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bigdaddylee82
bigdaddylee82 Dork
5/22/14 10:17 a.m.

I've been involved directly with and/or purchased exactly 2 new vehicles. I've told both of these stories here before, but I'll summarize them again here.

The first at a Buick/Pontiac/GMC dealer, and was a terrible experience, just about every stereotypical, sleazy car salesman, come-on, sneaky tactic was used. We however, were able to beat them at their own game, while we came out of the experience with a very bad taste in our mouths, we got what we wanted, for what we were willing to pay, but it took an entire day.

When round two happened, the only thing we set foot on any dealership for were, the original test drive, and actual purchase of the vehicle. We knew what we wanted, and what we were willing to pay. I contacted every dealer within 300 miles of us via phone or email, and let them bid for my business. Some didn't want to play along, others were chomping at the bit. They were finally whittled down to two, and then the winner. We had a substantial down payment, and financed the remainder through our bank at a reasonable interest rate. Had a pre-printed check, gave to the dealer, signed some paper work, listened to a 5-10 minute song and dance about extended warranties, got the keys, and were out the door with our new car.

With today's technology there is little reason to actually need to deal with car sales folks in person. Save's a lot of time and grief.

  • Lee
bigdaddylee82
bigdaddylee82 Dork
5/22/14 10:23 a.m.

My experience buying used from the general public on Craigslist has been as bad, or worse as my first new car buying experience. People are idiots, I'm looking for more obscure specifics than most, so I expect to have to ask a few questions, but people either don't know or care to put any information in their listings. For cripes sakes, is it 4x4, how many miles are on it, is it automatic or manual, do you really not have access to a digital camera/camera phone this day and age?

I have given so many Jeep lessons while trying to find what I'm looking for, it's ridiculous.

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
5/22/14 10:34 a.m.

In reply to Datsun1500:

Are you speculating this or would you like to know the average profit to the company per car?

$1,100 to $1,500 average per retail car sale to the company depending on time of year and location.

The last I heard they are making more off of the cars they can't sell you than they are the ones they can. Carmax is the third and by now maybe the second largest auction house by units in the U.S.

I am happy to answer any question anyone has about the system.

NGTD
NGTD SuperDork
5/22/14 11:02 a.m.

I was at a dealer once and the sales guy told me a 6 things about the vehicle and I corrected him on 5 of them. The guy didn't even know his product. The Sales Manager offered me a job on the spot. I bet when I left the conversation did not go well.

Lots of Sales guys don't seem to care if they are selling cars or mattresses. Ill prepared and don't seem to care.

GlennS
GlennS Dork
5/22/14 11:22 a.m.

When you know what you want email the internet sales department and ask for a quote on the car you are looking for. Then contact the next 20 closest dealerships and do the same thing. Start negotiations with the top 4 or 5 original quotes your receive.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla PowerDork
5/22/14 11:39 a.m.
Flight Service wrote:
Bobzilla wrote:
Flight Service wrote: carmax was designed to combat this
Been to one? They're worse than a regular dealer here. You are FORCED through their showroom into the sharktank before you can even get out onto their fenced lot. someone follows you the instant you walk in.
Why thank you. I worked there for 3 years and hit President's Club (sold a bunch of stuff) and got the Above and Beyond award (customer said I was uber nice person, way better than any car salesmen should be) Forced through the showroom. Let me guess, you didn't listen to what the person said to you? Give them 3 minutes and they will tell you what you are looking at (the average person knows preciously zero about cars), and show you where & what kind of car you are looking for is located on the lot. They follow you because Carmax does surveys on EVERYTHING and customers at regular dealerships feel ignored. (FYI: They were actually created by Circuit City when they saw the writing on the wall. Then they surveyed people as to what they like and didn't) We get the leave me the berkeley alone crowd in there but the majority like the way it goes. The "I am really just browsing because I like to look at cars, if I need something I will let you know" works alot better than "Leave me the berkeley alone, I know more about this than you do." Because the numbers say, odds are you don't. Now you may have had a bad experience, or a bad sales person, but from the post, it seems like you wanted just to blow by everyone and not let the sales person do their job.

