Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Have you recently tried to lease a vehicle again after your last lease ended, and found that average monthly payments have gone so far up that you decided to get a cheaper vehicle with a lower monthly payment or purchase a used car?
If so, a reporter would like to talk to you about it. Please reach out to [email protected] by Thursday, October 18, 2018 telling us a little about your experience, and the Edmunds PR team may connect you with the journalist.
If you experience loading issues with the login/register form, please completely disable ad blocker or use an incognito or in-private window to log in.

Choosing a Dealer - What to Look For



  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 14,364
    To be perfectly honest we don't know what those 6 or 7 salesmen mulling around the showroom were actually doing. They could have been taking care of 6-7 customers at the time.

    Also to be honest if I were a salesman I would wonder about someone who bypassed the showroom and went straight to the lot. I would think that they would be the least likely to buy as they are not going into an area where they can sit in a car and talk to people. In other words it takes two to tango and maybe unhappy gave to many bad signals. Maybe unhappy should have gone inside where he might have been perceived as a buyer instead of a tire kicker.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,505
    While anything is possible snake, except the Cubs winning another World Series, it is highly doubtful that 6-7 salesman "milling around" the entrance to the dealership were taking care of other customers.

    The fact that unhappy was looking for 30 minutes may show she was more than a tire kicker. The fact that she was unhappy with the experience shows the salemen did a poor job of picking up her "signals". I always go straight to the lot to see if they have anything I'm interested in. It's a lot quicker and less hassle than having to get a salesmen, who will then want to spend an hour or two with you.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 14,364
    it is highly doubtful that 6-7 salesman "milling around" the entrance to the dealership were taking care of other customers.

    First of all we only know what the poster is telling us. That means there is no definition of what "milling around" means. Secondly we don't know what day or time it was. If it was a Saturday afternoon it is very possible that all the salesmen were tied up with current customers.

    And all of this ignores the fact that he made himself a low target on their radar.

    The fact that unhappy was looking for 30 minutes may show she was more than a tire kicker.

    That may or may not be the case. When I was in retail sales we once had someone complain that they had been waiting nearly a half hour to be waited on. I knew for a fact it was barely ten minutes (as the manager I kept tabs on what was going on in the store). So I wonder if it was truly 30 minutes. Secondly I am one of those "tire kickers" who just occasionally goes to a dealership just to look (FWIW I tell any salesman that approaches that that is why I am there just to look) and have spend nearly that much time looking at cars.

    My point being that 1.) the salesmen might have been busy and 2.) unhappy might just have been giving the salesmen the wrong signals.

    The fact that she was unhappy with the experience shows the salesmen did a poor job of picking up her "signals".

    Two things 1.) somepeople are just not happy unless they are unhappy. Any sales professional will tell you that some people just can't be made happy. 2.) Maybe the salesmen did a poor job at picking up her signals simply because she did a poor job giving out her signals. Communication is a two way street. As I said if she just ignored the showroom and went directly to the lot and just looked at cars I would expect that a seasoned sales professional would not consider her serious.

    I mean if I were serious in buying a car the first thing I would do is go into the show room, not the lot.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • geffengeffen Posts: 278
    I would have to agree, if you are seriously considering making a car purchase and there are no salesmen to be found on the lot, usually as soon as you walk through the doors of the dealership there is a receptionist that can direct you to the first available salesman, sometimes they'll have one paged or you are usually greeted by a salesman as soon as you enter the dealership doors. In my opinion I dont think unhappy was really seriously considering to make a purchase at that particular lot.
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,314
    Yes, someone should have upped unhappy, but then if you need service, or help, ASK FOR IT.

    I agree and also don't think happy was there for buying a car. They were probably "getting a feel" for the market and what not.

    If I'm in a position to buy, or am after something, I will go ask for help if nobody appraoches me, instead of standing around waiting, timing the response time, or observing what others are or are not doing.

    How hard is it to ask for assistance?

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg

  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    Like I have said before it is a double edge sword. Some people you either get the "No one wanted to waited on me" complaint or the "We drove up and they pounced on us" complaint.

    Most people now days seem to appreciate it when they pull up and are allowed to browse around and get there bearings. When they are ready for help they ask.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,197
    I don't understand. If a person is SERIOUS about buying a car, they should walk into the showroom and ask for a salesperson.

