Not today, salesman. These smart car buyers call out a salesman’s shady tactics! Content has been edited for clarity purposes.
Get The Manager Or Else
“I special ordered a new 1968 Mustang. When I picked it up on Friday evening, I was told to come back Saturday so the sales manager could sign the deal. I was slightly irritated how he wasn’t there and I now had to wait another day for my car.
Then they said I had to pay a few hundred more.
So, I tossed the keys to the new guy on the desk, and said, ‘Deal’s off! Give me my ’66 Mustang back!’
They said, ‘Can’t, we sold it already!’
I picked up the phone and called the police. Amazingly, the sales manager who was supposedly up at his cottage appeared and signed the original deal. Everyone I knew in SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) and Toledo heard about that, and the dealership closed not long afterward.”
Volkswagen Vs Kia
“My cousin was in love with a fire engine red VW Golf. The salesman was going on about how the car was very rare due to the color combination and interior trim and blah blah blah. He wouldn’t budge on the price because he had three other customers ready to buy it already.
While he was going on about it, I cut him off in mid-sentence and suggested to my cousin, ‘Since he practically has this car sold to someone else already, then why don’t we go look at the Kia Rio at the dealership up the road? It’s cheaper, has a 10-year 100,000-mile warranty, and has a much better fuel economy.’
He immediately countered with the car being inferior to the Golf.
I asked, ‘Why doesn’t VW offer a 10-year warranty then? Why does it have lower fuel economy and why does JD Power rates initial satisfaction and reliability higher than the Golf?’
He made the face of someone trying desperately to not have explosive diarrhea in his pants. I stood up and practically dragged my cousin out of the seat to walk out.
When we got in the car and drove away, leaving the exasperated salesman in the parking lot, my cousin was practically in tears.
She said, ‘I don’t want a Kia!’
I said, ‘I know that, but the salesman doesn’t.’
She was worried the car would get sold out from under her to which I replied, ‘They are building thousands of these cars a day. The guy is full of it.’
Sure enough about an hour later he called back and agreed to our price after ‘talking to the manager.’
He didn’t know we were paying for the car outright yet.
When we went to the financial department, they tried adding a boatload of fees (dock fee, undercoating, etc).
I refused those additional fees stating, ‘If we don’t get the agreed price, we are leaving again.’
After reluctantly agreeing to that, he wanted to talk financing and we sprung the news that we were paying in full. The sound of his rat-face jaw hitting the floor was nearly priceless.
My cousin loves her Golf, by the way.”
“When I was stationed at Andersen AFB (Air Force Base) in Guam, my family joined me. We were only allowed to ship one car there and my (then) wife bungled that. I had hopped to the island before then to set up base housing. So as soon as I got there, we had to buy at least one car ASAP.
We quickly found a dealership in Tamuning and went there. We narrowed it down to two cars, and because we were both getting COLA (The Overseas Cost of Living Allowance), for the first time in my life, we could get a ‘GOOD’ car. To us, then, that meant in the $20-$25K range.
We were looking at a Lexus SUV and an Infiniti sedan. But there was another car there that looked nice— A BMW X5 4.4i SAV
After we test drove the two cars, my wife was salivating to drive home in one.
I said to her, privately, ‘Let’s give him overnight to think about it.’
I knew he knew we were U.S. military, and probably even knew exactly what my pay scale/COLA was. So, we went home.
I got online, researched all the KBB and other factors, and knew what I should ask for. I also checked out the BMW. I knew all its options, exactly what it should cost, and what we could afford.
So, when we went back the next day and sat down to work with the salesman, I inquired about the Lexus and the Infiniti, and what kind of price he could get us on those two. He told me.
And then I asked him, ‘OK, so just out of curiosity, what could you offer us on that BMW X5?’
He looked at me with such a sad face and said, ‘Oh, I hate to disappoint you. I know it’s out of your price range and you can’t afford it. But to show you how much I’m trying to help you out, ‘cause you know, I’m a good guy, it’ll be $32,500.’
That was $500 over what I had estimated the car should be worth.
