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Comments

  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Just this past weekend, I send an email to 3 Toyota dealers in my area, asking if they have an S model Corolla with automatic tranny, in either red or blue, with no options. I had already checked their online inventory and every Corolla in the model and colors I was interested in was loaded. I was thinking the online inventory wasn't accurate.

    One guy sends me some vehicle specs with $1958 in options.

    Another guy calls me and the first thing he says, when would you like to come in? I asked what the options were? And he goes on to explain all of them, some of which were standard features.

    But I did get one good response. His first email was, "please resend the vehicle specs of what you're looking for", which I did, and his next email was "no we don't have any that match exactly, but we can get one". This is what I would expect. He read my first email, asked me to clarify, and then responded appropriately.

    I just find it so amazing that 2 out of the 3 salespersons were that foolish. It's as if they read "Corolla" and didn't pay attention to the model, colors, or no options.
  • benderofbowsbenderofbows Posts: 544
    "I just find it so amazing that 2 out of the 3 salespersons were that foolish. It's as if they read "Corolla" and didn't pay attention to the model, colors, or no options."

    LOL, I just experienced the same thing with a couple of internet requests for quotes. I got one really good phone call that I'm following up with, and a few not so great email responses (like yours, trying to sell me a car that is optioned completely differently).

    It's not that they don't read the email and understand what you are looking for, they just think that they can change your mind and sell something different.

    They didn't read "Corolla" they read "this guy wants to buy a Toyota!"
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,657
    I could never get a straight answer from the 5-6 "Internet Sales Managers" that I e-mailed. This was under the "get a quote now" from a local dealer that is on the Edmunds site. Not a one would give me a quote, despite the fact I was very specific in what I wanted. It was always, "When can you come in?" "When can we schedule an apt. to discuss your vehicle" Every dealership that I know of has this program...yet every single one was fraudulent in delivering on what they said they would.
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 460
    Boo Hoo:

    Even though i knew the answer, I didn't get the straight answer that I wanted.

    Woo is me, someone tried to sell me a car that was actually available to be delivered.
  • asafonovasafonov MinneapolisPosts: 409
    My experience with Edmunds "Get a Quote" web form was about 2 years ago, and was generally positive (3 replies out of 5 dealers, 2 out of these 3 were reasonable.) As people in the business have pointed out on this and other threads, things may have changed over the last several years and it does not make sense for the dealerships anymore to provide these quotes. Too bad.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    Um... but he asked for something specific, and got something else entirely without any explanation whatsoever. I'll take "Information That's of No Use to Me" for $500, Alex.

    jipster: I want to buy an orange Lexus ES with white pinstriping, no A/C. The only options I want are mega stereo, and robotic windshield, with the 'extreme cool' package A. Do you have one in stock, and what is the price?

    internet reply: Thank you for your interest. Here is your quote:
    Lexus ES, blue
    A/C
    DVD Entertainment & shampoo System
    Gameboy package
    Velcro brakes
    $34,208.76

    That, my frieinds, is the answer to a different question. How is that even a response? It would be simple enough to respond that, I'm sorry, we don't have the exact vehicle in stock, but here's our closest match. One sentence.

    Since vehicle inventories can change faster than the internet site gets updated, it makes sense to check. Just because it's listed on the website doesn't mean they have it, and just because it's not doesn't mean they don't. It only means what it means - it's not listed on the website.

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  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    " It would be simple enough to respond that, I'm sorry, we don't have the exact vehicle in stock, but here's our closest match. One sentence. "

    Bingo!!!
  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531
    Agreed. I used Edmunds for purchase of my wife's recent TL. I was so frustrated when several replies included the phrase "what are you looking for?", etc... I specifically listed exactly what I wanted and asked for bids. The games you get are frustrating at times...
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    People don't always behave the way you want them to.

    Either you accept that and be happy or you live a life of frustration until you croak.

    When I sent emails to five dealers, I didn't know what to expect. Some gave me good responses. Some didn't. No problem - I just deleted them. Some had the audacity to call me on the phone. No problem - I just hung up.

    By the way, Kirstie, you are getting a pretty good sense of humor. Keep it up.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Hanging up on someone is just rude. You could have said..." Sorry, but I really want an e-mail response."

    Many times the e-mail request is so vague we HAVE to call or we have other questions not addressed in the e-mail.

    Glad I don't have to deal with this.
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    When I sent the emails to the dealers, I did not give them my phone number. If they wanted to contact me, they could have responded via email.

    By looking up my phone number and giving me a call, the salesman took it upon himself to become one of the most dreaded life forms on this planat: a tele-marketer.

    I always hang up on people like that.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    By the way, Kirstie, you are getting a pretty good sense of humor. Keep it up.

