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Got a Quick Question for a Car Dealer?

Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,913
Got a question that you want a salesperson to answer? Post it here! Whether it's about the biz in general or a current deal, this is the place to ask.

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  • keitha3keitha3 Posts: 124
    Here's the situation. About a month ago, we bought a Honda from a salesperson who is truly a great guy, laid back, no pressure, a great sense of humor, and on and on. Well, I sent out a letter requesting dealer quotes on the 2008 Honda Accord six banger EX-L. The price I got back from the dealership was $25,200 including destination fee, a great price. Dropped by the dealer just to check out what was in stock.

    However, I just didn't like the car that much, especially the lumbar support in the front seats. Somehow, wasn't crazy about any of the colors that were left over from 2008.

    This is when we see, Don, the salesman. He walks on over remembering all our names and being warm and laid back as always. Tell him we're not buying, just looking. He doesn't mind. I know he hopes that we'll see something we like and buy it. Ask if he has any in white. He takes us to the showroom and shows us a beautiful pearl white (like the Acuras) 2009 6C EX-L , with chrome wheels, a chrome grill, and a spoiler. Interior is the blond color leather and I just love this car. All the cosmetic changes really do change the appearance and the lumbar support isn't nearly as stiff on the back. But, the thing is now $31,000 plus, a bit more than we wanted to spend.

    I know we can probably get a better deal by going directly through the sales manager. But, I remember how nice the sales guys are at a suddenly dead forum at Car Space and just don't feel right about cutting Don out of the picture. Let's say the sales manager hypothetically gives us $1500 or so off the price. I have no idea as to whether he will or not...just speculating. However, he says Don would be out of the picture on the deal. No commission. Nothing.

    Would it be offending if we just slipped Don something like $500 on the side. I know you're not him, but how would you guys react? Some would say we're stupid to just throw away money, but we really would be guilty leaving him out of the loop. He really is that nice of a guy.
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,788
    2008 Honda Accord six banger EX-L. The price I got back from the dealership was $25,200

    2009 6C EX-L , with chrome wheels, a chrome grill, and a spoiler. Interior is the blond color leather and I just love this car. All the cosmetic changes really do change the appearance and the lumbar support isn't nearly as stiff on the back. But, the thing is now $31,000

    I am not a car sales person so I won't advise on that...I will give an opinion. First though, even $6000 more for a one year newer car and one that you really like is worth it. You won't be sorry 5 years from now.....it will cost less than $1000 a year for the car you really wanted, and if you keep it for 10 years a few hundred.
    Now, as far as the salesman, and this is only as a buyer, and a past salesperson (not cars), I think you should try to work with the sales guy. Tell him you are prepared to pay $28,000 for the car hope to get it for $29,500 looks like - more would be a bonus). I think at that point you are being fair. If he doesn't come up with a satisfactory price I wouldn't feel guilty about going to another dealer. Another option would be to ask him if the sales manager could sit in on the conversation.
    I give you a lot of credit for being fair to your salesperson...probably not too much of that these days. A good salesperson has helped you find the right car and he should be rewarded if at all possible - but he has to give you a satisfactory price too.

    2015 Mercedes-Benz E400 , 2013 Audi A4, 2013 VW Passat

  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Would it be offending if we just slipped Don something like $500 on the side

    I'm not in sales, but this issue has been discussed before. It would be unethical for Don to accept the "$500 on the side" and if the SM found out Don accepted it, he would most likely fire Don.
  • madmanmoomadmanmoo Posts: 2,039
    That's not entirely true, Mike. Just giving $500 to a salesperson is not unethical. If the salesperson is entirely cut out of the deal, then that $500 is a very nice gesture on the part of the customer. If she got the salesperson to do something for her and promised $500 to him for doing it, then that is unethical.

    The way she presented the scenario, I don't think it would be an issue.
  • keitha3keitha3 Posts: 124
    Thanks all for your feedback. I just didn't know what to do. Over breakfast, we decided to go through Don, if we were to get the vehicle.

    But..................when we got back, there was a phone message from Don and an email from the sales manager stating that, as we'd bought two previous cars from them, they'd give us their internet price and still have Don receive his commission. The '09's are pretty much just out and they're offering $2400 off MSRP.

    So, 2:00 is the test drive which I requested to be a pretty long one as I want to test out the VCM system as some are having problems with them.

    Again, thanks fellas. Wish us luck!!!! :)
  • greanpea68greanpea68 Posts: 1,996
    But..................when we got back, there was a phone message from Don and an email from the sales manager stating that, as we'd bought two previous cars from them, they'd give us their internet price and still have Don receive his commission. The '09's are pretty much just out and they're offering $2400 off MSRP.


