Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dealing with the public..

One of the cars I have the pleasure of selling every day!
So, being a Car Salesman grants me the wonderful task of dealing with the average, general public. When I was green in this field, it was at the so called "upswing" of the recession and people weren't scared to buy things anymore. But America, being the consumerist idiots we are, thought that put them in an excellent position to be fucking stupid and think we owe them something. It was nothing for me to get Billy Badass walking down the lot looking for a hummer H2 and then offering me 15,000$ for it as if that would fly. Excuse me dumbass, just because things are slow, doesn't mean I'm going to pull my pants down and lose my ass on a car. People do not seem to understand how COST works, so next time you're buying a car, remember this.

1. Dealer buys car from an auction such as Manhiem for $17,000

2. Dealer puts pack on car, ranging from 350 to 750$. This is non-negotiable. It is added to cost. To you, it does not exist. Do not even bother trying to negotiate this. It will not work. What is pack? Pack is guarenteed profit that the salesman is not being paid commission on. Pack is strictly for operational cost such as rent, electric, utilities, etc. This prevents the dealer from losing money and possibly going out of business.

3. Auction cars often are not in great shape; a good dealer will make a car right. So, add in service bills, cleaning bills and transport cost if it's a far away auction. These are COSTS to make the car RIGHT for you, the customer. Sadly, it's a double edged sword. If a dealer doesn't make a car right, and we sell it with issues, we get called scammers and we supposedly sell bad cars. If we spend the money to make it right, we get called price gougers and people yell at me all day because our prices are too high. So, short answer? If the price is a bit high, but the car is great, it's because the dealer cared enough about satisfying customers to fix it before it hit the lot.

4. After all that, we are still allowed to try and make a profit. We are a business, after all. Depending on how much cost we have in the car, we'll often mark it up right the market value. Why? Well, why not? Market value is market value. Why can't we ask a decent price for our product? Car dealerships are one of the only businesses in America were negotiating a price is common tactic. And often, a feared one. People seem to think all dealerships are in it for the money and mark up cars way too high. Every price is too much when it comes to cars. While it's true; we do like money, who doesn't? Do you think BestBuy isn't in it for money? Or Wal-Mart? Or even Goodwill? Our markup of around 15-20% is NOTHING compared to the markups I've seen at Wal-Mart. I spent 3 years as a manager at Wal-Mart, and saw the sickening markup on products there. (That's for another blog.)

While I'm not saying you should swallow the markup at the dealership, don't act like we markup to rip you off. Every business is entitled to a profit, just like every customer is entitled to a discount. Don't be a jerk about it, and your salesman will bend over backwards to help you.

5. Sales Manager games. Yes, they play them. Yes, we hate it too. Nine times out of ten, we want to just cut to the chase and make a deal as fast as you do. Cut us some slack, sit back, and we'll work for you. I hate nothing more than walking up to the desk and having the manager say "Try and get a 500$ bump out of them on the down payment." Can we not just make the damn deal? The ideal day would be to greet, drive, sit down, strike a quick deal, do the mountain of paperwork, and watch you drive off, satisfied. The games are annoying, but if you just get pissy and walk out, you aren't doing anything for yourself because all dealers play them. If you go to a dealer and they don't play them? They did, and you didn't notice.

6. Commission. It's a big mystery to the customer, but really, it's easy. New cars suck. There is little room to negotiate, and we have to worry about CSR percentages, and we only make about 100$ a car on them, aka a mini. Considering the average draw is 1600$, that means 16 new cars to break even and not get wrote up. Lame. Used cars are where the money is. With used cars, we make 25% of the gross. The gross is anything above the cost of the vehicle. So if the cost is $16,000, and I sell it for $20,000, I just made $1,000. Nice for about 2 hours of work, right?

It was owned by a little old lady.. who drove the shit out of it.
7. We don't want to bother you, we have to or we get screamed at. Everyone hates it; even I do when I'm out looking on my leisure time. You drive up, get out to look at that pretty new Camaro and bam, out of nowhere comes a salesman. He greets you with way too much energy, then pesters you with questions and tries to take you to the "perfect car". You tell him No thanks, just looking. They then follow you around, ignoring your request. You get annoyed and leave. Ever wonder why we do that? Pressure. At my last dealership, if I walked in and my manager asked me why I wasn't with that customer and I gave him the "just looking" excuse, I would get my ass chewed out. So when the guy follows you around, be nice. Humor him. And when he asks for a name and number, give him a fake one. We have to fill out sheets on every customer. We can't help it you gave us a fake one.

This kind of turned into a car guy rant/information post. Truth is, we have jobs just like you. Thank god my current position is nothing like the average sales job. I do Internet Sales and deal with really cool people every day with no pressure to take ups. Inquiring over the Internet for a car is probably the least stressful way of looking at cars. Alot less pressure, and often times you can negotiate a bit over the phone or email. If you have any questions for a car guy, shoot away. I can make this a common Q and A type deal, since the car biz tends to be mysterious to most. I can even include funny stories. Trust me; I've got quite a few.

In the end, nowadays, it pays to be a good guy when it comes to selling. You don't find many of the shiesters and sharks that were common in the 80's and 90's. Many have retired or moved on, unable to adapt. The Internet and social media has made it a different ballgame. We still have to sell, and we still want to make money, but it pays to be a good guy. Get that stereotype out of your head and give your next salesman a chance. I genuinely care about my customers being satisfied; and when I make a friend, I make a friend; not for the benefit of my check book. I've come to find out most salesman have the same attitude.

So with that I wish you all a happy Buying Season! Summer is upon us and that means more and more people will want to buy cars. Take this info and use it to your advantage come your next purchase!


  1. Wow, very detailed! Looking forward to more from you, excellent blog :)

  2. I hate it when salesmen try to sell me stuff, even when i tell them i am just looking.

    Found this entertaining +1 follower

  3. I agree with batgirl. Very well written. This definitely gives me a new perspective on things. I feel bad for not thinking you guys were humans.

    But what do I know? I'm just a fish.

  4. Haha I really enjoyed your blog this time!

  5. oh yea that mustang looking real nice, and on the salesman pitch i would dislike being one cant stand customers

  6. I hate the general public. I cannot stand dealing with Dorky Doofus walking off the street, who thinks the 2012 F150 Supercrew XLT 4X4 is "too much" and he can get one way cheaper. I'm to the point where I politely tell them to go get it if he can get it that cheap and proceed to thank him for coming in and I walk away. That often gets a jumbled panicked WELL WAIT A SECOND I MEAN BLAH BLAH BLAH and I then proceed to sell them the truck. Those are the people I make my big commissions on because at that point, they've pissed me off and I don't care anymore. Like I said, be nice to your salesman. If you piss them off, they'll fuck you any way they can. ^_^

  7. seriously another reason to have this car

  8. Yet another reason I never plan on buying a new car, but that's mostly just because I'm an old car kind of guy.

  9. Although I generally despise salesmen, I applaud you for putting up all those idiots.

  10. Sadly, the position I spoke of in this post turned out to be a pipe dream and I quit after a week. The car biz is a rough one!