Congratulations! You’re finally ready to give up on your current shit box! Now, I know you’re excited to acquire your next depreciating asset, but before you set your kicks on dealership pavement, pay attention to the following list of shit your salesperson wants you to know and a few things they’d prefer you didn’t. Let’s get started!
1) Your salesperson works on commission only.
That’s right, they do not get paid unless they sell something. No hourly pay. No salary. Sell or starve. Sure, the state requires the dealership to pay minimum wage, but that happens once. One time. If their commission is less than minimum wage for a second time, the check is almost always accompanied by a pink slip. They arrive at 8:00am and rarely leave before 8:00pm. They have spouses and kids and pets and lives just like yours and it takes huge fucking balls to work without a safety net. Cut them some fucking slack already.
2) They are watching you like a hawk.
No really, there’s an actual Hawk. That cute girl who directs you to the parts department when your BMTroubleU needs a $180 light bulb, she’s a Hawk. It is her job to know everything about every customer in the dealership. If a salesperson speaks to an unknown human, she records the interaction in a giant book which is reviewed throughout the day. If the salesperson is unable to provide first/last name as well as a valid contact number, it is recorded as a ‘No Info’ and not only will it detract from the salesperson’s closing ratio, but it will also make for an uncomfortable ass chewing from the sales manager. Next time you’re ‘just looking’, be a lamb and give up a name and number. Any name and number will do, just something to write in that fucking book so the poor bastard can eat lunch without a lecture from JimBob.
3) Buy or die.
If you choose to divulge your actual digits, understand that you are consenting to continued communication until one of two things happen; you buy or you die. That’s right, everyone who sets foot on dealership property is considered a buyer. If you leave without making a purchase, you will receive calls, texts, and emails for the rest of your life or until you do the one thing most consumers are terrified to do, stop being so fucking polite.
“I’m not interested. Please take me off your list.”
Don’t be a maybe when you know you’re a no.
4) If you try and leave, you will ALWAYS talk to another salesperson.
It’s called a turn and it’s going to happen no matter how many times you object. This is not your salesperson’s fault. Remember JimBob? Yeah, well his job is to move metal and just like the antiquated theory that balloons somehow sell cars, he believes two salespeople are better than one. If your salesperson allows you to leave without letting a colleague take a run at you, he’s definitely talking to JimBob sooner rather than later.
5) And now they’re a couple.
If, by some miracle, your hesitation really was because salesperson #1 reminded you of the jerk who stole you second grade girlfriend and salesperson #2 convinces you to stroke a credit app, those poor bastards are splitting your deal. They are affectionately referred to as “married” until you drive away in your shiny new box. Doesn’t sound too bad because obviously a half a car deal is better than no car deal, but consider the following scenario. #1 is required to split every deal until you leave the property. Now what if #1 has a be-back walk in and ask for him? That’s right, if you’re still busy getting bent over in the Finance office, he has to split that deal. It doesn’t matter that he spent 6 hours with them the day before, salesperson #2 is taking half his money. This could go on for days. If you’re really interested in buying, just fucking buy it. Don’t waste their time or make them split a mini just because you’re trying to impress your friends with your superior negotiating skills.
6) Research the shit out of everything.
There’s more to the internet than free porn and cat videos. First, set up a throwaway email account. Trust me, just do it. If you’re buying new, grab your Costco card and get online. Yes, not only can you buy an eighteen pack of yellow mustard for thirty seven cents, but Costco’s auto buying program will save you thousands of dollars and several hours of back and forth bullshit at the dealership. Not a Costco member? Google auto buying programs and pick one. They’re usually free and typically start from invoice moving upwards instead of MSRP down.
If you’re shopping for a pre-owned shit box, request an Internet quote on the dealership’s site. Typically, the longer a vehicle has been in stock, the deeper the discount. It’s possible to negotiate a better price depending on the age of the vehicle, but you won’t be starting from scratch and you won’t run the risk of JimBob changing the price when you sit down to negotiate. Fuck you, JimBob.
7) Don’t be a dick.
Just don’t. If you’re communicating with the Internet Sales Manager or anyone for that matter, ask for him/her as soon as you arrive. Don’t make them split a deal just because you can’t hold your water. Understand, special pricing is meant to move metal in the quickest, most efficient way possible. Don’t be the asshole who over negotiates or asks for more free shit if you’re already getting a deal. It’s not magic. Everything costs money. That extra key? $200. Floor mats? $150-$400. Your ‘free’ shit is deducted from the profit and is taken directly out of your salesperson’s pocket. Buy your own damn floor mats, Sharon. This isn’t a charity.
8) There’s no such thing as a cash price.
There’s no discount for cash. In fact, unless you’re buying a 1997 Camry, you should be financing that shit. Sure, yes, the dealership will profit a little, but that’s none of your business. It’s a for profit organization. You’ll avoid draining your liquid funds only to lose 20% as soon as you drive away. If your credit can support it and the rate doesn’t suck, keep your cash. If you’re really itching to stroke a check, invest in bitcoin.
9) Speaking of Finance…
Pay attention to the rate and the term. Know your credit tier before you shop. In most states it’s still legal to hold up to two points. In other words, the contract could be written at 4.99%, even if you qualify for 2.99%. The bank buys the loan at 2.99% and the extra goes to the dealership. Ideally, the extra profit should be used to sell back-end products without greatly increasing the previously agreed to monthly payment, but that’s not always the case. Pay attention. As a general rule of thumb, $1K equals roughly $20 per month. If you add $3K worth of back-end products and your payment only increases by $22, the rate and/or term has been manipulated. Speaking of products, unless you’re putting 40%-50% down, always buy GAP insurance and because vehicles are designed to break down, buy the warranty. Skip the oil change package unless you’re buying a fancy import, in which case you should be leasing. Paint, tire and wheel, and windshield protection depends on your budget, but ask about limitations. And yes, you can negotiate, but if you’ve utilized a buying program or destroyed them on front-end profit, don’t expect much flexibility. They have to make money somewhere.
10) Unless your salesperson completely shit the bed, give them a good survey.
If it’s something out of their control such as your brothers’s cousin not liking your color decision, or your inability to pay attention during delivery and now you can’t remember your OnStar password, do not penalize your salesperson. And for fuck sake, do not be the guy who scores 90% because ‘nobody’s perfect’. Their bonuses are attached to that number. You are reaching into his/her pocket and stealing lunch money just to prove a point.
This is in no way inclusive of every potential situation, but it should provide the general knowledge necessary to avoid being bent over the next time you’re shopping for a vehicle, and hopefully make the buying process a little less like painful for everyone.
God doesn’t give two shits about which vehicle you purchase, that’s just a nice excuse to leave the dealership. Save your prayers for the victims of mass shootings and kids with incurable diseases.