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Stories from the Sales Frontlines

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Comments

  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,458
    We actually had a guy send us an offer for 25,000 dollars on a used car we had on our lot. The same day we had another guy come in and ask the famous, "Well what is the best price you will sell that Lexus out front for?"

    Our first question was which one we have about a dozen. He goes the one all the way out front the LX whatever one. Oh you mean blahs blahs car yeah that is a great one owner trade for a supercharged Range Rover. (Golic acutally knows who owned that particular car previoiusly)

    US: Well sir have you driven it yet?
    Him: Well no I just want to know what you will sell it for.

    (Ok sidenote if you want to buy a new car with out test driving that particular car then that is fine but since every used car is a little different you should really drive it first before you start trying to negotiate. We will take you more seriously if you do.)

    Continuing the story...

    US: Well you really should drive it first to make sure it is the car you want before we start talking numbers.
    Him a little agitated now: What you don't want to sell me the car? Do you have a problem with me or something?

    US: Uhh no of course not here sit down and we will see what we can come up with.

    We show him how we came up with the asking price and that it is such and such below TMV, KBB, NADA etc. and that we think this is a fair price.

    Him: fine whatever what will you sell it to me.
    US: Sir you obviously have a number in mind why don't you just tell it what it is and we will see if we can come to an agreemant. We think the price listed on the vehicle is already a substantial discount from regular retail pricing but we would of course consider other offers.

    Him: Ok fine 23,500 dollars.
    US: No, that is never going to happen you are asking for a 4,000 dollar discount on top of the ____ discount we have already given from normal retail asking prices.

    Things go back and forth for a little while and a price around 25,800 is eventually settled on.

    Now if the other guy who emailed in the 25,000 dollar offer had come in person and made the that offer and not been a jerk about it he very well could have bought the car at that price. We would have course tried to bump him but if he had just been nicer then this guy on top of offering a more reasonable price instead of a stupid low ball offer then I think we could have come to agreemant.
  • If I know the invoice price and all the dealer incentives, I know a dealer's real cost. I then would make an offer based on my understanding on what a dealer's fair profit is. If the dealer would accept and make a few hundred more, than if I would have bargained for several hours face-to-face, so be it. If the dealer would tell my offer is too low, I would wish him all the best and ride the bus for another year. It's all about perceived value and fairness, about feeling good buying a car, about saving both your dignity and the dealer's.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    I don't think that you realize that it is your outlook and unwillingness to negotiate that makes it difficult. If you embrace the process and try to have fun with it, then it is actually very easy and quite entertaining.

    You're expecting the dealers to change their behavior when they have no reason to. I find it most practical to accept that people have reasons to behave as they do, and the best thing to do is to adjust to match their tactics. (Perhaps years of dating has taught me that it's often easier to accept the ground rules and make them work for me than it is to try to rewrite them when no one is going to let me.)
  • Perhaps, it's the dealers who have to embrace me as a customer, and try to adjust to make me as happy as possible? The last thing I want is to be patronizing a dealer who expects me to adjust my behavior to match his selling habits. The good thing about free market is that there are plenty of choices out there, and no one has to deal with a dealer who does not appreciate a customer's business
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    Perhaps, it's the dealers who have to embrace me as a customer, and try to adjust to make me as happy as possible?

    Their inability to make you happy doesn't seem to be interfering with their method of doing business.

    In any case, you are permitted to avoid negotiation under the current model, just expect to pay a lot more if you do. Negotiation is not mandatory, just an essential process to getting a lower price.

    The last thing I want is to be patronizing a dealer who expects me to adjust my behavior to match his selling habits.

    The dealer doesn't expect you to game him, few buyers actually do this. When I advise you to game him, it's for your sake, not his.

    The good thing about free market is that there are plenty of choices out there, and no one has to deal with a dealer who does not appreciate a customer's business

    If you pay full price, they're not only going to appreciate your business, they're going to love you to death and hope to meet all of your friends.

    The marketplace is this way by design, and you ain't one of the designers. Negotiation is a normal human behavior, like small talk and flirting, and it's to your advantage to excel at all three of them. There's nothing wrong or indecent about doing them, and doing them well.
  • Their inability to make you happy doesn't seem to be interfering with their method of doing business.

