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Stories from the Sales Frontlines

135672003

Comments

  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    Buyers are liars.

    As someone else mentioned, everyone isn't necessarily an all-out slimy pathological liar.... but people will often stretch the truth, embellish, etc.

    How about the very simple lie: "I'm just looking."

    If you went to a car dealer's lot, you probably wouldn't subject yourself to being "harrassed" by a salesperson just for poops and giggles. There is probably some level of interest in the cars and some thought of buying something.

    We ALL do it, too... and not just at car dealers. At ANY store... clothing store, electronics store, etc. An employee approaches us and asks us if they can help us or if we're looking for anything. Most of the time, it's just a knee-jerk reaction: "I'm just looking"... even if we really DO need help.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Lie: I'm just looking.

    Truth: I'm interested in this vehicle, but I'm not quite ready for the purchase today. Right now, I really am just looking, so please leave me alone.
  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    If it is the customer then it is stretching the truth, embellishing, etc.

    But if a Sales Person tells you something then they are liar's cheats and thieves
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    LOL, see post #88. The phrase "Buyers are Liars" is a euphimism (sp?).
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,284
    Here are a small list of them that they tell every day.

    2. Gotta talk to the wife


    Trust me if I buy a car without talking to the wife I will be meeting my maker before that car gets out of my driveway.

    3. I am just looking

    the vast majority of the time I walk into a dealership I just want to see whats out there.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2014 BMW 428i convertible, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,272
    Yeah, some people always have "a friend" who bought the same car for much less. I've asked these people to bring in a P.O. and I'll match it.

    I have yet to see one.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    2. Gotta talk to the wife

    Trust me if I buy a car without talking to the wife I will be meeting my maker before that car gets out of my driveway.


    True, most people would be killed if they bought a car without their spouse.... but let's face it, it's a pretty common knee-jerk cop-out, too. ;)

    3. I am just looking

    the vast majority of the time I walk into a dealership I just want to see whats out there.


    Then you're probably the exception, rather than the rule. Car guys like myself (and perhaps you, too?) sometimes just like to look at cars. But most people dread walking onto a dealer lot.... why would they subject themselves to that if they didn't have any interest or intent? They might be very early in their car search, but they probably need more info than just physically seeing a car and perhaps a test drive....
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,272
    That isn't a lie. Most buyers start out "just looking".

    They see something they like, feel comfortable with the salesperson and the price and end up driving it home.

    Just don't lie about your "hidden trade" a good salesperson can smell one of these every time.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    I agree, as I have to start looking sometime. And the wife has to approve any car, as she sometimes has to drive mine. If she's uncomfortable with my choice, I can't in good conscience buy it.
    I'm always upfront with my trade also. No point being cagy about it. What's the point?

    The Sandman :)
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    "I'm always upfront with my trade also. No point being cagy about it. What's the point?"

    Maybe the point is that some people just love to play games and try to deceive other people. It gives them pleasure.

    When they were passing out that trait, however, I was in the other line.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    I don't like to play games. When I sit down to talk $, I'm ready to buy right now. You hit my target price & my trade in price...we're done and I write a check. Only once did I take a car home the same day...hate it. Had to go back for the stripes & guards. I'd rather take delivery the next day when all the "stuff" is done and the car is real "purty".
    We don't buy to often, but when I'm ready...I'm ready. Lookin' towards 2008 for my next ride, possibly '09. But the only car which peaks my interest is the Civic EX with auto. Never done a Honda and am ready to.

    The Sandman :)
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,284
    Then you're probably the exception, rather than the rule. Car guys like myself (and perhaps you, too?) sometimes just like to look at cars.

    Yep thats me, I am in at least one dealership a month just looking around. I am up front in letting them know I am just looking and not ready to buy any time soon. Yet most times the salesman still hangs around me like a vulture flying over the dying cow. :(

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2014 BMW 428i convertible, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,098
    I also mean it when I say, "just looking;" however, I've never bought a car when I intended to. Not every "just looking" has turned into a "buying" day for me, but every "buying" day has truly (in my mind at least) started out as a "just looking" day.

