otherwise be.

    • 0 avatar

      If only all consumers were the same it would be a LOT easier. What appeals to and attracts some buyers turns off others.

    • 0 avatar

      let me understand this – Your fear of the negotiation process means you won’t buy a new vehicle?

      I know plenty of dealers who will sell you a car for MSRP. It seems TrueCar was created for YOU.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Eggsalad – everything you said. Bought our current daily driver years and years ago. All the dealers played games until the last one. I walked in, told him he had 20 mins to get me a final out the door price and told him I’d pay X-amount. I brought my own finacing, no trade (sold it myslf a week later for twice the trade in value). 10 mins later we signed the deal. His price was slightly higher but no surprises. I brought him a cashier check 2 days later nd drove it home.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Why are dealer fees so high in Florida compared to other states?

    Here’s a listing from 2011 showing the FL average as $607 (highest in the nation) and I would not be surprised if they aren’t even higher four years later.

    http://www.realcartips.com/newcars/482-documentation-fees-by-state.shtml

    I never saw any fees over like $250 until I moved here and now $800-$1000+ isn’t really all that rare.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Maybe it’s insurance against Florida Man?

      https://twitter.com/_floridaman

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      @ajla: That Florida dealer doc fee (of $699 in this case) ultimately was a large factor that kept me from buying a nice used 2012 Acura MDX from a Florida Mercedes dealer on eBay.

      Instead I bought a new one for my wife locally. My local dealer doesn’t charge any doc fees at all, which is a rarity.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      The doc fees are annoying but you just need to factor them in when you negotiate. A lot of people don’t understand all the numbers and the dealers will slip it in with all the other confusing numbers and they just sign. I have always paid doc fees, I just adjust the offer on the car down to reflect whatever doc fees they try to charge. When I got my Mustang I actually forgot this, I was dealing with one dealer that didn’t charge a fee and another that did. We got all the way through the paperwork and I noticed the number was $699 too high. I had to do some last minute negotiating, and in the end I guess I paid about $300 of it, but it was still a savings over the out the door price of the other dealer that didn’t charge a fee, so I felt I made out OK. But its still a very “buyer beware” practice.

      • 0 avatar
        Firestorm 500

        @mnm4ever: I did factor them in. When I made an offer, the salesman screamed at me for 5 minutes that “they didn’t have that much markup in the car” and that he didn’t like me “lowballing him like that” and “wasting his time”.

        The offer I had made was lower than their asking price, but it was fair and realistic.

        After I bought the new one, I did him the courtesy of calling him back and telling him I had bought a new one. It went to voice mail. I wish I had seen his face when he found out he let a stone cold buyer slip through his hands.

        The car failed to sell after a 21 day auction. They relisted it this morning at the same price.

        • 0 avatar
          joeaverage

          I walked on a salesman that behaved like that. Nobody should ever blink at walking out. Also drove my new “steed” to the local dealer that gave me the runaround when I was shopping. Made sure that salesman saw me and the car.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    The thing that maddens me about internet dealer ads is not being able to correctly identify the transmission. Manual or automatic or maybe I’ll just call every manu-matic a manual…

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      Agreed, especially if you’re trying to find something rare lick a Regal or Verano with a manual. You almost have to look through the interior pictures to see the shifter. I wonder if this hurts sales on hard to find cars like those.

    • 0 avatar

      My understanding is that dealers often mis-state transmission options to get people to call in and inquire about the vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      That’s totally laziness on the dealer’s part. Most dealers systems are supposed to decode the transmission from the VIN, and that info just gets ported over to the system that they use to post the ads. Many times the person in charge of the internet ads just doesn’t change the designation. I used to have to manually change the Sonata transmission to automatic, because our system incorrectly listed every Sonata GLS as a manual, and frankly it was too much work to push the office to call our systems vendor to get them to update it on their end.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    My fav is cars that are attractively priced to get you to contact the dealer, only to find out the internet manager “made a mistake” by listing it that low.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      If you actually are driving to that dealership for the $6000 2015 Corvette, I can’t register much sympathy.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        I’m not talking about the obvious mistakes. I’m talking about the ones where the price jumps a couple thousand bucks once you walk in the door. If the dealer really is that lazy to not bother checking that they’re advertising their cars correctly, I can’t register much sympathy for them when people think of them as dolts.

