We just love to see the little guy win. Especially when it comes to car dealerships. There is a definite reason why car salesmen get a bad rep so seeing these folks pull a fast one on them is always satisfying. Check out how these customers turned the tables on some scammy car salesmen.
It Takes One To Know One!
“My dad had been a car salesman when he was young so when I found the car I wanted in the want ads he had a plan. We went to the dealership when it was closed and inspected the car. It was a used car, but being sold as a trade-in, so we noticed a few things that we could use to negotiate – although none were deal breakers. There were a few dings in the paint that could be fixed and a very small dent in the bumper, but the big thing was the mileage didn’t match the newspaper ad. The ad said the car only had 4,000 miles on it, but the odometer had 14,000. We went home that night and formulated a strategy. My dad knew he could use the wrong mileage as a negotiation tactic. We went to the dealership the next day.
First thing, it was in Phoenix and it was summer – the car was black – so we made a big deal about how hot the car would be (even though I was moving to a colder climate!) and how impractical it was, etc. Then we talked about how the car had four-wheel drive and that I would never use it (again, I was moving to a snowy place so I was going to use it). We pretended that it just wasn’t what I wanted, it had dings, etc. The salesman was trying so hard to sell this car!
Finally, we pretended to walk away from the negotiation because the mileage was ‘so high’ compared to what we thought it was based on the ad. Poor sale guy – he went to his boss and begged to get us a huge discount so they could move the car. My dad’s strategy worked and I got that car for a smoking price (and I saved so long to get this car so it was a huge deal to me). My dad has been gone now for several years, but this is a great memory. My dad was so proud to use his car sales experience to help his young daughter who was just starting out in the world and, of course, he was my hero!”
He Got Hit With A Hockey Stick To Seal The Deal
“In 1997, I was looking to buy a new Subaru Outback wagon. I was a hockey goalie at the time, and I needed to be sure that my goalie bag and two goalie sticks would fit in the rear. If you haven’t played hockey, you might not realize how large and unwieldy a goalie bag is. Goalie sticks are quite a bit larger than regular hockey sticks as well.
I brought my goalie bag and sticks over to the local Subaru dealer. The salesman was happy to let me check whether they fit in the rear of the Outback, which they did. He then asked whether I feel the puck through the leg pads. So I had him put on a leg pad. And then I whaled away on the pad with a goalie stick. Afterward, I said, ‘You know, I’ve always wanted to beat a car salesman with a hockey stick.’
For the record, I did not cause him any pain. And he got the sale. In fact, he could demonstrate the lengths he’d go to his manager: ‘I let a customer beat me with a hockey stick in order to make this sale.'”
“I Am Now A Happy Member Of The Saturn Family”
‘Years ago I decided on a Saturn station wagon to replace my old Chevy wagon. While talking with the salesman, he was dismissive of my old car, saying that the mileage was too high, and that it would be worthless by the time my new car came in. Apparently, if I kept the mileage under 100k, he’d ‘give’ me $500 for it. We were looking at a delivery date for the new car of 6 weeks or so out, and I guess he felt confident in writing on my paperwork ‘$500 if the grey wagon has less than 100k miles on the trade-in.’
I negotiated with my carpool, and they took over driving for me for the next few weeks. A day or two before the car was to be delivered, I called the dealership to confirm the delivery. My salesman was out of the office that day. No worries, I called back the next day….and the next. I asked for his supervisor. I learned from him that my salesman had been fired for making ‘inappropriate promises.’ I asked about my new car… which day could I pick it up?
Long pause. ‘Why are you asking that?’ ‘I was promised this week.’ ‘It goes to production this week. It won’t be here for another few weeks.’ I pointed out that I had been promised the car on a particular date. I added ‘I’m not a happy member of the Saturn family right now.’
‘Um, well… how about a couple of free oil changes for the inconvenience.’
‘Two oil changes in exchange for inconveniencing my carpool and my friends? Nope, I’m not a happy member of the Saturn family.’
‘How about four oil changes?’ ‘Um… I’m still not a happy member of the Saturn family.
‘I see you didn’t get the center console. We’ll add that.’ ‘That’s worth about $100. That, plus the four oil changes, and you’re up to roughly $225. I’ve inconvenienced my carpool and my friends for six weeks, and I’m looking at continuing that inconvenience for the next several weeks. Nope. Still not a happy member of the Saturn family.’