    ----- But it certainly interferes with their bottom line. And if they don't understand it, the competitor gets my business. I won't be buying another GM product any time soon, and not because my Malibu had problems, but because various GM dealers I went to for service were, at one point or another, unhelpful, lying, and rude. That's how they do business, you see. And GM is facing bankruptcy. Quite a coincidence :)

    In any case, you are permitted to avoid negotiation under the current model, just expect to pay a lot more if you do. Negotiation is not mandatory, just an essential process to getting a lower price.

    ------ I will still negotiate, but it will be much quicker. I will make an offer based on what I think is fair profit for the dealer. If the dealer accepts, the negotiation resulted in a sale. If rejects, then no sale. The price I'd end up paying may or may not be lower than the price people would pay for the same vehicle at the same dealer's, if they would spend ten hours negotiating.

    If you pay full price, they're not only going to appreciate your business, they're going to love you to death and hope to meet all of your friends.

    ----- Again, I'll pay only what I think is fair to the dealer. I don't want to feel ripped off, and, by the same token, I don't want to feel like I am ripping the dealer off or wasting his time with ridiculous offers.

    Negotiation is a normal human behavior, like small talk and flirting, and it's to your advantage to excel at all three of them.

    ------ Considering that small talk sometimes brings negative consequences, and flirting often results in nasty things crawling in your private areas, I'd put vehicle price negotiation up there as being one of the areas of human life which is dubious at best :)
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    Please update the e-mail address in your profile - tried to e-mail you (NOT a nastygram!) and it bounced. Thanks!

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  • turboshadowturboshadow Posts: 349
    Done!
  • thebillthebill Posts: 194
    quick side note....

    The govenment will never let the Big 3 go bankrupt.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 15,478
    I will still negotiate,

    You don't negotiate, you present an offer thats a take it or leave it. Thats not negotiation thats called making an offer, while it is part of negotiating it is not the whole process.

    The price I'd end up paying may or may not be lower than the price people would pay for the same vehicle at the same dealer's, if they would spend ten hours negotiating.

    Odds are the price you pay will be more than someone who negotiates. Also you have to get rid of the mindset that negotiating a lower price takes hours of time. If it does someone is dong something wrong.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • ezshift5ezshift5 West coastPosts: 858
    ....The marketplace is this way by design, and you ain't one of the designers. Negotiation is a normal human behavior, like small talk and flirting, and it's to your advantage to excel at all three of them.

    ....interesting...(no arguement here)....

    ..for my flawless, well-engineered Honda 6M coupe, I used CarsD.....following three (foothills, circa UCD, and the state capital) non-productive dealership visits.

    ..multiple Crown Royals at a watering hole of your choice await the most cogent comment addressing this purchase avenue..........

    ..best, ez..
  • thenebeanthenebean Posts: 1,124
    i never understood the whole "i'll give the dealer what i think is fair profit for them" thing. do you let someone who you do taxes for tell you how much they will pay you for it? do you let someone who you are consulting legally or financially tell you how much they will pay you? i dont understand how people would even know what a "fair" profit for a dealer would be? do you have copies of their electric bills, water bills, heating bills, insurance bills, etc on hand so you can determine what is fair?

    also, with regards to commissioned employees making money by cheating people, vs. salaried working for the same check, and can truely be fair to the consumer - how many of you work for an insurance company that charges so much for their services that so many people out there cant afford coverage? they are all salaried employees are they not? so do whats best, and provide coverage for all... what about those who work at an oil company, who are raking in record profits for gas. are they not ripping us off? are they not SALARIED employees?

    just curious on some thoughts...

    btw, i am a former salesperson - now working in the corporate world (wee!)

    -thene :)
  • golicgolic Posts: 714
    Unfortuantely, I will concur.

    Even though I have watched the government let go of AmTrak they will always bail out the Airlines and the Auto Industry.

    It is one thing to support extra-ordinary happenings, ie: disasters, it's another to continue to support poorly run companies.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 15,478
    multiple Crown Royals at a watering hole of your choice await the most cogent comment addressing this purchase avenue

    When you offer a good whiskey we will talk.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Thene,

    You are "whistling in the dark" here. A couple of "experts" have taken over these forums.

    I have given up but I applaud your efforts.