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  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,284
    I have never gone from I am just looking to buying a car in the same day. Usually my purchases are planned out in advanced and usually when I know my current car is on its last legs.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2014 BMW 428i convertible, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    Snake, I bet a good sales person can tell from your manner and body language that you are really just looking and have no intention of buying a car that day.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,284
    True, but a good salesperson will at least ask to make sure. Mannerism and body language can be misleading.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2014 BMW 428i convertible, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    " Snake, I bet a good sales person can tell from your manner and body language that you are really just looking and have no intention of buying a car that day. "

    What kind of mannerisms or body language do they look for? At one particular Toyota dealership I have not been able to go to their lot when I am "just looking" and not get followed around. I try to be nice and tell them I'm "just looking" but they don't understand it.
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    "What kind of mannerisms or body language do they look for?"

    Well, since I am not a salesman and I am not good at 'reading people', I have no idea what they look for in our mannerisms.

    However, sales people are always nice to me. When I say I am just looking, they give me their card, say a few words, and leave me alone. Whatever mannerisms I have, they must say "just looking" loud and clear.

    Maybe I look too happy and relaxed to be a serious buyer, so they leave me alone.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    I have never gone from I am just looking to buying a car in the same day. Usually my purchases are planned out in advanced and usually when I know my current car is on its last legs.

    I'd imagine most people on these forums are pretty similar... people that do their homework and purchase a car after well thought out considerations. We're probably not a very representative sample of the population.

    There are exceptions, of course, as shown in the "Chronic Car Buyers Anonymous" forum (or whatever it's called).... but I think most people that would come to a site like this are already doing their homework.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,284
    One time I went to a Honda dealer told the guy I was just looking and didn't want to waste his time. This guy was really pushy, trying to get me to take a test drive and tried to get my name and contact information. When I pressed that I was just looking and am currently not interested in buying at this time (the truth mind you) this guy storms off yelling "Oh I can tell you have had bad experiences with car salesmen before". I couldn't resist and yelled back "not until now".

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2014 BMW 428i convertible, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • jmurman42jmurman42 Posts: 675
    some dealerships operate where the salesman has to be in a line to get his next "up". This keeps the salesman from "brooming" customers and makes him be a little morte agressive if he know s that his next "up" might be a couple of hours away.
  • graphicguygraphicguy Edmunds Poster EmeritusPosts: 12,274
    kirstie....I'm on both sides of that fence. Like you, I've had "just looking" excursions turn into "buying excursions". Particularly true if I'm passing by a dealership and see something I like sitting in front, or see a "for sale" sign on a car that peaks my interest. Doesn't happen often, but it has happened.

    On the other hand, I'm pretty methodical when I make up my mind to buy a car that's not "impulse" in nature. I usually make my mind up to buy something. And then take 2-3-4 weeks to decide when/where to buy it....researching here and elsewhere. Buying car mags to see what they say about my choices, doing a little "this and that" at various dealerships....all to get a "feel" for how the deal will go down before I pull out my check book.
    2019 Kia Stinger GT2
  • "What kind of mannerisms or body language do they look for?"

    If a customer comes in and says "I just want to look around outside a bit" I give them my name and tell them I will be here to answer any questions. Then when they come back in 10 mins saying "We want to drive the one with the number A6013" I know I have a deal!!! ;)
  • jmurman42jmurman42 Posts: 675
    I'll tell you who we avoid at all costs...its the ghuy who comes in a and says "Who wants an easy sale?"

    This statement will clear out the showroom in a hurry.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,272
    "Who wants to sell a car?"

    Yeah, right!
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Hey thanks guys!!!! Now I know what to say when I really am "just looking"........
  • golicgolic Posts: 714
    *snort*

    That was funniest dang thing I read on this board!

    Bravo!
  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,795
    "Who wants to sell a car?"

    Had a guy do that the summer 2 years ago...and he actually bought one!
  • sbell4sbell4 Posts: 446
    .....oh the memories of the stupid people that have uttered those annoying words.

    *note to hosts* I mean stupid in a "good" way.

    actually, I dont....those people are really idiots.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,284
    To bad I am not in your neck of the woods. I would love to get a bunch of people to walk in every few minutes and yell out "who wants to sell a car?" :D

    When people say something like that do you come back with stuff like "Sorry I only work on the sales floor in order to design fighter aircraft." or "Nope I'm a brain surgeon, I can fit you in right now."?