‘Why didn’t you have to inconvenience your friends?’ ‘Because I promised my salesman that I’d keep the mileage on my car under 100k, and he wrote that I would receive $500 upon trade in if I did. It’s written on the paperwork.’
‘That’s not a promise he could make.’ ‘It’s in writing, I have a copy, there is a copy on my paperwork. Your finance guy looked over the paperwork that night. I expect that will be honored. I have upheld my side of that agreement, and will continue to do so. The car will have fewer than 100k mile when I come to pick up my new car.’
The supervisor’s reply…’Okay four oil changes, the console and $500. ‘
‘No, that $500 is not part of this late delivery agreement. That is a separate discussion. I am no longer ‘not a happy member of the Saturn family’, but rapidly becoming an ‘angry member of the Saturn family,’’ I complain.
When he came back on the line a few minutes later, He offered 8 oil changes, the center console, the roof rack, and a $700 voucher for the service department. He added the voucher since he couldn’t justify the $500 for the trade-in.
I repeated everything he had offered. He confirmed it. I asked him how long he would be at the dealership. He would be there until closing. I said that I would be there in about 45 minutes to pick up a written copy of that agreement.
I had my dad drive me down to the dealership, but asked him to wait in the car. I walked in, and asked for the manager. He came over, asked ‘What can I do for you darlin’?’
I asked to see a copy of our agreement. He hesitated. ‘I am not a happy member of the Saturn family yet,’ I say. His eyes got wide when he recognized my voice from the phone. I don’t think he’d realized he was negotiating with a 23-year-old woman.
The dealership manager came over. I asked again. The two men conferred. The supervisor came back a few minutes later with an itemized list of our agreement.
I asked both to sign it. I then signed it, took my copy, turned and walked away. Just as I got to the door, I turned back and proudly said, ‘Now, I’m a happy member of the Saturn family. I’ll see you on in nine days when I come to pick up my new car.’
Both men stood there, mouths open, as I walked out.”
Don’t Make Me Turn This Car Around!
“‘We’re here to buy a car, not a financing plan.’ Those were the words we kept repeating over and over again to this annoying salesman who wouldn’t take no for an answer.
A few years ago when we were looking for a car for my wife and this guy simply wouldn’t listen when we told him our price range and said we’d be paying cash. He kept pushing finance plans like a madman. I understand they get a bonus…a kickback, really…for selling such plans, but we were upfront about not wanting one. We’re pretty careful with money, never having had much of it, and we don’t want payments.
The car was for my wife, so I was staying mostly quiet, but this guy just wouldn’t let up. I could tell my wife was getting a tad exasperated. So I was sitting there in the backseat and we’re on a test drive and my wife asked something about the car and this guy saw it as an opportunity to sell us something that we’d only have to make small payments on, seeing how our down payment would be large. It was about the tenth time he’d tried to sell us financing. And that right there was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
That’s when I scoffed one last time, ‘We’re here to buy a car, not a financing plan.’
By now my wife had had enough. Now, I’ve never known my wife to be a big Fast and Furious fan, but this woman downshifted from fourth to second and cranked the tightest u-turn I’ve ever seen, and drove back to the dealership. We all shifted to one side of the car as she whipped the car in the other direction like a pro. I was actually kind of impressed she didn’t use the parking brake to turn around…she was steaming alright. Didn’t know my lady had that in her! Anyways, she parked beside our car, my wife gave him back his card, and we left.
The salesman never said a word from the time I spoke until the time we left.”
The Art Of The Deal
“I was at a Toyota dealership waiting in a cubicle for the salesman to come back from ‘speaking with the manager’ about a deal I had offered on a new pickup for my daughter. He said he really doubted the manager could approve it.
I knew the drill. He was going to make me sit and stew for a long time while he chatted with others in the break room. Before he left I asked if I could use the phone (before cell phones). He said yes. So when he finally got back I made him wait as I was on the phone. He soon got extremely upset with me. He couldn’t believe what I was doing.
‘You are using my phone to make a deal with another Toyota dealership?!’ he screamed.
On the phone, I said ‘Just a minute, please. There’s someone here that wants to talk with me, please hold.’
‘I told you I was going to buy a truck today no matter what. If you guys aren’t that interested I’m going to get it somewhere else. Wait, I can’t keep this guy waiting.’
On the phone, I said ‘OK, so that’s the price I’m offering. If you can do it, I’ll come right over and buy it now.’
