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So I decided recently to downgrade or upgrade to a older used vehicle. Working with dealerships or “stealerships” as I call them can be pretty nerve racking for some people, I think it’s super fun. People tend to get intimidated from the used car sales peeps. The pressure, the aggressiveness and the haggling, I find it all fun. Maybe it’s the sick, twisted and demented mind I carry, but car buying should be fun right? Why not make it fun!

I am familiar with all of the tactics since I’ve worked at quite a few stealerships. My favorite is the “buddy” system. When the sales rep pretends to be your friend. They will tell you their entire life story as if it’s important and critical to the situation. Couple that with the “car is still here but people are looking at it” tactic and you have a recipe for some grave mistakes from the buyer. I do not fall for any of these tactics and I don’t want you to either. Here’s some several great examples I received from several Sales reps via email.

Email from sales rep:

“This is my second year in the automobile business. I recently made a career change coming from the customer service industry. I became interested in (Dealership) based on their proven history of satisfying their customer’s need while exceeding their expectations in a comfortable supportive environment.

When not working I enjoy spending time with my wife and 3 children. We enjoy family time especially in the outdoors. I am an avid sports enthusiast and enjoy running, playing basketball, football, soccer, and baseball. I was a former personal trainer and also enjoy spending time helping others reach their fitness goals in the gym. As a family we are weekly church attendees and find this to be spiritually rewarding.

I thought it would be a good idea to let you know a little about me as you contemplate from whom you will be obtaining your next vehicle from.”

One more thing about the “buddy” system. I had a female sales rep get so desperate with attempting to sell me a vehicle she asked me out on a date and promised a “good time” afterwards. It was pretty hilarious and crazy! I also like it when the sales person will tell you the Manager is the “enemy” and they are on your side. LOL Since when did this become a game of Parcheesi?

Here’s an email focused solely on rushing the customer in: “We have several people interested in the (Car) right now; therefore I cannot guarantee how much longer it will remain on our lot.”

Finally, be weary of any Google Wallet scammers. I found a cool car online and the person sent me this email: “As I told you in my first email, I recently got divorced. I got a new job and moved to Canada for a new start. The vehicle is ready to be delivered to its future new owner. The deal is handled by Google Wallet so I don’t have much to do about it. With Google Wallet you get free delivery, at your place in 4 to 5 days. In addition, you get 5 days to try it out before buying it, and if you don’t like it, you can send it back at my expense. I want to make it very clear, that Google will hold your money, and I won’t be receiving a single dollar unless you call and tell them to release the money to me. For more info on how it works, I can ask Google Wallet to send you an email with more details on how to buy it. They will contact you shortly, as soon as have your personal details. This way you also get proof that I am covered by them and I’m a legitimate seller. If you would like to receive the email from Google with all the transaction information, please reply with your full name, address and phone # and they will contact you right away.”

We all know no one is looking at these cars, they are just trying to get you in for that test drive because once you sit down in that driver’s chair, they will feel like a spider catching a fly in a web. They’ll tease you by saying things like their spouse has the same car and it’s super reliable. They will distract you from listening to the engine by playing the radio or making small talk. When you look at a car that you want to buy, make sure you look into the engine bay carefully. Look between the front bumper and the actual engine and radiator. Do you see anything amiss? Do you see weird paint spots? Stare at the color and body of the vehicle, do you see a fade in the paint or does it look a tad different in color? It could have been in an accident. Carfax won’t always tell you this either unless it was reported to the insurance or a police report was written. Look under the vehicle too, do you see anything hanging such as wires or the splash guard protector? Do you see rust anywhere? Be sure to warm the vehicle up too, once the engine is hot different things can be heard. Don’t be afraid to drive fast either, make sure the car has plenty of pickup and no engine lights come on.

It’s simple things yes, but these things can easily be forgotten once you step in and are greeted by that warm friendly smile. You’re just another number to them, keep that in mind too. Also it doesn’t hurt to look at the vehicle in both the daylight and at night, that way you can see if all the lights work.

Think of car buying like going on a date. Do you put out on the first date? It’s always good to hold out onto the second date to consider getting serious. Don’t be afraid to walk away, plus doing this can always result in the sales rep calling you to negotiate a better price. Never mention the trade in either until you are actually set on the vehicle. When you are looking at the paper work and it has the financing numbers on there, that’s the best time to mention the trade in. Then when they give you the new paperwork, compare both. If they give you a price after the initial visit, be sure to bring that with so you can show them the original quote. If they say your credit is bad, try to arrive with your own credit report.

One time a VW dealership tried to do this to me just to get me to sign a longer finance term. In the end they are sneaky bastards and the best thing to remember is, are you in good hands? The only way to be in good hands is to be smart and savvy prior to even stepping into the stealership.

It reminds me of this bit:


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