    I didn't think they were not going to pay him his commision. It is screwed up thing they said that but hey I have seen crazier things. $500 is alot of money to give someone. I have recieved $100 from people when they know they grinded a great deal but $500 is a lot. If you really appreciate it just give a $50 gift card because I am sure his commision will be a mini probably $100.... But more importantly make sure you give him all excellents on the survey. Now that is a priceless gift :shades:

    GP
  • keitha3keitha3 Posts: 124
    They gave him his full commission and us a great price. I really like that dealer. Even though the paper work is drudgery at its worst, they made the experience as nice as possible. And, best of all, during our freeway drive, I couldn't even tell the VCM was coming on and off, except for the light on the dash.

    So, I'm a very happy camper.
  • keitha3keitha3 Posts: 124

    But more importantly make sure you give him all excellents on the survey. Now that is a priceless gift


    See, now, there's a great reason to have the Stories From the Sales Frontline here. I honestly never knew how important the survey was until it was addressed on that forum. If I remember, they even dinged a salesperson when the showroom floor wasn't polished nicely. :sick: Unbelievable.

    No, I'm sure Don has zero concerns about the survey he'll receive from me, the same he received last time...only the best and deservedly so.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Yeah baby... first post! :P

    "Team Jipster" is first, as usual. That's why my team members pay the high monthly dues without complaint. They know El Capitanio is on the ball. ;)

    My quick question: define a good deal (nothing nutty like whatever makes the buyer happy either)
  • greanpea68greanpea68 Posts: 1,996
    Is this supposed to be the solution to stories from the front lines? I see Kristie and Tidster are the hosts here. Seems a little familar :surprise:

    Well when or if you (hosts) do start a new forum for Stories... please make some indication that it was done. I just see this forum was recently started and am not sure how I feel about the head line.

    Lost :sick:

    GP
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,030
    Stories re-opened last night. If you had it bookmarked, it should still work.

    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f09ff51/34119

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,915
    Jipster,

    Please don't start with the silly posts again.

    Thanks.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,915
    Sales Managers don't sell cars.

    When a person tries to go directly to a Sales Manager, the SM is just going to hand them off to a salesperson who will do most of the work, paperwork etc.

    In any case you won't save any money by trying to go around your salesperson.

    It is nice that you asked the question!
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    As isell said, you won't save any more money.
    Salespeople don't decide the deal anyway, the sales managers do.
  • madmanmoomadmanmoo Posts: 2,039
    Ya, Jip. Please leave any form of humor at the door before you come in. I hate it when people post funny things. It really ruins the library like atmosphere around here.

    Start posting more like Isell.

    Thanks.

    ;)
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,913
    It's a good thing that there's no finger-pointing and personal bickering in here. Sure would hate to see members denied access and/or discussions shut down because of that (hint, hint).

    Let's end this now, please. We have limited patience.

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  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Please don't start with the silly posts again.

    LOL... you're funny! ;)

    Legitimate question though.
  • greanpea68greanpea68 Posts: 1,996
    Stories is back open for business :shades:

    with new rules too

    GP
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    Sales Managers don't sell cars.

    When a person tries to go directly to a Sales Manager, the SM is just going to hand them off to a salesperson who will do most of the work, paperwork etc.


    Back in 1985, I graduated from college, moved back to my hometown and needed to buy a car.

    My dad knew the (then) SM at the local Toyota dealership, and between them they hooked me up with a nice, year-old 1985 Honda Accord LX - I think it was something like $8500.

    That SM moved up in the business to the point where his name is on this dealership:

    A license to print money

    Even though the dealership is in CA, I believe Dick Butkus (former Chicago Bears great) is a part owner (albeit silent)

    Over the years, my folks have bought a few used cars from him and my dad always felt he was getting the "friend's deal", when in reality, Steve just turned him over to a senior salesman and told him to take care of my dad.

    I'm sure there are those who post in this forum who have similar tales.
  • greanpea68greanpea68 Posts: 1,996
    Over the years, my folks have bought a few used cars from him and my dad always felt he was getting the "friend's deal", when in reality, Steve just turned him over to a senior salesman and told him to take care of my dad.

    It's really all the same... But in the end... the manager has the final word
  • greanpea68greanpea68 Posts: 1,996
    Over the years, my folks have bought a few used cars from him and my dad always felt he was getting the "friend's deal", when in reality, Steve just turned him over to a senior salesman and told him to take care of my dad.

    It's really all the same... But in the end... the manager has the final word
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,805
    First though, even $6000 more for a one year newer car and one that you really like is worth it.

