We all know how some salesmen can be a bit aggressive, and most car shoppers just back off. However, that’s not the case for car shoppers. These folks decided to go a different route in handling a pushy salesman. Content has been edited for clarity purposes
“It was 2007. I had a Ford Explorer Sport – not a bad car. My ex-wife decided she would total the car on her way home from work to entertain herself. The insurance company was actually quite quick and fair with the settlement. I had a check in my hand for more than I thought the car would have brought me. I looked on Craigslist and found a year-old Ford Five Hundred listed at a dealer about 30 miles away. I called down to see if the car was still available. I drove down and took it out and it was fine and still under warranty.
We sat down to negotiate the price, he named a figure that was 2k more than advertised on Craigslist. He told me that it was a ‘really sweet deal.’
I said, ‘I think that I will pay-‘ and I named the price that was on Craigslist.
He sai, ‘Oh, we can’t possibly go that low.’
I replied, ‘I think you will.’
‘Why is that?’ he asked me.
‘Because that is what you advertised it for on Craigslist,’ I told him.
He paused and asked, ‘Do you have a copy of the listing?’
‘I do.’ I told him and pulled the printout out of my pocket.
Not much more was said but I got the car at that price.
Used car salesmen … yuck.”
“My father had Ford trucks for most of his life. He did buy a Chevy Love, and we had it for a short while and then a Dodge Ram, which had continual problems.
So he decided we’d go back to Ford. We happened to buy the F-150 that had the gray paint problem and the recall on the dual tanks. It also had a weird electrical problem that didn’t interfere with the operation but would give you a mild shock on the door now and then. Despite the problems, someone really, really liked the body style of the F-150 we had, aside from the gray paint issue, it was in excellent shape and not too many miles. He sold it to some guy who had a son who wanted that model for making his dream vehicle.
I decided to again go to Ford. Someone at my work told me that what he’d done was go to the commercial Ford lot as he’d wanted a utility vehicle. With trucks, we liked working trucks. This was about when the split happened and people began buying trucks that would never see a sheet of plywood, or a two-by-four, much less a load of beauty bark. I mentioned it to my father and we went to look at the commercial lot. That coworker said he liked white vehicles, but if we didn’t, we could take some of the money we saved and paint it and still be way, way ahead.
So we were looking.
A salesman walked up and said, ‘I can get you a new Ford Pick Up truck for under 10k.’
That was an outrageous statement. That would have been an outrageous statement maybe ten years before. But there he was, saying that and we thought we’d really hit on a great idea, hitting the commercial lot.
So he started showing us trucks and not one was under 10k.
We were patient for a while then I kept saying, ‘Where are the pick-ups under 10k?’
He said we’d go in the building and he’d talk to the manager. We went in and he talked and the sales manager came up.
He said, ‘We don’t have any pickup trucks anywhere near that low.’
‘Then why did he say it? We came here to look at trucks in good faith, and he’s a liar,’ I pointed right at the man. ‘We never had that number until he said it so it was a stupid lie.’
The sales prick didn’t buck up. He faltered.
I turned to a pair of customers who had paperwork before them and said, ‘Ma’am, that individual just lied to us for no reason. I recommend you read that contract very carefully.’
My father was a bit taken aback; his view was car salesmen are generally scum.
So we went to Toyota. This was many years ago, and that Toyota pickup truck is still running great. For himself and relatives, my father bought a truck, four cars, and an SUV, all from Toyota. They would have been Ford products if it wasn’t for one stupid liar with an unnecessary lie.”
“It was 1996, the 1972 GMC that I had bought new had finally reached the point of no more repairs. We had finished building a house and sold our old house so I was looking for a new truck. I wanted a 4×4 with an extended cab, 8′ bed, diesel, and standard shift. With the price of new trucks, I thought I might have to buy used ones, but at a dealer, I saw the exact truck I wanted. Unfortunately, it had a sold sign on it. I met a salesman and told him they had the exact truck I wanted but it was sold. So he said we should have a look anyway.
Now it just so happened that right next to the basic model with no chrome or fancy extras was a fully loaded model with all the bells and whistles for about 20k more. He was sorry that the basic model was sold but we should look at the fully loaded one. The conversation was pretty much as follows to the best of my recollection.
Sales Man: ‘Look at the custom wheels on this truck.’
Me: ‘Yeah, I don’t need them. Probably get plugged with mud anyway.’
SM: ‘Look at the nice lighting package on this one.’
Me: ‘Yeah don’t need that either.’
SM: ‘Look at the interior and the seats in this one.’
Me: ‘Don’t need that either.’
