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Old     (pip9ball)      Join Date: Sep 2009       01-02-2010, 11:21 PM Reply   
Hi everyone,

My wife and I just purchased a new car (09 Jetta). Our local dealer had 2 vehicles at an advertised price of $16,995. This price included a $1000 rebate.

The current loan rates for new car purchases through VW was 2.9%, however our sales rep informed us that we would essentially lose the rebate if we were to be financed by VW. I'm no stranger to this as I've bought many cars. I asked the sales rep to run numbers with the rebate using my credit union apr (4.7%) and to also run numbers using the 2.9% without the rebate. He comes back and says that it probably makes more sense to go with VW financing unless we plan to pay off the loan early. He quoted us $310 (2.9%) and $350 (4.7%). We made the decision to go with the 2.9%

We met with the finance manager and signed all the paperwork for $310 @2.9%.

About an hour later, the sales rep left a voice mail stating that the finance manager was confused on how the rebates actually worked for this particular car.

What the finance manager actually wrote up is the sales price of $16,995 plus tax, lic, fees, etc. - $1000 rebate and at 2.9%!!

Mistake 1: The advertised price was 16,995 which included the rebate. So sales price should have been $17,995

Mistake 2: Because we choose the 2.9% financing based on the numbers they gave us, we shouldn't have gotten a rebate at all.

I know the finance guy made a big mistake by essentially selling us the car for $15,995 and @ 2.9%. The question I have is, am I required to go back and resign contracts with the corrected numbers? This dealer mistake is effectively a $2000 swing. Can they back out of the deal stating that we couldn't be financed at the 2.9% even though we already signed and were approved? Our credit scores are both above 770.

I know if the situation were reversed, there is no way in hell they would change the contract...just wondering if they could pull anything. I guess morally the right thing to do would be to offer to split the differences....what are you thoughts?


Old     (greatdane)      Join Date: Feb 2001       01-03-2010, 12:43 AM Reply   
Holy cow! You have the car and you have a contract and they want you to come back and give them more money and sign a new contract?

Let them wallow in their mistake! If a consumer tried to renegotiate after the fact, they would laugh that fool out of their show room!
Old     (jimmy_z)      Join Date: Jun 2009       01-03-2010, 1:08 AM Reply   
wow!!! double post.

see below.

(Message edited by Jimmy_Z on January 03, 2010)
Old     (jimmy_z)      Join Date: Jun 2009       01-03-2010, 1:10 AM Reply   
If you are in California they can change the contract.

I wont speculate on any other state.

Read the fine print on the back of your sales contract.

Unfortunately you have less power as a buyer than the seller has. Which sucks.

Normally in these situations you can either give the car back and say F-YOU or sign a new contract.

If you really want to piss them off put 500-1000 miles on the car and say F-YOU!!!!! They may eat part of the deal and let you keep your original deal.
Old     (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001       01-03-2010, 1:11 AM Reply   
Tell 'em to F off and maybe someone will learn how to do their job. What's invoice on the car anyway?

(Message edited by pesos on January 03, 2010)
Old     (jimmy_z)      Join Date: Jun 2009       01-03-2010, 1:38 AM Reply   
Here is what the fine print on the back of your purchase agreement looks like in California.

Rescission Rights:

a. Seller agrees to deliver the vehicle to you on the date this contract is signed by the seller and you. You understand it may take a few days for Seller to verify your credit and assign the contract. You agree that if Seller is unable to assign the contract to any one of the financial institutions with whom Seller regularly does buisness under an assignment acceptable to Seller, Seller may rescind(cancel) contract.

b. Seller shall give you written notice(or in any other manner in which actual notice is given to you) within 10 days of the date this contract was signed if Seller elects to rescind. Upon receipt of such notice, you must immediately return the vehicle to Seller in the same condition as when sold, reasonable wear and tear excepted. Seller must give back to you all consideration recieved by Seller, including trade-in vehicle.


there is a "c" and "d" which pertains to your liablity to the vehicle in question if you do not return vehicle.
Old    bigdtx            01-03-2010, 5:31 AM Reply   
Had a buddy of mine go through a similar situation a few years ago - they screwed up and called him wanting more money. He said "I'll bring your car back, you give me my trade-in back, and I'll go somewhere else." They said "let us get back to you" - he never heard anything else about it.
Old     (dougr)      Join Date: Dec 2009       01-03-2010, 6:25 AM Reply   
outside of what you can or can't do. what do you want to do, do you like the dealer and was the info given to you correct? do you feel they made a mistake after the fact that they expressed there was only one choice the 2.9 or the rebate? thats the most important issue, the 15 or 20 bucks a month is not going to change your life, but the mistake that the finance manager made may change his?
Old     (wakeboardlasvegas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       01-03-2010, 7:24 AM Reply   
Old     (mendo247)      Join Date: Mar 2005       01-03-2010, 9:43 AM Reply   
hmmmmm very interesting. Do you like the dealer? Did they treat you good? Personally that would be the main factor for me. There are plenty of dealerships I'd LOVE to screw over. Afterall that is their main goal most of the time. Personally i'd shop around and see what other dealers could sell you the car for. If the deal they want you to sign is good maybe id change if not id say screw you and come get the car or live with it. It would also be interesting to know what invoice is on that car.
Old     (pnichols)      Join Date: Jan 2007       01-03-2010, 10:22 AM Reply   
Do the right thing and go back and resign a new contract with the price you agreed to. Doug is right, the $15 isn't going to break you, but it could possibly cost the finance manager his job.

