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(NPR)   Almost anything can be purchased online, except a new car from an Internet-only dealership. Turns out sleazeball dickwad car dealership owners are in bed with sleazeball dickwad politicians, thus ensuring you're screwed forever   (npr.org) divider line 71
    More: Obvious, internet, National Automobile Dealers Association, AutoNation, state sales tax  
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11612 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Feb 2013 at 2:00 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2013-02-20 03:07:26 AM  
3 votes:

Great Janitor: That's no different than going to the doctor after breaking your arm, seeing the doctor walk into the examine room and saying "Oh, yeah, everything's okay, gotta go!" and leave the hospital.


Imma go on a limb and say that's a really stupid analogy.  The idea that I need a car salesman as much as I need a doctor when I've got a broken arm...  That I can't look at cars on a car lot without the "assistance" of a salesperson.  Well, hell, I don't even know how to express how dumb that idea is.

Great Janitor: And, by the way, a good salesman isn't going to lie to you because sales is a referral business.


Oh that's just horseshiat.  First, 50% of the employees you see at a dealership will not be there the next year (http://ezinearticles.com/?High-Employee-Turnover&id=3126149).  Even if you buy a car every two f*cking years, chances are you're not going to buy it from the same guy.

And I'm going to go on a limb and say that nobody has ever - EVER - told me, "you've gotta see my guy Steve up at the Ford dealer.  He'll get you a solid deal, yessirree!"  That's absurd.  This isn't Mayberry.  The dealer and sales guy knows that they will very likely never see you again and will thus bilk you out of as much money as possible while you're in front of them.

The idea that a car salesman has any compunction about lying to you is ridiculous and contrary to nearly everyone's experience.
2013-02-20 10:19:04 PM  
2 votes:
As someone who just spent the last 4 frickin' days buying a new car, I'm really....glad it's over, because man it's a completely miserable process.
2013-02-20 04:30:40 PM  
2 votes:
Snobby as it sounds, I've had nothing but positive experiences from the near-luxury dealerships (Acura, Infiniti, Lexus, BMW, etc). Even when I was young and looking for a used Integra, the Acura dealership was great. Copied my license, suggested a fun route to test drive on (don't speed *wink*), and that was it. They knew that there was a good chance of getting a customer for life; they were right.

The last few times I've been in a e.g. Pontiac/Ford/Toyota dealership, the experience was less pleasant. Maybe it's the different clientele, but the difference is very noticeable. Just based on those experiences, I'd rather buy the cheapest Acura than the most expensive Honda.
2013-02-20 11:19:20 AM  
2 votes:

Yellow Beard: markie_farkie: Yellow Beard: To the poster that doesn't believe dealers work on 1% margins when selling new cars, I can assure you that is true. The profit center of any dealership is the service department.

I call bullshiat on that..

EVERYBODY knows you people make a fortune selling upgrades, like floor mats, undercoating, and this stuff:

[kalecoauto.com image 400x300]

Lol, what do I know? I just do it for a living. One of the first questions that comes up when buying/selling a new car dealership is "what is the absorption rate" The AR is what percentage of the total nut for the store the service dept covers. A well run store has an AR above 80%. Although I am certain you know what you're talking about and must be correct.


Probably doing oil changes and brake pads right?   That stuff is so simple I don't understand why most people don't do it themselves.

I installed one of these and it's even easier now.
madjackdiesel.com

It's a Fumoto oil valve for those of you that are curious, it replaces the nut you put in the bottom of your oil pan so you no longer have to worry about finding a socket big enough for the nut, stripping the head, having hot oil pour on you when taking it off, buying a new crush gasket every time you change the oil etc...
2013-02-20 08:17:08 AM  
2 votes:

No Such Agency: weave:
Amen to that.  I want to go online, order exactly what I want with options, pay for it, then a few weeks later a truck pulls up and drops off my new car.

Of course dealers will still exist to rip you off on service, so they'll still have that.


So will you still go to a B&M dealership beforehand to test drive it, and then order it for cheaper online?  Or will you buy a car without so much as sitting in it?

Maybe.  So?  The market will have to adapt, like charging for test drives, or renting out a fleet so I can pay whatever I pay Hertz for a one day rental so I can try it out, or manufacturers will set up test drive locations.

In short, not my problem.  I'm the consumer and that's how capitalism works and I have faith it will figure out a way to make a profit from it if done fairly.
2013-02-20 07:46:51 AM  
2 votes:
fark car salespeople. It's a archaic system that needs dismantled. Thankfully, these losers have backed themselves into the "Best Buy Corner". Within a decade or so all they'll be good for is as a fancy showroom. People will test drive some selections then they will go online and buy the model, color and options on the vehicle they want.

....Or better yet, maybe Hertz or Enterprise will get into the game specifically AS a rental and vehicle showroom, then you go buy the vehicle online.
2013-02-20 04:48:14 AM  
2 votes:

AverageAmericanGuy: But once you leave your little technologically enhanced sphere, there are plenty of disadvantaged people out there that rely on bricks and mortar stores to supply their needs. If you kill off the local dealership, you're taking that choice away from them and hurting us all.


A) We could just ensure that everyone has easy access to the Internet. That's probably a worthwhile and reasonable goal all by itself, regardless of how people buy cars, and it's something we already do for phone and mail service. Even homeless people often have at least some access to phone service; we could do the same thing for the Interwebs.

B) You're argument about "choice" works both ways: If you insist on keeping your local dealerships (though anti-competitive laws), you're taking away the choice of online dealerships from me and hurting us all. I don't think either argument is particularly compelling.
2013-02-20 03:29:03 AM  
2 votes:

wax_on: And that day is usually Monday. Why do car dealerships close on a weekend day, probably the day folk have the most time to shop for a new car?


For the same reason that all cartels with political clout will seek to limit hours: so they can reduce costs.  If everyone is closed on Sunday, they don't have to worry about the dealership down the road snaking customers from them.

In CT up until last year, Sunday alcohol sales were prohibited.  CT is probably the least religious state in the country, so it wasn't due to some sort of outdated notion of religious prudence.  It's that private shopowners didn't want to have to man their shops on Sunday, but they didn't want to lose business to competitors who were willing to be open on Sundays.  So they colluded to continue the Sunday prohibition well beyond its sensible life.  They still collude, by limiting the hours to 11a-5p.  There is no social good - it's simply to avoid having to staff their shops.
2013-02-20 03:12:25 AM  
2 votes:

Great Janitor: Get the car financed, and they'll be willing to knock more off the price of the car because they'll make it up through interest.



In my experience, the best way to get the lowest bottom-line price (in both new and used sales) is 1. bring a friend or relative and have them talk about their kid/spouse needing a car (the salesperson will drop the price right away if they think they can get a referral out of the sale), 2. act like you're interested in financing through the dealership until you get a final quote, 3. decide that your bank can offer a better rate, so you'll be paying in cash.

The dealer will most likely be a little upset, but in my experience of being the buyer twice and the friend four times times, I've never seen a dealer refuse to honor the quoted price.
2013-02-20 01:54:39 AM  
2 votes:

MaudlinMutantMollusk: It's not news


Anything that drives public awareness of this mockery of the free market is a good thing.
2013-02-21 06:17:36 PM  
1 votes:

nolanomad: Not to dodge what you're saying (because if that's happened/happening, it's seriously messed up), but I would offer up that car manufacturers aren't the only companies who occasionally screw the customer in different ways. Not saying it's right by any means, but having a searing pile of rage for just one category seems a tad off. Just saying.


Yes, you are dodging and attempting to shame the victim. "B" also being an asshole has no effect and does not absolve "A" from being an asshole.

Consider this. A vehicle is most people's second most expensive and difficult to replace possession, after a home. That is IF someone can afford a home. You wouldn't want to be farked out of your home because of the builder playing illegal games. The same goes for your vehicle.

