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Do I really look like a sucker?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Monday Morning Sportswriter, Nov 25, 2006.

  1. Monday Morning Sportswriter

    Monday Morning Sportswriter Well-Known Member

    So we visit a car dealership near my folks' house, just to look not buy. If we saw something we wanted, we'd have the dealer we trust try to get that car -- or a similar one from them. (Our dealer didn't have exactly what we wanted.)

    Sure enough, we find an 06 mixed in with the 07s, with a sticker price of $23,500. Knowing there was a $3,500 rebate on this particular model, knowing it was a leftover, and knowing the way our dealer priced vehicles, we knew we were looking at a good deal.

    And here comes the sales guy. What the heck, we figure, let's hear what kind of ballpark figure he'd offer us.

    If you read the Edmunds.com story about the journalist who posed as a car salesman, you know what happens next. We sit down. He offers us a drink, gets a balloon for Baby MMSW and pulls out the four-square sheet.

    He asks what we want to put down. $2,000, we say. "$2,000 up to ..." he asks. Um, $2,000. Period. (Since it's out of state, we'd also have to pay the sales tax at home, so we'd essentially be putting down $3,500.)

    He asks what we want to pay per month. We don't answer but tell him we have a good interest rate from our credit union (we didn't tell him what it was) but we knew Chrysler had zero percent financing available (if we skipped the rebate). We'll take the best deal, we tell him, and he shuffles off to the boss' office.

    Back he comes smiling, nodding his head. "Good deal," he told us. "Only a little over $400 a month."

    Inside, I'm laughing. Was he serious?

    I ask: Five years, right? He nods his head and smiles that ugly smile.

    Some deal. Five years at $400 a month, plus a $2,000 down payment is $26,000 -- for a car with a sticker of $23,500 car.

    Anyway, I played dumb for a moment, pretending to go along with the idea. We made our exit after he lied about the sales tax collecting, saying we had to pay sales tax in his state, too, but we'd get to deduct it from our tax return. As we left, he shouted, "I can take $5,000 off that sticker price if you'll come back."

    We got it for $5,000 off sticker, all right, from our dealer who we trust, who made a call and got the vehicle for us the next day. But I'm still amazed at the crap a new car dealer thinks he can pull. Are they actually successful at that stuff? Do people actually pay a few grand over sticker?
  2. I've gone through much the same thing before, and ended up cursing the salesman.
    I've yet to meet a car salesman who wasn't a lying, slimy, miserable piece of shit. And that's a shoot, brother.
  3. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    I bought an '05 Mustang a few months after they came out and the dealer tried to convince me he could get thousands over sticker for it. I ended up getting it for $100 over invoice (and well below MSRP).

    He pulled the same shit trying to negotiate for a monthly price, rather than the final price. I wasn't having it. I told him I'd only deal in final figures. It was actually quite fun trying to "beat" him and get a deal that was good for both of us, rather than one that was good for the dealership.

    Then they tried the old bait-and-switch on me, telling me that my car came in (I had to order it), but it mistakenly had the upgraded wheels and upgraded stereo system. I got into an hour-long argument with them about that before I got those upgrades for free. I told them I didn't care about either because I had a set of aftermarket rims and an aftermarket CD player that were going in car ASAP and I wasn't about to pay $800 extra for options that A) I didn't agree to, and B) were going to be taken off the car the next day.

    After I got the deal done, the financing department tried to fuck with me, but I caught them on everything, too. They put in a random $180 fee that I saw and when I asked the guy what it was, he said, "Oh, I'm not sure. It must be a mistake. I'll take it out."

    Then he offered me "Gap insurance," which (for those who don't know) covers the difference between the car's actual value (after depreciation) and the amount you still owe in case it gets totaled. I told him no thanks, I'd get it through my insurance company. He asked if I didn't think it was worth it and I told him I saw the value in it, but I'd go through my insurance company. Then when I looked at the loan deal, I saw a $600 charge for gap insurance.

    I asked him what the hell it was doing there. He said "You said you wanted it." I said, "No, I didn't." He said, "You said you saw the value in it." To which I replied, "Yes, I saw the value in it and told you I'm going through my insurance company to get it." I had that fucker rip up about four agreements before we finally got it right. I'm quite glad I'm the type to read everything before I sign on the dotted line.

    Oh, and when I did get the gap insurance it added about $2.50/month to my insurance. Not quite the $600 they wanted to charge me.