    Gee, thanks for the compliment bob, but my ego is self-inflating for your convenience :)

    I don't expect people to behave as I want them to, but if I send a very specific question (make, model, year, options), using a contact method that the dealership has made available to me, and don't receive a response to the question I asked, I just figure that particular shop isn't interested in doing business with me.

    "When can you come in?" Is not a response to the question "Do you have the car I want in stock?" I don't see how it could be construed as such either. Answer the question, or simple respond, "we don't give e-mail quotes." That would be kind of harsh, given that most e-mail links published by dealerships say "Get a Quote!"

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  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,699
    I had a guy look up my phone number and call a couple of times and leave messages with my mother-in-law. It seemed a bit aggressive, but what was worse was that he left an unsolicited price quote that was about $3,000 higher than they had in that day's newspaper ad. I never returned his calls.

    Another guy from the same dealership responded to the same email without answering any of my questions about the car. He just responded with "When can you come drive it? Be sure to ask for Joe Blow when you get here."
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    I just can't imagine any of the sales persons who have responded as indicated in the recent posts being successful. Do they really think people are going to come in for the test drive without answering their questions FIRST?
  • denali856denali856 Posts: 118
    ...that a lot of dealers see the 'GET A QUOTE' buttons they put on their websites or elsewhere not as a specific tool with a specific function, but as a more general 'lead generator.'

    It's basically a mild bait-and-switch tactic as used by some dealers, and I think that this fact is what makes many of us feel abused by the dealers who do this.

    I have come to this conclusion after getting pretty much the same response from a few dealers as has been reported here, when I was looking for a Mazda 6s (V6) sedan a couple months ago. One guy left a message on my home phone as recently as a week ago, trying to see me a 6i (4cyl) at that!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Isn't it?

    The "smart shopper" sitting at his keyboard asking for quotes so he/she can pit dealer against dealer in their quest to pay the bottom dollar.

    The honest internet salesperson puts out a quote that is high enough to wring out a small profit, but that isn't good enough.

    So another game playing store lures the customer in by not being straightforward, or downright lies. " Oh, really? I thought you wanted a five speed"

    This makes me appreciate the way our store is run. I'm in my tenth year and most of my sales are to repeat and referral customers.

    And, no, they don't pay any more to do business with me.
  • benderofbowsbenderofbows Posts: 544
    Most don't give quotes at all, but that isn't the point. I don't mind going to the dealer once I know they actually have an acceptable car.

    What kills me is that they ignore your questions! For instance, I sent one of those "requests for a quote" to a large local dealer stating:

    "Good afternoon,

    I am interested in the new stock number XXXX listed on your website. Is this vehicle still available? If so, please email me the options this car is equipped with and the MSRP, as this information is not available on your site.

    I am looking for a wagon with the manual transmission, with no large options packages. I am not particular about color, but I do not want the audio, 6-disc changer, rear spoiler and ground effects, or luxury packages. I may consider vehicles with fog lights, side airbags, and/or the new 6-speed automatic transmission. Please include in your message a breif description of matching cars that you may have available."

    So what do I get? A call:

    Salesman: "Hi! So you are looking for a new car?"

    Me: "Yes."

    Salesman: "So, what specifically do you need?"

    Me: "A wagon in any color, without the expensive options packages, either transmission. Do you have such a vehicle at your dealership?"

    Salesman: "Well, I'll have to check! When can you come down?

    So he got my request for a quote that specifically told him what I wanted and asked him if he had it. And he acts like I wanted to be called to have an appointment made. Nice guy, and I was nice in return, but I want to know he has it first! And if he won't tell me, I'm not going to go, because I'm not buying a car I can't see and drive.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    " The honest internet salesperson puts out a quote that is high enough to wring out a small profit, but that isn't good enough. "

    That's because the honest internet salesperson is a "sheep among sharks". Quite unfortunate, but IMO true nonetheless.

    And why does the "smart shopper" shop quotes pitting dealer against dealer in his quest to save a nickel? Because he's probably had a bad experience with one of those "sharks" and has no conscience about doing something like that.