    But, yes, someone should have approached the customer on the lot. A lot of shoppers hate being pounced on and they want their space. Unhappy's body language may have portrayed that of a tire kicker or a service customer killing time while their oil was being changed.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,505
    someone should have approached the customer on the lot.


    Whether an ice cream licker or tire kicker, the customer should have been waited on.

    But, I find it hard to understand how someone such as yourself, who prides himself on customer service, would have such difficulty understanding how "some" customers would want to be waited on in a timely manner.
    From a consumers perspective, I expect to be waited on... not to have to chase down some salesman "milling around", who can't properly read body language.

    Nobody likes being "pounced on", but we're talking 30 minutes here folks. Unless snake wants the original poster to "define" exactly what 30 minutes means... that's much to long.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,197
    Agreed, but still...I know I would have walked into the store WAY before 30 minutes went by.

    They may not have been "milling around" or maybe they were and simply sized the customer up as a non-buyer. Not a smart thing to do but it happens.

    I just got a "poor me" feeling after reading the original post.
  • I advice you to read my article in my carspace blogs, Its all about car dealers. here is the link of my carspace blogs
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    That is a great car space blog that you have set up.Lots of 'make sense' tips.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,079
    Gee, it looks like two things to me - 1) an article about dangers such as mobile phones & worn windshield wipers, and 2) a blatant advertisement for your business.


    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • Yup!I have lots of articles about cars just frequently visit my blog.
  • Dealership from hell .. this is the worst honda dealer in the world. Pure evil. Just finished writing out the BBB complaint for my experience with them.

    These guys played all the tricks -- bait-and-switch, high pressure sales tactics, forcing you to take their financing, "come on down", you name it. And this happened at the highest level of the dealership -- the general manager.

    I HIGHLY recommend that you DO NOT enter this dealership. These evil guys have so many tricks up their sleeves that you stand no chance. And it all starts at the top: The General Manager, Mike Kelly.

    So it does not matter how "nice" the lowly sales guy is and how he is treating you. This dealership is run by a General Manager from hell and if you enter this dealership, you will pay for it.

    As you can see, I am really mad -- and have just finished writing out my BBB complaint about this dealership and Mike Kelly.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    You may want to consider writing up your experience in Dealer Ratings and Reviews.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • bar20bar20 Posts: 15
    This is about a new car purchase as I don't buy used cars anymore. If I want to test drive a vehicle, I tell the salesman I am looking at a number of different cars and I am just test driving today. Once I know which vehicle I want to purchase I do my research for pricing, colors, options etc. I go to and I check what's advertised on these two sites. I put in the distance I am willing to travel to purchase the car. I try to buy from the dealer that has the car I want in their stock. I try not to have a dealer search other dealers inventory because usually they have to charge you more. All manufactures have web sites and you can check inventory at different dealers. Most of them you can also download the MSRP which you will show you the color, interior and factory options that are on the car. Once I find a car, I then ask them to get me their internet quote. If you have done your homework you should know if there are any factory rebates. I like to do a country wide search on If there is a certain model I put that in the description to only bring up what I am looking for. There are not a lot of dealers that have a discount price on Autotrader but there are some. This will give you an idea what a dealer can do.
    I then either use the internet pricing or I will go to the dealers web site and ask for a price from there. Normally if I get a high price I don't bother responding and ignore that dealer.A good internet salesman will give you a great price up front. Most dealers will meet another dealers price if you have it in writing ie: e-mail quote. If you want to buy the car and you are financing get a interest rate from your bank or credit union and be prequalified before you go into the dealer. Have the dealer e-mail you a work sheet showing you the cost plus tax,license,doc fees etc. Make sure he has them all on the quote. If you have a trade-in see if they will give you a price over the phone. Some dealers will some won't. Usually if I had a trade-in I would try and sell it to a private party first before going through the dealer as you will be lucky to get half it's value.
    Remember there are several ways the dealer can make money on the car. The price of the car,your trade-in, the financing if you let the dealer handle it, and extras like extended warranties and other stuff that is usually sold by the finance guy. Don't let them get you into monthly payments and what you can afford. That's where your bank or CU come in. You should know what the payments and financing time period. Be very carefull because let's say you want to finace for 48 months and you tell them you have your own financing, they will ask you what you are getting and they will say if they can beat that will you use them. I have had them come back with a $25.00 per month lower payment, but when asked, I found out it was for 60 months. Before you go see the finance guy have them put it in writing. I don't buy extended warrantys or the other stuff the finance guy is pitching. If you don't either just say no! Just remember that a dealer will try and make as big a profit as he can from your sale. Remember at every step, selling price, trade-in, financing,add-ons be in control, and you do this by knowledge!
  • madmanmoomadmanmoo Posts: 2,039
    Don't let them get you into monthly payments and what you can afford. That's where your bank or CU come in.

