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Stories from the Sales Frontlines

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Comments

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,257
    Well, my slow speed is now extra fast. The cable guy said we had a rebuilt modem and that wasn't working properly. And then the part of the cable that plugs into the wall was all chipped and broken (they installed it), and it was a miracle we were getting any signal at all (they installed that too).

    Like Dino says, no one cares about their current customers, companies are only interested in new customers.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,934
    the scratchy rear window isn't really the cars fault, that's how they made them back then.

    I'll try that excuse on my wife the next time she complains about me or something I've done !! I am sure she will understand.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,727
    who cares about the window? It is a convertible, you are supposed to have the top down!

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,257
    I'll try that excuse on my wife the next time she complains about me or something I've done !! I am sure she will understand.

    Yeh, your warranty expired. :P

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,762
    Actually, I've ridden in the back seat of our BMW and it's not that bad. I'm 5'11 and if I was much taller it would be a different story.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,727
    just another reason the top is supposed to be down. Unlimited headroom!

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • jwm40517jwm40517 Posts: 57
    Over the past few years I have watched my cable & internet bill go from $80 to $158 and then to $173 last month. As I was writing my $173 check a commercial for my cable company was offering close to the services I have for $75 to NEW customers.
    Went out and bought an antenna & was impressed with the free HD network shows. I gathered up my DVR boxes and other stuff & went to the office to quit cable.

    Told them I was quitting the cable but keeping internet and I was quitting because of the always increasing prices to a 20 year customer & cheap deals for new customers. They offered me a $108 rate to stay. Quite a saving but was "kicking myself" all the way home for caving in. That is good for a year and will quit them if they increase a lot next time.
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,817
    edited March 2013
    Knowing when to settle when negotiating a deal in a car dealership is, perhaps, the most under-appreciated skill in car-buying as well as in buying anything where negotiations determine the final price of a product or service. An example of losing a deal because of the lack of this skill took place when I was a sales manager in my last dealership.

    A middle-aged man walked into the showroom one weekday evening at about 7:00 PM. One of the salesmen greeted him and did a good product presentation as well as demo drive in a G35 Sedan. The customer had selected a medium gray sedan loaded with just about every option including interior wood trim and navigation. He had a trade - a 3-year-old Chevy Impala with 45,000+ miles on it. The salesman brought the trade appraisal sheet to me which I gave to the new used car manager. When he finished his appraisal, he completed the appraisal form and handed it to me. The ACV on the Impala was $14,000. I gave the 4-square to the salesman showing a cash difference of $27,000 plus tax, tags and dealer fees. I had given the customer a $1000 discount on the new car and had given him the full ACV of $14,000. The condition of the trade was "fair" with a few nicks and scratches and minor dents.

    The salesman comes back and tells me the customer won't pay a penny more than $22,000 plus tax, tags and fees (or as we called it +++). It was obvious I needed to get involved right away because we were thousands below invoice on the new car and I needed to find out how he arrived at that number.

    I walk over with the salesman to the customer. I sit down and after about 5 minutes of getting acquainted and reducing the anxiety level, I ask him how he arrived at that number. He tells me his trade is worth $16,000 and he expected a $4000 discount on the new car. I shared with him that his trade had some damage - and that if his trade was "clean" it would be worth $16,000. But in its present condition, $14,000 was all the money on his trade, which it was. He told me he could sell his car privately for $16,000, and that is what he wanted from me. I then asked him how he came up with a $4000 discount on the new car. He said that he thought the cost of the car to the dealership was $36,000 and he felt that a $2000 profit to the dealership was generous on his part. I could feel the tension in the air, so I told him if I could check on something at the desk, I'd be right back.

    I asked the used car manager if there was any more money he could put on the trade. He said that $14,000 was all the money on the car. He said we would have to wholesale the car and he was hoping he could get $14,000. The average auction value was $13,500-$14,000. So I couldn't give the guy any more for his trade. The invoice on the new car was $38,250. So the customer was trying to buy the car (steal the car is probably more precise) for over $2000+ under invoice.