Was the payment lower then what the sales person quoted you once you got in the finance managers office? If it was the same payment you were originally quoted then it sounds like the mistake was made before you got into finance.
Old     (jinxton)      Join Date: Mar 2002       01-03-2010, 10:37 AM Reply   
Screw the finance person, and what happens to them. They made the mistake, they deal with it. Mistakes are made everyday in every occupation.

If you went to the cashier with an item and it got scanned and a sale price came up and it wasn't on sale would you say something...... I bet not!
Old     (pnichols)      Join Date: Jan 2007       01-03-2010, 10:47 AM Reply   
How about if the cashier gave you back more change then what they should have? Would you pocket it and leave, or do the right thing and give it back? If you knowingly pocket it, then it's no different then stealing in my book.

Your right about mistakes being made, but do you take advantage of someone else's mistake for your own gain.
Old     (barry)      Join Date: Apr 2002       01-03-2010, 10:47 AM Reply   
My problem would be not knowing if the dealer made an honest mistake, in which case I'd want to find a resolution satisfactory to both parties.. Or,
Because dealerships are slimy, if this is a sales tactic designed to drag more money in.
Old     (hawk22)      Join Date: Jul 2006       01-03-2010, 10:50 AM Reply   
That has to be on them. When I mess up a contract for a customer (not in car sales, but sales), that is my loss. No matter what we talked about, agreed to, shook hands on, etc...nothing holds water to a signed contract IMO. I don't even ask the client because I just think that is bad business and it just hightlights the fact that I screwed up. It was my mistake..I have to eat. But I think Richard brings up a good point. If you like the dealer, it might worth working with them...
Old    bigdtx            01-03-2010, 11:20 AM Reply   
Yeah Jeremy - most people I know who have salespeople working for them are the same way - if you sell it to the customer and find out later you screwed up - that is your problem - not theirs. Plus a car dealership is making it back on somebody else so it's pretty lame to go trolling for the difference when you screwed the pooch. Dude is just trying to same the commission on the deal.
Old     (cbk)      Join Date: Aug 2006       01-03-2010, 12:13 PM Reply   
Fact is, you own the vehicle at the contracted price. However, like others have stated, do the right thing. I'll bet if you got home and somehow realized you signed the contract $2000 to high that you'd be to the dealership in two seconds to fight for your money back. Karma man....
Old     (azwakekid)      Join Date: Apr 2005       01-03-2010, 12:40 PM Reply   
i would say that since the dealer messed up its there problem. im sure they are still making money on the deal. just not as much as they wanted to. u win some u lose some.
Old     (pip9ball)      Join Date: Sep 2009       01-03-2010, 2:54 PM Reply   

I called the dealership this morning and spoke with the finance manager. The advertised price of $16,995 was already well below invoice and the only way they make money on the deal was from a $750 hold back from the VW. The finance guy made a mistake and set the price sold price at $16,995 and an additional rebate of $1000 and 2.9%.

I looked at the VW site and it's either a $1000 rebate or 2.9% financing (not both). So as it stood, the dealership was out of about $2000.

We went back to the dealership and resigned a contract. The finance manager felt really bad about this mistake and subsequently gave us an additional $500 off the the advertised price of $16,995. So the sales price was 17,495 + tax/lic/fees - $1000 rebate and we financed with our credit union as the total loan cost was cheaper. In our original contract we payed $295 for rear tint. This was also thrown in for free :-). All in all, our monthly payment went up by $22 and I still feel like we got a great deal.

Old     (barry)      Join Date: Apr 2002       01-03-2010, 2:59 PM Reply   
Nice, Pip... way to make things right.
Old     (greatdane)      Join Date: Feb 2001       01-03-2010, 3:01 PM Reply   
> "The advertised price was 16,995 which included the rebate"

Did the advertisement spell this out?

I am wondering... if they took the car back would they be ABLE to sell the car as NEW?