    Ya, because the bank or CU don't care about making money. They are completely different than the dealership. :blush:
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,350
    Very good, moo. Glad to see you understand......

    One of the fezo rules on dealerships is if the flag out on the pole is larger than the dealership itself this is a bad sign. For the most part the bigger the flag the worse the dealership.
    2013 Mazda 5 Grand Touring, 2010 Toyota Prius IV. 2007 Toyota Camry XLE, 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999 Mazda Miata
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 61,682
    So are you going to coin the phrase: "Patriotism is the last refuge of a bad dealership?" :P

    I wish I could build a meter to measure the level of depression / or contentment of the sales force in a dealership.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

    Share Your Vehicle Reviews Here

  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,350
    Yes, that's basically correct...

    Of course if you look at the papers (what are those?) you can tell ahead of time who will have the biggest flag because they have the biggest screamer ads.
    2013 Mazda 5 Grand Touring, 2010 Toyota Prius IV. 2007 Toyota Camry XLE, 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999 Mazda Miata
  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    Ya, because the bank or CU don't care about making money. They are completely different than the dealership.

    Thats funny!!!!!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 61,682
    GEEZ and all this time I was thinking that my bank was a philanthropic institution. :shades:

    I am hear they are only interested in a profit!!

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

    Share Your Vehicle Reviews Here

  • exb0exb0 Posts: 539
    Actually, most Credit Unions are "not-for-profit" organizations. Yes, they do charge interest on their loans, but usually not as much as retail banks, and definitely not as much F&I guys try to charge. Therefore, it is a good idea to see what rate someone could get before they go to a dealership.
  • Just about sealed the deal on a new car but one thing bothers me.
    The dealer where I finally decided to buy the car didn't have the car on the lot in the color or extras that I wanted.
    He is at this moment having one brought in from another dealer, he wanted charge me extra for that but I refused and got the same price that we had agreed on if he'd had one on his lot.
    While we were doing the paperwork I found that I would be paying sales tax on the price that the car was selling for at this other lot. Not on the final price that we had agreed on for the car.
    Does this sound right or is there room for argument here.
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 11,528
    "...paying sales tax on the price the car was selling for at this other lot..."

    Not a sales tax expert but that not only sounds like like a dealer scam but also like tax fraud. I know my state only requires tax to be charged on the actually sales price. I think your dealer is trying to make some money off you.

    Can you imagine going into Best Buy and purchasing a TV during a 50% off sale and then being charged tax on the pre-sale price?

    2015 Mustang GT, 2009 PT Cruiser, 2004 Chevy Van, 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible

  • That's kind of what I thought, however I will be checking out the final paperwork and if the correct tax amount is not on the paper there will be a problem. I don't mind paying it if it is legal and my dealer is passing on the taxable amount I pay to the state .
  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    Ya they are non profit just like most big churches are, for tax purposes..
  • madmanmoomadmanmoo Posts: 2,039

    I had a customer who needed money down and a cosignor on his car purchase. His uncle, pastor at a megachurch, pulls up in his Bentley to sign the paperwork for his nephew and put $15k down.

    The church business is GOOD!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 61,682
    You're not being fair to the pastor. That's probably the only Bentley he owns.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

    Share Your Vehicle Reviews Here

  • lhylhy Posts: 48
    Are there any websites (besides Edmunds) that provide informative ratings of used car dealerships?

    I am looking for reasonably trustworthy used car dealerships in Oregon.
This discussion has been closed.