We tried to see what was on the lot 3 different times. I am polite from the beginning because I know what this business is like. When you hound me, after I've asked you TWICE to "let me look around and when I need help I'll come find you", I'm going to be pissy. Everyone I know that's been there has had the same experience.

So... yeah. Good for you. The place sucks. Their prices are higher than everyone else and the "furniture salesman" approach doesn't work for me.

yamaha
yamaha UltimaDork
5/22/14 11:41 a.m.
Flight Service wrote: Why thank you. I worked there for 3 years and hit President's Club (sold a bunch of stuff) and got the Above and Beyond award (customer said I was uber nice person, way better than any car salesmen should be) Forced through the showroom. Let me guess, you didn't listen to what the person said to you? Give them 3 minutes and they will tell you what you are looking at (the average person knows preciously zero about cars), and show you where & what kind of car you are looking for is located on the lot. They follow you because Carmax does surveys on EVERYTHING and customers at regular dealerships feel ignored. (FYI: They were actually created by Circuit City when they saw the writing on the wall. Then they surveyed people as to what they like and didn't) We get the leave me the berkeley alone crowd in there but the majority like the way it goes. The "I am really just browsing because I like to look at cars, if I need something I will let you know" works alot better than "Leave me the berkeley alone, I know more about this than you do." Because the numbers say, odds are you don't. Now you may have had a bad experience, or a bad sales person, but from the post, it seems like you wanted just to blow by everyone and not let the sales person do their job.

I have only had one positive experience at this carmax Bob speaks of(Indy 96th street), and that involves scaring the piss out of a young sales lady while test driving a Mazdaspeed6. Sadly, then the bad experiences all began.

The "Hey, the new sticker on this car was $27k but you guys want $28k 42,000 miles later?" bullE36 M3 started. Never has stopped there either.

SilverFleet
SilverFleet SuperDork
5/22/14 11:50 a.m.

When I bought my current car, I tried out the TrueCar website for E36 M3s and giggles. I had dealt with other dealers and their internet sales departments, only to get all the old tricks, such as the bait and switch and outright lying to my face. I was ready to buy and wanted to cut the BS.

If you haven't checked it out, what it does is give you the lowest three prices in the area on the car you want, and you put your info in and they call you with offers with "no haggle" prices. Of course, you get that price, and in the Finance office, they will try to sell every service, warranty, and accessory they can to drive the price back up.

When I did this, I got some calls from a bunch of dealers. I spoke to a few and one of them enticed me with some killer deals that could actually beat the TrueCar site prices, so I hopped in the car and went down there. The place was a small mom and pop dealer, and the only people there were a sales guy, the general manager, and a mechanic. I ended up dealing with the general manager on everything, and it was the smoothest buying experience I have ever had buying any car ever. He ended up finding me the exact car I wanted at another dealer in a different state, and got it for me at a great price. Sadly, that dealer shut down last year, probably for being too damn honest.

keep in mind that my older sister is in the car sales business (Finance Director) and she has been since 1993. I have seen her at work, and she has taught me all the tricks. Dealing direct with the General Manager at this place went 100x smoother than any car I've bought off her dealerships or from her friends. She was even impressed at how smooth things went.

C/N: Find a small dealer. Know what you want to pay. Work with the managers and not the regular sales guys if possible. Be confident, and don't be afraid to walk away if necessary.

EvanR
EvanR Dork
5/22/14 12:12 p.m.

You folks in the East and Midwest have it too easy. If I don't like the way I'm treated at Subaru of Las Vegas, or MINI of Las Vegas, or Volvo of Las Vegas, etc., the next closest dealer is in LA or Phoenix. It's literally "their way or the highway".

madpanda
madpanda Reader
5/22/14 12:14 p.m.

I had a good experience with TrueCar also. It essentially did the work of calling lots of dealers and getting their best internet price for me... Ended up getting a car from a dealer 70 miles away for ~$1200 less than any dealer I had talked to in person could offer.

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
5/22/14 2:43 p.m.
Datsun1500 wrote:
Flight Service wrote: In reply to Datsun1500: Are you speculating this or would you like to know the average profit to the company per car? $1,100 to $1,500 average per retail car sale to the company depending on time of year and location. The last I heard they are making more off of the cars they can't sell you than they are the ones they can. Carmax is the third and by now maybe the second largest auction house by units in the U.S. I am happy to answer any question anyone has about the system.
I am not speculating at all. I know the exact profit, to the penny, not the reports that you see. I know more about their system and data than most people ever will. It's my business. Ever wonder where all of the data for Auto Trader, Edmunds, Carmax, GM, Honda, Toyota, VW, Cars.com, etc. comes from?