I can't see how they would be able to since the car was registered in your name.
Old     (greatdane)      Join Date: Feb 2001       01-03-2010, 3:20 PM Reply   
Edmunds bare-bones 09 Jetta S invoice = $16,863.
Old     (paulsmith)      Join Date: Mar 2002       01-03-2010, 3:58 PM Reply   
LOL dealerships. I believe this is called a "yo yo" situation. They say they gave you a deal and then yo-yo you back claiming a mistake or something after you have already had the car and won't want to give it back.

So congrats, imo you just gave a slimy car dealership $2,000 or whatever it is of your own money. Ugh.
Old     (cbk)      Join Date: Aug 2006       01-03-2010, 4:44 PM Reply   
First class move on your part pip....and you even got $500 extra bucks. Good move man.

GD - I guarantee it was spelled out in the fine print on the ad. Yes, the car would be sold as new, it's not until the car is RDR'd to VW and registered at the DMV that the car becomes 'used".

Not a "yo-yo" situation at all. I've seen dealerships have a customer sign a contract at say, a low payment because of a low interest rate and send them out the door with the F&I and Sales Manager knowing that the customer would never qualify. But they'll call the customer back after 4 or 5 days and tell them they need to resign some paperwork - which ends up being a higher rate/payment contract. It's dirty as can be, but ends up working for the dealer because the customer has taken the new vehicle home, shown their friends and family... and so on - now their pride is in the way and they can't bring themselves to just shove it back in the dealers face. Tactics like those are what gives dealers horrible reputations and stereotypes. Pips deal actually worked in his favor and he really could have just walked with the contract he'd signed. I highly doubt that the dealer would have fought him at all. It's a small amount of money to a dealer and not worth the fight.
Old     (liveoz)      Join Date: May 2002       01-03-2010, 5:11 PM Reply   
If it was advertised at 16,995 and either $1000 back or 2.9% interest. Where are you and the dealer getting 17,995 from? Does the ad say, if you forgo the rebate in favor of the 2.9% that the actual price is 17,995?

This just is not adding up for me. my .02
Old     (pip9ball)      Join Date: Sep 2009       01-03-2010, 5:31 PM Reply   
@GD - I didn't get a bare bones Jetta S. It is the California special addition which includes all the standard S features plus:

17" rims
rear lip spoiler
Bluetooth connectivity kit (Volk-L)
CA edition floor fats
heated sets

Total invoice from edmunds with the options priced above is $20,045.

@Paul - I don't think this was a yo-yo situation at all. The advertised price did spell out the price included the rebate. It was a mistake by the finance guy. Regardless of what many think, I had two choices; 1.) return the vehicle, or 2.) resign the contract with what I believe is still a good deal (~$16,495).

@Troy - Yes, the advertised price stated that the $16,995 included a $1000 dealer rebate or $17,995 @ 2.9% interest with no rebate.

Old     (paulsmith)      Join Date: Mar 2002       01-04-2010, 4:44 AM Reply   
Those are the choices they want you to THINK you have. If the situations were reversed and you paid $2k more then you thought, would they say "no problem bring it back and we'll redo the deal"? If the back of the contract is as Jim Zarin quoted above, they were supposed to be unable to assign the contract to any of the financial institutions they do financing with (LOL, yeah right) AND they were required to give you written notice.

Did you ask them to provide you written evidence of inability to assign the contract for financing?

It's pretty rare for dealerships to make "honest mistakes." What's not rare at all is for them to squeeze consumers out of every dollar in every way that they can. I don't know which happened here, but there's really no way to tell without written evidence of inability to assign the contract for financing.
Old     (pip9ball)      Join Date: Sep 2009       01-04-2010, 9:04 AM Reply   
@Paul - while it may be rare to for dealerships to make mistakes, it dose happen. In my case, this wasn't your typical bait and switch move. Why the hell would anybody purposely make a $2000 mistake on a contract that benefits the other party? The finance guy knew our credit is tier1 and we would be able to walk in with a check in a day.

Although I could have just handed them a check for the amount on the contract, I chose to do the right thing and correct the mistake. Hopefully the Karma gods remember this one next time I make a mistake :-)

Old     (wake1823)      Join Date: Dec 2005       01-04-2010, 9:27 AM Reply   
pip, did you not notice this mistake when you signed all the paperwork??? From the way you worded your post it sounded like you just signed the contract and a) let the finance guy fill in the blanks b) signed w/o looking at all the numbers, or c) knew about it and waited to see if they caught it?
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       01-04-2010, 9:41 AM Reply   


It's pretty rare for dealerships to make "honest mistakes." What's not rare at all is for them to squeeze consumers out of every dollar in every way that they can.

