You’d think the first thing a car salesman would want to do is seal the deal but you’d be mistaken. Check out how these salespeople royally bungled a deal from would-be customers.
He Ripped The Contract To Shreds!
“I was co-signing a loan for my son who had been to the dealer alone. They offered the manufacturer’s 1.9% financing and $1,000 for his old car during his prior visit.
We went in to sign the paperwork, provide a check, etc.
As I was reviewing the paperwork the trade-in was $250 and the finance rate was 6.9%. We were told the trade-in was a mess and my son’s score dictated the higher rate.
I stated that you agreed to these terms and I was co-signing the loan to qualify for the manufacturer’s rate. I asked for a pen as they believed we were ready to sign.
I got up and ripped the contract into pieces and dropped them in the trash and headed to the door. Four people blocked us at the door. Where are you going?
I’m going to call the other local Toyota dealer and tell them you have the car we want in your inventory and I’m sure they’ll have the paperwork ready when we get there.
As they followed us into the parking lot they asked what they had to do? I smiled and said: 1) $1,250 for the trade-in, 2) the 1.9% financing, 3) a reduction in the price of the car, 4) I’ll only speak to a decision-maker (i.e. owner or general manager), and 5) the new contract ready in five minutes.
We got what we wanted as they met our terms.
Here’s an observation I have, if go into a dealership and all the salespeople are very new and don’t yet have business cards – beware. It could mean a lack of commitment by ownership and/or unrealistic starting goals.”
He Left And Never Turned Back
“‘No. That vehicle is out of your price range. There is no reason for you to look at it.’
I was young. I worked a manual labor job. I went to the dealership directly after work. While I admit I looked like I couldn’t even afford to feed myself, I did have about four times the price of the vehicle in my savings account.
I told the sales guy to go eff himself, returned to my vehicle, and drove away.
However, I really was interested in that car. So the next morning I went back to the dealership and walked directly to the sales office.
I said, ‘I am here to buy a car from anyone but you.’ I pointed at the salesman from the day before. A young sales guy about my age jumped up and said he would show me whatever car I wanted to see.
Fast forward about 90 minutes and I was paying for the vehicle in cash.
After all the paperwork was finished and I was leaving I was approached by the sales manager. He asked why I came in the way that I had. I explained to him the way things had gone the day before. He seemed quite upset and asked if I would talk to that individual with him. I refused. I told him his salesman’s behavior is his problem, but if I had not been in love with that car they would have lost a sale completely. He said he would take care of it. I left and never went back.”
That Was The End Of It
“I was around 25-years-old, had a great, high paying career and walked into a Ford dealership in Elkton, Maryland. It was going to be my second brand new car (a new 1985 Mustang) and I was 98% done with the deal. I was led into the sales manager’s office to sign the final paperwork after my brother had dropped me off.
Halfway through our initial conversation the manager opens up his side desk drawer and pulls out a loaded .38 Special and places it on his desk. He then said -‘If I ever have to come looking for our money, I won’t be happy’
I was freaking the heck out. For one thing, I was smart enough to have financed the car through my credit union and had two checks in hand for full payment. (My deposit and the remaining balance.) I wouldn’t owe the dealership a dime when I drove away.
I told him that I was paying for it in full right then and there and he seemed satisfied and his smile came back as the weapon went back into the drawer. But then…
I excused myself.
I quickly left the car lot and walked across the four-lane highway and walked further on until I found a payphone. I had my brother pick me up and I went home. Called the Maryland State Police and told them what happened. After I explained in detail the situation, they told me that they weren’t sure if a crime was committed, and if I wanted to follow up to contact the State attorney’s office. By then I was over it. The salesman called me and asked me what was going on, and tried to push me to finish the deal saying that I had made a legal commitment and was obligated to purchase the car.
I told him what happened and that there was no way I was going through with the deal and if he needed to take me to court, then go ahead, I’d explain things to a judge.. That was the end of it.”
Word Of Advice: Don’t Call Your Customer A Liar
“I had a 16-year-old Mercedes 500 SLC that I loved; I bought it from a widow who had had it garaged most of its life. It only had 30,000 miles on it. But it was expensive to keep on the road (think: $400–500 a pop for routine maintenance), and I wanted a ragtop (lived in Miami).