You work for Mannheim? Cause they just pulled the last weeks auctions for the area at the Max I worked...

Xceler8x
Xceler8x GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/22/14 3:11 p.m.

I've had a great experience at Carmax when I've gone there. I walk in and say "Hi" to the sales folks. If I'm buying that day I let them know and we start test driving. No B.S. If I'm not buying that day I tell them that and they let me roam the lot in peace.

Their prices on 80% of the cars are higher than some lots. In my city they're actually competitive with most other used car lots. You can find the same model cheaper but usually it's higher miles, worse condition, lower options, etc. Something justifies the lower price if you compare the two side by side.

One thing I do at Carmax is I wait for the right car to come along the pipeline. Usually they'll have a price point for a certain model at that year and mileage. If you wait you'll see a car come along that is lower in price than the others that are comparable. In the case of the last car I bought from them the price was lowered because of curb rash on the wheels and peeling chrome on the tail lights. I bought the car and a few weeks later I requested that service replace the tail lights. They did because customer service really matters to them. Curb rash wheels? Whatever. I live in a city. It's only going to happen again.

The other side of this was that they gave me the highest price on a trade in I'd ever received. I was shopping other dealers at the time for other cars and their eyes got wide in amazement when I showed them the trade in offer from Carmax. They wouldn't touch it.

Another good reason to buy from Carmax - the warranties.

FSP_ZX2
FSP_ZX2 Dork
5/22/14 3:14 p.m.
mazdeuce wrote: Normally, the dentist is more pleasant than a dealership and I hate dentists to the core of their very soul.

Huh. I didn't know that dentists had souls.

SilverFleet
SilverFleet SuperDork
5/22/14 3:31 p.m.

In reply to Datsun1500:

Count me in the 25% that thinks that is cool.

You hiring?

Bobzilla
Bobzilla PowerDork
5/22/14 3:39 p.m.

In reply to Datsun1500:

You need more pictures in that post. Too many words and some of us get lost.

yamaha
yamaha UltimaDork
5/22/14 3:40 p.m.
FSP_ZX2 wrote:
mazdeuce wrote: Normally, the dentist is more pleasant than a dealership and I hate dentists to the core of their very soul.
Huh. I didn't know that dentists had souls.

They do, only Gingers lack a soul. They can't even buy a Kia Soul either.

Datsun, +1 Sir, +1

Bobzilla
Bobzilla PowerDork
5/22/14 3:40 p.m.
FSP_ZX2 wrote:
mazdeuce wrote: Normally, the dentist is more pleasant than a dealership and I hate dentists to the core of their very soul.
Huh. I didn't know that dentists had souls.

You're confusing dentists with Gingers. Unless it's a Ginger dentist than he's a soulless bastard.

Duke
Duke UltimaDork
5/22/14 3:49 p.m.
EvanR wrote: You folks in the East and Midwest have it too easy. If I don't like the way I'm treated at Subaru of Las Vegas, or MINI of Las Vegas, or Volvo of Las Vegas, etc., the next closest dealer is in LA or Phoenix. It's literally "their way or the highway".

We had this discussion before, I believe. You can fly to Phoenix for under $75 one way. Add a 1-night hotel stay, a few meals, and a tank of gas. If the guy in Phoenix is polite, and will sell you the car for even $300 less than the guy in Vegas, then you're ahead of the game going out of town. Hell, you could probably skip the hotel if you didn't mind a long day.

imgon
imgon New Reader
5/22/14 3:51 p.m.