I could not agree more, and even moreso in this economic climate. My favorite might be the one where they take your keys to appraise your trade-in, and then "lose" them for a while if you decide you want to shop around a little more. Based on my experiences at dealerships, my first, second, third,... tenth, eleventh, etc assumptions would be that they are trying to screw me.

Although I gotta say pip's case does not sound like an attempted ripoff, since he did get OTD for less than the advertised (usually bait & switch) deal.
Old     (stroh)      Join Date: Apr 2008       01-04-2010, 10:48 AM Reply   
I just had a good friend purchase a new Terrain and put alot of money down. Then the sales guy cons her into buying GAP because it will help her interest rate. They charged her almost 1k in GAP insurance for a 3 year loan. I won't be using that dealership.
Old     (greatdane)      Join Date: Feb 2001       01-04-2010, 1:01 PM Reply   
The classic new car purchase experience...

Make an offer.
Give keys for trade in appraisal.
Take offer #1 to manager and blow time.
Read pathetic counter offer #1.
Take offer #2 to manager and blow more time.
Read marginal counter offer #2.
Get turned over to fleet manager.
Take offer #3 to manager and blow more time.
Read less marginal counter offer #3.
Threaten to leave because this is a waste of time.
Wait for keys to come back on trade in.
Demand keys back from trade in.
Get turned over to manager.
Rehash and waste more time.
Get hostile, get keys back and go home.
Old     (paulsmith)      Join Date: Mar 2002       01-04-2010, 1:02 PM Reply   
Pip, I think it's great that you personally tried to do the "right thing." Whether in fact it is right is best answered by asking yourself what would have happened if they made their "mistake" in the other direction and then you went back and demanded they redo the contract in your favor.

I didn't mean to get on your case, it's just annoying to me that dealerships get away with so much crap and people just bend over when they are manipulated into thinking they are doing "the right thing" to correct the dealerships "honest mistake." LOL
Old     (paulsmith)      Join Date: Mar 2002       01-04-2010, 1:05 PM Reply   
GD, very true. That is why I bought my last vehicle via phone/email and demanded delivery to my home. I never set foot in the dealership. About the only time I would go to a dealership is for a test drive and I would tell them, if they ask, that I'm not trading in so I didn't get into all that BS. Test drive, thank them kindly, and then leave right away.
Old     (pip9ball)      Join Date: Sep 2009       01-04-2010, 1:58 PM Reply   
@Paul - I have no doubt if the shoe's were reversed that they would not write another contract. But just because they wouldn't doesn't mean that is the right thing to do. At no time did the sales rep try to steer us anyway but straight, the mistake happened in the finance office. I worked this deal out via email/phone prior to coming in as well so I had stuff in writing.

@Sam - When it came to signing the papers, I should have been more clear. This was my wife's car and she was signing the papers. I had 2 very tired and hungry kids so I left for home. It wasn't until she came home and we got the call that I looked at the contract and noticed their mistake.

Despite what many think or say, I believe that two "wrongs" doesn't make a "right". I did what I think is the right thing and the dealership threw in tint for free and knocked off an extra $500.

Old     (htown)      Join Date: Jan 2003       01-04-2010, 2:08 PM Reply   
You did the right thing. The person that came up with the example of a convienance store returning too much money is right on. There is no difference. From a legal standpoint, you may/may not have to return the money. But, from an ethical standpoint, you agreed to a deal you could live with. They screwed up when reducing it to writing and want to bring it to the deal you agreed to. Nothing unfair about it. You should stick with the original deal.

Also, sounds like doing the right thing paid off, they gave you a little more back and some free work. Good on ya. If only we had more people like you out there.
Old     (wakeboardsam)      Join Date: Jun 2008       01-04-2010, 2:33 PM Reply   


By Scotty D (jinxton) on Sunday, January 03, 2010 - 10:37 am:
Screw the finance person, and what happens to them. They made the mistake, they deal with it. Mistakes are made everyday in every occupation.

If you went to the cashier with an item and it got scanned and a sale price came up and it wasn't on sale would you say something...... I bet not!

With the current state of the economy and unemployment I would give anyone a little compassion... "Screw the finance person, and what happens to them", gee how very BIG of you!
Old     (wakeboardingdad)      Join Date: Aug 2008       01-04-2010, 6:41 PM Reply   
Pip: First class move on your part. As someone said Karma, Karma, Karma!

