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Kinder, Gentler Car Dealers?  
User currently offlinePROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5630 posts, RR: 5
Posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 900 times:

Could all these horror stories about aggressive car dealers be much ado about nothing? As a bit of background, I haven't done any real car shopping since the late 1980's. While I leased a car in 2000, it was a very "focused" transaction in which I had a specific vehicle in mind, picking it out and closing the deal in the space of a few hours, so not too many conclusions could be drawn from it. But most of what I've read about the car-buying experience had led me to believe it's a gruesome thing indeed, with arrogant salesmen trying to gouge you to pay more than sticker price and saying in essence "take it or leave it" if you dare try to negotiate for less.
Well, I went to two local dealers this past weekend, test-driving a Mazda Tribute and a Subaru Forester. I didn't even have to negotiate at the Mazda dealership; when I expressed interest in a 2005 Tribute that had the items I wanted, the salesman offered to sell it for almost $6,000 under sticker and, in fact, about $2,000 below invoice. At the Subaru dealership the next day, I told the salesman that I had looked at the Mazda Tribute and the price offer I had received, and he immediately said that they would beat that price on the Forester - once again, that would be well under sticker and slightly under dealer invoice.
In the days since I've been to the dealerships, I've gotten cards from both salesmen thanking me for my interest in their cars, and just today I got telephone calls from both of them. I told the Mazda salesman thanks but no thanks, and am returning to the Subaru dealership tomorrow to test-drive the Outback and see if I prefer that - almost certainly, I'll end up getting either the Forester or the Outback. What's really taken me by surprise, however, is that my fears of aggressive, arrogant salesmen have proven wholly unfounded, at least if these two dealerships are any example. Maybe the stereotypes aren't true any longer.


"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTheCoz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 894 times:

I bought my car here:

http://www.avondaletoyota.com/

Here's a bit about their sales methodology, I think it's a pretty good way of doing things.

http://www.avondaletoyota.com/About-Us.aspx

The way I figure it, with gas prices the way they are, you can't go wrong with buying something like a Toyota.


User currently offlinePanAm330 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 2669 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 887 times:

Well you seem to get the good end of it then  Wink. There is a Chevy dealership here in town that I went to last Sunday, when they were closed, just so I could avoid the salesman. And the f*cker literally hid in a car on the lot, and popped out and asked if I had any questions, and kept offering to show me some of their "left overs" (the 2005s that are still on the lot). I got back in my car, and went to another dealership. Apparently, they are known for that sort of thing around here.

Good luck with your Subaru testing. The Outback is a great car.


User currently offlineRNOcommctr From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 827 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 870 times:

PanAm, I tried the same thing once at the local Ford dealership-- going after hours just to look around with no hassles. No salesman popped out of a car, but a security guard did give me a salesman's business card. I wonder if the security guard gets a cut??!!


I'm sorry, ma'am, I don't work for the airline.
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 4, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 846 times:

Local story in Reno: A woman is suing the local Dodge dealer. She had a stroke a while back and while she was in the hospital semi-conscious apparently her daughter took her Lincoln Navigator down and tried to trade it in on a Magnum (for herself)

I don't have the whole story but apparently the salesman must have known there was some question on the title so the agreed to decrease the resale value on the Navigator and increase the sales price of the Magnum until they matched and then make it a no-cash deal.

The salesman apparently left the lot with the daughter and went to the hospital, waited outside in the corridor while the daughter went in and allegedly forged the woman's (her mother) signature on the paperwork.

Mom recovers, leaves the hospital to discover that she doesn't own a car anymore but her daughter has a nice Magnum. I don't know what she will do with the daughter (my guess is she's out of the will) but she is suing the dealer for making the deal without witnessing signatures etc.

Going to be an interesting case.

Quoting TheCoz (Reply 1):
you can't go wrong with buying something like a Toyota.

I thought so to - I own three of them, an Avalon, an MR-2 Mk II and a Land Cruiser. But the MR-2 has electrical problems and I've paid dealer service departments a couple thousand dollars over the last three or four years and they just can't keep the battery from going dead. They'll take my money but they can't fix the problem. I'm looking for an alternative car now.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 818 times:

When I bought my BAFDT, I went to the dealer, told him I was going to drive off with a new Ford truck - today. He wanted to show me Dodge trucks - told him we could go look but it would waste my time. Then he said he had some Chevrolets. I told him I drive a Chevy 1 ton at work. Then I restated my objective. "I am going to buy a new Ford truck - today".

The dim bulb over his head got brighter and we headed off in a different direction.

I explained what I wanted . . . 4X4, Diesel, Crew Cab or larger, XLT trim or better, Trailer Towing Package, cloth interior. He had quite a few trucks on the lot within the parameters, so that made it easy.

I was off the lot in less than 2 hours, new truck secured.

I don't want anyone to "sell" me anything. I know what I want. If you don't have it, I don't want it.

My girlfriend is shopping for a Toyota 4-Runner. (I know, I know - it isn't a Ford). The dealer was pressing to sell her a 4-Runner with a rear seat DVD system and all sorts of crap she didn't ask for. As it was her deal, I watched. As she continued to explain, V6, 4 Door, 4X4, no DVD and the dealer continued to attempt to impress upon her the great deal she was getting I thought it time to intervene.

It was a short, one-sided conversation where I asked for a different salesperson and explained that we would not be "sold" anything . . . this is what she wants. Either handle that or get someone else . . . sooner the better.

An hour later . . . new 4-Runner secured we left the dealership . . .