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2014 BMW 428i convertible, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • sbell4sbell4 Posts: 446
    When people say something like that do you come back with stuff like "Sorry I only work on the sales floor in order to design fighter aircraft." or "Nope I'm a brain surgeon, I can fit you in right now."?
    ___________________________________________________________

    No, I am a good little soldier and go about my job with a smile on my face.

    Every once and awhile, it will be an easy and quick deal. If not, it will only be a few moments of my life that I will never get back.

    Either way it is another good story from the car biz.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,272
    You must have a lot of time on your hands.

    You should know this. A lot of dealerships work on an "up" system. The salespeople take turns waiting on the customers who come in. If it's a serious shopper or someone killing time with no intensions of buying anything, that salesperson has to wait on that "customer".

    That salesperson may have waited four hours for what is known as a "stroke". These rules of that store may force him to hang around you like a "vulture" until you either buy something or leave. Then he/she go's back to the end of the line hoping for something better next time.

    Our store doesn't work that way but a lot do.

    In the past, I have to admit, I was a "stroke" once in awhile myself!

    But...once a month??
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,284
    You must have a lot of time on your hands.

    It doesn't take much time to swing into a dealership that you are driving by to take a peek.

    You should know this. A lot of dealerships work on an "up" system.

    Can't be at this dealership, I have been there and basically been ignored. FWIW this was the first time i went there and was even approached by a salesman, which is one of the reasons I thought it strange.

    But...once a month??

    Yeah there are a lot of makes out there. Sometimes I just want to see what a particular make has, other times I go checking out a specific thing that was mentioned on one of these forums.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2014 BMW 428i convertible, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • We have some smanzy coffee in our service area, that even the salespeople are not allowed to touch and there is this older gentleman who comes in a couple times a month in his raggy boxter, and snags a cup of coffee. He makes small talk with all the salespeople. Well when I was new I thought he was a real customer so I talked to him and he told me that his brother in Jersey had an A4 and wanted to see one. I showed him one asked him what he drove and if he wanted test drive one of ours. He yelled at me!!" I DONT WANT TO DRIVE A CAR AND YOU ARE NOT GOING TO TRY TO SELL ME ONE YOUNG LADY" ! I was flabbergasted, then mad and I said "WELL THAT IS MY JOB YOU KNOW" and I think he almost stroked out and he walked away. He still comes in and harrasses all the other new salespeople but avoids me like the plauge. :blush:
  • golicgolic Posts: 714
    I mean relationships happen at work, the gym, the grocery store...have any good stories of where a buyer ended up being a significant other?

    ok, I am bored.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,272
    I just thought I would let you know how some stores operate.

    I still think you must have a lot of time on your hands!
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    I got really interested in cars around 1969 when I was at the Univ. of Florida. For a small town, Gainesville had dealers that sold a pretty wide variety of foreign cars - Fiat, Citroen, MG, Triumph, Volvo, Porsche, NSU, Opel, BMW, Mercedes, and of course Datsun and Toyota.

    My friend and I had a fair amount of time on our hands, and it was very enjoyable to visit the dealers and see what they had. We went on a couple test drives, but most of the time we would just look at the cars and sit in them.

    There are a lot worse ways to spend time.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ... **Gainesville had dealers that sold a pretty wide variety of foreign cars - Fiat, Citroen, MG, Triumph, Volvo, Porsche, NSU, Opel, BMW, Mercedes, and of course Datsun and Toyota..**



    aaahh yes, back in the days when you could start a dealership for $50 grand ..... not $5 million ..l.o.l...



    Terry.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    In the past, I have to admit, I was a "stroke" once in awhile myself!

    Since I'm aware that some dealers work on an "up" system, whenever I go browsing through a lot, I always tell the salesperson immediately.... "Please don't waste your up on me." They are usually pretty receptive to that since you're looking out for their best interest. If they just walk right back into the showroom without giving me a card, the other salespeople probably won't take him "down".
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    Yeah, several of the new car deales in Gainesville were kind of small and low key, not like the new car dealers around here.