    And I hope your new gig is working out well for you.
  • thenebeanthenebean Posts: 1,124
    yeah, i know - not much has changed since i was last here! you sometimes just cant change the minds of people, or make them see how it is from the other side...but until you've walked in the shoes...you cant really make factual comments about the sales side of things...

    see i've been there, and walking in those shoes has changed my perception...do i want to pay more than others? no, but my negotiation process and what im willing to pay will be different from those seeking to offer the dealer a "fair profit" ;)

    -thene
  • golicgolic Posts: 714
    Insurance Companies.

    It is why Warren Buffet "likes" insurance companies. The people pay you first and you can invest the money before ever having to pay out a claim.
  • golicgolic Posts: 714
    As a person who has been on both sides, can you tell us how you approach your car purchase?

    I think this information would be very useful
  • thenebeanthenebean Posts: 1,124
    well its not anything too out of the ordinary - i would figure out what my needs are, see what's out there that fits my needs (see which are by a car company i would like to buy from) decide on options, color, etc. i would look at edmunds TMV price (because it looks to be a very fair average of what dealers are selling these vehicles for) and head out. i take one for a test drive, and if the salesperson and the dealership seem friendly and reputable, i'd let them know i am interested, and if they meet the TMV price (which any dealer would do) we have a deal. i know im not getting screwed, i know they dealer isnt either, and we're all happy. why haggle because someone else saved more? besides, i'd rather pay a little more, and be able to go back to the dealership and have the manager, salesperson and service department ready to help in any way they can, than screw them out of every penny possible. i would get the extended warranty (company, not aftermarket, since i keep my cars a long time). keep it short, simple, and easy.

    i could always tell who had a chip on their shoulder coming in...and they just made the whole process so frustrating! i dont want to be frustrated, and the salesperson is trying to make a living, just like i did (and do! but not selling cars anymore). no need to make it us vs. them.

    i find most dealers arent out there to screw people. yes, they are out to make a buck, but what business isnt?

    im friendly, honest, and if maybe they cant meet my price, but they come close enough - and their customer service has been fantastic, i may just buy anyways. to me, thats more important.

    anyways, that was long winded - and like i said, its nothing out of the blue. i dont make tons of money, but im not afraid to spend a few extra bucks to ensure that i will have great service next time i stop in. besides that, they may be so kind to offer discounts on any parts i may need in the future.

    hope that made sense! i didnt go back to proofread! :P

    -thene :)
  • nonjth13nonjth13 Posts: 91
    "i would look at edmunds TMV price (because it looks to be a very fair average of what dealers are selling these vehicles for) and head out"

    My personal experience with TMV is different than yours. I purchased a new AUDI A4 in 2003. Clean cash deal no trade. TMV for my little corner of the world was sticker. A couple of test drives and an email to the only Audi franchise in these parts asking for a price quote resulted in a $1300 discount from sticker on a factory order. So for vehicles that don't sell in large volume in upstate NY, it seems that TMV missed the mark.
  • thenebeanthenebean Posts: 1,124
    well, i'll be honest, i say tmv because i know im not looking at a vehicle that is hot on the market. however, if the market is bearing msrp at that time, either wait a bit, or pick a different vehicle if thats not what you want to pay. i am by no means saying that my method is the way everyone should buy cars. bobst must have patented the bobst method by now (and written a few books as well!) and thats what works for him.

    my basic approach is to go in without a chip on my shoulder. the person on the other side of the desk is that, a person. working to make a living just like we do. a lot of people try to buy a car that no matter how much haggling they do, is just not in their price range. then they get mad at the system for it.

    anyways, my two cents...

    -thene :)
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    If I know the invoice price and all the dealer incentives, I know a dealer's real cost. I then would make an offer based on my understanding on what a dealer's fair profit is

    bcMalibu99ls, one thing that I know for sure is that, "we" as customers, will NEVER ... EVER...EVER.... know the TRUE cost of a vehicle to the dealer. We might can get close, but we really have no avenue to find the REAL TRUE COST of a car at the dealer level. :sick:

    Having owned a chain of retail stores, there are incentives, discounts, etc., that customers will never see, hear about, or see on any document. I would think it's the same way with car manufacturers. :surprise:

    Mark :D
    2010 Land Rover LR4, 2013 Honda CR-V, 2009 Bentley GTC, 1990 MB 500SL, 2001 MB S500, 2007 Lincoln TC, 1964 RR Silver Cloud III, 1995 MB E320 Cab., 2015 Prevost Liberty Coach
  • thenebeanthenebean Posts: 1,124
    you would also have to take into consideration the floorplanning cost, gas, cleaning, maintenance, etc.

    which takes me back to the whole point about offering the dealer "fair" profit.

    how do you know what that is? :confuse:
  • black_tulipblack_tulip Posts: 438
    ...and if they meet the TMV price (which any dealer would do) we have a deal.