User currently offlineUPS707 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 360 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 813 times:

Before you do anything with that Subaru, make sure you check Edmunds.com and look at the incentives being offered on the car. Some are offering such high incentives that it can get the car to be cheaper than "Invoice" while still getting the dealer an almost sticker profit. If you see the incentives that are available, check the invoice and try to negotiate a fair price based on that and the incentives. Also make sure you watch any financing they are providing and if you are trading in, watch that value too. Dealers love to get people lulled into a false sense of security by giving you a great deal in one area only to get the $$$ back on another side. There are definately some good dealers and salespeople out there, but I hear horror stories day in and day out and work (I work for Carmax) that I like to make sure people are aware of what to look for.

On another note, if you're dealing with a front lot guy, you may want to e-mail a couple of the dealers to work with their Internet/Fleet guy. That's how I bought my Mazda6 and I got a killer deal that way.

On your choice of cars, we had a Tribute and loved it, but the reliability wasn't as good as we had hoped. We had a few issues (including a failed tranny and rear diff), so it's gone now and replaced by a Toyota. I bought the 6 before the major issues, so now I'm just hoping the 6 is a little better than the Trib was. I've heard the 03+ Tribs are better, but I think the Subie is a better choice from a reliability standpoint.


User currently offlineHurricane From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 1443 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 803 times:

We bought a Vibe from a local small-town Chevy/Pontiac/Buick dealership a few weeks ago, and couldn't have been more surprised at the difference between that place an the high-pressure Toyota place down the road...It was amazing.
At the Pontiac place they really showed us good respect...they knew what we were looking for and didn't try to jilt us into looking at something else that they knew we didn't want. After all, with the internet, very rarely do people show up on a lot not knowing what they're looking for or what that company offers.
They didn't have the exact car there, but they really showed a great willingness to work with us and get us another car from a state away. Not only did they accept that we didn't want all of their extended warranties and the like...but they even freely admitted that they were a waste of money and nobody buys them (after we declined, of course...) Compare that to the Toyota place where they said, almost verbatim, "you're the first customers I've had not to buy this stuff, that's probably a mistake"...which is obviously and blatantly a lie.
At any rate it restored my confidence in the auto industry...one can buy a car and not feel like either side got screwed, and that neither side had to lie and haggle like children to complete the deal. It was a great experience. Maybe it's small-town vs. big city.


User currently offlineS12PPL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 803 times:

No, they are still pushy. They still are dishonest. I HATE shopping for cars. All car salesmen are snakes.

User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 9, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 795 times:

Quoting PROSA (Thread starter):
my fears of aggressive, arrogant salesmen have proven wholly unfounded,

I think it helps to think of the process this way: You need a car when you walk on the lot. If you walk off the lot having not made a deal, you still need a car. You are no worse off and you know more.

Quoting S12PPL (Reply 8):
They still are dishonest. I HATE shopping for cars.

Could not agree more. For that reason I have kept one car for fifteen years now and my wife has kept hers for ten. We'd love a new car but just cannot stomach the process of buying them. I am likely to buy my next off eBay.

Quoting RNOcommctr (Reply 3):
I tried the same thing once at the local Ford dealership-- going after hours just to look around with no hassles. No salesman popped out of a car

I know the dealership you are talking about. A few years ago a friend who is a corporate pilot called me on his flightphone while inbound to RNO and arranged to have lunch with me. After lunch he asked me to take him to a Ford dealer because he was going to buy a Thunderbird. I took him there, we were both wearing shirt & tie, but we could not even get a salesman to talk to us. He went home to the Bay Area and paid cash for a Thunderbird there.

Two years later, exactly the same scenario except this time he was going to buy a Corvette. Same experience at that end of Kietzke. He bought his 'Vette in the Bay Area.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlinePROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5630 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 778 times:

Quoting UPS707 (Reply 6):
Before you do anything with that Subaru, make sure you check Edmunds.com and look at the incentives being offered on the car. Some are offering such high incentives that it can get the car to be cheaper than "Invoice" while still getting the dealer an almost sticker profit. If you see the incentives that are available, check the invoice and try to negotiate a fair price based on that and the incentives. Also make sure you watch any financing they are providing and if you are trading in, watch that value too. Dealers love to get people lulled into a false sense of security by giving you a great deal in one area only to get the $$$ back on another side. There are definately some good dealers and salespeople out there, but I hear horror stories day in and day out and work (I work for Carmax) that I like to make sure people are aware of what to look for.

I just got back from the dealership and ended up buying the Subaru Forester. The price is about $100 below the Edmunds TMV figure, accounting for the $1,000 rebate, so it's a good deal. Financing didn't come up because I'm doing my own through Capital One, and I haven't decided whether to trade in my current vehicle or sell it myself. All in all it was a much lower-pressure process that I ever would have dared expect.
As for the choice of the Forester, I test-drove an Outback and liked it more, but their best offer on the Outback was about $2,500 more than the Forester (in line with Edmunds), and after thinking about it for a few minutes decided the Outback wasn't worth the extra cost.
The only bad thing about the whole process, which isn't the dealer's fault, is that the state and local sales tax rate in my area is a disgusting 8.65%  Angry



"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
User currently offlineGreasespot From Canada, joined Apr 2004, 3078 posts, RR: 20
Reply 11, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 779 times:

My God Father owns a Car dealership. His exact words are to be sucessful you need to be morally flexiable....You do not make money selling the car someone needs but by selling them the car they want. remember it does not matter if they can pay for it, as long as you can jam the financing through. If the perosn cannot make a single payment than it is the banks problem and not the dealership as they have been paid.

GS



Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
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