SM: ‘Well look at the paint job you can’t even compare that paint job to this.’
Me: ‘Knock 2k off the price and you can paint it diarrhea brown with a roller for all I care.’
That was the end of the conversation. Oddly enough I got a call from the salesman on Monday telling me that the truck was available because the guy couldn’t get financing. Now can you imagine that?
I bought the basic model for 32k close to 35 after taxes and some extras like paint and rust protection. That truck lasted me 19 years and I traded it for a second-hand 2011 truck.”
“Wouldn’t She Love To Be In Such An Advanced, Ahead-Of-Its-Time Car?”
“My mom was looking for a new car and had found one she liked but was confused because of the sticker on the window. The salesman came over and was doing the whole ‘let me sucker the women’ song and dance about how great the car was and boy could he get us a deal.
I asked why the dealership price on the sticker was several thousand dollars more than the suggested manufacturer retail price for that exact car. Told him I knew the MSRP was already including a profit, so why did the dealership think they should get about 7K more than that?
I also asked for a detailed write-up explaining the extra cost. His ‘deal’ was to offer us the car for the MSRP instead of the dealership price.
Another time, at a different dealership, my friend was looking for a car. She had graduated college and her parents were going to buy her a car as a gift. The salesman was pushing one car, and going on and on about how advanced it was. All the newest tech, features, etc. Wouldn’t she love to be in such an advanced, ahead-of-its-time car?
And then he showed one of the ‘newest, never been done before features.’
And I laughed and said he needed to update his info to the current decade.
The ‘newest, never been done before feature’ was one my 10-year-old car had. The car I was driving that day. Only my car actually had a ‘more advanced’ version of the feature. The feature? Not only did the steering wheel tilt, but the dash behind tilted so you could still see the gauges/dials/lights when the steering wheel was tilted. My car not only had a tilt steering wheel and dash, but the steering wheel telescoped in and out to better fit the driver.”
His Own Buddy
“I fronted the money as a short-term loan to a friend to start a garage including leasing his facility with plenty of adjacent lands. He did well and focused on foreign cars. Out of the blue Toyota who then was kind of a third-string alternate who only made car bodies and bought their engines from Nissan who bought the designs for theirs from British Motors. Anyhow, the cost for him to become a Toyota dealer was then very little. He came to me with his hand out and I loaned the money in trade for a very quick payback or his making me a senior partner in a new firm that owned that dealership.
I really should have never said yes as I did not like this guy all that much and he was harsh. Anyhow, with my being overwhelmed with all I was doing, I let my mechanic friend run that dealership doing whatever he wanted. My money was not being paid back but should have been.
For exercise, I ran many miles every day and ran by that dealership. I saw the dealership was thriving. Having a Toyota dealership in a small university town was proving to be a gold mine. Alex himself showed me he was doing very well. He went from fast food to dining and going to many of the same places as me including my bar restaurant which earned the money I invested to get him going.
I then made the mistake of taking a lady friend of mine to that dealership to buy a car. We were immediately pounced on by four or five salesmen, ended up talking with a pseudo-manager, then finally talked to the manager. This was a many-hour-long full-court press and they did not want to give back her trade-in when I told her it was time to go.
I simply walked into the real manager’s office and told him he had one minute to have her car out front or I would have both the police and sheriff’s officers there. He made some snide comment about what if he decided to stop me. I said then we would also call either an ambulance or the coroner. The car was immediately pulled around. I had to call Alex and tell him the make, model, color, and interior she wanted and told him this was at a real cost. Alex was not a happy camper, but I really did not care as he was months late on his payments.
I found myself having to collect on a debt that was not being paid and deal with promises made but broken. I knew Alex really did not want to see me as he knew I was a martial arts master with a long history of taking out anyone that needed their behavior corrected. I sent my manager to go see Alex. Alex had a million excuses, but no money, just more empty promises. My manager pointed out that we had a contract where if he failed to pay I became majority owner and senior partner. Alex stalled and my manager said I would be taking over directly. Alex said that was the deal and he had no choice but to let me take over.
I showed up the following afternoon and just walked onto the lot. An obnoxious car salesman met me and I asked to see the senior manager thinking that would be Alex. The salesman wanted to know what I was driving. I stayed quiet and pointed to my feet. He then told me I was clearly there for their sale vehicle, a Toyota Crown. I shook my head no and again asked for the senior manager while I moved toward the glassed-in area.
