Car Dealers

I’ve got a couple of other Posts that have been stewing but I haven’t had a chance to put them up. This was spurred by a comment I was going to post on another blog that got too long to put into comments.

Sayuncle has a post up about a recent car buying experience and it reminded me of my last foray into the wild and wacky world of car dealerships a couple of weeks ago.

I have been thinking about getting rid of my Explorer and buying a pickup for utility sake (I always buy used). A truck at one of the small dealers down the road caught my eye so I stopped to look at it.

While I was looking it over, getting the VIN and noting the mileage, the sales guy came out and told me that someone had gone to get the money to pay cash for it and would be back in an hour so if I wanted it I would need to buy it right then. I smiled and told him that if the other guy came back before me…go ahead and sell it to him. He acted a little put off and tried to convince me what a great deal it was etc. etc. etc. I told him that there was no way I was buying it on the spur of the moment like that so he was wasting my time. I didn’t feel like continuing to try to fight him off so I got back in the trusty Exploder and left.

I went home and checked the book value and ran a car-fax report on the VIN. It came back clean and the price was in the ballpark so I was pretty sure I could negotiate it into the “pretty good deal” zone.

I decided to go back and give it a test drive. When we pulled in, I mentioned to my wife that they were going to be convinced I was a sure thing after coming back so they’d be trying to hard sell me. When I first walked into the place to ask for the keys, a different salesman approached me and said that someone was supposed to be picking it up on Monday. I asked if they had put any money down to hold it – they said “no” (of course). About that time the first salesman I had seen noticed me talking to the other salesman and pounced like the guy was trying to steal his lunch. Anyway, he insisted on riding with me on the test drive…I don’t like that much, but I wanted to check it out so, whaddayagonnado? He tried to talk to me the whole time (I guess so I wouldn’t be able to pay attention to the test drive) I ignored him most of the time but I did mention, “I guess the guy that was coming to get it didn’t show”. He then told me that the guy was supposed to come in tomorrow (Saturday) morning…it was so funny that he’d given me the same story twice, moved the day, and it didn’t match the day that the other salesman had given me I couldn’t help myself…I laughed in his face. He acted nonpulussed that I was skeptical, stuck to his story and told me that if I showed up with cash in hand when they opened in the morning he’d be able to sell it to me right then. He was sure to mention several times that if I didn’t show up first thing, I’d be letting a “great deal” slip by (which set me off into giggles again every time he said it).

Well, the test drive went OK but not great. The suspension was a bit sloppy, even for a truck, and the engine wasn’t as smooth as I would like. Furthermore, I was pretty sure this guy was lying to my face about the other potential buyer (that tactic must be in the “used car sales for dummies” book but if two sales people are going to try the same trick on the same vehicle, they should at least get their stories coordinated first). Basically I decided that the truck wasn’t a good enough deal to take a chance on a place of business that I feared was “less than honest” so I let it pass.

A few days later, I drove back by the place during the course of my day and noticed the truck still sitting there…but the price was reduced by $500.

I guess the “other buyer(s)” never came through.

I have to wonder if the salesman ever figured out that it was HIM I was laughing at every time he made some mention of another buyer coming to pick the truck up. He sure seemed oblivious and he kept at it even after I let him know that I wasn’t falling for it.

I have no problem with people trying to do their job to the best of their ability, but when that job seems to require dishonesty? I think I’d have to find another line of work.


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