        • 0 avatar
          joeaverage

          Our first new car purchase expedition included the “first time new car buying surcharge”. The local dealer salesman figured we NEEDED to pay that and thus his price was almost $3K higher than the price we eventually paid. He also wanted to “help us” with a 14% financing rate We, in turn, were supposed to allow him to demo our new car whenever he needed a “rare” 5 speed manual AWD example. He claimed they didn’t even exist when we started shopping.

          I walked on him and the next five or six dealers.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    If there is one thing I learned working for a Saturn Dealer back in the day it is that everyone wants no haggle pricing for everyone else but they want a special deal for themselves. Honestly with the internet nowadays it isn’t that hard to get to a reasonable price.

    And my favorite car ads have got to be the HUUUUUUUU-GE deals offered by Billy Fucillo in upstate NY. He counters his stereotypical car dealer persona in his ads however by bringing in a clean cut Tom Park, who has interestingly been a pitch man for some car dealer most everywhere I have lived.

  • avatar
    Bill Wade

    “Match the key, win a car.”

    Has anybody EVER heard of somebody actually winning a car? I still get keys from a Dodge dealer claiming there’s a new Dodge for me.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      All the ones I get are from the Mitsubishi dealer.

      Fitting!

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      No one every wins that. I’m sure if you have received one of those mailings that the key is definitely NOT a real key. It was comical yet sad the few times our dealer ran that to see so many people come in with a key that looks NOTHING like a car key trying to stick it into the door lock. However, I was always told that the ad company actually has to send a real key out to someone, so if you every get a real key mailed to you on one of those mailers, get to that dealership. They’d crap themselves if that key actually showed up.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        I never understood this either as it has to be most expensive advertising campaign in all of history. Cost of printing + cost of (fake) key + cost of gluing key to printing + cost of postage for heavy/odd item. I’ve been in print marketing for my whole life and just can’t make the numbers work for such a campaign. Just how much dealer traffic does this generate? And once tons of excited people are in the showroom how many actually BUY a new car right then and there because of the key trick? Typically “junk mail”, sorry “personalized direct marketing” gets about a 1% return (send 100 postcards make 1 sale). So given the slim margins on cars the free key campaign can’t be worth it to the dealer unless he manages to sell the most expensive car on the lot at full MSRP.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      A local high volume used car dealer did this promo once in partnership with a radio station. They gave away a 4-5 year old modified Wrangler. People called into the radio station to win the keys then they had a big event at the dealer where everyone tried their key one by one on the same day. My wife got one, but didn’t win. Some other lady did while we were there, however.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    I’ve always wondered about the “market-adjusted price” that dealers add to the car. I cruised through a joint Honda-Hyundai dealer last night. I was surprised to see a $500 mark-up on every Honda (even losers like the CR-Z and Civic Hybrid), but completely floored to see it on every Hyundai as well. What market are they talking about that needs to be adjusted? Weren’t Hyundai sales going completely in the toilet without out massive rebates? A local Nissan dealer does the same thing as well.

    I just don’t get it. Is it a ploy to weaken the bargaining position of suckers? So they’ll try to negotiate off the MAP instead? I have to agree with Eggsalad here – I’d be much happier going with a dealer who didn’t treat me like an idiot.

    Oh, one other thing that irritates me: additional transportation fees in addition to the standard $895 charged by the manufacturer.

  • avatar

    Not that this was newly-introduced by Internet advertising, but I just *love* it when the price on AutoTrader or Cars.com includes a whole list of ridiculous rebates you’ll never qualify for:

    Price includes:
    -$1,000 Millitary Discount
    -$1,500 Owner’s Loyalty Discount
    -$1,000 Conquest Buyer Discount (must own car produced exactly between 11/5/2010 and 11/6/2010)
    -$500 Summa Cum Laude Graduate of Harvard University 1986 Discount
    -$2,000 Kinship of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Discount
    -$925 It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere Discount
    -$495 You Slept With Kim Kardashian During a Full Moon Discount

    And pretty much every dealer includes that disclaimer about the price *possibly* including rebates, even if they were never specified or mentioned…

  • avatar
    kjb911

    I do the descriptions and pictures for my dealership I try and make them personable and comical. If you would like to see some type in Balise Chevrolet Of Warwick

  • avatar
    mfgreen40

    My experience with CARMAX . 2015 Sienna MSRP $36315 advertised on the web for $31845. I called to ask about doc. fees, it was $99.00. I got a cashiers check made out to the penny and picked up the car with no BS what so ever. I believe Carmax only has 4 new car dealerships, it was worth the long drive.