GD: You forgot the part where they take your car to the wholesaler down the street and actually go out back, sit in your car in the A/C and have a chew. (Told that by former car sales friend!)
Old     (hawk22)      Join Date: Jul 2006       01-04-2010, 8:37 PM Reply   
Any car salesman here that will chime in? I've only purchased one car from a dealer. I went in knowing what I was willing to pay. I didn't need a new car so I wasn't about to budge on my price. I told him from the beginning what I was willing to pay because a friend of mine had just been offered this same deal after hours of haggling at another dealership. So I figured they could sell it for the same, skip the haggling. in theory, they're making more/hr... Anyway, it went exactly as I see on when they portray sleezy car salesman (Note: I don't believe ALL car salesman are sleezy, so please take no offense) But we test drove the car and everything, him knowing what I am willing to pay. He says let me talk to my boss. time lapse. comes back "we can't go that low, the best we can do is this" No. He says let me go talk to my boss. time lapse. boss comes out and says "we're only making $201 if we sell you the car at this price...." Then he goes on to say "look at our place, we like to keep it nice for you, we offer you beverages, etc." I tell him I don't care. I wasn't trying to be rude, but I don't go to buy a car so I can get free bottle of water. He finally says to me "can you go just $250 more than your original offer" I tell him No. he says let me go talk to the GM or whatever. Time lapse. Finally got the car, but man it was a pain. I think we spent a total of 4 hours at the dealer when I was paying cash for a car??? Then I can't help but think as soon as I drive off the lot, all of them are high-fiving and laughing cuz they just screwed me over and the car actually cost half of what I paid.

I don't really care what I pay for a car. Of course I want a deal, but I'm willing to pay market value. Just why does it have to be so difficult? And if any car salesman or dealer owners care to share that strategy and why it has to be that way, I think we'd all be interested.

Again, please no offense to anyone in this profession. just curious
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       01-05-2010, 7:23 AM Reply   
"Profession" LOL!!
Old     (cam05210)      Join Date: Jun 2009       01-05-2010, 8:23 AM Reply   
Ok, its time to "chime in."....first, I've been selling luxury "highline" vehicles for 9yrs. Now, while my clientele is of a different breed rather than domestic products, the experience can sometimes be the same. You guys are all talking about how sleezy dealerships are and this and that, and while yes, there are definitly dealers out there that give us a bad rep, it shouldn't be like that EVER. first of all, you're talking about one of the only industries that allows negotiations. What other product do you buy that you demand to see what they paid for the car or how much they are making on the deal? While you may think the dealership is making a killing, this is not the case. Do you go to the wakeboard store and ask to see their invoice and "offer" them a couple of dollars over that number, or go to buy a pair of jeans and do the same? I could only dream that the automotive industry go to a "one price" scenario. That would alleviate everyones problems, the customer feeling like the didn't get a good deal, and the dealership making a fair profit. I don't understand why so many people feel that profit is a bad word. I work 6 days a week, 10-12hrs a day in an attempt to make a living and for me to ask a customer for a little bit more for my time and effort is not a bad thing. What gets me is the customer that shops with me for days, weeks, even months and I spend hours upon hours answering every question, showing every car they may want to see, demonstrating the pros and cons only for the customer to go somewhere else and buy a car from another dealer that beat my price by $200 even though they never stepped foot on their lot or worked with anyone there. How do you think I'm suppposed to feel? Pretty bitter! Is that fair? I think not and I'm sure if you were in the same position, you'd agree with me. It costs a lot of money to provide the level of service to a customer throughout the lifetime of their car by means of providing loaner cars, or making sure they have something hot or cold to drink, or having wifi so they can surf the latest websites, something that everyone expects when they visit us, but yet, when it comes down to it, the customer doesn't want to pay for anything. Its like expecting the Ritz Carlton to provide you the level of service they do, but yet you only want to pay $50/night to stay there. How are we supposed to do that? So when we ask you to pay a little more for our car versues another dealer, knowing you will be coming back for service, its not like we're trying to "scam" you. We are trying to make a deal that is fair for both parties which will allow us to provide the level of service you expect and everyone walks away happy. Without a doubt, the customer that does not "wrestle" with me on price and allows us to make a profit is the customer that is the happiest and comes back car after car. I will work as hard as I can for you or stay as late as I need or do whatever I need to in order to provide you with the best experience as long as you aren't tring to pinch me for every last red cent. It is the customer that wants you to sell them the car at cost and haggles over every last nickle that is the most unhappy and tends to feel like they had a terrible time buying a car. Also, you are putting all the blame on the dealership, when if you look closer at the buyer, you'd see major issues there too. The lies that buyers make up on a daily basis is sickening. So we've spent the past 2hrs picking out that perfect car, we've negotiated a fair deal for both parties, we've arranged a payment that you are happy with and based it on top tier credit, only because you say your credit is impeccable, yet, when we run your report, you're late on your mortgage, you've had 2 repossesions, and your credit score is 560 not 725. Oh, and you're mad at the dealership because that interest rate went from 2.9 to 8.9 and your payment went up $150/mo. That's awesome...even want top dollar for your trade in and when I ask you about the condition of the car or if there have ever been any accidents or damage....absolutley not, my car is in excellent condition.....only to find out that a year ago you ran into the back of someone and the whole front end was re-constructed, or a tree fell on the roof and had to be repainted and now you're upset with us because we can't give you "excellent market value" once we pull a Carfax or use a paint meter to determine reconstruction. Oh I don't know what happened...I don't remember that...oh yeah, I guess we did run into the garage and that's why the door doesn't open...Its no wonder that salespeople seem like they are always on the defensive.

