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Choosing a Dealer - What to Look For



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    Nah, I look under the hood of a new car and just scratch my....head....

    Some dealers have discretionary monies to pay for goodwill out of warranty but this depends on the dealer's reputation with the factory. A dealer who sells a lot and wins awards is going to get more from the factory than some surly backwater dealer who just creates grief for factory and customer, that's for sure.

    Well of course we reward good service. I wasn't passing out bribes---these are rewards for missions accomplished.


  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,593
    There are people reading your words that are slowly shaking their heads. For those people it's all about paying the LEAST for anything they buy.

    For me, that would be a tough way to go through life.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    For those people it's all about paying the LEAST for anything they buy.

    And for some of them, the act of negotiating the "best deal" is a reward in itself though many would view it as painful.

    I prefer to keep the whole process as brief as possible. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • teamyonexteamyonex Posts: 42
    For me, the sales department means nothing. It's all about the service department, because after the couple of hours it takes to buy the car, you'll never see the sales people again, and the relationship with the service people is most critical. I've called the service dept. and said, "My vehicle is spitting blue smoke and shudders and weaves... I need to get it right away." If they say, "Certainly. Our next available appointment is in 5 weeks," then I know what I can expect. The bigger and better the service department the better.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    That's an excellent point. Interestingly, I have had the good fortune of dealing with great salespeople who have been most helpful after a purchase. That may be an advantage of living in a small town?

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • mazda6iguymazda6iguy Posts: 365
    I am turned off by showrooms that are filled with sales desks, instead of cars on display. We have a Chevy dealer like that here. All desks are separated by partitions. Other dealers have cars on display.
  • maddmikemaddmike Posts: 12
    teamyonex, you're 100% dead on. You only deal with the sales folks once. You spend the rest of your relationship at that dealer with the service department.

    Thanks for the reminder on the appointment backlog. I'll make sure to call a few of the dealers I'm looking to buy from.

    I was trying to come up with a list of things one would look to evaluate a dealer's service department if they've never been there before. Here's just a few items:

    Does my purchase include the first service for free?
    Does your service department wash my car when it comes in for service?
    Do you provide a free loaner car if my repair takes more than a day?
    Do you provide any additional services to your purchasing customer that bring their cars into your service department?

    Feel free to add to the list.
  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    Is that FREE car wash brushless or one that will leave swirl marks in the paint. My dealership uses the brush system and has my account annotated NOT to wash my vehicles.
  • I was told by a local dealer that the manufacturer (Toyota) doesn't make the model (Tacoma) in the trim (V6 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M)) that I'm looking for in my area, and that they'd have to bring one in from elsewhere.

    Well, do I stick with that dealer or plan a road trip? Is it worth it to find out where I can get one, and how would I do that? All of the automated "Get a Quote" webbies default to local dealers.

  • esteezeesteeze Posts: 102

    Check with as many dealers as you can, even if they are out of your area. For example, one of the primary dealers I'm working with currently is about 2 hours from where I live.

    Generally speaking, the more dealers you get involved with, the more options you will have as far as options, prices, etc.

    Good luck!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,810
    If you can use the yellow pages (try to locate Toyota dealers in surrounding areas, you might be able to find their dealership websites using Google. Several that I've visited list their new and used inventory on-line. While it's not likely to be up-to-the-minute accurate, it's a good place to start before calling to see if they've got your preferred trim level in stock.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    Find out the zip codes of the zones that handle the unit you want and then go to the manufacture web site and search for dealers that are related to that zip code
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,593
    Actually, you PAY for all of these FREE things.

    Nothing is free. They will have to roll these costs into the price of the car or their labor rates.

    Sounds good though...
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    hey isell...long time no see. Where ya been?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,593
    Oh, I'm around, just busy lately.
  • geffengeffen Posts: 278
    I can relate to a few of the postings on sales and service depts. a few years ago I bought a car from a dealership whom has great sales people, I was impressed with the way my car purchase went and when it came time for me to get my car serviced of when i pointed out a something wrong with my car the service dept. acted as if I had purchased my car someplace else, I was even asked the first time I went into service, "Did you buy your car here" on the back my car it has the dealers plate frame which is easily visible they had not even looked up the VIN #. besides the salesman who sold me the car was just down the hall from the service dept. i was not impressed with their service as they could never duplicate my issues and never offered me a loaner car when my car had to stay there overnight. I took my business elsewhere, they've lost me as a customer. the amazing part to this is I found another dealership across town that diagnosed my issue and actually fixed it, and on top of it they gave me a loaner car and I did not even purchase from their dealership, what a difference from one dealer to another.
  • ilaveoilaveo Posts: 26
    When I've talked to people who run dealerships they've told me that service, sales, bodyshop and parts are to a large extent run as separate businesses (the accountants track them as separate profit centers with different managers responsible.) You may need to evaluate the different departments separately. I've heard that service is where the most profit is.

    My personal experience with dealerships has been that if the bodyshop and parts departments are rude or dishonest, then service and sales have the same problems, but the opposite is not necessarily true (e.g. bodyshop might be great, but service dishonest.)

    I try to get personal recommendations for the particular department I need to use, but if I got a good coupon with my vehicle I might use it to give my dealer's service department a try. The items on maddmike's list are all very nice, but IMHO are all secondary to honest and respectful treatment which may not be available at some dealerships.
  • :mad: Went looking for a Kia at Keifer Kia in Eugene, Or. last fall. Spent 28 minutes wandering through their new car lot. During that time there were 6 to 7 salespeople milling around the showroom entrance. I kept an eye on them as I looked in windows and scanned stickers, and only noticed three glances in my direction. Apparently they are making enough money off of the buyers who don't care how they are treated. I won't be going there again, or their Mazda dealership either!
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    So what's your problem?

    If you needed help from a sales person, you could have asked one.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    They probably thought you were, what they call in the business, an "ice cream licker". Still ice cream or not... inexcusable behavior. You did right in taking your business elsewhere. Though I probably would have hollered at one of them to get their lazy butt over here, but that's just me.
This discussion has been closed.