Before the availability of being able to search the internet I hated buying new cars. I was an easy mark, I always fell in love with something on the lot that the sales weasel assured me was the only one left on the planet and I gladly paid dearly for it. Now being able to research and go in well informed I typically pay what I want for a vehicle but some dealers are still a major PITA. For my personal cars I typically buy 1-2 year old cars so it is pretty easy to find out what the car is worth. the trick for me is to be in and out. I leave a lot of places but they usually call back. My most recent purchase was actually fun. I just bought a Suburban for work and my boss told me how much I could spend. I thought I could waltz in and be done with everything in an hour. I had a truck picked out at a local dealer, knew it was priced near what I had to spend and we were paying cash with no trade. The sales guy kept asking what it would take to get me into the truck and I explained I had X dollars and as soon as he met that price we were all set. It took him 5 trips to the sales manager coming back each time with a offer of $500 less. Finally told him I was sorry but he wasn't selling the truck that day. Did a quick stop at the manager's desk and he wanted to know why I was leaving. Told him the same thing, I have X to spend if you can meet that price I'll sign the paperwork and be done, if it is a penny more I have to leave. Apparently he wasn't aware I was paying cash because he told me if I would leave a non refundable $5000 deposit they would do the deal at my price. With that I said here's my credit card, write me up and I'll be back tomorrow with a check for the balance and pick it up. The look on his face was priceless. I'm sure they made money on the sale but I don't think he knew that financing wasn't involved and was banking on the fact that I couldn't afford the truck, I had just come from a job site in dirty work clothes. Every once in a while you feel like you beat them at their own game.

Boost_Crazy
Boost_Crazy Reader
5/22/14 4:01 p.m.

I've had good expiriences from the dealerships that I have actually bought my new cars through. Getting to that point could be a lot of frustration though. You expirience can vary greatly depending on the dealership, salesperson, etc. I also know exactly what I want when buying a car. I don't need to and don't want to be sold on anything. I think the key is to find a place and person that can recognize that, and respond accordingly. I've had my best luck when I found the exact vehicle ahead of time, and called to make an appointment let them know I was coming in specifically for that vehicle. The Internet sales person is usually the best to deal with that way. I'm very to the point. "I'm interested in vehicle X. I'm prepared to pay $Y. If that acceptable, when should I come in to meet with you?" I've found that I have had much better results with that tactic then saying the same thing in person at the lot. I guess they figure if you are already there, they can sell you. Ironically, I had the toughest time when I recently bought my new Toyota Sienna. It was by far the most main stream car I've purchased. I had no shortage of cars or dealers to chose from. By comparison, my last new car was an '05 Subaru Legacy GT Wagon with a manual transmission. Not a lot of those to be found, much less in the color and option package I wanted. I got a bit lucky on that one. With the Sienna, lots of dealers acted like they wanted to deal. In reality, they would waste a couple hours trying to get the price up before I walked away. I about gave up until I called a dealer that was farther then I wanted to travel, and I was very blunt. I bought the van for what I wanted a few hours later.