In regards to the OP's situation, it sounds to me like a case of miscommunication. From what I'm gathering, they were working a few scenarios both with VW's financing and a credit union's and when it came down to it, the rebate and financing were both applied, which were different aspects of working out the same deal. Now someone's on the hook for the mistake, I admit that, but if the mistake was made, why is it so hard to belive that it was a simple mistake by all parties and go fix the problem and enjoy your new car? I applaude the OP going back and correcting the situation, which yes, it did cause the buyer to go out of their way to go back and sit down for more paperwork, but the dealer obviously made up for it by acknowloging the mistake and offering some accomodation for their trouble. Why does it have to be "stick it to the man!!" That's what's wrong with the world today...everyone seems to be out to get one over on the next person.

I have been the #1 salesman for 7 of the past 9 yrs with my customer satisfaction rating of 100% ( you know those little surveys you take once you buy the car ) each and every year. (yes, because the profit margins are minimal on the sale of the car, we are bonused on the scores of each of those surveys). So not only have I given you hours/days of my time, and sold you the car which you got for $300 over our cost and you still felt you deserved more, and I personally made about $150 on the deal, but you also costed me money by berating me on the survey because you wanted to be a jerk. For example...years ago I sold a car to a guy and we gave him everything under the sun to earn his business again since he had purchased multiple cars in the past. We gave him an employee deal, and everything was great. So I'm waiting on my year end bonus to hit my checking account and come to find out that he gave one bad score on one question and that one question he answered negatively cost me over $8000 in year end bonues....Do you think I was a bit ticked off? Ummmm you bet....

I could go on and on, but here's my point....yes, there are "sleezy" dealers that do the whole key trick, and take forever going back and forth with the numbers, and I cannot apologize enough that our industry has to have bad apples like that in it, but it shouldn't be that way. I work very hard at maintaining my customer base and 60-70% of my business is repeat and referrals and I'm very proud of that. When you're spending large amounts of money, you want to feel good about what you're getting in return. On the flip side, a bad experience can also be attributed to the customer, not the dealer....again, if we all had one set price and no negotiations, it would rid this world of these situations and then you would simply buy the car that you want from the person/dealership you wanted to in the first place.

I could go on and on for days and I know some of you have had experiences to back up your comments,and I'm sorry for that. Again, I am somewhat spoiled being a salesman of a luxury brand and things are slightly different for me versus domestic salesmen, but it is still the auto business and until things change, unfortunately you could have one of those experiences. If you don't feel comfortable...get up and go somewhere else. If they lose the sale because of that, its no ones fault but the dealers, but look at yourself and make sure you're treating the salesman like you want to be treated and I'm sure you'll have a better vehicle purchase experience. If you have questions/comments...please, I'll answer, don't assume. I know...there are spelling errors....maybe I should have negotiated my college tuition! :-)
Old     (three6ty)      Join Date: Feb 2004       01-05-2010, 9:01 AM Reply   
^ what he said
Old     (hco)      Join Date: Jun 2006       01-05-2010, 9:54 AM Reply   
If you are the type of customer Cam talks about, your service will suffer.
Old     (greatdane)      Join Date: Feb 2001       01-05-2010, 10:07 AM Reply   
Its best to buy a car over the phone or email so they can't work you over in the showroom with TO (turnover) tactics. At the showroom, the want to spin you on the rotisserie for a hour or two so you have made a huge investment and are less likely to walk away. This allows them to get that extra $100 to $500 dollars out of you. So, call a dealer far enough away to justify not driving over there (50 miles) and work out a price on the phone.
Old     (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       01-05-2010, 10:19 AM Reply   
Do you go to the wakeboard store and ask to see their invoice and "offer" them a couple of dollars over that number...

No and the retail shops never started w/ advertising that way. Other than rebates, which many have grown to hate retail stores don't advertise a fake price in their ads with caveats listed in fine print. It's not that customers think profit is a bad thing so much as seeing ads purposely designed to deceive.

One bad answer on a customer survey cost you $8000 and you are blaming the customer? Even if the customer wronged you on the question I would be looking elsewhere for being screwed out of $8000.