The vehicle may actually be more important than the home. It's how most people are able to arrive at, and therefore hold, a job and thus the basis of their livelihood.

So, it's either the second or first most expensive possession for most people's lives and that which allows for them to function in modern society.

So, yeah. Getting farked out of your vehicle because the manufacturer is an asshole is kind of a big farking deal.

You're lack of empathy and inability to see outside yourself does nothing but reinforce the stereotypes that you claim aren't valid.
2013-02-21 12:22:33 PM  
1 votes:

nolanomad: Girion47: But he isn't an idiot, you completely misread that to reinforce my statement, and then proceeded to call us wrong. So much fail...

GMC explicitly states that "installations or alterations to the original equipment... are not covered". Please explain how I'm misreading that.


Your original statement was that the warranty is voided.   Which is an incorrect statement.  The manufacturer can only deny your claim if an aftermarket modification lead to the failure.

GMC can say whatever they want, the Moss-Magnuson act overrides it.
2013-02-20 10:20:42 PM  
1 votes:

nolanomad: the ha ha guy: nolanomad: Please show me where I said no dealership is like that. Really, show me, I want to see where that was said by me. What I DID say, is that we're not all like that and got jumped on.


No, you said that that no salesman fits the stereotype.

nolanomad: Imagine if what you do for a living was reviled and mocked, despite the fact that none of the stereotypes apply.
nolanomad: Underspray? B.S. that no self-respecting dealership does/sells, because even if it were real, it would void your dealership.

Well, the first starts with "imagine if you" and it should have ended with "to you". My bad to phrase that wrong. And I said "no self-respecting" I didn't say they're all like that. As mentioned, have been told a couple different times that under spray voids GM warranties, by GM people. I assumed (yep, probably bad move oops) that if it applies here it applies in general. My bad. Anyhow, seeing as I have referred to other dealerships being bad, I kind of acknowledged that the bad ones exist. And to reiterate? The bad ones are bad, so can only sell price. A good dealership can sell product, so you understand why that $300 feature (or whatever) is worth the money.


Now I know you're full of shiat, a modification cannot VOID your warranty, all that can happen is the manufacturer(not the dealer) can deny the claim if the modification is shown to have caused the failure.

That's Law.
2013-02-20 08:31:02 PM  
1 votes:

nolanomad: You come into my dealership with another dealer's name on the back of your car? I guess you should ask them for a loaner. After all, they got you *such* a great deal...


Seeing how you make most of your money from overpriced services, and you seem to harp on forming relationships with your customers, you sure don't seem very willing to service anyone and everyone who comes your way. Real good way of being good to your neighbors, you have there.

nolanomad: Go ahead and say you don't give a crap about your neighbors


Heh.

Oh, and by the way, the last time I bought a car the removal of that sticker and license plate frame was the first thing that I did. The next car I buy will have a "no sticker and no frame" as part of the sales agreement. Save your money and give me one less thing to pitch into the landfill.
2013-02-20 08:23:01 PM  
1 votes:

the ha ha guy: No, it's more like we have 10+ bad experiences and one good experience,


Exactly. Here's one of my recent bad ones.

I went looking for a new car. I was interested in the BR-Z/FRS after reading up on it. No Subaru dealer in my area had one. The Scion dealer had 3 in stock according to their website. So I went there to look and drive one to see how I like it.

I get the manager of the place. I told him what I'm interested in. Oh, they only have one in stock. Their website shows what they expect to get in the future but not what they actually have. WTF? Whatever. As I'm telling him what I'm interested in, and that I'm looking at other cars in the price/performance range, I mention that I wanted a manual transmission.

He spends the next 10 minutes being very confused why I would ever want one and trying to convince me that I want an automatic instead. Not for any performance reason, but just because. No, I want what I said I wanted. He seemed deadset on getting me to buy the 1 that they had in stock. Even though I explicitly said that I'm still in the looking stage and haven't decided on anything. Even though the one they had in stock didn't have the transmission, color, or trim level that I said I was interested in.

He says that he wants to check on something and disappears for almost 10 minutes. I'm staring out the window and I see him pull up in a white Scion TC. He comes in and wants me to test drive it.

"... I said that I'm looking for a black or blue sports car. Like the FRS or a WRX or a Genesis."
"It's kinda sporty"
*facepalm*

The entire exchange from that guy was him trying to convince me to buy something, anything that day. He didn't listen to a word that I said. Fark him and his cronies.

This is also a dealer that I know for a fact does underspray.
2013-02-20 08:19:04 PM  
1 votes:

nolanomad: the ha ha guy: nolanomad: I have to say, you go to some dealership, get a bad experience, and suddenly we're all terrible, conniving thieving lying whargarbl.


No, it's more like we have 10+ bad experiences and one good experience, then you come in with a bunch of herp derp about how it's all in our imagination, no car dealer in the history of the universe has ever been anything but a perfect saint, and if we don't like it we can go risk getting shot at the dealer across the road.

Also, you never did finish your earlier theoretical situation. You claim that if we buy nothing form you, the guy who bought five cars is going to get priority for the one and only loaner your dealer can afford, but you never clarified whether buying one car will give us priority over the guy who bought five.

Please show me where I said no dealership is like that. Really, show me, I want to see where that was said by me. What I DID say, is that we're not all like that and got jumped on. As to the theoretical question, the 5 car guy gets the loaner, rather obvious- just like a million dollar client will get better service than a 100k one. But if you *had* bought a car here, I would *try* to find something for you to use- say, a loaner in the body shop 'casue it's scratched or ask a used car manager nicely for a used car.

You come into my dealership with another dealer's name on the back of your car? I guess you should ask them for a loaner. After all, they got you *such* a great deal...


Man, as an impartial observer, you're not coming off the greatest.

I have an honest question: why do dealers get so pissy when I asked them to take the sticker off of my car? If they're not giving me something (free oil change/tire rotation etc) why should I be a driving billboard for them?
2013-02-20 08:13:24 PM  
1 votes:

nolanomad: Underspray? B.S. that no self-respecting dealership does/sells, because even if it were real, it would void your dealership.


Oh, it's real. My current car is one that I bought used from a dealer who got it as a trade in. They're the largest dealer of that brand within 50+ miles and they own other nearby dealerships too. They not only "offer" underspray but tried to get me to buy it.

nolanomad: Go ahead and say you don't give a crap about your neighbors and their income, you're welcome to be indifferent. What did I miss?


Likewise. Salesmen try to get as much money out of us through lying, they dick us around, and treat us as a walking dollar sign instead of a human being. They start the process of farking their neighbors out of their income.
2013-02-20 08:05:53 PM  
1 votes:
Man, I gotta say, I love working for a company that has fleet perks from the major manufacturers. I go in, tell them who I work for and it's Dealer invoice plus 0.4%. If the dealer doesn't want to play ball they get a nice call from their corporate offices after our corporate fleet manager calls them.

The only car I didn't get this on was one that wasn't included in the plan (high performance car).

Takes a shiatload of pressure of me and my salesman. He gets a guaranteed sale and some commission, I get my car for a great price. Win/Win.
2013-02-20 06:54:30 PM  
1 votes:

TotesCrayCray: nolanomad: Imagine if what you do for a living was reviled and mocked, despite the fact that none of the stereotypes apply. You'd get annoyed too.


How much are you charging for the floor mats and the underspray these days?
2013-02-20 06:31:11 PM  
1 votes:

RandomRandom: If and when this litigation/ regulation occurs, it would seem to be a textbook example of a constitutional commerce clause violation. That being, the state would be giving preferential treatment to local state businesses over equivalent businesses in other states


That is what my GED in law says, curious if it has ever been challenged.


nolanomad: Martyr might be a strong word... it's just sad that people go for the "best price", end up at a place that can only sell by price, because they aren't good enough to sell by product and quality


What about dealers that sell the same product?