I ended up getting the deal I wanted at the first dealership. The salesman was very agitated and shook up. He acted like I had mugged him.
Okay so for those who want more context, this is how it all went down. so when I first came in, I brought my older Toyota pickup. I parked it right in front of the showroom floor. The day before I had changed the fluids and detailed the truck out, including the engine compartment. It looked brand new. When I first came in, I mentioned that I needed a new truck to replace my old one.
I didn’t tell them the new one was actually for my daughter, her first car. The salesman asked me if I wanted to trade it in and I said I hadn’t thought about it, but said ‘Maybe, I’ll think about it.’ I said it was just an ‘old beat-up truck that had seen better days. I just want to get rid of it.’ He called someone from the used car department to check it out. I’m sure he was dazzled. Basically, they could put it on the lot without doing a thing to it and make a nice profit. I let their greed get away with them.
So, one of the reasons they were willing to give me the great deal on the new one was because they figured they were going to make out like bandits on the trade-in. But when I was signing all the paperwork for the new truck, I saw that they wrote in the paperwork that I was trading in my old truck and they were giving me a low amount for it.
They acted like it was a good deal for me. I casually mentioned I decided to give it to my daughter. The trade-in was never part of the deal for the new truck. The paperwork guy called the salesman in and I thought he was going to have a heart attack. The used car department salesman was upset too. I played dumb. As I was leaving, the sales manager came by, shook my hand, and asked me if I wanted a job.”
Sealing The Deal
“Near the end of December of 2006, I had just finished a ten-year run working for Lucent Technologies in Atlanta and wanted to open an IT service business in my area. Since we were planning on focusing on onsite service, we needed some vehicles for our service techs. I went to a Dodge dealership and began nosing around their inventory of vans.
I was in shorts, a t-shirt and flip-flops. All the salesmen in the showroom looked me over and pretended they were busy or didn’t notice me. While I was out on the lot kicking tires, a young kid came out and asked if I had any questions. He was the first to approach me and seemed very nervous.
He explained this was his 23rd day as an intern and that he had not sold any cars and that his trial period was over in a week and he would be let go. I told him I was interested in a stripped-down version of one of their van models and what could he do for me on the price. He sat down with me and explained that I needed to come back in five days on the last day of the year (December 31st). He explained fully how the system worked and the quota/needs the dealership had to move a certain number of vehicles by the end of the year to qualify for hidden incentives, bonuses and holdbacks.
He said that would be your best bet to get your best deal. He then went inside and came back with the dealer’s purchase invoice for the model I was interested in. It broke out what the dealer paid for the vehicle and each of it’s accessories. Armed with that information, I told him I would be back on the 31st.
I returned at 5 pm on the 31st. I thought I would put the squeeze on them and take it down to the last minutes for them to come up with their best offer. All the salespeople were in a frenzy and pounced on me when I walked in the dealership. Standing back from the fray, the young kid I had spoken to the previous week watched the older salesmen try to schmooze me into working with them.
The sales manager was pushy; but, I said, ‘No, I believe I will work with that young man over there,’ I said, pointing out the salesman from before. The young man hurried over and whisked me into an office. I told him I had looked over the invoice pricing and thought a fair offer would be $250 over the invoice. The young salesman quickly wrote up the offer and as he walked out the door to take it to the finance manager I said, ‘and tell them I want eight of them.’
His mouth dropped open, his eyes got big and he stammered, ‘Yes sir!’ 15 minutes before the dealership closed I had my contracts and was shaking the hand of an exuberant young man.”
One Rude Car Salesman Changed Their Lives Forever
“My fiancé and I needed a new vehicle as we lived on my father’s humble farm and the commute into work was quite a distance. This very short, swagged-out car salesman told us, ‘You have Dom Perignon taste on a Miller Light budget, my friend. When you want to trade in your bucket and see those brake lights blink bye-bye, come on back.’
If you want to know how that affected us? I can tell you.
It hurt to the core. Both of us came from simple means, struggling families. It was so demeaning. I remember being up at night and pillow talking with my fiancé and he vowed to never treat anyone like that.
Fast forward three years later. Our careers are going wonderfully, we’ve put our noses to the grind (we worked at the same company) and we busted tail, moved up, became managers, my spouse’s job came with a bonus, which he earned, but it was large. Why? Because he NEVER treated anyone different – in fact, his ‘secret’ if you could call it that, but more his mantra in life was that all people are equal and clients knew it. In order to continue our lives, we needed two new vehicles and planned to trade in our beloved Jeep.