I've bought one brand new car in my lifetime. I took the ad to the auto lot and asked to buy the vehicle in the ad. It took hours and several threats to leave to get the advertised vehicle at the advertised price. I can't think of any other retailer that works that way.
Old     (roverjohn)      Join Date: Dec 2007       01-05-2010, 10:38 AM Reply   
Cam, How many cars a year do you sell? I only ask because I'm trying to figure out the math where you'd be eligible for a $8k bonus when your dealer sells cars for $300 over cost and gives you $150 right away. Maybe 'invoice' isn't really the cost your dealer ends up paying for their cars?

And, am I the only person who wants a car more than the 'experience' of buying one?
Old     (detonate69)      Join Date: Apr 2001       01-05-2010, 11:15 AM Reply   
IMO car salesman aren't even needed anymore. I do all my research online and 99% of the time I know more about a car then the guy trying to sell it. Only thing a car salesman can help me with is giving me the keys to test drive. After that it's between you and the manager, or financing agreeing on a price. The salesman is an unnecessary middle man.

Also if you only pay 500 over invoice that DOES NOT mean the dealership only made 500 dollars. There are TONS of kickbacks and incentives from the manufacturers. This allows them to keep the "invoice" price higher so people think they're getting a great deal and the dealerships can still make money. They make more in financing anyways then they do in straight profit off the vehicles.
Old     (cam05210)      Join Date: Jun 2009       01-05-2010, 11:22 AM Reply   
Fly135- I completely agree with you that the way the auto industry advertises is absurd. In fact when a customer comes in regarding a lease ad they saw online, I know what I'm up against because the ads are designed to show you what your payment will be if you choose that exact car with the exact features and put the exact money down etc...well since those ads are primarily National, each state has a different method for collecting taxes, title fees, etc,. therefore the payment will vary based on that information. Most times a customer comes in on an ad, but after looking around may settle for a different car, less money down, etc and expect the same payment as the advertisement. How is this possible? You want a $3k more expensive car and put $2k less money down and you want the payment to be the same??? Come on. Now if you're having trouble with a local dealer and a local advertisement...I cannot speak the same. We have a variety of lease/finance deals on some of our vehicles, but if you start changing the outline of the lease/finance, then that changes the numbers...hence the OP's was $1000 rebate OR 2.9%....not both. In regards to the bonus was a year's worth of hitting sales numbers and all sorts of different levels of success that would have provided me that money. That one question lowered my overall satisfaction score less than a point and that difference caused me to be placed in a different catagory (I'm sure anyone on commission knows about different levels of pay based on performance). I can't blame anyone but the customer since at the end of every deal, we ask the customer to complete the same survey and he guaranteed the perfect survey results, especially since he was a long time client. When we held up our end of the bargin, he did not. Even though it was more than 5yrs ago, I'm still bitter...Can you tell?

roverjohn, I have sold between 200-265 cars per year for the past 5 years...265 obviously in 2006 when the good times were rolling. You're correct that invoice isn't what the dealer pays. We also have to pay the technition to inspect the cars, the gas station for the tank of gas we give you, our detail department to clean the vehicle, the parts department for the floormats we promised you. So in actuality, we pay on average $400-$500 over invoice for each car. Not in my brand, but mainly domestics are there "hold back" or "trunk" money. This is a small compensation to the dealer from the manufacture for selling the car. This is why you see dealers willing to sell you the car for invoice, because they will still make a few hundred $$ from the factory.

As far as the experience John, don't get me wrong, a good deal is a good deal, but wouldn't you pay a little more for the same vehicle if you knew that if something goes wrong, that getting help/service is a phone call away or knowing that the "experience" you had at my dealership and having our employees available to assist with anything is worth a bit more? I'm not talking thousands, but when a customer is shopping my dealership versus one that's 100miles away and saving $300....and they will never go back to that other dealer for any service and want to use our loaner cars while it's being worked on? Seriously? I know when I do my shopping, whether it be for clothes, cars, boats, etc...i will pay a little more for the experience. Working in this business has made me appreciate other types of sales jobs...not all, but some
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       01-05-2010, 11:27 AM Reply   
Also the published "invoice" price is more than the dealer pays anyway not including the incentives. I have seen actual dealer price sheets (including initial dealer cost and kickbacks) directly from an insider at Ford in Dearborn. It was a unique situation that let me get a killer deal on a car and still allow the dealership to make a fair profit (well more than $300). I got the car for significantly "under invoice"
Old     (bigdad)      Join Date: Apr 2002       01-05-2010, 12:05 PM Reply   
I recently bought a new car. I did all my research and inquiries online and got a great deal. What I couldn't understand was after the rebates and agreed price, I ended up getting the car for $2400 under published invoice.