    I go back to the customer and salesman and ask them to join me in my office. When we get there, I pull up Manheim on my computer and showed the customer the average that his car was bringing at the auctions. I then pull up the new car on my computer and I show him real invoice. I further explain that I can't get a penny more for his car and that I was willing to sell him the new car for $200 over invoice, or $24,450+++. Remember, if we don't get $14,000 for the trade at the auction, we would lose money on the deal, but I was willing to take that chance to sell a car late at night just before closing.

    The customer looks over my figures and tells me that he was not accepting my offer and that if I couldn't meet his price of $22,000+++, he would go to a competing dealer and buy the car there. I thanked him for coming in and wished him best of luck at the other dealership but that when he leaves tonight, I could not sell him the car at that price tomorrow or next week (I was not going to take the chance of losing money on the deal again). He says he understands.

    Two days later, this same customer comes in and asks to speak with me. I escort him to my office and he asks me if I could sell him the car for $24,000+++ and if I would, he would buy the car.u I reminded him that I was selling him the new car for $200 over invoice and that I would not honor that price once he left the dealership. He then offers me $24,500+++, or a few bucks more, and I said I could not accept his offer. (I knew that no other dealership would sell him the same car for the price I agreed to). He then raises his offer to $25,000+++. When he did that, I knew the other dealership(s) appraised his trade for much less than we did, and because of that, I decided that I should reduce the ACV to $13,200 just to be safe. I told him the best I could do was $25,550+++. He was shocked and surprised I had raised the price of the car more than $1000 in just 2 days. He asked me why? I told him I had reappraised his car at $13,200 and that I needed to make a profit of $500.00 on the car. He told me he would accept the deal and we sold the car for $25,550.00+++.

    Here is an example of a dealership willing to take a risk at possibly losing money in order to make a late night deal to hit some unit goals - and an example of a customer who could have bought a car at or below invoice and was too stupid or ignorant or both to know when he had the deal of the century.

    By the way, we wholesaled his trade for $13,450 a few days later. If he had taken the first deal I offered him, I would have lost $550+ on the deal!

    I always found that I would make customers great deals just before closing time because if I didn't, the customer rarely came back to buy the car. I always had the customer sign a clause at the bottom of the 4-square stating that he knew that the offer we had made on the car would not be honored after they left the dealership. The reason we did that was to ensure we did not lose money on deals at a later date and to provide the customer with an offer that was truly a one time offer to buy NOW!

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • mako1amako1a VirginiaPosts: 1,739
    The average auction value was $13,500-$14,000.

    I need to start buying at Manheim. Where is this Manheim store?

    2013 Mustang GT, 2006 Silverado 2500 LT HD, 2001 GMC Yukon Denali

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,275
    Mako....Manheim is a large auction house with auction sites throughout the country. To my knowledge, it's onl for dealers, though.
  • mako1amako1a VirginiaPosts: 1,739
    I knew that. I was just poking sport with Mike.

    Some auctions are open to the public, although not many late model cars.

    2013 Mustang GT, 2006 Silverado 2500 LT HD, 2001 GMC Yukon Denali

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,817
    I knew that. I was just poking sport with Mike.

    Some auctions are open to the public, although not many late model cars.


    Pickin' on me again, huh mako? No dessert for you tonight! Now go to your room!

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,713
    You just never know what another dealer will do. Last year when I was shopping for my BMW, I knew that given the advertised $2500 cash incentive meant that the selling price of the car should be invoice - $2500. The only variable was my trade, a black/black 2010 Acura TSX w/ Technology Pkg. 49,000 miles. 8/10 outside (scrape on rear bumper, slight curb rash on one wheel) but it "glowed in the dark" had tires with 80% tread life left...

    qbrozen on RWTIV pegged the car's auction value @ $20K. First dealer I visit has a BMW at the port with the options I want. Basically offered to sell me the car @ $2500 under invoice. His boss comes back to me and tells me my Acura is worth $16,000. I thanked him for his time. Went to another dealer a week later & ended up getting $19,000 for it.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,817
    You just never know what another dealer will do

    That is true, but remember, I showed the guy the Manheim auction values and the invoice of the car he wanted. There were no incentives on the G35 at that time. So I laid out all my cards for him to see. It was different in your case where the first dealer did not show all his cards.