    If I can chime in here on that, I would say that it depends on how well you like the other car. Do they like the newer car over 20% more? Also that 6 grand can be used for other things they might enjoy more. A couple of really nice vacations maybe? Or just investing it, it can be 10 grand or more in 10 years.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,966
    my friend and neighbor called up saturday afternoon and asked if i wanted to take a ride over the porsche dealer to check out some carbon fiber seats.
    i was pretty beat up for the day, but cleaned myself up a bit and put on a collared shirt,
    anyways, we check out the seats, but i noticed the people that came into the showroom were not the buyer types. father and son, kid wearing a yellow ferarri shirt, they didn't know a carrera4s was 4wheel drive. next some 'boys' in white tshirts came in and took pictures while leaning on one of the cars. at least it was a turbo.
    the salesmen were very accommodating, but it seems pretty darn annoying to me.
  • keitha3keitha3 Posts: 124
    Yes, sorry, my mistake. I meant the person who sends out internet quotes. Shows why we need to have people to elucidate. I'm entirely ignorant of the inner workings of car dealerships. :blush: Still, I guess we're a three Honda family, which should please ISell.

    I guess I got a bit concerned when one of the responding internet people stated, "Please do not involve a retail salesperson when you call or visit, or you could lose your internet pricing."
  • 0435004350 Posts: 26
    I was at the bank branch. The owner of the local Lexus dealership had stopped in there while I happened to be there. The nice bank branch manager introduced him to me. The dealer suggested that I go there to look at cars on his lot and gave me his business card. I went there as soon as I was done at the bank. I gave the owner's personal business card to the sales manager and explained this was
    at his boss' request. The sales manager gave me about 15 seconds and then dumped me on some salesman (who happened to have the same first name as I do). The used vehicles that the Lexus saleman tried to show me were either $8,000 to $10,000 higher or lower than my target purchase amount. I thought the sales manager was arrogant and had dumped me too fast, even though I.had just met his boss about 15 minutes earlier. I bought a vehicle elsewhere in my target price range within 48 hours.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,527
    I think a lot of it depends on how familiar you are with any store, and its personnel. There are a few stores around me that I know most of the management. If I want to buy their brands, I just call them up and tell them I'm in the market.

    While it's true, that the GMs and SMs will pass you off to a sales person, I have no qualms whatsoever to make my deal with the SM or GM. The SM is the one who has to ultimately approve or reject any deal. May as well get "to it" by asking them directly.

    This works if you know the people involved. If not, you may have a difficult time trying to work something specifically with the SM.
  • greanpea68greanpea68 Posts: 1,996
    The sales manager gave me about 15 seconds and then dumped me on some salesman

    I understand everyone wants to "just talk to a sales manager" But the thing of it is Sales Managers are very busy. There is alot going on behind the scenes with other customers, trade appraisals, working with banks, follow up other customers, dealer swaps, purchases of used car at auction, everyday internal problems, the list can go on. I know it appears that they may just sit there behind the desk but they are very busy working. The reason people get "dumped" is because it is a sales persons job to help the customers pick out the best vehicle for the customer. The manager's job is to always make profit but he also the guy that has the last say on the price of the vehicle.

    For anybody wondering if they got "dumped"... don't take it personally :D

    GP
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    There is nothing unethical about the customer giving a gift of $500 to anyone he or she pleases. It's just a gift. It's not like the recipient minimized or reduced the benefit to the dealership. In fact because of the especially good salesman the OP returned to that store, bought a nice vehicle and is presumably happy.

    The Sales Manager should be thankful that that sales person is still around.. what if he had left for another store and the OP decided to buy over there because of his presence.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,805
    There is nothing unethical about the customer giving a gift of $500 to anyone he or she pleases.

    Unethical or not what may it appear to a third party. My profession strongly discourages anything that may appear improper. An example is during the tax season I do someones taxes and since the resulting fees seem high I give a discount. Now the client likes my work and how I delt with him and gives me a $20 tip I cannot take it. That is because someone may see all this and presume that I am pocketing $20 of the fee and reducing the fee on the system. (yes someone was actually doing that last year)

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • greanpea68greanpea68 Posts: 1,996
    That is because someone may see all this and presume that I am pocketing $20 of the fee and reducing the fee on the system. (yes someone was actually doing that last year)

    That is the same thing here in the car business. It is the salesman job to create as much profit for the store as possible. The store would much rather give the salesman his percentage of that profit. $500....

    In the old days and I am sure it still happens today. A salesman says give me $500 cash and I will subtract $1000 from the price. The only thing really happening is the customer is only financing a Thousand less. (this only works in finance deals). Stay with me Jip you are a accountant. So instead of selling it at $20,000 now we are selling it at $19,000 and that is what you are financing. Now a manager has to be in on it because the manager has to approve the deal. The $500 never gets shown on the paperwork. The salesman and the manager who approved the deal split the $500. Now the owner has people stealing from him.

    True story.

    GP
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