If you are factoring in how nice they are for recalls, you are buying the wrong car.

I have bought three new cars in my life and my last one is the only time I am still within a 5 hour drive a year after I bought it, so I am not going to pay extra on the off chance their "hand holding" is better an I stick around.
2013-02-20 05:59:22 PM  
1 votes:

nolanomad: Girion47: Why wouldn't I go for price? Your shop certainly isn't the place I'm going to be using, I'm going to do the maintenance on my own unless it is warranty work, and then the Manufacturer is going to be paying for that repair. So as far as I can tell, price is what the deciding factor is.

No, you're absolutely right, I see the error of my ways.

Oh hey, theoretical situation for you... you buy your car, save the few extra bucks, get the best deal... six months down the road there's a recall, the dealer has to have your vehicle overnight. You going to go back to that crime-ridden neighborhood and hope they have a loaner for you? Somehow I doubt it, you'd go to a place where you weren't concerned about random bullets.... and hey, that's us. However, a Mr. Jones got here at the same time with the same recall. Problem is, I only have one loaner... and Mr. Jones bought his last 5 vehicles here. One guess who gets that loaner.

Seeing any value yet, bright boy?


And really, your "poor part of town" analogy fails miserably, in my city I have 2 official subaru dealers, have another 60 miles away, and yet a couple more in Cincy and Indy.  I'm not dependent on one dealer, and they're aware of that.   Save your scare tactics for someone that didn't work in SE DC.
2013-02-20 05:56:15 PM  
1 votes:

nolanomad: Girion47: Why wouldn't I go for price? Your shop certainly isn't the place I'm going to be using, I'm going to do the maintenance on my own unless it is warranty work, and then the Manufacturer is going to be paying for that repair. So as far as I can tell, price is what the deciding factor is.

No, you're absolutely right, I see the error of my ways.

Oh hey, theoretical situation for you... you buy your car, save the few extra bucks, get the best deal... six months down the road there's a recall, the dealer has to have your vehicle overnight. You going to go back to that crime-ridden neighborhood and hope they have a loaner for you? Somehow I doubt it, you'd go to a place where you weren't concerned about random bullets.... and hey, that's us. However, a Mr. Jones got here at the same time with the same recall. Problem is, I only have one loaner... and Mr. Jones bought his last 5 vehicles here. One guess who gets that loaner.

Seeing any value yet, bright boy?


Not really, my wife would be following along in our other car and I'd leave with her, I work from home so I don't really need my vehicle that often.
2013-02-20 05:55:37 PM  
1 votes:
nolanomad:
Seeing any value yet, bright boy?

Yeah. I'll continue to avoid buying a GMC or Buick from you and continue servicing my car at the place that usually has 100-150 loaner cars available in their pool so that it's not an issue (ref: Pohanka Acura in northern VA. Sales staff was so-so, bought the car out of state from another dealer anyways because he had a price that couldn't be beat, but had it serviced at Pohanka because of their loaner car availability and late night service hours)
2013-02-20 05:44:26 PM  
1 votes:
nolanomad:
Martyr might be a strong word... it's just sad that people go for the "best price", end up at a place that can only sell by price, because they aren't good enough to sell by product and quality, so of *course* they're the cheap place so they can get you in and then screw you- and so, by extension, all dealers and car salespeople are slime. It's quite the leap. Imagine if what you do for a living was reviled and mocked, despite the fact that none of the stereotypes apply. You'd get annoyed too.

If I'm getting the price I wanted to pay for the vehicle in the first place, then I'm getting what I feel is the best value for my money and I fail to see how I'm getting screwed.

You keep mentioning a "business relationship". Like I said earlier, I don't give a popsicle titty-fark about starting a relationship with you or anyone else in the building. If you can sell me a car at the price I want, then you have a deal; otherwise, yeah - I'll keep looking until I find one that can or adjust my expectations accordingly.

(As for being reviled and mocked for what I do for a living? Pal, I work in the energy industry for one of the large oil companies....believe me, I'm hated, reviled, blamed, and loathed by everyone, including you guys at the dealerships. Difference is, I don't get annoyed about it.)
2013-02-20 05:39:46 PM  
1 votes:

Carth: Don't most states collect sales tax on cars when you register not when you buy? The place I've lived/bought cars from have all worked that way so I don't know if it is universal or just certain states. I don't see why states would care if I bought a car from a dealership two states over or online. They still get their cut.


Because local car dealers are tremendously influential in local politics.  There are a lot of local legislators that are/were car dealers or have car dealer friends/families who've bankrolled their political careers.  Local car dealers have used this outsized political influence to create an environment they prefer, at great expense to the average car buyer.

It's straight up protectionism, something that the constitution was designed to prevent, at least as it regards domestic US transactions.
2013-02-20 05:02:53 PM  
1 votes:

wingnut396: meanmutton: RandomRandom: How are these state laws not a violation of the commerce clause of the Constitution?

Why have the auto manufacturers never challenged them in court? ...or have they?

For the first one: states can regulate commerce within their borders.

For the second, I'm surprised that even in Michigan, where the US auto industry in based, the cart dealers have traditionally had this much power. GM, Ford, and Chrysler must have wanted this setup, for done reason.

From what I've read around the tubes is that the dealership pain in the ass experience is due to the manufacturers being greedy.  See you are not really the manufacturer's customer, the dealership is.  What the manus used to do is push whatever inventory they had to the dealers.  That way the manus had a steady stream of buyers no matter if cars were selling or not.  Some dealer going down, slow with payments, well let some other rube start up a new dealership and he can buy the inventory rolling off the assembly line.

So dealers had to band together to avoid being steamrolled by their suppliers that forced them to buy inventory that was not selling or they did not want.

Of course the market as evolved sine way back when, but the current dealer/manufacturer setup is still a remnant of that.

I'd like to see Tesla's model take off for new cars.  Go to a few specialized company owned show rooms where you can make an appointment to test drive models you care to see.  Check everything out.  If you like, order it directly from the manufacturer.  Since dealers sometimes say they make more money on service, franchise out warranty service to businesses that want to maintain the cars but not sell them.  If that is where the real money is, instead of warehousing inventory for Chevy, then go for it.

Used car lots will still be around, but you only need to look at something like CarMax to see how that is changing.  Hit up their site and you have a huge inventory to look at. If they don't have the car l ...


So when Tesla starts to sell lots of cars over the internet, directly from California into states in which Tesla has absolutely no presence, won't the local dealers (or the state governments as their proxy) litigate or regulate against Tesla?

If and when this litigation/ regulation occurs, it would seem to be a textbook example of a constitutional commerce clause violation.  That being, the state would be giving preferential treatment to local state businesses over equivalent businesses in other states.
2013-02-20 04:46:42 PM  
1 votes:

nolanomad: cashdaddy: nolanomad:
you know who lies more? customers. Can't tell you how many times I had a customer (back when I was selling) say "Well we were just looking" and when I called to follow up the next day was told "oh we bought at XYZ dealership" oh well, go fark yourself.

#1: If I ask for your best price and then go somewhere else, where they quote me a price less than yours, remind me again why I should bother calling you back to see if you can meet or beat it? You had a chance, and someone else offers the same thing for less? Sounds like a free market working to me.....sorry, pal - why is this an issue for me, again?

#2: If your attitude towards the person saying they bought at another dealership is "oh well, go fark yourself".... well, you're not doing much to help remove the stigma of the lousy car dealer, are you?

I don't care for an emotional connection with the person selling me a car. Belive me when I say that after I buy the car, I'm going to forget about you afterwards. It's a means of transportation, and it costs me money. I'm not looking for a friend or someone that I can nod and say hello to if I come back to the same dealership next time. All I want is the lowest price I can get for a vehicle that I want - period.