So I went to the Chrysler dealer with my 6-year-old son to buy a new Le Baron. Everything was going well; paperwork was done and I was just about to pull the trigger. Then the sales manager came by and said, ‘Tell me about your trade. Of course we have to evaluate it.’
I said, ‘It’s in phenomenal condition; it only has 30,000 miles on it.’ He gave me a conspiratorial, ‘just between us guys’ wink and said, ‘You mean 130,000 miles, right?’
I stood up and told my son, ‘C’mon, we’re outta here.’
He said, ‘Aren’t we gonna buy the convertible?’
I said, ‘Yes, but not here. That man just called me a liar.’
I’d like to have seen the conversation between the salesman and his manager after we left.”
Don’t Pull Anything Sly On Him
“I was in the market for a new small truck. I found what I was initially looking for at a Toyota agency. I told the salesman that I was going to pay no more than $24,000…cash (out the door) and not a penny more. He told me that he’d run my offer past his sales manager and would get back to me ASAP…like within a few hours. I left and went to lunch. About an hour later he called with the news that his boss approved the offer and I could come back and sign the paperwork and be in my new truck by 3 pm.
So I got back to the dealership and the smiling young salesman greeted me and asked me to wait in the lobby for a minute while he got the paperwork finished. And if I had the $24,000 with me…I did.
About five minutes later he came out and motioned me into one of those cubicles with a big smile on his face…’Just a few things to sign here Ron,’ he said. as he handed me some paperwork to look over. I read the contract and of course, the numbers are written on it. ‘Wait a second’ I said to him.
‘It says here that the sale price is $26,497.00? You told me that your guy approved my offer’ I said. ‘Okay so here’s what happened,’ he began, ‘the accounting office upstairs didn’t OK the deal…but that’s OK because we can release the truck to you for the $24,000 and then there’s a contract in there that will allow you to pay the balance in installments…and you have a year to do that. We won’t even have to check your credit…it’s a done deal’
I looked him in the eye and said, ‘That’s it then …you yank my leg and now I’m supposed to hand you $24K in cash with a smile and thank you? Sorry pardner, that ain’t how I roll.’ Then I got up and walked out. I crossed the street to the Ford dealer and bought that little red Ranger XLT extra-cab that I also had my eye on. Great truck…I still have it.
Not only that, but the Ranger had been custom ordered and it had a few upgrades. Larger premium tires, a great sound system, leather seats, and a factory sprayed-in bedliner, exposed rivet wheel wells. Then the customer never showed up for delivery. I assume they put some sort of down payment because I got the truck for $18,000 total. Thank you, arrogant Toyota pricks.”
When Will Men Learn?
“My husband and I were in the market for a new truck. We happened to find one that had all of the options that we wanted so we stopped in to check it out. I drove the truck for the test ride, I talked about the specs and other vehicle related things when looking at buying a used vehicle. Anyways, we sat down to talk about money and I suddenly became invisible to the salesman. He is asking my husband questions about credit, how much we want our payments to be etc. My husband keeps deferring the questions to me but this sales guy just doesn’t get it. I mean, he barely even looked at me during the whole discussion. Finally I stopped him saying ‘Look! We would like to buy this truck but I am the one that deals with all of the financial aspects of our lives, my husband will have no answers to any of the questions you are asking him. If you want the sale I am the one you need to talk to or I’m walking out. ‘ The salesman starts stuttering and has no idea how to recover from this situation so I get up and we walk out.
A day later the sales manager calls to check in on us and to see if we are still interested in the truck. I had to explain everything to him on how his salesman was a complete chauvinist pig and that being the reason they lost the sale in. In the end I did buy the truck at the cost I wanted, managed to finagle a few extras because the sales guy tried to up show the vehicle with accessories that are usually removed before a resale and someone else received the commission for the sale. Oh and I did get an apology from the idiot for his actions.
A few years later we are buying another car and smack dab in the middle of negotiations the salesman says he has to get his manager. We already had financing for the vehicle we wanted which car dealerships hate. The salesman ‘threatened’ that if we don’t finance with them that the deal is off. I had my personal banker on the phone (fighting for us) when he went to get the ‘manager’. These two grown men walk over to us and the salesman has the balls to walk by me and clearly introduce the manager to my husband and blatantly leave me out of the introductions as I am insignificant. Mind you it is my car that is being traded and I am the one that will be driving the new vehicle. Not to mention I deal with all the financials etc. I stand up and say ‘Wow’ I am right here and I am the one you have been dealing with this entire time…are you kidding me?’ The manager stammers an apology and hastily tries to introduce himself. I grabbed all the paperwork that we had started, photocopy of my registration etc. tore it up, and walked out. (with said paperwork) The look on their faces was priceless.