  4. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    Bought an 04 Grand Am a couple years back. Car already had 15,000 miles on it (first guy drove the hell out of it for 7 months).
    The sticker on the car is 14,999 -- not bad but still a hair too high. We notice its at 1.9 APR, so we decided to start talking to the guy. Drive it, love, it's pretty close to my price range (I didn't start my full-time job for another month-plus, so I was worried about making payments). I don't have any money to put down, but still, its not like it's a Benz. He comes back and essentially takes 150 off sticker.
    We sort of laugh at him and tell him he needs to take 1,200 off sticker. He comes back with one of the all-time great car-dealer lines:
    "Man, we have to keep the lights on."
    I was laughing so hard my sister took over and got the car for exactly what we wanted to pay for it. I just sat there and grinned.
    I thought of this story this week when I sent GMAC a nice check to pay the damn thing off. As long as I live, "Man, we have to keep the lights on" will always be one of my favorite lines.
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I don't let car salesmen tell me what they are willing to sell the car for. I make an offer -- based on research into that particular car.

    I will not speak in monthly payments. I will not speak in prices after trade in or anything.

    I say that I only want to talk about the price of the car. Nothing else.

    Eventually, they will deal with you on those terms, but some dealers are so intent on getting the max out of each car that you have to leave.
  6. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    That's one of the biggest mistakes people can make is letting a dealer negotiate in terms of monthly payments or "after trade-in price."

    You negotiate a price for the car, then deduct the value of your trade-in (if you have one) and the monthly payments are what they are (you should already have an idea of what they're going to be and if you can afford them before you ever step foot on the lot).

    Also, selling your old car yourself is a hassle, but it's often worth it. I got $1500 more than the dealership offered me by selling my old car myself. It took me two months and three listings on Ebay to do it, but I finally sold it at auction for a reasonable price.
  7. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    Are the no-haggle places like CarMax worth it not to have to deal with as much of the bullshitting, or do you end up taking on too much of an uptick in lower but non-negotiable sticker price?
  8. That is SOP at most car dealerships.
    Out of college, when I was in the job of the month club looking for a career, I sold cars for a while.
    What that salesman did was exactly what I was trained to do by the sales manager.
    When I got the customers into my office to talk price, I had to go to his office where the fucker would jot down super-high figures. At that place it was standard practice to go between the sales manager's office and the customer with gradually lower numbers a minimum of three times. The first set of numbers would be high enough customers were incredulous.
    If a customer came in and hadn't done his homework he either: left in huff or was walking to his new purchase funny, because he was just fucked with an upside-down open umbrella!
    One chick wanted to trade in a used car towards a new one: Bottom line: she got hijacked on that earlier deal and paid WAAAAY more than the vehicle was worth.
    The salesman (a veteran ass-fucker if ever there was one) came back from the F&I guy's office and told her there was no way they could do the deal.
    "Where did you buy that car," he asked. "'Cause the folks who sold you that sure ripped you off."
    "I got it here," was her reply.

    A few years after I left, the car dealer went to jail for embezzlement and a shit-load of other white-collar crimes.

    We have several dealerships here who offer no-haggle pricing. To me it's a joke. They tell you what the car costs, what you would pay a month and that's it. There is no negotiating. We ended up driving and hour away and got the vehicle for the price we wanted.
    My wife is as shrewed as an Arab trader and LOVES to haggle with the salesman. We actually bought the car over the phone.
    I called up the dealership, told them what we were looking for, what we expected to pay and asked him if they had anything for us.
    The guy said he would call me back. He called back and said we could work something out. He would not talk concrete numbers over the phone, but If we came down to see him, he said we would not be disappointed. We bought the car off him and left happy.
    The no-haggle dealerships was about $3,000 more expensive.
  9. busuncle

    busuncle Member

    I had a good experience with CarMax, and they have a nice selection of newer used cars, which is what I was looking for.
  10. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Evil may know better, but new-car dealers seem real determined to overprice their used cars to outlandish extremes.

    You can dicker with them on new cars, but they seem to ask practically originally sticker price for a car with 20,000 miles and act like you've reached in and untwisted their colon to get them to come down $2,000 lousy bucks on it.

    No thanks.
  11. Monday Morning Sportswriter

    Monday Morning Sportswriter Well-Known Member

    What I loved about the toothless sales guy is that when he was working the numbers, he said there was a tire fee of $12.50. What's it for, I asked him. He didn't know but said it was something he's always charged and nobody ever asked questions about it.

    I ended up using that as my excuse to leave. Dealing with someone who didn't even know what the charges were for.

    We could have done the better deal had we gotten it from him (because that last-gasp thing he yelled at us was less than what we paid after our dealer got the same car for us), but I sleep better knowing the care it got before it was in my hands. (And they did an incredible wax job on it, too.)
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