    A smart buyer has already done his research. This guy knew what invoice was and what his car was worth wholesale - but he wanted retail for his car. Notice how fast he came up with the the cash difference on his second trip back. He grabbed my car for $1000 more on his second trip on. After his researching prices at two other dealerships, my $25,550 was a good deal. So the first deal he could have had was a steal! He just failed to recognize a great deal when he had one in his hands - then walked out on that deal!

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,727
    My take? If I am in late on a weekday evening, at the table with numbers down, and I decide to walk out and you don't stop me, I know the deal is odds-on a good one.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    That is how my Stepdad gauges the deal. If they let you walk, they are "all-in". My buddy just got a loaded up Focus. He went in, and they were a few hundred away on price. A few hours later (end of business day Saturday) they called and met his price. Monday night he was driving his new car. When he told me the deal (invoice plus 0% 5yr) I said you did pretty good in my book.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,510
    edited March 2013
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but my thought on trades is that if the car is something that the dealer may be genuinly interested in selling on his lot (say low mileage late model of a brand sold at the store in a condition that requires only an inspection and minor reconditioning) than there can be a greater flexibility, especially if service knows the car's history. One should not exactly expect retail (that would be ridiculous), but it is reasonable to expect more than auction value. This is obviously not the case for the Chevy in a Infiniti store, even if it belongs to a multibrand conglomerate. But when I was selling my top-model Subaru (STI) to trade in for BMW in a store that was selling both, I saw it would easily be a good addition to their used car store next to BMWs, Audis and other cars they had. Appears I was right, their offer was actually better than I even expected at a time. However, Part was that Subaru supply was squeezed due to the earthquake aftermath, especially Impreza/WRX/STI line, which was fully imported, so used car prices (both retail and trade) were ridiculously high at that time. The timing was just perfect. I thought it would go away just as fast, but it seemed the prices prevailed for more than a year. I guess when supply is constrained, it takes more time to work that out. For a comparison, another BMW store offered 5 (FIVE) grand less and the UCM did not even bother to look at the car (the first one inspected it quite thoroughly).

    This tells me that the used car trade is a wild one - as NYC Guy said, you never know what sits in dealers' heads.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • sterlingdogsterlingdog North CarolinaPosts: 6,956
    "I am really LMAO with your last post."

    I don't know why you found my post particularly humorous but, if it made you feel better, then that is fine.

    "...that a retired Dr would still use Dr in his name."

    Why would he not? Though retired, he/she can still write perscriptions, do consultations, and be called upon in an emergency. My sister and BIL spent ten years of their lives and a great deal of money to become doctors. During those ten difficult years, other people had begun their careers and were earning money. I have known many doctors and, retired or not, they were always referred to as "Doctor". You may say it is strange, but I would find it even more strange to suddenly begin calling a doctor "Mr." so and so. It wouldn't make sense and it errs on the side of being disrespectful.

    Educators holding a PhD also spent about ten years earning their title, depending on whether they went straight through or worked on the degrees while employed. Most of my friends took courses and worked on their dissertations while employed---not an easy task. If they wish to continue using their title once retired, they have certainly earned the right to do so.

    There are other titles which are also permanent: A minister is always a "Rev", a former president is always "Mr. President", a retired Pope is still "Pope", etc. My feeling is that people should be respected for their education and hard work, whether they are retired or not.

    Richard
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,275
    edited March 2013
    Always enjoy hearing these stories. Thanks, Mike.

    While I like me some "skinny" deals, it's a waste of my time, the salesman's time, the dealership's time to go in with an expectation that the dealership is going to lose money on me so they can make it up on someone else. That's a pretty poor business plan. If you go in thousands under what a dealer can make a profit, why bother? You're only going to frustrate yourself, and the dealer.

    However, if I have done my due diligence, and I've priced my trade correctly, add a little something on the new car side, a deal should be painless and quick. I rarely have any pushback if I've explained, up front, my desire to make a quick deal, where I get a deal, and the dealer makes money. One shot!

    Where things get sticky is when the dealer and I disagree on the condition of a trade. In general, I feel dealers rate trades (at least my trades) a grade or two lower than I do. I understand they're trying to maximize their profit on the trade. But, there's not THAT MUCH of a delta between the condition of my car, and their rating of the car.