I immediately replied with a smile and said, ‘OK, we’ll take it.’
The look on his face when I said that was almost immediate. It was the look of ‘Oh no, what have I done?! I’m not supposed to have sold it for that low!’
But it was too late. He’d made the offer that was lower than he probably ever should have because he assumed what my price range was. I accepted it.
I imagine on our way back to base in our new BMW X5, he was probably getting chewed out by his boss.”
She Came In With One Car And Left With Two
“My mother-in-law had a very nice 2013 Cadillac ATS turbo four-cylinder AWD. She brought me with her to the dealer because she didn’t want to get scammed. She had seen a very nice, fully loaded new Buick Regal that had been driven as a demo (500 miles) at the Chevy dealer she liked a lot. She was considering trading the Cadillac in on the car.
Keep in mind, she paid cash for the Cadillac just six years earlier to the tune of almost $45,000. The Cadillac was new and only had around 35,000 miles on it.
While I was talking to the salesman, I asked what they would give us as a trade-in value on the Cadillac. He stated after speaking to his sales manager for several minutes, the highest they could possibly give us for the Cadillac was $12,500.
So I started working at his price for the Buick and got him to cut it down to $25,000. He no doubt was figuring they could sell the Cadillac for the same price he was selling us the Buick for and make a hefty $10,000 plus profit. My mother-in-law was pretty bummed they were only giving her $12,500 for her $45,000 Cadillac.
So in private, I asked her, ‘Do you have $12,500 in the bank you can afford to spend?’
She stated, ‘Yes, I do!’
So at this point, I asked the salesperson, ‘So the down payment on the Regal is $12,500 right?’
He said, ‘Yes.’
I then said, ‘OK, we’ll just give you the cash.’
His facial expression changed to utter disbelief. Then the waffling started, he said, ‘I thought you were going to trade in the Cadillac?’
My mother-in-law stated, ‘The Cadillac is worth more than $12,500 to me. I would rather keep it at that price.’
He then stated, ‘Let me see if I can get you more for it.’
I stated, ‘You already said that was your best price, didn’t you? She now says she would rather just give you the cash and keep the Cadillac. Are you telling me the price we worked out on paper isn’t any good now? There’s no mention of the trade-in on that paper, just the $12,500 for the trade-in. We will just sub in the cash instead of the car!’
At this point, I was laughing inside and trying not to show it. She ended up walking out of there with that new Buick and I drove her Cadillac home. I’d call that a win / win.”
“I was looking at a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee and it had really low mileage, one owner, and pretty decent condition. At the time, I had a 1998 Ford Mustang that had high miles and it was time for an upgrade to something a little newer. I was just starting off in my career, so I couldn’t afford to buy anything brand new but was happy to get a Jeep, which was what I’d been looking for.
When it came to dealing with the salesman, he offered me a trade-in on my current car for $800. I told him no, and that I thought I could get more in a private sale. The next thing I know, one of the other salesman was trying to sneakily walk outside looking at my car. I knew he was checking it out to see if it was worth more, but I was ready to walk away without selling it to them. It was paid off and I didn’t need to trade it in.
He came in and handed something to the sales guy I was working with. They had upped the offer to $1800. I agreed to that and drove off in my Jeep.
The next day, I had to go back to the dealership because the key fob didn’t work for the Jeep and the alarm would go off every time I tried to get into the car because of this. So the dealership agreed to buy me a new one and I had to go in to pick it up.
When I got to the dealership, the same guy who was scoping out my car came up to me and asked, ‘Are you the one who traded in the Mustang yesterday?’
I said, ‘Yes.’
His response was, ‘You got one over on us, didn’t you?’
When he was checking out the back of my parked vehicle the day before, he neglected to get up close to it where there was some body damage above the driver’s door, weather stripping that had come off around the headlights and doors, and some other minor things that would need to be fixed if I were to sell it myself, but they gave me an extra $1000 not to do that. Not that they weren’t going to chop it up for parts anyway, but I guess they didn’t like getting played for a higher trade-in value.
I didn’t lose any sleep over that.”