We go to the same dealership, short man salesman is there but we choose a female minority salesperson. We buy two cars. And as we walked out we pointed to the man and said ‘Remember us? Expensive taste on a redneck budget?’
Indeed, he was speechless – there wasn’t an ounce of recognition in his face, of course not. Oh, how the tables had turned. The only thing that broke my heart is he looked very shocked; it was obvious to the salesroom that it meant more to us to say this aloud than it did to the demeaning salesman (but at least he knew he lost two commissions) and I know he got a talking-to by his manager and I felt bad about that.
When they pulled up our shiny new vehicles there was a swarm of bees on the windshield of the Jeep we traded-in. Thousands. Apparently, the queen bee made a stop on the Jeep and all the worker bees followed. I learned they had to hire a local beekeeper to take the hive away. Not relevant but just a weird little tidbit to the story.
25 years plus later when my father passed that farmland became a very large estate I inherited. We are owners of four beautiful, well-kept properties: three we rent out to wonderful tenants for a very fair rate, we traveled the world, lived in New York City for a majority of it. I’m a TV writer and my spouse is a vice president of a global company. Do you know how he got there? By remembering how that car salesman made him feel and never, EVER treating another human being that way.”
Pulling A Fast One
“Oh yeah. I really ticked this guy off. Pulled a nice fast one on him for once!
The wife and I went to this dealership and we were looking at cars, with the intent of buying her one. She saw this one car and said that that was the one she wanted so I told the salesman and he sat us down filling out papers, at that time I explained I did not have a trade, but I was not interested in paying the sticker price either. So he asked what I wanted to pay and I gave him a much lower number. He looked shocked and said he could not authorize that, but he would go talk to the sales manager/loan supervisor. He came back with a piece of paper and said, “You got your wish, we just need to check your credit and I will do the papers.”
So he sat down and worked on that for about 45 minutes, The loan officer had worked out a loan for five years, giving me the price I asked – of course I realized that if I was going to pay that amount for 5 years, it was going to make the car almost double the price, but I let him finish the papers, we signed, I made sure there was no early payoff penalty and we got the car.
Our state has a three-day right of rescission, so I waited the three days to ensure that no one could back out of the deal, either the dealer or me, and on the fourth day went over to the dealership and paid cash for the car incurring no loan payment or interest charges. The salesman saw me walking out and ran over to say hello and asked if there was a problem with the car. “Oh no,” I said, “My wife just loves the car, I just came in to pay it off.” You should have seen his face. He just stood there with his mouth open as I walked out.”
Take This Check And Shove It
‘While looking for a car, I ran across a salesperson that had me gritting my teeth in the end. Was it fun? Up until the end, no.
As soon as I told him I was in the Navy it’s like he switched personalities. One more person to try and rob, so he was making promises and talking up a junker of a car like it was the next best thing. Sorry, buddy, I had already done my research, but I was going to let him keep talking, see how deep he can dig that hole…
After I asked at least twice to see other cars, both times dismissed by him saying I don’t know what kind of a deal I was passing up (sorry, yes I did), he invited me to talk details inside at his desk.
I did tell him I was in the Navy. I did not tell him I was intelligent. You know, that branch where you’re expected to do your homework, use your basic maths skills, and train your bulls* detector?
And patience. Loads of it … so at the end of it he asked what kind of terms I wanted for this ‘beauty’ of a car, so I took out my checkbook and wrote out a check for the amount of the car. His eyes got wide at that. I could swear he almost started drooling, now that I think about it.
‘You know what this is?’ I ask.
I got a ‘yup’ from him.
‘Yes, the money is in the account. Sea pay.’ And then I tore it in half. ‘Guess what you’re not getting? Have a good day,’ and walked out, with the torn check in hand.
This was in front of his manager as well. I was bare to the door before the yelling started, and I’m pretty sure they were doing it for a show to see if I would come back, but a part of me still giggles when I remember the look on his face when I pulled that stunt.
Now THAT, was a beauty.
I just remembered. I related this story to my boss who asked again what dealership, and then went to look it up. It turned out that dealership had already been blacklisted by the command, so I dodged a pretty big bullet there, though I did get scolded for not checking the list first.’