It just amazes me that in this day and age, car dealers still treat women as clueless little girls who can’t negotiate a sale without a man backing them up. We bought the same model car a week later from a different dealer for the same price but it was a year newer, had fewer miles, and was more of a color I wanted.”
He Said The Quiet Part Out Loud!
“Many years ago my wife and I needed to get her a car for work. We spent some time on Sundays (because the dealerships were closed) just looking at lots and seeing if there was anything we liked. It turned out we found a brand new small car all tricked out and prominently featured in one of the showrooms. It was labeled ‘General Manager’s Special’ and had a price on a placard that was well within our range.
So, we went back on Monday during working hours to see what kind of deal we could strike. Well, there was our car still in the showroom but it wasn’t the Manager’s Special anymore. In fact, we asked a salesman and he said that the price was $2500 higher than the sign indicated on Sunday. Bummer, so I asked what happened. He started giving me a bunch of hooey about how they added pinstripes (they were already there), protection package, and performance wheels/tires (the same).
Since he was obviously determined to blow smoke, we easily decided this wasn’t a place we wanted to do business. We told him that MAYBE we would come back later. This is when the ‘salesman’ used a line I have always treasured. He said, ‘But you CAN’T go’.
‘Why not?’ I replied. ‘Because 90% of customers who leave the showroom without making a deal never come back,’ he said incredulously.
Wow. He sure was right about that.”
Too Bad So Sad!
“Back in 2014, I ordered a 2015 Mazda 3 hatchback. What I wanted, they didn’t have – anywhere in the United States. I wanted a hatchback with all the luxury goodies and a *manual* transmission. It was possible to build such a spec on the Mazda website, but they didn’t have anything available anywhere in the country; it was going to be a special order, and I’d have to wait for it to be built and shipped from Japan. They kept insisting that nobody in this country wanted such a vehicle, and I kept insisting that I was somebody in this country.
I sat down with the salesman, we worked out all the details, I put down a $5000.00 deposit check with them after negotiating a final sale price and every single detail – car color, interior color, options, wheel size and color and design, engine size, trim color, the whole shebang. Everything was exactly the way I wanted it. This was going to be my very first time buying a brand new car to my specifications, and I was excited to see it finally arrive.
So the day finally came, after four long months of waiting; my car had finally arrived at the dealership (Roger Beasley Mazda South in Austin, Texas). All they had to do was some basic cleanup (it was still wrapped in plastic from the overseas trip!) and final prep, and I’d be ready to pick it up.
And then came the ignorance. They decided that *NOW* they wanted to renegotiate the price. Suddenly they decided they wanted more for the car than we’d agreed on, and they decided the wheels I’d spec’d wouldn’t fit (they would, and they do). I told them I had a deal that everyone had agreed to, and they claimed that the salesman who worked with me was no longer with them, and they weren’t going to honor the deal. So I walked out. One thing they apparently didn’t know about me is that once I negotiate a price, I do not renegotiate.
I drove straight to my bank and put a stop-payment on the deposit check I’d written the dealership; they had never bothered to cash it, and now they would never get the chance. Then I went home and wrote them an email letting them know that they were in breach of contract, and as such I would not be buying this car, or any car, from them, ever. They came back with a lower price, and I informed them that I had already negotiated a fair price that they had decided not to honor, I was not willing to renegotiate since they had broken their word, and good luck selling a car that they claimed nobody in the United States wanted.
The car sat there for a good four months in their showroom, and dang, it was pretty. They even put it on display at the Austin Auto Show at the convention center. I’ve since seen it on the road around Austin a couple of times. It still looks great, but so does my 2008 Mazda3 manual hatchback, which I was planning on replacing with this new model. That car is now sitting at 235,000 miles on the odometer, and I’ve decided to keep it and run it until it dies.
Oh, and it never goes anywhere near the dealership. I’ve bought two other Mazda3 models since then, but not from any Roger Beasley stealership.”
The Art Of The Deal
“I found the perfect work van, totally fitted out for my needs. It was $14,000.00.