Why would a dealership agree to that unless they were getting kickbacks from the manufacturer. All in all, I'm happy with the car because I feel like I got a good deal. I'm so glad Al Gore invented the internet because I don't enjoy the car buying experience and was able to communicate via emails at my home. I wish there really was one set price so you can't help fight that feeling that maybe you could have gotten a better deal somehow.
Old     (seattle)      Join Date: Mar 2002       01-05-2010, 12:14 PM Reply   
Three words for me.

Dave Smith Motors.

Called them up, ordered my vehicle to my exact liking from the factory, got my price up front, no haggling, paid no commision, nothing to a sales manager, no dealer prep. Six weeks later they called and told me to come pic it up. Showed up, flat turned down their offer of an extended warranty, flat turned down their dealer financing, signed my paperwork, handed them a check and I was on the road in twenty minutes.
Old     (hawk22)      Join Date: Jul 2006       01-05-2010, 12:17 PM Reply   
I guess that was part of my question...what is actual cost? Honestly I never knew the invoice amount going in, I just knew what was offered to another friend so I wanted the same deal. So when the person says to me "Our dealership is only making $201" I was curious if that is true or not. It my sales experience it just seems like a lot of risk to sell anything for $25000, when you're cost is $24,799. It doesn't make financial sense, but it sounds like there are incentives elsewhere.

Cam, just curious if you wouldn't mind sharing. Back to my question a little there strategy in the boss, manger, gm thing? Again, I've only purchased one vehicle from a dealer so maybe I just happened to be at the one sleezy one, but like someone stated above, their friend use to be car salesman and when they said they would go talk to a boss, they would just go sit in the car and have a chew before they came back. That's kinda the stereotypical car salesman experience and that almost seems what I experienced and others here have as well. I know they can't all be like that...
Old     (zo1)      Join Date: Aug 2002       01-05-2010, 12:32 PM Reply   
Real good friends father just retired as GM of a big Chevy dealership a few years ago. We were having this discussion on the way to a hockey game just before x-mas...

Per his statement, you have 5 shirts in a dealership:

New Car Sales
Used Car Sales
(And something else that I cannot remember)

AS long as three of those shirts are black you are doing ok. Also New Car Sales is by far the least profitable out of the 5...
Old     (jon4pres)      Join Date: May 2004       01-05-2010, 1:23 PM Reply   
That is what I have heard as well. I think the 5th is accessories/upgrades.

You have to know the whole story. Of course they will sell you a car for 2000 less than invoice if they can make 5000 on your trade-in.

Dealerships are notorious for making you pay big dollars for service/repairs and paying their mechanics little to nothing.
Old     (cam05210)      Join Date: Jun 2009       01-05-2010, 2:41 PM Reply   
The structure of a dealership usually is as follows:
GM-oversees all operations, sales, parts, service, etc
Service mngr, parts mngr, sales/new and preowned mngr, finance mngr

I, as a salesman, am not the one who plugs the numbers into the computer to compute the deal structure. As far as it goes, once I have gotten all the necessary information from the customer on what they want to try and achieve, I go to my salesmanager who then puts in the numbers based on what we're working on. Sometimes if I am having a difficult time coming to an agreement, I will ask my sales manager or even my finance manager to do a "TO- turn over" to see if I have missed something along the way which may be standing between putting the sale together. I can tell you that it is not a "game", but rather maybe something someone else says, may be more helpful that my words. Like the old saying "two heads is better than one" same thing. Maybe I didn't ask the right questions, maybe I'm not connecting with my client, maybe they feel better speaking to a "manager" rather a "salesman." That could be a reason one or two different people may come talk to you. Sometimes if another salesman is having trouble, I'll go over and introduce myself to the client and see if there is any information I can get that the other salesman might not be able to.

To comment on Manzos response...the sales dept is the least profitable dept in the dealership. while service and parts are the most
Old     (ritchieps190)      Join Date: Aug 2001       01-05-2010, 2:44 PM Reply   
"Dealerships are notorious for making you pay big dollars for service/repairs and paying their mechanics little to nothing."

The money to cover the flooring costs of all those new cars has to come from somewhere....

(Message edited by ritchieps190 on January 05, 2010)
Old     (pwrvelocity)      Join Date: Jan 2007       01-05-2010, 6:19 PM Reply   
Cam, you should do a "TO" with your profile.
Old     (greatdane)      Join Date: Feb 2001       01-05-2010, 7:35 PM Reply   
What a load of crap -- the "TO" is to Turn Over and "tire out" the customer.
Old     (cam05210)      Join Date: Jun 2009       01-06-2010, 6:02 AM Reply   
Cam, you should do a "TO" with your profile.

Why does it matter?
Old     (pip9ball)      Join Date: Sep 2009       01-06-2010, 10:28 PM Reply   
@cam - This was exactly why I corrected the mistake. I'll be going back for service and future deals and don't want to start off with a bitter relationship.


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