    I don't trust TMV. A few years ago, we were shopping for a used Lexus RX-300 and the local dealer's asking price was less than TMV (with identical equipment).

    besides, i'd rather pay a little more, and be able to go back to the dealership and have the manager, salesperson and service department ready to help...

    Salesperson will probably be gone and the service department does not give two hoots about how much you paid.

    As to the "fair profit" thing, that is just a way to arrive at an offer price. If that is not "fair" to the dealer, there will be no deal. I don't see the complications.
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    "Salesperson will probably be gone and the service department does not give two hoots about how much you paid."

    I have never been able to buy multiple cars from 1 salesperson. The first new car I ever bought was at a very reputable Dodge dealer. I called the dealer ahead of time, asked for a senior, experienced, yada, yada, salesperson, and was referred to one of their "top guns" I think she was called. She had awards all over her office, was very knowledgable, and the deal went great.

    Well, a year later, my lifestyle changed, and I needed to get out of my car, and into a truck. I called the same dealership, asked for the saleslady I burchased my car from, and she was no longer employed there. As a matter of fact, there was no one there that I recognized from when I had bought my car just a year earlier.

    As a matter of fact, the best service I have ever received from any dealer service department is at a dealer where I currently take my 2 cars to. I didn't purchase either car from them, but they go well out of their way to take care of me (loaner cars, discounted service prices, etc...).

    I would never base my purchase price off of what I "may" get down the road from my salesman of the service department.
  • bcMalibu99ls, We might can get close, but we really have no avenue to find the REAL TRUE COST of a car at the dealer level.

    ------- There are websites out there which list current dealer incentives, including dealers in Canada. That's a good source of information. Besides, what other consumer items out there, of which we know the price the store paid for them? When you buy a leather sofa, do you know what the store paid for it and how much profit it is making? How about a fridge? Cars cost twenty times more, but at least we know the approximate cost to the store (ie the dealer), and can start from there.

    As far as some people asking what is "fair to the dealer," that's a good question. Again, it's all about perception. After all, we want to walk away feeling good about our purchase. Maybe, it's just the way some people are, but I would feel cheap spending a few hours haggling over a hundred bucks or free oil changes for a year.
  • thenebeanthenebean Posts: 1,124
    that is not always the case with regards to salespeople. common? yes - if management turns over, chances are, so will the salespeople. everyone does things differently, and often times, new management will clean house and bring in their people.

    everyone buys cars differently - and you'll do what is right for you. but i think the big thing is too many people go in with a chip on their shoulders - and that just makes the whole experience tougher and less pleasant than it needs to be.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    I would feel cheap spending a few hours haggling over a hundred bucks or free oil changes for a year.

    If you feel cheap, the problem is with your outlook, not with the negotiation process.

    And if you need three hours to get a hundred bucks, then you need to revamp your haggling skills. There's no one formula, of course, but I find that it is easy to shave hundreds of dollars within twenty minutes or less, if you know how to do it.

    In any case, this thread is supposed to be for the salespeople, not us. I'd be interested to hear their war stories and to hear their perspective, even if I don't often agree with it.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 15,478
    I have never been able to buy multiple cars from 1 salesperson.

    I bought two cars, my mom one, my sister three, three friends one each and one friend two cars all from the same salesman at the same dealer over a period of almost 10 years.

    I would never base my purchase price off of what I "may" get down the road from my salesman of the service department.

    I would agree.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Have constant turnover both of salespeople and management.

    This is my 11th year and a large percentage of my sales are to repeat and referral customers. The General Manager, General Sales Manager and Used Car Manager all had their same job before I was hired.

    But, we are the exception for sure!

    Awhile back,in one of these forums, I told about I guy I interviewed a couple of years ago. He worked for a newrby Ford store. I think he said they had 25 salespeople and he was second in seniority.

    He had worked there 8 months!
This discussion has been closed.