Then by all means, go to the one that had a drive-by in front of it last week, that closes at sundown, and will forget you exist after the purchase. In the mean time, we'll take care of our customers, provide shuttle service, loaners, good service, and hey did you know- sometimes, if you build that relationship, the dealer will give you discounts on future visits? No, of course you didn't because you have no clue what a business relationship means.

Incidentally, the whole "fark yourself" thing (which I did not say, just thought, I do have a few manners) was more of being told "Don't worry, Mr. Nolanomad, we'll be sure to follow up with you before we make a decision" and then them buying elsewhere thing. So, in short got lied to by cust ...


Being martyrs in front of your co-workers is probably great for you to vent, but doing it online? You're only making the impression of dealers worse.
2013-02-20 01:45:50 PM  
1 votes:
I hate car dealers and car salespeople (the women are just as bad as the men).

Few things would make me happier than to see them all unemployed.
2013-02-20 12:55:20 PM  
1 votes:

nolanomad: need to speak up on this "middle man" nonsense. Show of hands, how many of you butcher your own meat, distill and bottle your own booze, build your own furniture, etc. Sure a few... but most of us expect to be able to go somewhere and purchase things that have been prepared, assembled, bottled, and deal with a "middle man"- a grocer, a shoe salesman, a waiter at a restaurant, what have you. At some point in time, it was decided that big ticket items- vehicles, real estate- could be negotiated. If you got screwed by a dealer/salesman/etc at a car place, go elsewhere... but just a heads up, a moment's thought:


They add value.

Dealers don't.
2013-02-20 12:37:15 PM  
1 votes:

nolanomad: If you could screw over a dealer, you would, wouldn't you?


I have to confess I am guilty of this.  Last time I was buying a car, I added in some extra deductions to the price at the last minute.  I also kept calling my manager to approve prices changes.  Then, after we negotiated the price, options and extras, I stole the floor mats out his personal vehicle.  Happens all the time.

nolanomad: I need to speak up on this "middle man" nonsense. Show of hands, how many of you butcher your own meat, distill and bottle your own booze, build your own furniture, etc. Sure a few... but most of us expect to be able to go somewhere and purchase things that have been prepared, assembled, bottled, and deal with a "middle man"- a grocer, a shoe salesman, a waiter at a restaurant, what have you.


The middle man is going away for many industries if you have not noticed.  Authors and musicians don't need huge publishing houses to pimp their work anymore.  Ebook and MP3 have these middle men flipping the fark out.  Apple is going gangbusters selling directly to consumers in their themed and knowledgeable stores.  Southwest does not hurt itself by refusing to participate in putting their flights in online sites like Expedia and such and this is not unnoticed by other airlines.

The butcher and the grocer provide a valuable skill that I don't due to experience and/or equipment.  Exactly what skill is the dealership providing that I can't provide for myself?   While everyone talks about how they are out there, I've met very few knowledgeable and helpful sales folks that can talk intelligently about their products compared to the competition.  Mostly they can talk about the features, but often I know more than the sales guy I am with.  This fails to impress upon me on how their service is as valuable as a butcher.  Most seem to only know what inventory their manager wants them to get out the door for that week.  Again, how is this a service to me?

In your case a distiller is more like a manufacturer and the distributors would be more akin to a dealership.  Aside from age laws around booze, I see no reason why one could not purchase directly from the distiller.

And a shoe salesman.. really?  Yes finding the shoe in my size in the stockroom back is a extremely valuable skill that I can't live without.

I'll admit I may be wrong.  New car sales folks may provide a valuable service to the consumers of the USA.  I have just never personally experienced this valuable service.
2013-02-20 11:41:51 AM  
1 votes:

Yellow Beard: markie_farkie: Yellow Beard: To the poster that doesn't believe dealers work on 1% margins when selling new cars, I can assure you that is true. The profit center of any dealership is the service department.

I call bullshiat on that..

EVERYBODY knows you people make a fortune selling upgrades, like floor mats, undercoating, and this stuff:

[kalecoauto.com image 400x300]

Lol, what do I know? I just do it for a living. One of the first questions that comes up when buying/selling a new car dealership is "what is the absorption rate" The AR is what percentage of the total nut for the store the service dept covers. A well run store has an AR above 80%. Although I am certain you know what you're talking about and must be correct.


So if most of the money is in service, why fark around with selling cars?  The contract is already in place to do warranty service for that brand.  You get to ditch a large sales, finance and other staff.  The advertising budget is lower as you don't have to advertise, you just have to wait for folks that buy the brands car to show up for service.

I really see no need for the dealership model that is around today.  It was started to serve the manufacturers need to have a steady purchaser for their products.  Now it is just a middle man that both the makers and consumer hate to deal with for the most part.
2013-02-20 11:39:45 AM  
1 votes:
Yellow Beard:

and let us clear up this too.
The gross mark up on a new Mercedes Benz excluding any rebate is exactly 9%. The average gross mark up is 9-11% from invoice to msrp. The only exception I know of is Porsche which is roughly 15%. I haven't been a new car dealer for 5 years but I cannot fathom that everybody is paying msrp for cars. With some very rare exceptions, that is almost unheard of.


Do dealers ask more or less than MSRP when the customer asks "how much"?
2013-02-20 11:38:30 AM  
1 votes:

RandomRandom: How are these state laws not a violation of the commerce clause of the Constitution?

Why have the auto manufacturers never challenged them in court? ...or have they?


We're not exactly rolling in cash to do that.  During the bankruptcy we took the opening to kill off a number of sleezebag dealers where we could, but it wasn't perfect.  Challenging the dealers presents problems in that it costs money in court and even if we win we'd still likely have to:

1.  Buy them out or obey other clauses in our contracts with them regarding termination.
2.  Instantly replace their sales and service or lose sales.
3.  Deploy all kinds of local marketing that the dealer used to do.

The long term dream is to run with smaller dealerships that have cars you can test drive and some cars right there for people that absolutely must leave with a car today (you'd be amazed at the number of people who buy that way).  However the majority of the stock will be moved to facilities where the cars come in on trains, are unloaded, and wait to be purchased.  You go to the showroom and test drive, place your order, and it shows up at the dealership or your house the next day (or that weekend) on a truck.

Ideally we want to change American car buying habits away from the "I must buy this and leave with this right now" mindset over to planned replacement.  We'll focus on displaying the cars at various places (as opposed to just the local mall) in ways that display all the interiors, colors, etc you can get.  The dealership just becomes the service center and the hub for test vehicles.  You make your choice and order it.  Common feature sets will be manufactured and custom ones will take 1 to 2 weeks to be produced and shipped.  Ideally you punch what you want into a computer and a program either locates the nearest match or orders some robot to start making it within 5 minutes of the order being placed.
2013-02-20 11:33:58 AM  
1 votes:
I remember reading either an interview with Lee Iacocca or an excerpt from his book where he said (paraphrasing) that as far as a lucrative career choice he would rather have owned a dealership than run a car factory, because that's where the real money is. I assume he was talking about the top tier dealerships, but still...

I'm pretty sure Lee's dealership wouldn't have been operating on a 1% profit margin, as one of the above posters claimed.
2013-02-20 11:26:04 AM  
1 votes:
I currently have 3 cars and 2 of them I bought online sight unseen.  Negotiated the deals via email, got a check, went to the dealer, did the deal and went home.  On one I even had a trade.  no problems, no drama, no BS.  (one was from offleaseonly.com which I highly recommend).