    The other "gotcha" I've seen, many times a dealer will show me auction reports (like Manheim) which always has the absolute lowest numbers for unreconidtioned cars and unconfirmed condition.

    If a dealer will indeed take my trade to auction, I understand their offer on a trade. However, as soon as they tell me it's going to auction, I see it on the front line of their used car lot with a little wax on it, with a 40% upcharge of the trade value they offered.

    That's why I don't accept the Manheim numbers any more.

    The dealer may indeed send it to auction. But, they're in the business of selling cars, both new and used. And mine are some clean, sound cars when/if I trade them. Unless the car is a hopeless case, it's on their lot. That means it's worth more than Manheim.

    I explain that if questioned where my numbers come from.
  • jmonroejmonroe Pittsburgh areaPosts: 5,540
    Try green or black tea. Soak the teabags in hot water then apply to the stained area. It should work like a charm. By the way, this remedy is also good for getting rid of puffy eye bags.

    I doubt that Richard’s eyes were puffy. He had no problem seeing the bird doo doo. :P

    Richard…I don’t have an answer for this but I agree that the top could be stained by now. The suggestion about a black Sharpie pen may be your best bet at this point. :sick:

    If you weren't so cheap we would be hearing about a new car purchase but we know better than to wait for that to happen. :(

    jmonroe

    '09 Genesis V8 and '12 Legacy Limited 6 cyl

  • jmonroejmonroe Pittsburgh areaPosts: 5,540
    I thought most convertible rear windows were made out of heavy-duty glass. I guess there are still manufacturers who don't want to design the folding mechanisms to accommodate glass. My 1967 Pontiac Bonneville convertible had a tempered glass rear window.

    In ’66 I was going to buy my first new car. I debated whether to buy a ’66 Grand Prix convertible or a ’66 Bonneville two door hardtop. Because convertibles back then always had to have the rear window replaced after a few years because they yellowed I was telling that to the salesman/owner and he said, “you won’t have to worry about that anymore with the Grand Prix because the window is glass and it is sewn in so you don’t even have to be sure to unzip it to prevent it from cracking when you put the top down. GM just started that this year. So you’ll have to find another excuse for not wanting a convertible.” I did and it was that convertibles got to rattling back then, after a few years, so I chickened out and bought the Bonneville. What a boat.

    FWIW, I remember the window sticker on the Bonneville to this day. It was $ 4007. The Grand Prix was almost $400 more, which was a good bit more back then. I was single and I could have easily afforded it but the noising thing scared me off.

    jmonroe

    '09 Genesis V8 and '12 Legacy Limited 6 cyl

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,817
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but my thought on trades is that if the...

    Yes, dino, you are correct, HOWEVER, his trade was a Chevy with dings, scratches and a few dents. We were selling Infiniti vehicles. I had to wholesale the car because I did not want to fix the sheet metal and repaint the car.

    If, on the other hand, he brought in an Infiniti, and it was in good condition, that would be a different story.

    OK? Understand where I am coming from, dino?

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,817
    That's why I don't accept the Manheim numbers any more

    A dealership should never rely on one source for wholesale ACV's on a trade. We always used Manheim (the most current and up-to-date actual sales of cars like the ones we get) AND BlackBook which is published weekly by the National Dealers Association.

    Let's assume I have a trade and Manheim recent auction results shows a range of $15,000 - $16,000. That is a wide spread, and one has to realilze you don't know the equipment or options on those cars. But you can tell condiiton is there is a low dollar sale on a unit or two. Then, I look at my Blackbook. I add the +'s and subtract the -'s, and I end up with a number. I compare to the two numbers. Blackbook would tend to be a little higher than Manheim because you are adding for options, taking away for damage or lack of certain desired options. Say I get a value of $16,500+/- a few hundred.

    I usually averaged the two results to come up with an ACV that I could live with if the car were to go to auction.

    That is how most dealers work. If the car is something you want to keep on the lot, you add a thousand or so, maybe more if it is a super clean car. But if you are not going to keep the car on the lot, you must wholesale it.