He blocked me standing in front of me every time I moved forward. I again said I wanted to see the senior manager. He said I did not understand, he saw me first so he had to take care of me and the manager would not see me. I kept going in the right direction and a fellow came out with a little better suit. It was the same prick I had to threaten to get my lady friend’s car back. He said he was the manager and I had to work with this salesman. I then foolishly asked to see the senior manager again thinking this would get me finally to Alex. Now both that manager fellow and the salesman were blocking my progress. Both were physically larger than me and clearly, both were bullies. That manager had a lot of attitudes.
I was a very busy guy, did not suffer fools or idiots very well, and kind of liked to eat bullies for lunch. My mind was going through options such as blind him, neutering him, collapsing his lungs, making his knees no longer work, and on and on while I kept moving around and between them finally getting to the office door. There another manager I did not know met me and after the other two told him I was looking for the senior manager, he said he was that person. I was tired of all this, told them all to get to that conference room and have Alex join us.
They ignored me and the salesman backed up by both managers blocked me from moving toward what was obviously Alex’s office. I moved to almost touch that salesman well into his personal space. He struck out. I caught his fist and lowered it to his side making it clear I was far stronger than him. I was ticked off, bored, and ready to eat all three. I had already decided that the manager who gave my lady friend such a hard time was done with his time in this world. The others could stay but would be disabled.
At that point, Alex had come out to see what was going on as his folks had gotten pretty loud and the salesman did kind of squeak pretty good when I caught his fist. They were all three trying to talk to Alex. Alex told me to introduce myself. I said my name was Bill and the new owner and senior manager over this dealership then pointed to two of them and said, ‘You are fired, clean out your desks and stuff now and be clear within no more than ten minutes. Alex will send you your checks later.’
Both that middle manager and his boss were stunned and stopped cold when Alex nodded in agreement that they were gone.
I spent half a day there and it was a nightmare. There were no books, just a huge box of receipts and checks where the stubs had not even been completed. I brought in my bookkeeper and he put it all together well. Alex went back to managing the repair shop and being the morning manager of that shop but had to follow my rules. I retrained the shark salespeople to be helpful docents and dropped prices making our cars more competitive than any other in the area. Our volume grew so high that Toyota greatly increased our incentives and profit on each car. It turned into a very successful gold mine.
Another party came in and offered me the equivalent of four new homes plus an ongoing residual on sales for two years. Alex got a new home paid for cash in a really nice area and mine was on a large tomato farm, but that is another too long story.”
Bad Customer Service To The Wrong Person
“I was trading my car in for a new lease. I knew what my car was worth and how to make a deal. I also believe in ethical sales at all costs.
I specifically asked the salesman, ‘So I’m getting my money AND you are paying off my car?’
He seemed dodgy but said yes.
Fast forward to signing the papers with the finance guy. Something seemed amiss but I knew I had 48 hours to cancel, so I asked him, ‘So I’m getting my money and you’re paying off my car?’
He was VERY Dodgy, so I asked him again and clarified to my daughter that sometimes salespeople lie to make a deal when she said. ‘You asked the other guy the same thing.’
We got home and sorted out all the paperwork.
They lied. Both of them.
Now what they didn’t know is that I was a publisher for a magazine that dealt with Honda corporate a LOT. They thought I was some dumb woman.
So I called them with plans to return the car within my window, which they tried to back out of.
‘Listen, I’m not interested in any more of your games. I’m returning the car and taking mine. If I need to show up with the state police, let me know,’ I said.
Got there, the guys were pricks but I didn’t mind. I had my daughter recording on her phone. I called them out on the lie and told them that I had asked BOTH of them to be honest with me. The manager witnessed it all and was still trying to prevent me from backing out of the deal.
Finally, I let them have it.
‘You do not know who I am, but you have not given good customer service to the wrong person. It was clear you all saw me as a mark, and you would have had a sale, maybe two. But instead, you were all complicit with the lying. We’ve got this all on record today and we’ll be sending it to XYZ in Torrance. I’m not impressed at all,’ I exclaimed.
His face was perfect.
I then filed an ethics complaint with the attorney general in my state and bought the car from their biggest competitor. WHO was more than happy to help us as they received a call from corporate asking to help me get what I wanted.”
“It’s Against My Beliefs”
“We were in the market for a minivan in the late 80s, when we went on a relaxing Sunday drive. We came across the local Toyota dealership and saw a funny-looking Toyo van. We honestly were just curious about it, so we stopped to take a look.
Unfortunately, we did not realize the dealership was open on a Sunday, and we were soon approached by a salesman who, before we knew it, gave us the keys and told us to take it for a spin. So we did.
It was just weird driving it as it looked because the driver is literally sitting over the front wheels. Steering took some getting used to.