All my cars are used though, mainly because the Stealerships are horrible.  Many stealerships use the same training method for the sales force and won't go outside that method.  It's the payment method, back and forth, spend a day at the dealership hell method.  If you walk in with cash they don't know what to do with you.  This method causes a decrease in sales.  I'll never forget my Dad buying a new Corvette many years ago from Reedman in Langhorn PA.  The place was huge, we got driven to the Corvette lot where they are lined up by color.  My Dad picks one, they radio in the number on the window and someone radios back the sale price.  No haggling or BS.  We left with the car that day.  We had gone to other dealers that use 'the method' and walked out every time.
2013-02-20 11:06:18 AM  
1 votes:

nolanomad: poughdrew: nolanomad: guys? I *work* at a car dealership. Buick and GMC. Internet Manager

If going to the dealership was a lovely buying experience, no one would be biatching.  Buying a car sucks.  Sunday?  nope, blue laws.  New car on the internet?  nope, laws.  Sure, I'll rush a trip on a weekday night after I get my kid from daycare, or get a baby sitter on a Saturday so I can go waste the day getting fed bullshiat from a car salesman.  We avoid you in the showroom because we want to sit in all the seats and check the car out without your interference or sales pitch.  Oh, now we want to buy, well gee you don't have the car here, but you have this one with $3000 more in options that you'll sell you for $2500 more, what a deal.  Fees too.  Extended warranty that covers nothing.  Wheel insurance.  {under|clear}{coat|body} spray.  Mats.  Oh, and run a credit check even though I don't want to finance.

In short, you're a middle man who doesn't take kindly to being eliminated.  But you're still here, because laws, and old people.

I'll back your commentary about the undercoating and other assorted bs, that's just ways to jack up the price. But as far as "oh we don't have one quite like that, but we have..."? Just ran through our ordering software, checked on the specs for a 2013 Enclave (a popular vehicle right now) and let's see.... 10 colors, times 4 trim levels, times 4 wheel choices, 4 stereo choices, dvd/rear audio/etc... call it 1500~2,000 possible configurations. Considering we carry 15~50 of them (at a high guess) at any given time, no, we probably won't have exactly what you're looking for. As far as rearranging your schedule to find time to visit? Ask a salesman some time about the 50-60 hours they put in a week, time missed from spouse, kids, friends, etc. Working open to close several days a week, just to have a customer say "okay, is that your best price? thanks" then head across town and go to ABC Motors and say "can you beat this by a hundred bucks?" Ag ...


People only do that because dealers try to tack on so many bullshiat charges and are so slippery when it comes to getting a definitive that we don't trust you.   So cry about it all you want, dealers taught people they were shady, people don't respect dealers now.
2013-02-20 10:53:35 AM  
1 votes:
I've been in the car business for 24 years. I've been a salesman, a sales manager, used car manager, F&I, and General Manager. I have only worked at 3 stores and never saw go on what so many in this thread have seen in dealing with car sales people. How the hell those dealers stay in business is a mystery to me.

The old adage  "Make somebody happy and they may tell 3-4 people. Piss them off and they'll tell  everybody" is very true. The business model I've always used is top shelf customer service. I honestly thought the days of the car guy in a plaid coat telling you lies ended in the 70's early 80's. Apparently not if what so many have written in this thread is true.

To the poster that doesn't believe dealers work on 1% margins when selling new cars, I can assure you that is true. The profit center of any dealership is the service department.
2013-02-20 10:21:57 AM  
1 votes:
The last time I bought a car (used, in 2008), I did that whole thing of "this is what it's worth, this is what I'm offering, only call me if/when you are ready to sell to me at that price, cash" and walked away. It worked. But then I had to go pick it up and suffer through the showroom sit-and-wait while they fark around and try to sneak in extras. My strategy? I started singing with the Muzak. I can't sing worth a fark. I got louder and louder, the longer they made me wait. At one point, I asked an older salesman to join me on the dance floor. They could not WAIT to get me out of their showroom, pronto.

Fark with me, I'll fark back.
2013-02-20 09:50:09 AM  
1 votes:

nolanomad: guys? I *work* at a car dealership. Buick and GMC. Internet Manager


If going to the dealership was a lovely buying experience, no one would be biatching.  Buying a car sucks.  Sunday?  nope, blue laws.  New car on the internet?  nope, laws.  Sure, I'll rush a trip on a weekday night after I get my kid from daycare, or get a baby sitter on a Saturday so I can go waste the day getting fed bullshiat from a car salesman.  We avoid you in the showroom because we want to sit in all the seats and check the car out without your interference or sales pitch.  Oh, now we want to buy, well gee you don't have the car here, but you have this one with $3000 more in options that you'll sell you for $2500 more, what a deal.  Fees too.  Extended warranty that covers nothing.  Wheel insurance.  {under|clear}{coat|body} spray.  Mats.  Oh, and run a credit check even though I don't want to finance.

In short, you're a middle man who doesn't take kindly to being eliminated.  But you're still here, because laws, and old people.
2013-02-20 09:47:04 AM  
1 votes:

heypete: My wife bought a car a few years ago. She did all the research on various car sides (e.g. edmunds.com), reviewed the online inventory for multiple dealers in town, found the exact model and trim package that she wanted, and did all the negotiations by phone (less pressure that way). The dealers all competed with each other for her business, would offer to beat other dealer prices, etc. She kept meticulous notes of each conversation and when certain details were to be discussed (for example, the price) would record the call and got the dealer consent to do so -- that way there'd be no misconceptions or "he said, she said" accusations.

Finally, after she got the best offer from one dealer she physically went into the shop to finalize the sale. Even then, they tried pulling a lot of bogus stuff, tried to sell her useless add-ons, services, doing shady financial stuff, etc. On several occasions they tried saying certain things were required (and she knew they weren't) and so she got up to walk. They ended up changing their minds and suddenly "required" things became "optional".

She ended up buying the car that she wanted at the priced that had been previously agreed upon with no extras. They even removed the dealer sticker and license plate frame as a condition of the sale.

Moral of the story: do your research online and contact dealers by phone ahead of time (preferably by Google Voice so you can block their annoying follow-up calls that they make for weeks afterwards even after requesting that they don't call you). Be prepared to walk if they try pulling anything shady. There's no need to be an ass to car dealers, as they're just doing their job, but don't get suckered.

/dislikes having to interact with salesmen and high-pressure sales tactics


I tried to do similar to that.  Unfortunately, when I tried to walk that dealer already knew the options I wanted.  The two available vehicles with those options were then on 'hold' for shipment to his dealership when I tried to contact the dealer with the second best promise.  I ended up with the choice of trying to argue through his price increases or changing to a far lesser option set or another vehicle.

I'm still not entirely certain how to avoid that particular trap.  They really didn't care if I hated them or if they blatantly lied multiple times.  It's not like it's a purchase you repeat every month, so why should they care?  They have the highest sales in the state due to traps and lies, and while I've since heard the same story from other sources, it just isn't something most people tend to recommend for or against regularly and remember for that long.  I do go to a different dealer for warranty work, because it is evident the first never wants to see their sales customers again, and have actually run into quite a few at the new dealership with cars from the first who would never ever go to them for service - but it's too late for it to matter on the sale.
2013-02-20 09:25:54 AM  
1 votes:
Basily Gourt:
I don't know where you live, but around here the dealers are doing just fine. Every other year one or another of them is expanding.

I don't expect most of the socially awkward dweebs who post here to understand, but most people like to interact with other human beings. I see guys like you in the stores, getting in the way, (with your earbuds in, of course, lest you actually have to talk to somebody) taking pictures of products that you plan on buying later online.

When all of your "showrooms" are closed, what is your plan then? Order 2-3 different products online, play with them at home in your mother's basement for awhile, and return the ones you don't like?

I'm sure that will work out just fine.



My favorite part of your rant is that you have this preconceived notion of who I am, and you then use that to try and insinuate that car buying is a fun process. Vehicles are simply transportation. That's all they are. They are a drain on your budget and greatly increase your risk of death. A  train and some sneaker would make them obsolete for a lot of people.