    Me? I refuse to let the "sharks" bring me down to their level. If they can't answer my questions or at least make an attempt, then I consider them "sharks" and ignore them.
  • asafonovasafonov MinneapolisPosts: 409
    If you were in my area, Isell, I would definitely buy all my Hondas from you. Most of my friends either buy new cars very rarely, or buy used, so word of mouth about a good dealer is hard to come by.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,657
    My question to the car salesmen/owner is what are you doing to clean up the general public perception of most car dealerships/salesmen being untrustworthy? The "Get a Quote Now" gimmick/scheme is just another black eye for the dealers in my opinion. In the dealer/customer transaction...it is the dealer who is the professional. The salesperson can talk all they want about dishonest buyers who play games/lie etc(which is true) ,but you are the paid professional...other people who deal with the public encounter the same type of things.
    Unfortunatley, many of these bogus sale practices comes from the owners at top. It makes the front line guys/salesperson look bad...and they are the ones that often take the heat.Many are just selling how they are told. The top dogs are getting rich...leaving the bottom feeders to fight over the scrapes. Not a good way to do business.
    Maybe, one day I'll open a dealership...coast to coast...."Buy at Jipsters...Where you Never will be Jipped" ;)
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ... **The "Get a Quote Now" gimmick/scheme is just another black eye for the dealers in my opinion.** ...

    I guess we got it from the moving companies, the real estate agents, the furniture stores, the insurance companies and the jewelers .......

    Terry :shades:
  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    I guess we got it from the moving companies, the real estate agents, the furniture stores, the insurance companies and the jewelers .......

    The point is car dealers don't have to, but they choose to. Whether "professionals" in others areas do that or not it need make no difference to car dealers. They could clean up their act because they do not compete with real estate agents and all the others.
  • alfoxalfox Posts: 716
    I don't know that that's true. I don't think the car dealers went down the "get a quote" road voluntarily, I think the websites and on-line banks pushed it on them with exposure they just cannot allow their competitors to have exclusively. Most dealers HATE it, and that's why so few cooperate with it. But if dealer A does it, then competitor B, C and D have to do it too.

    They want the exposure that the advertising linkage on Edmunds (for example) gives to them, but they don't want to give the quotes.
  • hoosierboyhoosierboy Posts: 25
    The Nissan/Pontiac dealers salesman, assistant sales manager, and sales manager have called me several times to ask me when I am coming back in to do the deal. Even though I told the assistant sales manager on his first phone call that I was unhappy with the dealership experience. I specifically told him that my salesman was good but I did not appreciate the comment from the other sales guy joking or not! And no I never did get a true apology from the sales manager or the salesman who made the comment.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    .... **They could clean up their act because they do not compete with real estate agents and all the others** ...

    Most dealers don't have to clean up anything .. the reason why they "ask" questions is to get answers .... most buyers are lookin' at a Mazda 6, but they want 3 prices on a BMW 330ix .. or maybe they want a Mercury Grand Marquis LS, but they want 2 quotes on a Audi A6 Quattro -- it happens every second of every hour of everyday .....

    The "real" bottom line is .. most potential buyers have little or no respect for anyones time, let alone car dealers, they're trying to shop a fantasy .... they want 6 different prices on 8 different models, and thats fine .. but it's awful hard to put someone into a new $50,000 M45 when they owe $16,000 on their $11,000 Grand Am, they have $1,500 to put down and they want their payments not to exceed $499 a month ---------- we need to be on another vehicle, period.! .. but why spend the next 3 hours trying to convince you of this ..?!?

    That's why is just good business to ask questions .... lets cut to the chase ..

    Terry.
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 460
    I'm not sure that I know what your point was, however here's my take on your buying experience.

    - You didn't like the Nissan 350 and the GTO wasn't a convertible (or an auto) and although you didn't say it, the GTO looks kinda boring.
    - The Mustang was much too expensive for what it was (in a couple of years it'll go for much less)
    - so you settled in to the BMW. Got a reasonable price that you could live with.
    The salesman was professional. You liked the car - That's the way it should be.

    If you go look at alot of cars, especially mainstream cars, you'll run into a few bozo salesmen who say and do goofy things. You ran into one of the bozos and it irritated you. That goes with looking at cars. [ NOTE: - Nothing personal to the professional salesmen who post here - just an observation]

    The Pontiac salesman does have a point though. Have you ever wondered why they put manual transmissions in high end sports cars and econoboxes. Somebody must like those manuals ! Maybe you should just cut him some slack there.

    Some people think (the mental M thing) that if your car has an auto trans then it isn't really a sports car.
  • hoosierboyhoosierboy Posts: 25
    Actually, you are pretty close to what my point was. I did like the GTO. The exterior is not too bad since they jazzed it up for this model year (hood scoops and dual exhaust). The main reason why I did not go with the GTO was that it was a speeding ticket waiting to happen! :P That car is incredibly fast and has the nicest interior I have ever seen on a GM product. However, it would be impossible to drive that car every day and not speed in in, either intentionally or unintentionally.
    The biggest problem I had was the salesman poking his nose into another salesman's prospect. I have been in sales for 16 years and I would NEVER have made a comment like that within earshot of another salesman's customer! It doesn't matter if I was buying trees for my yard or looking at a $32K plus car. He had no business making a disparaging comment like that. I love a manual trans car but I had a good reason to look at an auto (wife hates a stick shift car). It was none of his business why I wanted an auto. What would he have said if I would have had an underlying medical condition that prevented me from driving a manual trans, and it was not readily apparent in my physical appearance? My point was we all know that there are bad salespeople out there, but people appreciate consideration and a smooth buying process. I am hoping to hear from Terry and Isell as to how they would handle a situation like this if it happened to them.