    Buying our 1972 Datsun 510 was very simple. They were all selling for the list price of $2400. I went to the dealer where a couple guys were working and asked if that beautiful orange one out front was for sale. He said, "Sure".

    I asked to drive it, so he said "Here's the key."

    I took it for a spin, liked it, and came back and bought it. We drove that lovely car for 13 years with almost no problems, and then sold it for $600.
  • golicgolic Posts: 714
    That is one thing I hate today about the test drives.

    I can't stand the ok, lets go out and make 4 right turns around the block. If, I am still researching I will live with that approach. If I am serious about buying, then I want something more thorough.

    I usually try and do a test drive on a weeknight late, when the place is slow. When I test drove the Highlander it was 8pm and the green pea was like, you are the first "live" person I have had all day. We just have to be back by 9pm.

    Really liked the car, drove well just would not be practical for my 4 kids in carseats.

    When I bought my olds after 9/11 the guy was we can't go off "the course" So, I told him - listen let me drive the car for 10-15mins, if I like how it feels I'll buy it. He wouldn't budge. I ended up getting the car from somewhere else.

    Contrast that to the Chrysler dealer I went to around the same time, I was looking at the lhs or was it the concord. The guy took my DL gave me the keys and said be back in 45 minutes.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,272
    Just by looking in the Highlander you would know quickly that 4 car seats wouldn't work?

    I have developed a test drive "loop" that works well. It takes probably 15 minutes and it gives people a little bit of everything. Once in a great while, I'll get someone who wants to do something different and that's fine.

    They might want to go up a steep hill or do u-turns in a church parking lot or something.

    I just don't like joyriders or people who just want to drive cars they have no intension of buying.
  • golicgolic Posts: 714
    Just by looking in the Highlander you would know quickly that 4 car seats wouldn't work?

    --You are right on that. But since this was not the main family car I thought I would see if the ride experience would outweigh the compromise in size, AND I was trying to avoid owning two Honda's.

    I agree, that there should be some flexibility in the test drive for serious buyers.

    Hey, couldn't you just send a porter out with the Joy riders???
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,458
    I have pretty much the same thing about a 15-20 minute loop that goes up over the closest mountain then down around the back side. It is twisty, hilly, bumpy just plain bad roads. I do it on purpose since people don't expect our cars to handle those kinds of roads that well. After the mountain part of the loop you hit a fairly straight part of main road that you can hit 50 or 60 miles an hour for a few minutes.
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    "When I bought my olds after 9/11 the guy was we can't go off "the course" So, I told him - listen let me drive the car for 10-15mins, if I like how it feels I'll buy it. He wouldn't budge. I ended up getting the car from somewhere else."

    Good move, Golic. If the dealer doesn't play by your rules, go somewhere else.

    The dealer wants my money more than I want their car. Therefore, I get to make the rules. Otherwise, we don't play. Simple as that.
  • golicgolic Posts: 714
    Does GM still have that "take it overnight" thing? How did that work? I am sure there was some sort of catch involved.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,458
    I give cars to people overnight all the time. They just fill out a loaner agreemant and I need to see their insurance card for the current vehicle. Any dealership can do tht GM just tried to make a marketing ploy about it.
  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticPosts: 965
    Back when I was last car-shopping, much to my surprise I was offered an overnight test drive of the Aurora. Beautiful car, oddly shaped trunk that couldn't fit our two large suitcases.

    Nice dealership, though. I've wondered what happened to them with Olds biting the dust.
  • cruiser6cruiser6 Posts: 3
    Hi all,

    I recently test drove an outback xt and it was a REAL test drive. We drove to an empty car lot and i got to really let her rip. The sales guy then got me to drive her up and over kerbs and then to drive her up a gravel mound. We then stopped half way up and we talked about the AWD. He then got me to continue up(no wheel spin:). I was soo impressed with this and then he told me to take her home overnight and try everything except the airbags.

    I did all of this and guess what I bought???

    WOW:)))
  • golicgolic Posts: 714
    They just fill out a loaner agreemant

    - So, is there a charge?

    - Second, if you do that 2-3 times with the same car, is it harder to sell when you go over that "magical" 15 mile on the odometer.

    A friend of mine has left dealerships if the car had over "10" miles on it. This has never been that much of an issue for me.
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