Face it man, the world is a changing place and the time of personal vehicle dealerships are dieing the United States. I don't think the number of dealerships has ever gone anywhere but down since the 40's. Don't take it as a personal insult (which is seems you have), it's simply life. Look at all the other industries it has happened in.
2013-02-20 09:20:11 AM  
1 votes:

CtrlAltDestroy: I plan on buying a new car this spring. I want the 2013 model for the new features and I feel like treating myself to a brand new car, as I think everyone should have a spankin' new car at least once in their lives. My last 4 vehicles (2 cars and 2 motorcycles) were used.

So, my experienced farkers, any tips? I have good, but not amazing credit. I know the model and options that I want. I was thinking of emailing several local dealers basically saying, "Here's what I want, nothing more and nothing less. You're not the only dealer that I'm contacting. What's your best offer?"


Have a bunch of car models and brands you want to try.  Go to the dealers and ask to test drive the car.  Be up front with them you are not purchasing that day so price discussion is moot because you're still trying to figure out which car you want.  Get a card from them and promise them your business when you do decide to purchase.

Then grill them on the car, make them answer details about the vehicle that you've been researching online, you'll quickly learn which dealerships have people that care about the vehicles and which dealerships are there to rip you off and never see you again.

When you do decide to purchase, figure out the Invoice price for the vehicle, anyone that pays MSRP is a farking idiot(Although you could probably say the same for invoice, getting below it is much more difficult)    So yeah, walk in, tell them the car you want, test drive it again, sit down, and give them the Invoice price, if they argue with it at all, remind them that a one-way airline ticket is only a couple hundred dollars and you can find a dealership willing to honor that invoice price.

TL:DR Never pay MSRP, Never pay more than Invoice.
2013-02-20 09:07:45 AM  
1 votes:

PunGent: Um, it's not just tolerated, but lobbied for, in MOST industries.  Just not as blatantly, usually.

Try opening your own bank or insurance company, for instance.


That's true - but those are typically heavily regulated industries anyway.  Not that it's any more right, but if you think about industries that produce consumables where the retailers have the manufacturers by the balls, there aren't that many.

The sleaziness of the sales model has an inverse correlation with the frequency with which people buy the products.  Appliances used to be a fairly sleazy biz, now it's very reasonable precisely because of pressure from the Internet.  Mattress purchases, OTOH....
2013-02-20 09:02:53 AM  
1 votes:

jpadc: "There is no reason they couldn't require the manufacturer to check those prior to release/after shipment."

So, you still have to go somewhere to get your car where they would have manufacturer certified techs to make the required repairs, send required parts to and the like. Warranty repairs, recalls etc, you still need some place to do all that. If dealers close, then the cost of maintaining those facilities increase and so do car prices.  You already can buy your car through Costco (and other places) and go to a dealer to pick it up. So what you wantalready exists.


Meh, this can be solved.  Many other goods manufacturers have either contracted shops or their own shops in large areas to do warranty service repair.  I don't see why this can be truly any different.  As well cars are generally magnitudes more reliable than they used to be.  Sure there are some calls for service but they are not as great as they used to be.  Maintenance intervals are further apart as well.  Since the maintenance area is usually a strong profit center for a dealership, I'd expect to see folks more than willing to do this and to not provide huge lots for the manufacturer to park its inventory.
2013-02-20 08:41:58 AM  
1 votes:

jpadc: As normal with NPR stories they miss (probably intentionally) an important part of these laws. The laws also protect consumers by requiring that manufactures drop cars off at dealers and then dealer are responsible for the final check that all the lights work, the brakes work,vital functions like wipers are operational. Basically that the car is safe  to drive. Even if the manufacture checks them as they come off the lot, theses things can be damaged in shipment. If I buy a book off the internet and its not assembled properly or damaged in shipment, my use of it can not kill myself or more importantly other people not involved in the transaction. A car delivered with brakes that are faulty can kill many people. Dealers are REQUIRED by those very same laws to make sure the new car can be safely operated on public roads.


There is no reason they couldn't require the manufacturer to check those prior to release/after shipment.
2013-02-20 08:09:43 AM  
1 votes:
About 50% of the human race is middle-men, and they don't take kindly to being eliminated.
2013-02-20 07:58:29 AM  
1 votes:

Great Janitor: .  In 2005 I bought a new car for $10,000.  On a five year note, after a $1,000 down payment, I would have ended up paying over $25,000....


Wow, either you're a terrible negotiator, or you have terrrible credit.  Do you realize that paying a total of $25,000 on a $9,000 loan over five years means that your annual interest rate would be 51 percent?  And you probably thought you were getting a great deal too, given all the virtual saliva you've been applying to the car dealers' balls in this thread.
2013-02-20 07:42:39 AM  
1 votes:

gingerjet: I can understand the idiotic laws around liquor sales because of the repeal of the 21st amendment   But car sales?  No.  I should be able to drive my ass to any state, buy a car, and drive it back.  But thanks to idiotic state laws, collusion, and outright threats - that isn't possible.

/also want to be able to buy a car on a fark'n sunday


You think that's bad?  Try buying a new handgun in another state.  That's a federal felony, and a stupid, stupid left-over from before the time when all new gun purchases were subject to an instant background check.
2013-02-20 07:30:27 AM  
1 votes:

Babwa Wawa: MaudlinMutantMollusk: It's not news

Anything that drives public awareness of this mockery of the free market is a good thing.


This has been going on since long before the internet existed though.  Even before the internet, we were forced to buy cars from middlemen (dealers) because it was illegal for for OEMs to open retail outlets that could sell directly to the customer.  Regardless of the technology, it's just state governments choosing to protect local business (read: middlemen) from outside competition (an OEM retail store would be able to undersell local dealers AND have more money behind it).

The problem is that no one really questions the system.  Even though it's perfectly legal for Apple to sell their products directly through their own retail outlets, it's not ok for Ford to do so---but most people don't find that unusual, because that's the way it's always been.  You're right though, raising awareness of the dealer scam will help, but it's an uphill batter to change "the way things have always been."
2013-02-20 07:10:55 AM  
1 votes:

Basily Gourt: gadian: If a person feels comfortable enough to buy clothes online, they'll likely feel comfortable enough to buy a car without trying it on as well.  So long as there is a return option, I guess.

Yea, because ordering and taking delivery of a 40k automobile, driving it around for awhile, then deciding "you know, I'm really not satisfied with the lumbar support", and deciding to return it (as a "used" vehicle btw) is the same as trying on a hat. - The law says you can return a vehicle before 3 days for ANY reason, already.  Many dealers offer 30-day return policies already.

This is the dumbest thread I've seen on fark, and that's saying something. - I'll reserve judgement on that until the next thread you are in.

You're all probably the same people biatching and moaning about all the jobs being sent overseas too. - So, your argument is that we should maintain a stupid outdated system because it might save some jobs.  By that logic, there should be a BestBuy on every corner.

So what the hell, let's throw a few thousand more people out of work in every county across the country so I can save a few hundred bucks on a car purchase. - Again, see BestBuy.

I'm not a car salesman, but I understand economics. Do you know what kind of property taxes these dealerships pay? Not to mention some of them being the largest employers in their respective locations? Advertising dollars spent locally, sponsorships of local kids sports teams, ect., ect. - Actually, you don't understand economics.  If you did, you would understand that dealerships are essentially monopolistic competition.  They compete against one another, but they have structured the market in such a way that it creates false barriers to competition.  Time and time again, this has been shown to be an inefficient market model, and ultimately, it is the consumer that gets screwed.

Some businesses need to be local. Car dealerships, as sleazy as they are, are one of these.