“You Can’t Trust The Internet”
“My wife is a car gal. She also is academically trained in argument, so she always does her homework and knows how to make her point. Also for whatever reason, salesmen in my area really tend to focus on the men.
We were shopping for a replacement for our Ford Fusion that got wrecked by a deer strike. So while looking for the replacement, we were looking at a local Nissan dealer. We were looking at an Altima on their lot. After the salesman went on for a while about the car, he mentioned how the Consumer Reports ranked the car as having the best gas mileage in its class.
A bit later, my wife asked, ‘Can you tell me what has been done about Nissan’s reliability problems with their CVTs?’
Salesman: ‘What’s a CVT?’
Wife: ‘The transmission.’
This was accompanied by a glare that said, ‘You can’t be serious.’
Salesman: ‘What problem are you talking about?’
Wife: ‘Nissan CVTs are known for early failure. There even was a government-mandated recall and extended warranty.’
Salesman: ‘Where did you hear that?’
Wife: ‘Consumer Report’s website.’
Salesman: ‘Oh, you can’t trust everything you read on the internet.’
Wife: ‘Hold on a second. So if I can’t trust an article I read from Consumer Reports because it’s on the internet, therefore I can’t trust your claim from Consumer Reports about the car’s mileage.’
Wife: ‘For that matter, can I trust anything you tell me about this car because you most likely got it off the internet as well?’
Salesman: ‘Well, let me talk to my manager.’
My wife was getting mad at the guy and I was struggling not to bust out laughing.
By the time the manager got there, we were walking to our car to leave. Again, my wife explained to the manager how we were ready to buy a car in cash that day, but due to the condescending attitude of the salesman, we would not return. The manager tried to talk to us, but we walked to our car and drove away without another word.
We ended up getting a Ford Escape at a different dealership. No regrets. My wife happened to look at that Nissan dealer’s website a few months later and noticed that our salesman was no longer there.”
“After I was rear-ended and my car was totaled, I was in the market for a decent inexpensive used car. Mind you, it was 2005, so I was looking for a price range of 5K or so.
We went to this one dealership that had several cars in our price range— all had under 100k miles. I had it narrowed down to a Black Taurus sedan and a blue Dodge. When the dealer pointed out a red vehicle with about the same age mileage as the Taurus, I started looking over the car. My husband thought it looked good and sounded good.
The salesman was shocked when I started running my hand around the front then got down on the wet ground and looked underneath.
I told him, ‘No way am I buying this red car even though it has slightly fewer miles.’
He seemed puzzled, so I pointed out to him how it had been in a front-end collision at some point. He swore it hadn’t, but I told him it had and even pointed out the slight paint color difference and how the hood didn’t sit quite right.
He wanted to prove to me how it hadn’t so he ran the carfax. Not a common practice at that point, but sure enough it had been in an accident and he never knew. I ended up with the Black Taurus and drove for almost six years.”
He Accused Her Of The Damage
“Back in 2006, after my husband died, I just wanted to listen to the sound of a new Monte Carlo SS. I drove into the dealership, and there she was a Shiny Red Car. She was perfect.
Again I did not need a new car, just needed a boost from losing my husband and my job in the same week; another reason that I did not need a new car, but I digress.
I went in and told the salesperson I would like to test drive the SS. We went out, got in and I first went to the radio. The volume would not turn up, so I asked him why.
He said, ‘Well from your old car (1999 Monte Carlo), you just must know how new radios work.’
I first thought, ‘Whatever.’
So I continued to start her up and she roared like a tiger.
I bought it on the spot but still complained about the radio.
He said, ‘Oh, I don’t know how to work new radios.’
I let it slide, thinking I could figure it out later. I drove it for one day and realized something was wrong with the ‘new’ radio. The speakers started cracking while playing the music, so I brought it back. The salesman then accused me of blowing out the speakers.
I asked, ‘How?! I can not make it louder than a voice.’
Turns out the factory put in the wrong amplifier. It blew out all of the speakers and it took them three weeks to get all of the parts in to fix the car,
So, I did not really know more about the car than him, but I did know a heck of a lot more about a stereo system than he did.”