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
5/22/14 4:38 p.m.
Datsun1500 wrote: In reply to Flight Service: Without getting too technical, all of the data from the car business, comes through 3 companies in the USA. All of the other players buy that data, and license the systems that use that data. Pull up a car on Auto Trader, the data (make, miles, colors, original options,pricing,etc.) and the photos are processed through those companies, not Auto Trader itself. Carfax data, Manheim data, Edmunds, True Car,etc. etc. etc. all get the data from one (or more) of those 3 companies. I own one of the 3. I have data on 97% of the cars in the USA since 1982, most can be tracked from manufacturer to junkyard. If you look through some of my posts you will see that I respond with auction data, cars for sale in certain areas, how many left over XX cars with YY packages are on the ground, and what dealer has them, etc. It's because I can pull them up in my database. Use Carmax as an example, When you pull up a car and it shows "A5 Quattro Premium Plus" and "2.0L I4" or
CRYSTAL WHITE PEARL MICA PAINT, GRAND TOURING TECHNOLOGY PACKAGE -inc: Auto Dimming Rearview Mirror w/HomeLink Smart City Brake Support System Bi-Xenon HID Headlights Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) auto leveling and high and low beam Navigation System, REAR BUMPER GUARD, ROOF RACK SIDE RAILS, TRAILER HITCH RECEIVER -inc: harness and cover, WHEEL LOCKS, All Wheel Drive, Power Steering, ABS, 4-Wheel Disc Brakes, Brake Assist, Aluminum Wheels, Tires - Front Performance, Tires - Rear Performance, Temporary Spare Tire, Sun/Moonroof, Sun/Moon Roof, Heated Mirrors, Power Mirror(s), Integrated Turn Signal Mirrors, Rear Defrost, Privacy Glass, Intermittent Wipers, Variable Speed Intermittent Wipers, Rain Sensing Wipers, Rear Spoiler, Power Door Locks, Fog Lamps, Daytime Running Lights, Automatic Headlights, AM/FM Stereo, CD Player, Premium Sound System, Satellite Radio, MP3 Player, Bluetooth Connection, Auxiliary Audio Input, HD Radio, Steering Wheel Audio Controls, Power Driver Seat, Bucket Seats, Heated Front Seat(s), Driver Adjustable Lumbar, Leather Seats, Pass-Through Rear Seat, Rear Bench Seat, Adjustable Steering Wheel, Trip Computer, Power Windows, Leather Steering Wheel, Keyless Entry, Cruise Control, Climate Control, Multi-Zone A/C, Driver Vanity Mirror, Passenger Vanity Mirror, Driver Illuminated Vanity Mirror, Passenger Illuminated Visor Mirror, Floor Mats, Engine Immobilizer, Traction Control, Stability Control, Front Side Air Bag, Blind Spot Monitor, Tire Pressure Monitor, Driver Air Bag, Passenger Air Bag, Front Head Air Bag, Rear Head Air Bag, Passenger Air Bag Sensor, Child Safety Locks, Back-Up Camera, CE1,FOL,JCP,RBG,RCK,SA3,TTW,WLK,1GT,MA,FH
it comes from somewhere, no one is typing all of that. If you ever wonder how all of the websites know that Mazda Factory code 1GT is
GRAND TOURING TECHNOLOGY PACKAGE -inc: Auto Dimming Rearview Mirror w/HomeLink, Smart City Brake Support System, Bi-Xenon HID Headlights, Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS), auto leveling and high and low beam, Navigation System
It's because they buy that data. If you're a data guy, it can be very, very, interesting. If not, it's really, really, boring. Right now 25% of the people reading this think it's cool, 25% think its stupid, 25% are confused, and 25% skipped over it because they think i am an shiny happy person.

That is cool. I always worked alot with the buyers to understand exactly the process they went through from cradle to grave IN the company, but never questioned that the data vender might actually be a third party compiler.

The one in Greenville SC always did really well, we bought at auction value and sold at local comparison.

TeamEvil
TeamEvil HalfDork
5/22/14 4:53 p.m.

"It took him 5 trips to the sales manager coming back each time with a offer of $500 less."

You realize that we he goes in to "ask his manager" he's really having a coffee and bullE36 M3ting about the game last night? Everything and anything that might come up was already hashed out at the sales meeting that morning just before they opened their doors.

We get played no matter what. It's a game, and it's THEIR game . . .

kb58
kb58 HalfDork
5/22/14 5:12 p.m.

My "favorite experience" was walking in towards the Parts Department. As soon as you step foot on their property, you can feel the homing systems triangulating in on you.

"Hi, see anything you like?" "No thanks, I'm headed to the Parts Department." "How about this model here?" "No, I'm headed to the Parts Department." "What color are you looking for?" "I'm not, I'm headed to the Parts Department." "Okay, I feel like we aren't off on the right foot, I just want to be your friend."

Salesmen act as though they're completely deaf, telling you what they have, and not hearing what you want.

Watch the movie "Fargo" (on Netflix streaming) and there's a great scene with a couple not wanting paint protectant and undercoat. They captured it perfectly, how the sales guy and the customer seem to be having two separate conversations.

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed Dork
5/22/14 6:30 p.m.
kb58 wrote: Watch the movie "Fargo" (on Netflix streaming) and there's a great scene with a couple *not* wanting paint protectant and undercoat. They captured it perfectly, how the sales guy and the customer seem to be having two separate conversations.

Ya that's a classic scene when the salesman walks back to ask the sales manager about reducing the price, and he just asks him how his family/kids are doing or some such thing then comes back out and tells the couple he can't do anything for them.

dropstep
dropstep New Reader
5/22/14 6:37 p.m.

Ive done it once, dealership was great. we dealt with a co worker of mines brother for a salesman and walked out with what we wanted cheaper then we thought. Still would never do it again.

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