- Fine. let them be local.  There is no reason why dealerships all have to go away.  Some people, especially old folks will never want to buy their cars online.  But is that a valid reason to use sleazy political moves to prevent innovation?  fark, no.
2013-02-20 06:55:54 AM  
1 votes:
My wife bought a car a few years ago. She did all the research on various car sides (e.g. edmunds.com), reviewed the online inventory for multiple dealers in town, found the exact model and trim package that she wanted, and did all the negotiations by phone (less pressure that way). The dealers all competed with each other for her business, would offer to beat other dealer prices, etc. She kept meticulous notes of each conversation and when certain details were to be discussed (for example, the price) would record the call and got the dealer consent to do so -- that way there'd be no misconceptions or "he said, she said" accusations.

Finally, after she got the best offer from one dealer she physically went into the shop to finalize the sale. Even then, they tried pulling a lot of bogus stuff, tried to sell her useless add-ons, services, doing shady financial stuff, etc. On several occasions they tried saying certain things were required (and she knew they weren't) and so she got up to walk. They ended up changing their minds and suddenly "required" things became "optional".

She ended up buying the car that she wanted at the priced that had been previously agreed upon with no extras. They even removed the dealer sticker and license plate frame as a condition of the sale.

Moral of the story: do your research online and contact dealers by phone ahead of time (preferably by Google Voice so you can block their annoying follow-up calls that they make for weeks afterwards even after requesting that they don't call you). Be prepared to walk if they try pulling anything shady. There's no need to be an ass to car dealers, as they're just doing their job, but don't get suckered.

/dislikes having to interact with salesmen and high-pressure sales tactics
2013-02-20 04:59:53 AM  
1 votes:

sonorangal: So until commuter trains would have to have their own rail systems no bullet trains will be coming to the US anytime soon.


We could just move to unified transit technology. The idea that a "highway" and a "rail line" need to be fully distinct things is 19th-century thinking.

And I don't mean loading automobiles onto slow-moving trains, I mean building a new hybrid system that allows for the high-automation, fuel efficiency, and weight capacity of long-haul trains lines but with the individual routing possible with automobiles. It's not as implausible as it might sound technology-wise, it's just a big investment in infrastructure.

Given that the last major transportation technological change (steam->diesel) almost put the railroads out of business, and that car companies haven't done much other than safety/efficiency tweaks for decades (which is good and use engineering, just not very revolutionary in the base form of the vehicle) I'm not sure we can trust either of them or the politicians they own to bring us the next version of transportation.
2013-02-20 04:21:08 AM  
1 votes:

Mimic_Octopus: Babwa Wawa: Yogimus: Buy car overseas.

Are you familiar with the current exchange rates?  Are you familiar with how difficult it would be to source parts for a european-spec car in the US?  Do you have any idea of the shipping costs associated with it?  Do you have any idea how to ensure that a foreign-procured vehicle can be certified in the US for emissions so it can be registered?

so all this made sense up until emissions. i would bet this idea is  10 - 20 years out of date and every european country has better emissions standards than we do. along with regulating GMO an d fixing roads and we everything that sucks here now that used to kick ass before i was born.


Still needs the sticker for US emissions. (which they will happily place on your car at the factory)
2013-02-20 03:46:29 AM  
1 votes:

Great Janitor: PerilousApricot: Great Janitor: The reason why is for the car salesman.  If the lot wasn't forced to be closed at least one day a week, then most of the salesmen would be working open to close seven days a week.

That's why all the restaurants, clothes stores and shops near my house close one day a week.

The difference is that salesmen work on pure commission.  Restaurant/Retail employees are hourly.  In a pure commission environment everyone works 6 or 7 days a week.  If you're having a bad week, you work that seventh day in hopes of having a paycheck.  If you're having a good week, you tend to keep it going buy working that seventh day.  Having a law that says that certain industries, like car sales, must be closed one day a week means that no one is going to force themselves to work seven days, and the boss isn't going to expect anyone to work seven days a week.  Something else that happens in pure commission environments.

I've been in some places were the work week was just four days last sales appointment was at 7pm.  I've been to others were it was officially six days, but in reality it was seven days with the work day starting at 8am and being told that if you're home by 9pm you probably didn't make any money.

When everyone is paid hourly or salaried, the work week gets limited to 40 hours in most cases to avoid over time or comp time.  So the business can run seven days a week and the staff can have two days a week or more off (used to work retail.  One week put in almost 60 hours, next week lucking to put in 10 hours).


Okay, gonna get a lot of grief for this, but I made it to the bottom of the thread... guys? I *work* at a car dealership. Buick and GMC. Internet Manager. And man oh man, there is a TON of butthurt in this thread. Please allows me to teach...

1) yep, salesmen lie. you know who lies more? customers. Can't tell you how many times I had a customer (back when I was selling) say "Well we were just looking" and when I called to follow up the next day was told "oh we bought at XYZ dealership" oh well, go fark yourself.

2) better deal if you pay cash? hey the 80s called... we take deals that are so damn slim would make you wonder how we stay in business. I can say without hesitation or doubt that WEEKLY, we sell vehicles that are $50-60k and make a whopping 500-750 in profit. For those of you playing the home game, that's a 1% profit. Stop by your local grocer and tell them that you only want them to make 1% in profit. They will laugh their ass off. And probably throw something at you.

3) A salesman works by referrals, so he'll treat you right.......? Actually true. There's a gentleman in our dealership, been with us for 16 years now, doesn't even have to deal with "fresh" business, because he has a decade and a half of customers who know he'll take care of them. Sure there are some fly by night dealerships, some salesmen who don't cut it, etc etc etc... but if you get a real sales man, a CAREER salesman, then know what? he/she will see to it you're taken care of... because statistically, you know someone who will be in the market for a vehicle in the next 18 months. Industry standard.

4) And lastly? If you haven't worked in the business you don't what the fark you're talking about. Go back to that used lot where they put 40 weight in the engine to hide the knocking. You get what you deserve. Its not that different from cultivating a relationship with a waiter/waitress at your favorite restaurant- find someone who you know will take care of you, and go from there. Or be an idiot. Your call.

incidentally, Janitor? Don't know you, but sign me up for your newsletter.
2013-02-20 03:29:31 AM  
1 votes:

Babwa Wawa: Yogimus: Buy car overseas.

Are you familiar with the current exchange rates?  Are you familiar with how difficult it would be to source parts for a european-spec car in the US?  Do you have any idea of the shipping costs associated with it?  Do you have any idea how to ensure that a foreign-procured vehicle can be certified in the US for emissions so it can be registered?


What if you leave the car overseas, smart guy?
2013-02-20 03:25:00 AM  
1 votes:
 A similar story was aired on NPR on the way to work a while back about a woman who wanted to order either a Honda or Toyota online and have it made to order. She could do that but had to have the car delivered to a dealer specializing in the company to do the transaction to get the sales.  It made the price of the car much higher in price.

Found out that the automobile industry had got a law passed so that all new cars had to be sold by a dealer. I had never knew about the law until that story.  I wonder why it has not been challenged, but I can guess.

Another story I also heard is why America can not have an efficient commuter or long distance passenger rail systems is because the tracks in the US are privately owned and the owners are afraid it would slow down freight shipping and refuse to share the track. So until commuter trains would have to have their own rail systems no bullet trains will be coming to the US anytime soon.
2013-02-20 03:21:25 AM  
1 votes:

wax_on: PerilousApricot: Great Janitor: The reason why is for the car salesman.  If the lot wasn't forced to be closed at least one day a week, then most of the salesmen would be working open to close seven days a week.

That's why all the restaurants, clothes stores and shops near my house close one day a week.

And that day is usually Monday. Why do car dealerships close on a weekend day, probably the day folk have the most time to shop for a new car?


