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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    San Francisco, CA USA

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    Thought I would relay an amusing experience at one of my local dealerships (not the one where I purchased my new car! ) Situation: my wife and I had driven the XC70 for the first time the previous weekend, and wanted to compare with some of the other options. We test drove a Saab 9-5 (linear model was underpowered, aero version was a blast to drive, but in the end we thought we really would use the AWD and extra ground clearance of the XC70). We wanted to compare to the Volvo, so headed down the street to a nearby Volvo dealer.

    We walked into the showroom and looked around for a good 5 minutes - no salespeople appeared interested in us, until finally one guy asked if he could help. It turned out that he was a used car salesperson, and before trying to find us a new car guy, he tried to convince us that we should get a used car instead. ("Save thousands! The 2002 is just the same as the 2003 - they just added 5 or 6 more horsepower&quot

    Now - what's wrong with this picture? Does this guy think I' a complete moron, that I haven't done my homework on the differences between the '02 and '03s?

    Anyway, more waiting around, but by the time a new car guy shows up, my wife has been accosted by another used car sales guy. He's pushing a demo/loaner MY2002, though based on trim I suspect it might actually have been a 2001. "It's a wonderful car. Pity it'll be gone by the end of the day..."

    This guy continued to press us to take a test drive. Well, long story short, since we had no luck getting help from a new car sales person, we figured we had nothing to lose. There then followed the most bizarre exchange:

    Me: OK, we'd like to test drive the car. But I'd like to be perfectly honest with you, I am not going to buy this car from you, either today or in the future.

    Salesguy: That's OK - I'm not trying to sell it to you!

    Me: Uh - I hope you are trying to sell it to me, since you're a car salesman

    Salesguy: Actually I'm not really a car salesman! I'm a retired university lecturer and I just like to come down here and help out selling cars!

    Well, there you have it folks - the salesman that really isn't a salesman. I must say in fairness that he did take us on a great test drive - varied roads, spent a long time with us. We did have to put up with the standard salesman amater psychology stuff though (e.g. "How do you like the excitement of the manual transmission coupled with the smooth convenience of an automatic?&quot

    Overall, I guess we were more amused than anything by the whole experience, but definitely crossed this place off the list of dealers who we would consider buying from.

    Anyone else have any good Stupid Dealer Tricks stories?

    2003 Platinum Green XC70, OSD March 2003

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Hooksett, NH

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        I made the mistake of stopping  by a large VW dealer to try out one of the w8 wagons.  Although it was a nice car to drive, the man just did not hear that it did not live up to the xc 70 that I had tried out the day before.  At the end of the test drive, even though I had stated that it did not add up to the volvo that I had just driven, he wanted to know what he needed to do the get me into the car today.  I felt as if I had been taken hostage!  He even managed to get my registration to look at my possible trade in.  He then disappeared for over 20 minutes.  Thank God for cell phones, I was able to phone to my wife to have her phone in an emergency so that I could disappear.  The salesmen then called me 6 times in the next two days.  When I finally answered his phone call and told him that the financial situation in my household did not welcome a new car ( a white lie to get rid of him), he tried to talk me into the great finances that VW could offer me.  This is the only bad experience that I had this time out.  The other 5 dealers were very much up to the status quo.

    Very Respectfully,
    Jim Miller

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Southern California

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    Back in 1997, the last time I was in the market for a new car we stopped at a Ford dealer to check out an Explorer.  We just wanted to see one up close and personal.  The minute we walked on the lot bounding out the door came the eager salesman.  I explained that we just wanted to look at a car and that we were not buyers yet.  Of course he would not accept this and proceeded to talk up the crap that Ford makes.   We agreed to a test drive figuring the guy heard us in the first place that we were only looking at this point.  After the test drive we thanked the salesman and took his card.  He made his pitch to get us to sit down and make a deal on the car.  We re-explained our situation.  He then started yelling at us and said that he had a family to feed and that we had taken so much of his time (maybe 15 or 20 minutes) that we owed it to him.  I explained that I did not owe him anything.  I walked inside the dealership went straight to the manager and told him what the salesman had done and explained that if I bought a Ford it would not be from  his dealership.   Do car salespeople really only want a 20 minute relationship?  Years later a co-worker, who used to be in car sales called me a "slow breather".  Apparently that is what they call buyers like me who take their time, study the options, and make an informed decision.  While the car sales people may use that as a derogatory label I consider it a complement.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003

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    Awesome story Peter!

    I love when I go into dealerships and listen to these snakeoil salesman try BS me about what the car can do or what's better about their car. To be fair some salesman seem really honest and fair. I apprecitate that a lot more than some guy try to do a Jedi mind trick one ( "Your right rust protection IS something I cant do without....&quot

    The worst experience I had was when I went to just see a Nissan Murano in the flesh. I immediately got accosted by this new sales guy. I told him I wanted to test drive the SUV. He asked me if I was ready to buy (like that was needed to drive their SUV). I told him I wasnt thinking about buying it that day and I just wanted to test drive it to get feel for it while I compare it against other cars. At the time my wife wanted an SUV (the subliminal training wasnt quite complete at the time.) I wanted to drive it to see if it would be really tippy in the corners .... so the guy took me to his manager.

    This manager guy was some slicked back, pimple faced blob that sat on a elevated desk in the center of the sales floor that dressed and acted like he went to the Herb Tarlik School of Sales. Actually thats an insult to the character.

    Now a little background it was saturday morning, I was coming back from the dentist and I was just wearing a beat up pair of kahkis and a old sweatshirt...[okay as S/W guy that all I ever need to wear ] so I think he figured I was piss poor or something. It was like he was trying to talk me out of driving the car since the sales guy thought I couldnt afford the car.

    Then he trys to corner me into making a decision by saying, "are you ready to buy the car today...?" I said no since I dont know how it handles. I am not sure if my wife will even like it. He acted like it was some limited car... never mind the fact he had about 10 on the lot.The best part was this all happened in front of a bunch of other sales-dweebs who were hanging on this Mgrs every word to "learn" from the master how to handle this "situation".

    Now I was pissed, so I had to drive that POS. So this Mgr guy tries, " to gently break it too me" just how much his POS suv costs! So I had told him no big deal I had a XC90 on deposit. He sort laughed at me and said the Murano ($38K max) cost more than the XC90. Then I said, " thats funny since the XC90 was about $45K". I told him I just wanted to drive the car home (about a 3 miles away) so my wife could check it out. Then he asked where I lived to "see how far away it was " (but it was really to see what sort of neighborhood I lived in) and then his attitude changed like night and day.

    I drove the hell out of the Mirauno ( medicore handling comparable to any GM 4 door car, stlying that's trying to hard, cheap interior designed for people who still like glittering objects) I took a few corners hard enough that the salesguy was gripping the handles!

    Well when I dropped of the car they wisked me in and the Mgr asked me what I thought and if I wanted to run some numbers. I said no. He was so PO'd but I just said, I had already mentioned that I wasnt planning on buying today and left.

    Hopefully they learned not to judge a book by its cover and learn a little something about the competition and more importantly learn realistically what car they're selling.

    I think in the car sales world they called me one of those guys who hold there breath.

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