    It is an iffy business, and many deals lose money because an appraisal was too high and the wholesale result brings in a few thousand less than you allowed. That has happened to me every so often.

    If I were you, graphicguy, I would ask to look at Blackbook, Manheim, as well as a Edmunds or Kbb, or both. Get an average of all three or four, then structure your deal.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,817
    edited March 2013
    In ’66 I was going to buy my first new car.

    I remember those days well, *jmonroe! When I totalled my GTO after only 6 months of ownership, I bought a Pontiac Bonneville convertible - glass rear window. It was fire engine red and red leather seats - a truly beautiful car, but truly a "beast" if you know what I mean. Unfortunately I lived in Chicago at the time and I gave up on the car because it never got warm enough inside to satisfy me. But, a truly monster of a car. Low, very long, and nice interior.

    A few months after buying that, I bought a Corvette Stingray Coupe, Unfortunately, as most of you already know, one of my roommates ran a parking curb and the car landed on the transmission and oil pan. Car was never the same after that. So, I bought another GTO in "68 I believe it was. They had slimmed out the body, it was shorter, a 400 c.i.d. engine and a Hurst four speed I believe it was. That was a nice car, but my '66 GTO was my most favorite of cars in the 20th century. Now, of course, I'm a Mercedes man - tried everything else out there, but nothing compares to the quality, ride, handling and performance of the Mercedes - not to mention the great pricing I get on them.

    Ahhh, those were the good old days when gasoline was 65 cents a gallon - remember those days, *jmonroe?

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,285
    . . . the good old days when gasoline was 65 cents a gallon . . .

    I remember when gas was 35.9 a gallon and under 30 cents during gas wars. I was riding a motorcycle in those days, and a week's worth of gas cost 75 cents, more or less. On long trips I might need a five dollar bill.

    You guys went (& go) through cars like Sherman went through Georgia. My first car was a '65 MGB purchased in '69 that I drove 104K miles in four years. I've owned and disposed of six other cars since then, for an average of six years each.
  • jmonroejmonroe Pittsburgh areaPosts: 5,540
    Ahhh, those were the good old days when gasoline was 65 cents a gallon - remember those days, *jmonroe?

    What continent were you on in 1966? I seem to remember gas being around 30 cents a gallon in the Burgh area back then. :confuse:

    jmonroe

    '09 Genesis V8 and '12 Legacy Limited 6 cyl

  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,934
    Back in 1995 I was leasing a new Camry for my wife, and she was with me. I don't remember the particulars of the deal now, but we worked out an agreement with the salesman that we were all happy with.

    He went to get his s/m approval and when he came back, the annual mileage allowance had changed from 15,000 miles per year to 12,000 mpy, and the payment stayed the same.

    The poor salesman had a sick look on his face when we said no thanks, and started to walk out. He had worked hard and we liked him. So out we go and no one stopped us. We got to our car, backed out to leave...and the s/m came running out the door and said he would do the original deal. The Camry turned out to be a great car.

    In 2008 I walked out on a deal on a barely used 2008 Infiniti coupe. We were only a couple of hundred dollars apart and I think the dealer was all in. This was on a Friday and they let me walk. I went back on Monday and took the deal they had offered on Friday. Win some, lose some.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,934
    I feel the same as you. Maybe the customs are different in Canada. Like the spelling.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,934
    I agree with using the Sharpie because the spots are probably bleached out and no amount of scrubbing is going to help.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,510
    No, absolutely. This guy had no leg to stand on. The only value he could get anywhere would be auction, as no franchise dealer (even Chevy, but definitely not a lux car outlet) would want to put such a clunker on sale without some serious work. So the trade was a a transaction low upside and high downside potential, as you would not likely get much more for it at an auction, but you could get much less, easily.

    What I'm saying is that when you actually have a nice enough car that requires only minor reconditioning, your position can be a bit stronger. Being aware of that you can spot a lowball or no-ball, just like that UCM guy with my STI. At one place the guy actually wanted the car, at the other one didn't bother even to check it out, dropped some lowball value to make me go away (and I did). Which tells me that when sometimes sales people (here or there) say it is worth what it's worth, that may be true, but it is still conditional on actual circumstances and car's destination.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

This discussion has been closed.