Where’s The Rear Air Suspension?!
“Many moons ago, my wife wanted a GMC Envoy Denali. It got a pretty impressive V8 and I planned to tow with it. I wanted to get the tow package (beefed up cooling, etc.) along with a self-leveling suspension and air shocks in the rear. I picked out the options I wanted and called around.
For some reason, the options list wasn’t popular and it was hard to find one on a dealer lot with that option group. Finally, I found a dealer who had one in stock. Great, so we drove down there and asked to see the truck. They showed me a truck that didn’t ’t have those options.
I said, ‘What the heck?!’
The salesman told me, ‘Oh, no sir. It does have those options. Says so on the sticker.’
I said, ‘Look here, the rear air suspension isn’t installed. Look under the truck, you can clearly see it’s not on there.’
The salesman said, ‘You’re just uninformed. I sell these every day, I know what I’m talking about.’
I said, ‘OK, lower the suspension.’
The salesman asked, ‘What?’
I said, ‘This truck is supposed to have an air suspension, right? Lower it then.’
The salesman asked again, ‘What?’
As I started walking out, the manager came over, and asked, ‘What’s wrong?’
I told him, ‘Your salesman is either a liar or a fool. I did all the research on this truck and watched an online video of how the self-leveling suspension was supposed to work.’
I further explained the feature and showed him the video on my cell phone.
The manager was very apologetic. He offered to find me another truck with those options for the same price as we had agreed to. I agreed since that was a hard thing to find.
A week later, a new truck was ready to go. I went down, confirmed it had the options I wanted and paid the agreed-to price.
The dumb salesman was nowhere to be seen.”
“A couple of years ago I went to buy a used competition motorcycle.
The guy got it going and it sounded OK so I asked for a test ride, He was not keen because the front brake cable was broken and therefore it had no front brake. I assured him I would be OK and wanted to try the gears.
I gave it a large handful of throttle and shot off with the front wheel just floating off the dirt. I rode it until out of sight and then stopped to give it the once over. Returning I came in a little hot and slowed using the gears and back brake.
I announced the back end was a bit loose and the tire needed changing because it had tread but not enough.
However, I pointed out a couple of things and he came down to what I wanted to pay.
On the way home my wife said, ‘You should have seen his face as you went off. He said, ‘He’s mad.”
I don’t think he expected a 68 (then) year old to ride so hard.”
“I was handing my truck off to my son and I was going to get a new one.
Toyota Tundra had a Turd-Pro model with the pearl orange color available that matched my orange and black color Harley Davidson FXDWG. They wanted 64K for it.
I went across the street to the Chevron to get another Chilada and my Ford dealer was next door. So I walked through the lot to the used car lot as I knew there was a gorgeous Denali there. Matt the salesman stalked me as I looked. I read the price on the inventory sticker to call him over. I was interested.
It was perfect. It was only two years old with 25K miles on it. Plus, it had black-on-black leather, 4×4, and 6.2L – 420HP. Matt knew the complete history of the vehicle, but he didn’t know I knew everyone at the dealership. I was thinkin’ this was the winner, so I needed another Chilada and took him with me.
He explained he was new to the business and had doubts about continuing with it because he hadn’t sold a car yet. I informed him we were about to change that.
We were walking through all the new Fords, when he said, ‘I can sell you one of these for less than you’ll pay for the Denali.’
My response was, ‘Really?!’
He started spewing off all the packs and perks they were putting on the brand new Ford Alumatruck for Black Friday, which it happened to be. I just picked one that had everything I wanted. He insisted we drive 10 more trucks and I was on my fourth 25oz Chilada, so we had fun. But the first Silver Bullet was what I wanted.
I said, ‘Go work your magic, Matteo.’
He came back out to me with a buyer’s order with a price that I didn’t believe. I was shocked so we went inside and John, his sales manager was there.
So he took the order from Matt and said, ‘Matt, we gotta, put the Ford loyalty pack on here and the preferred repeat customer pack to further reduce the price.’
I wrote John a check to go back to the Chevron for another Chilada.”