I offered $13000.00 and he said ‘I need a deposit on that offer to be sure you’re sincere before I approach my manager.’
I said, ok and wrote a check for $4000.00 and handed it to him.
With the check in hand, he said ‘How do I know you are serious.?’
Head smack. I plucked the check out of his fingers and walked.
About three weeks later my wife and I were out looking at other vans, it was the end of the month she said ‘They should be calling us about that van you wanted pretty soon.’ Within 5 minutes I got the call.
‘If you’re still interested, we’ll take $13,500 for the van.’
I said 11,000 and sat quietly.
He said, ‘You agreed on $13,500…’ I said ‘It was $13000, but You rejected the offer, it’s off the table.’ 11,000 or nothing. He wasn’t thrilled but hung up.
About five minutes later he called back. ‘If you pick it up today, it’s $11000.’
We picked it up.”
He Wanted To Conduct A Little Experiment
“I once had a salesman switch his treatment of me twice, both because of prejudice.
About six months ago I decided that my 2003 Camry, although a workhorse and a thoroughly reliable car, was probably ready to be retired. I’m 25 with a decent-paying job and I was looking for an upgrade. After testing the entry-level offerings from BMW, Audi, and Mercedes and being fairly underwhelmed, I decided to try out the Lexus IS F-Sport. It’s a beautiful, albeit polarizing, car loaded with all the bells and whistles that were missing from the German competition for a comparable price.
I should note that if I’m not at work I’m usually dressed pretty well, however, this day I purposely wore clothes that made me look young and stupid. I’ll explain why. I got to the dealership and the salesman immediately sized me up and could barely hide his disgust at my Camry and my track pants, graphic tee, and fitted hat. He made it clear that he didn’t have long to test drive because he had a golf game to play. We got in the car and he seemed annoyed and wasn’t saying anything about the car. It was pretty clear he didn’t see me as a serious buyer – just what I wanted.
After my short (not my choice) test drive, I told him I’m very interested and would like to talk price. Like Jekyll and Hyde, he immediately switched his tune and started showing me complete respect, and even offered to cancel his tee time if I wanted more time.
I made it seem like I was really interested but that paying for the car was gonna be tricky. I never explicitly told him how I intended to pay but he definitely assumed, based on my appearance and car, I’d be financing. This got him to lower the cost much more than the initial asking price thinking he’d make it all back and then some through interest on this dumb kid who definitely wouldn’t have good credit. Once I got him to agree to drop the cost 13% below the asking price in writing I dropped the bomb that I’d be paying in full today and would be back in five minutes to go get a certified cheque from the bank.
Never did it even occur to him that I’d have enough money to buy the car in cash and his prejudice saved me $6000. He was so disgusted with himself and me that he left the room without saying anything and five minutes later his younger associate came in and finalized my purchase.”
They Turned As White As A Sheet
“Not a car salesman per se, but a person selling their car.
In high school toward the end of senior year, my best friend and I decided we’re going to do a trip around the US that summer.
Gerald decides he really wants to buy an MG Midget for the trip.
Retrospectively, one of the WORST cars we could have possibly settled on for such a trip, but we were 18 and they looked cool in 1980.
Gerald and I go to the guy’s house in Belmont, CA., and we inspect the car. Ironically, a few days beforehand we had bought a Rand McNally map book and did a rough draft of our trip. 10,000 miles was the number we sort of had in our mind….3,000 to East Coast, 1,500 down, 1,000 up, and 3,000 back with some extra miles thrown in.
As we inspected the car, of COURSE, WE LOVED IT…we’re 18 and it’s COOL AS HECK! Gerald probably would have bought it, until…
Our unsuspecting car salesmen said, ‘It’s a great car! Would I take it on a 10,000-mile road trip? Probably not, but it’s still a great car!’
I kid you not…he said EXACTLY the amount of miles we had planned for our trip. EXACTLY TO THE MILE. How could he have known! We didn’t mention anything about the trip, not once.
We probably turned ghost white. We quickly wrapped up our inspection. I think Gerald blamed his Dad that he needed to see it or something. We never went back, he never bought an MG and we never did take that trip.
Although life sent us in different directions and we don’t see each other very often if Gerald called and needed something I would still be there in a heartbeat. I will never forget this story among all the things we did together.”