  • avatar
    v8corvairpickup

    I love when the ad states “won’t last long.” Are they referring to the ad or the car?

  • avatar
    PeteRR

    Back in ’88 I repossessed a Buick Grand National with 10k miles on the odometer, bald back tires, and a small pile of time slips from Atco Dragway in the glove compartment. The bank told us to drop it at the local Buick dealership. When it finally got moved out to their sales lot, we dropped in to see what they wanted for it. We loved those cars and the idea of picking one up cheap was tempting. Anyway, the salesman gave us a huge line of BS about the previous owner and how he babied the car before trading it in for a newer Buick. We played along for a bit in order to get a test drive and then when we got back to the lot, we showed him the time slips we’d kept when we dropped the car off. BTW, they wanted almost new money for the car, so we walked away.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Sadly that dealer is likely fielding many calls on the $6,000 Corvette – all with the hopeful “Can I really come buy that for $6,000” pitch. They will also get a couple jerks who either call or show up just to try and bully their way into the dealer honoring the price – as if that’s going to happen. Sadly, at most dealers the poor sap who is answering the phone can only alert the manager or office person who does the internet ads, and the sometimes convoluted computer systems and even politics of the dealership mean the price can go unfixed for a few days.

    As for the nonsensical descriptions, at many dealers those are indeed truly automated. Where I work we can select the amount of “cheese,” or puffery we want the computer to include in the text. We just key in the trim, equipment etc and the computer composes the text entirely on it’s own. And yes, the computer system vendor has decided that the degree of puffery is to be called “cheese.”

  • avatar
    Moparmann

    Kudos on the “Lewis Grizzard” reference!! :-)

  • avatar
    JimC2

    I always thought the Lockport Gambino Ford commercials were funny- though not for the reasons they intended.

  • avatar

    RE: “Yes…The markup is from the company that, you know, built the car. The dealer simply exists to separate me from my money.”

    The dealer exists to cover the local costs which otherwise the OEM would have to cover and pass on to the consumer. Local facilities including taxes, insurance, interest, salaries and wages,utilities, etc. have to be paid anyway. If the OEM owned all of the local stores, everyone would pay the same. The way it is you have the opportunity to gain from someone elses loss. OR you have the opportunity to be the chump who pays for someone elses good deal. You choose.

  • avatar
    Blue-S

    All this is why I buy hoopty-ass used cars that don’t run. I fix them up, drive them for a while, then sell them on.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    Some thoughts:

    I’m all about the fair deal. I don’t need to pay the least, but I don’t want to be fleeced either. For those of you behind the scenes, what is a GOOD deal,barring any alphabet plans? What are some BS fees to avoid, besides really obvious ones (such as $600 HDM or Happy Dealer Mark-up).

    I used Edmunds TMV on our Oddy when we leased it and the dealer beat it by $500-$1000 (can’t remember). I went TrueCar initially, but none of the dealers were close by.

    Between the Honda dealer and the Chrysler dealer, the Honda dealer was much more pleasant to deal with. Our salesperson at Honda didn’t know much about anything, which was fine with me. The Chrysler dealer was your typical obnoxious “what can I do to sell you this today”. I violated my rule of never going on a lot that uses inflatable anything to lure people in.

    I’ve only had one salesman who was a car guy, the rest could have sold jewelry, furniture or cars, it didn’t matter. It’s a tough life, I tried it for a week and didn’t like it. For those who listen to “This American Life”, they did a program sometime last year where they followed a Chrysler/Jeep dealer on Long Island for a month. Really interesting, if you don’t live it day to day, look for the podcast if you can.

    There’s one dealer in Pittsburgh, Kenny Ross, who’s fine print says “Smart customers read the fine print. Thank you”. Always read the fine print. (Of course, anyone in Pittsburgh knows that it’s getting down to being Kenny Ross, Cochran or Bairel as the only dealers in town, depending on where in town you’re from.)

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