We laughed about it and soon brought it back to the dealership. We thanked the salesman, who invited us inside where we met the sales manager and the finance guy.
Wait, what? Before we had a moment to think we had lease papers in front of us. I’m serious. We never gave any indication that we intended to purchase or lease. But all they needed was our signatures. I don’t know how they got all of the other information on the papers, but I’m assuming it was from our car that was left on the lot while we went for a test drive.
A pen appeared in my hand, and I was about two inches from the signature line when all of a sudden I blurted out ‘Wait! It’s a Sunday! I can’t buy a car on a Sunday. That’s against my beliefs.’
The sales manager was quick on his feet, ‘But you’re not actually buying it. You’ll be leasing it.’
Then I looked down and said, ‘Oh no, I’m wearing shorts. There’s no way I can sign these papers wearing shorts. I need to go home and change.’
And we left. To their credit, they never bothered to contact me again.
It pays to be a little crazy when dealing with a crazy business.”
“Where we were living the Kia and Nissan showrooms were in adjacent buildings.
My wife wanted a compact SUV so we went into Kia because they were offering a 7-year, 100,000-mile warranty on the (at the time) new Sportage. She had owned the previous model and liked it.
After lots of discussions and finally informing the salesman we would be paying cash, he refused to come down in price and refused to include any freebies such as carpets, or anything like that. Throughout our discussions, he insisted on telling us what a good deal it was and how we would be crazy not to take it.
His final comment was ‘Surely you cannot be so dumb that you would walk away from this deal over carpets.’
I sighed and looked at my wife.
My wife got right in his face and said, ‘You just made a mistake. You just will not believe how dumb my husband can be when he’s ticked off.’
We went straight next door to Nissan and for the same price bought a Nissan Juke with a year’s insurance, carpets, trunk cover, and an upgraded sound system.
A couple of hours later we parked our new Juke right outside the Kia showroom and my wife went off in search of the salesman.
He came out of the back office and said, ‘OK, we will throw in the extra carpets but that’s all.’
My wife cut him off and said, ‘No, I just came in to show you how dumb my husband is (she pointed to the Juke), and to tell you you are a prick.’
She then climbed into her Nissan and drove away.”
“My younger brother had a 1982 Toyota diesel pickup. I was in the market for a car and had been driving my brother’s pickup. I went to a dealership and drove around the lot, briefly looking to see if anything caught my eye. Finally, I stopped near a vehicle I liked. The salesman had been chasing me around the lot and approached me as soon as I got out of the pickup.
He asked me what I was looking for and if I had anything to trade in. I told him what I was looking for, and that he didn’t have a trade.
He said good because as bad as the engine in the pickup I was driving knocked, they wouldn’t even consider taking it in trade.
I then asked him if he had never heard of a diesel engine, before. Of course, the omnipotent salesperson told me that Toyota didn’t put diesel in that year of the pickup. I asked him if he was sure, and he said yes.
I then asked him that, if he was so certain that Toyota didn’t put that engine into that vehicle, then why was it that my brother just went to a parts house in the area and purchased 4 new glow plugs for the engine, and recently replaced them?
I reached inside the pickup, pulled the hood release lever, and opened the hood, revealing the engine. I then turned to the salesman and told him that he needed to leave me alone and that if I decided to purchase a vehicle from that particular dealership, I would do so through another salesperson, because he obviously wasn’t knowledgeable enough about cars to answer any questions I might have.”
The ‘What Would It Take’ Question
“When I was looking to buy my Volt, I visited all dealerships that had a volt and after a while, I knew exactly who had what and what price they were offering each model. So when I went to the dealership that had the one with the color I wanted, I could just take it or leave it, based on the price. I let the sales guy go through his song and dance, and even when he went to ‘check with his boss,’ I whipped my laptop and did some work till he came back.
When pricing came about, I offered a price that was 100 dollars more than the next Volt I was interested in. When he heard the number, he seemed ‘surprised’ at how low the offer was and acted as if there was no way his boss would approve.
As he started walking to ‘talk to his boss’ yet again, I just told him, ‘You know, never mind, I know I can get the same Volt for under this price at XYZ.’
I knew this was literally true, I had nothing to lose and started leaving. That’s when he stopped and gave me the, ‘What would it take’ question.
I told him that the other dealership has the same Volt (different color) for less than my offer (but I didn’t specify how much), so they need to beat it by enough to make it worth it. I still left, telling the guy to call him after he ‘talks to his boss.’
He ended up calling me a couple of hours later, they offered me a price of $500 below the other dealership and when I hesitated, they also offered to throw in a free 240V charger. I agree – and that’s how I got my Volt, which is still going strong!”