    I blame the dealer AND all of us buyers for this situation. The dealer is going to get unprofessional salesman to work on his lot. From what I understand, they run them thru a 3 day sales course and turn them loose. Most of these new sales people are just out of high school and/or think the job is easy. They go to work on the lot and find out that 60+ hours a week in 100 degree plus temps here in AZ is not all that it is cracked up to be and they quit after 60 days because the 10K a month they were told they would make never happens. Then the cycle repeats with the next batch. My experience on the lots of the major brands (Ford, GM, Honda, Nissan) were the vast majority of the salespeople were very young and very new at the job. I saw very few veterans waiting to take ups. We the buyers are responsible in some ways for this situation. We have been conditioned to buy at the lowest price with the least amount of profit. Since the salesman is not going to make as much money for the amount of effort he will have to put into the sale, he is going to rethink his career choice. They do not stick around long enough to learn the ropes so they can put value into the product and take the focus off of price. What did the BMW salesman do different? He was professional and focused on what worked for me and would make me happy. He explained the options and let me drive the cars for as long as I wanted to on different types of roads. He created value in the car before we talked price. There was no probing on the test drive as to what my credit was like or how high of a monthly payment I could afford. He focused on the car. Keep in mind, I was dressed in polo shirt, shorts, and tennis shoes as it has been in the 90's this week. He was not "sizing me up" by my attire. Matter of fact, I was dressed better than a player for one of the major sports teams here in Phx who was in buying another car. Of course they knew who he was and what his income potential could be! :D
    I know that there are other factors at play (manufacturer rebates, sales managers squeezing the staff to not let go of a customer when they want to walk, dealer pricing available on the 'net for all to see) but I think the lack of commission for the amount of work they have to do is why they have such a high turnover. At the Bimmer store, all of the salespeople were in their late 20's or older, much more "polished', very courteous and professional, and most of all... long term employees and successful. Every sales person that I chatted with while I waited for the finance department to get caught up all talked about how they liked their personal BMW (not demos as the store does not provide them). What were they driving? 6 series, 5 series, Z4's and X5's. You could tell they liked thier job, and their employer. It was a totally different environment and I think that has a lot to do with their success and the buying experience they provide to the customer.
    Does this make sense? :confuse:
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    Sure, it makes sense, Hoosier. You got your feelings hurt and you are looking for people to share your indignation.

    Well, a lot of us in this DG are mature adults and we have had a lot of different types of life experiences. If you are waiting for us to whine along with you, I suggest you don't hold your breath.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    I'm REALLY biting my tongue, trying VERY hard not to really unload on you right now. Why would you make a rude comment to hossier like that?

    He wasn't "whining", he was expressing his opinion on what happened during his recent car shopping.

    He actually summed things up quite well. The average car dealer is a revolving door for salespeople as well as managers. A LOT of crude, unprofessional low lifes in the car business. So many, in fact, that at a recent HS reunion I was prepared to LIE if anyone had asked me what I was doing for a living.

    Sometimes I wonder why I even bother participating in these forums.

    :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

    Please, bobst, I don't need a sarcastic response from you!

    .
  • hoosierboyhoosierboy Posts: 25
    At what point do I say that I got my feelings hurt? I am merely sharing my real world experience on buying a car. I am not asking for everyone to whine along with me. Matter of fact, I am not whining. I was upset that another salesman would jump in with a comment like that and jeapordize another salesman's commission. I felt it was inapproriate to make a comment like that to another salesman's customer.
    My point in all of this was to show the difference in the buying process between a volume store and a more high line auto store. Plus, I was hoping to create some discussion as to why there is such a difference in the quality of the experience between these stores? What is the underlying cause? Why do the sales people at the higher line stores stick around and make more money? Are they trained different, or work shorter work weeks? Why are they successful and stay in the business?
    My posts were not to start a flame war or to bait anyone. Nor were they a case of me whining as you put it. I am sorry that you took it that way. I thought the salesman was out of line, and I wondered what some of the salesman on this board would do in this situation. Even though I did not buy either the 350Z or the Goat, it was not because of his comment. I am not that thin skinned... but another customer who was seriously in love with the cars he just drove with the salesman could have read more into his comment, and THAT would have caused a salesman to lose a commission.
This discussion has been closed.