The answer I got was it was a state law.  Some states said that the dealerships had to be closed on Sundays, others say one weekend day.  To me it's evident that the choice isn't up to the dealership or it might be a Tuesday when they were all closed.
2013-02-20 03:12:37 AM  
1 votes:

iheartscotch: So, you're saying a pack of elderly lawmakers and obscure laws are making your life miserable?

/ welcome to the modern era; where things can't ever, ever, EVER; be simple.


this isn't limited to today. it's another example of those with money & power making damn sure they don't lose theirs. in lesser ways this has been going on ever since way back when extended families / villages worked together for their common good, side by side. eventually a few genetic misfits were born here and there, malcontents, evil people and some mentally ill, who were cast aside or unable to fit in the social structure so they left. some greedy evil clever ne'r-do-well gathered together a band of these bastards and they rode rein over a local family, stealing their wares and claiming their homes and land as their own as they made slaves of the men and raped the women.

these horrible people were the first to enjoy power and control over others for self gain. they were the ancestors of the wealthy and powerful families that exist today, more or less. simply horrible people that will do whatever it takes to make certain their personal wealth and comfort is undisturbed as others suffer.

it's rare that the masses rise up against those with power and control so it usually remains status quo. the longer this structure exists the more wealthy and powerful those families grow, along with their understanding & application of how to control and manipulate the masses to minimize backlash.
2013-02-20 02:39:50 AM  
1 votes:

AverageAmericanGuy: Amazon killed Borders. Now people without the Internet can't buy books.

So, yeah, it sounds great and it's really convenient to buy stuff online and have it delivered. But once you leave your little technologically enhanced sphere, there are plenty of disadvantaged people out there that rely on bricks and mortar stores to supply their needs. If you kill off the local dealership, you're taking that choice away from them and hurting us all.


There are five book stores within walking distance of my apartment, and that's not counting academic sellers.  One of them is a barnes and noble, i.e. "borders with a different name".  Only someone that doesn't ever buy books would think that Amazon killed local bookstores.

Also, public libraries have internet connections that the public can use for free, and many cities have municipal wireless.  "You have to get on the internet to order" wouldn't actually be any real barrier to entry to begin with.
2013-02-20 02:23:56 AM  
1 votes:
In 1998, I was training to be a car salesman and someone asked about the possibility of selling cars online.  My trainer answered it with "No, not really a good idea."  and then he mentioned that you can't test drive a car online.  Last time I went car shopping, there were a few cars that I looked at, thought they were decent, then I sat inside the car and thought "Oh fark no." When you look at a car online, you see what the dealer wants you to see.  When you see a car in person, you see everything.

Here it is, 2013 and it's still the same.  If you're going to go tens of thousands of dollars into debt on a purchase, it's best to actually look at the car in person, test drive it, learn how all the different features work, etc...  Hell, buying current car and my wife's current car, had it been online only we probably would have purchased lemons.  The test drive allowed us to filter out the cars in piss poor condition, ones that had obvious problems (I'm 6'1", one car we got into, the seat adjuster was broken and the last person to adjust that seat apparently was 5'3". There was no way I could drive that car in that condition).  Now this was a used car dealership, which means you really want to test drive the car before purchasing.  And the salesman hated me.  I turned down test driving one car because the keyless entry remote didn't work.  (He said "It's probably just the batteries."  I said "Fix it and I'll take another look, if not I'll look at a car with all the features working."). But the same is true for new cars as well.  I enjoy watching Top Gear, and there have been a few times when they've test driven a car and mentioned just how cheap looking/feeling the car's interior felt.  There was one episode where Jeremy Clarkson was driving a Corvette and the upper part of the seat belt broke.  Hell, last summer I was working as a car salesman and drove every new car model on the lot and there were a few that I just didn't care for.
2013-02-20 02:23:24 AM  
1 votes:
So dealerships have legislated their way into no going the way of Bestbuy.  Essentially a showroom for an online store.

There is one problem with this though.  You NEED a test drive to decide if you really want to live with a car.  I don't NEED to test drive a laptop.  Reviews are good enough.  For a car no one is going say in a review how the seats fit my ass or if the steering wheel doesn't adjust quite enough to see all the gauges clearly.

But there is a second problem with this.  The dealer invariably never has a car with all the options you want. They may have one with more options that you don't want to pay for or one with less options where you would be sacrificing something you wanted.  So you just end up ordering the car you want anyway.  Unless a dealer doesn't order cars, in which case you leave because they really didn't want to sell you a car any way.

I have never bought a car off of a lot.  Every time I've had to order.  I have also decided I really wanted a car only to test it and then decide I hated it.  Or really wanted to test it and there wasn't one available to test anywhere nearby.

Repubs scream about needless govt regulation.  This is actually an example of it.  Let people buy a car anyway they want.
2013-02-20 02:15:33 AM  
1 votes:

JohnnyC: By law I think dealerships should have to pay you a monthly fee to put one of their farking stickers on your car if you buy it from them. You could opt out of them putting the sticker on your car, in which case they wouldn't have to pay.

I hate that I end up having to remove those farking things from any car I purchase from a dealership.


That and the license plate frame.
2013-02-20 02:14:50 AM  
1 votes:
By law I think dealerships should have to pay you a monthly fee to put one of their farking stickers on your car if you buy it from them. You could opt out of them putting the sticker on your car, in which case they wouldn't have to pay.

I hate that I end up having to remove those farking things from any car I purchase from a dealership.
2013-02-20 02:13:07 AM  
1 votes:
I bought my last new car through Cars Direct in 2003 and it was the easiest experience I ever had.   The way it works out is you order it from there and pick it up at a participating dealership.   It's a done deal and they are not allowed to mess with you.   I walked in, signed papers and drove out.    At the time the going price for most cars on there was $500 over invoice minus any factory incentives etc available, which for my car were very substantial (always buy at the end of Dec for good deals...) and I got a really great deal.

I hate...hate HATE car dealers and I want nothing to do with them.      I can barely stand to go to one for a test drive.

I bought a truck a few years ago used from a private party and it was a much better experience, how it ought to be.   I guess I chose well because both that car and the truck have given me nothing but great service.   

I had previously purchased a car in 1998 through a dealer the traditional way and got taken to the cleaners...fairly young and naive, did not make that mistake twice.

Car shows are a good place to do everything but take a test drive. You can usually narrow it down to one or two models just by sitting in them and going through them inside and out.  Do that first, go take a test drive then back online to order the car.
2013-02-20 02:10:10 AM  
1 votes:
I can understand the idiotic laws around liquor sales because of the repeal of the 21st amendment   But car sales?  No.  I should be able to drive my ass to any state, buy a car, and drive it back.  But thanks to idiotic state laws, collusion, and outright threats - that isn't possible.

/also want to be able to buy a car on a fark'n sunday
2013-02-20 02:08:44 AM  
1 votes:
So, you're saying a pack of elderly lawmakers and obscure laws are making your life miserable?

/ welcome to the modern era; where things can't ever, ever, EVER; be simple.
2013-02-20 02:06:07 AM  
1 votes:
I'd still need a real test drive. Same reason you don't buy sex toys online.
2013-02-20 02:05:37 AM  
1 votes:
I bought my last car from a guy with one eye. Sadly, he was not a pirate.
2013-02-20 12:37:24 AM  
1 votes:
At least I can still buy my buggy whips online.

http://www.buggy-whips.com/store/
2013-02-20 12:21:48 AM  
1 votes:
Journalism, it used to exist.

Not so much now . . . . . . .

///slashies
2013-02-20 12:08:34 AM  
1 votes:
Amen to that.  I want to go online, order exactly what I want with options, pay for it, then a few weeks later a truck pulls up and drops off my new car.

Of course dealers will still exist to rip you off on service, so they'll still have that.
 
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