reply to post by elevatedone
It all depends on what the car dealership decides their bottom line is, of course.
You have to go in "wanting"
the car, not "needing"
it as well.
Having a pre-approved loan in hand gives you leverage and ability to make more demand for your terms, not theirs.
Back in 2002, I began searching for a vehicle I wanted, I did not need it.
For three months I drove past this dealership, I will keep their name out of it, watching the vehicle I wanted because my job was delivery and I drove
that way anyway.
After three months of seeing this vehicle sitting there, not having moved for a test-drive once, I stopped in on a day the dealership was closed and
looked it over, inside, outside, and upside down. The dealership leaves the vehicles open and they have motion-activated security cameras in case they
get someone stupid enough to hotwire one off the lot. The vehicle was marked as a 1999 Jeep Wrangler, and the mileage was 40,000, the year being 2002.
I went home and did my own research on the vehicle at the website for Kelley Blue Book Online
as well as looked through
the local newspaper to educate myself on the prices around town for that make and as close to that year as possible.
I went back the next day, and asked to test-drive it. The first thing I noticed was that the year was marked incorrectly, it was in fact a 2002,
mid-year, with 40,000 miles on it. I began asking the saleswoman who went with me on the test-drive questions, and quite obviously I knew that she was
new, both to the area and the dealership. She was inexperienced, told way too many details to me as a customer, as well as told me she had just moved
there three months prior.
Knowing in advance that this car dealership had a bad reputation, it had been nailed by Government for all types of schemes and scams on the public,
I'll reference one such example a bit later, I knew I was going into the shark-tank with them, and I know how to swim with sharks without fear.
The saleswoman asked if I was trading in my truck for the Jeep, and I said I was not trading it in, I was keeping it as a back-up vehicle, that was my
intent afterall. I was isolated in a cubicle, one of this dealerships favorite tactics is to isolate people away from public view, so if you have a
problem they can soothe you into compliance out of the view of people who might walk out if they see a customer getting upset.
The saleswoman went to talk to her manager, and while she did, I called the girlfriend of the time, and asked her to look up the Jeep on KBB since I
found out the year was wrong. She found that the year didn't matter, as the value was $18,500 in Kelley Blue Book, so I hung up with the girlfriend
as the saleswoman came back.
Here's my first clue, other than knowing the reputation of the dealership, that I was about to be royally screwed, and I wasn't going to be lighting
a cigarette and enjoying it afterwards.
Are you ready for this?
It's good and here it comes.
Todays selling price,...
My first thought there, was is this the stock market floor?
Todays selling price, huh?
Yeah, try again lady.
Todays selling price is $23,900 for the 1999 Jeep Wrangler.
I asked "Excuse me? Did I hear you correctly, todays selling price is $23,900?"
She re-stated that figure to me, and I laughed at her. She was dumbfounded and did not know what to think of that in the least.
I explained to her, that I was not going to pay $23,900, since I knew the value of the Jeep was $18,500 in Kelley Blue Book, and I thought she was
going to cry.
She excused herself to go talk to her manager, and came back in five minutes. Classic stall-tactic, her manager gave her another number and told her
to make me wait.
"Okay, I talked to my manager, and he's agreed to knock off some money, just for you."
I smiled when I heard her state that.
Todays selling price is $22,900 and that's as low as my manager will go.
I then proceeded to frown at that, and told her this was unacceptable, and asked her why there was $5,400 difference, now a $5,300 difference between
Kelley Blue Book and the dealerships price.
She said she had no idea. Remember, she was new to both this dealership as well as the area. I knew these people were sharks, and I had come to buy
because I wanted the Jeep Wrangler, not because I needed it.
The next series of events I tell with fond rememberance and I still laugh to this day.
The sales-manager came around the corner, and offered his hand to me, and asked what he could do as he heard there was a problem with the deal that I
was being offered, in a straight-faced lie, he smiled at me.
I told him, flat out, that I knew that Kelley Blue Book's price was $18,500 and that I had a problem with being screwed for $5,400 on a deal. The
look on his face was priceless, and he turned three shades of red because he was pissed off at me, but kept his cool enough to not blow up at me. He
then had the gall to offer me the Jeep for $21,900, still an over-priced value for a Jeep that was less than a year old, with 40,000 miles on it, as
well as it as an automatic, not standard, which I had told the saleswoman I did not like.
I promptly stood up, and told him that this was unacceptable, that I was getting it for the Kelley Blue Book value, or I was not buying it from his
Now, notice there, what I did, I stood up. This is a clear cut sign I was getting up to leave to the sales-manager.
Now, I am 6'4" and at the time I was around 250 pounds, lean and mean looking, but I wouldn't swat a fly.
This idiot, proceeded to block the exit from the cubicle, that I was isolated within.
I looked at him, and took a step forward, fully meaning to push him out of my way so that I could leave.
He held up his hands, and asked how he could make this deal good for me, so that I would happily drive away with this wonderful Jeep.
I told him, he could either sell me the Jeep for $18,500 or move out of my way and quit screwing me around (screwing was not my word, I used that for
T & C). Both him and the saleswoman who was three shades of gray both physically balked at my use of profanity directed at them, I excused myself, and
explained I don't like getting screwed (again, not the word I used) by someone I didn't know nor like.
He apologized for any confusion
on the price, and told me gladly he would sell it to me for $18,800. And asked was there anything else
he could do for me?
I asked what would he give me for trade for my 1996 Toyota Tacoma. It was dripping in chrome, had 31 inch tires on it, and brush guard, but it was
covered in mud.
He asked the saleswoman why the trade was not mentioned to him, and he was furious, his face was red as he sidemouthed it to her. I informed him that
she had no idea I was trading it in, because I had not planned on trading it in.
He excused himself to take a look at it, since I was still being corraled like cattle in the cubicle. He came back, and explained that since he could
see I was an intelligent individual (schmoozing me, trying impossibly to sway me), and that he didn't want to insult me, so he asked if I was to put
it on the side of the road to sell myself, how much would I ask for it.
It had mileage on it, covered in mud, but I knew if I wanted to spend the time, and I did not want to, I could easily get at least $4,000 for it, but
just to "play the game" with him, I stated $2,500 and watched him think about it.
He said he would give me $1,800 trade-in value.
I thought about it for all of thirty seconds. I told him yes I would take that.
He asked was there anything else he could do for me.
I told him since he had been screwing me around (not my words) for around thirty minutes, he could knock off a few hundred more, and buff out a few
scratches I had noticed.
Again, he got visibly red in the face. I was laughing inside real hard.
He agreed to this and we shook hands. I was then directed to the loan-officers office, and made to wait along with about four couples, for
approximately an hour.
The loan-officer asked me about several finance options, every one of them for two, three, or four years, with exhorbitant monthly payments and
I told him no to all of them, those payments and rates were ridiculous, and that I wasn't going to get screwed on the other end since the
sales-manager tried to screw me from the get-go.
He balked. This dealership is used to people not asking questions, older gentlemen with money to burn dropping down a checkbook, and driving away
without hesitance, and for the common man they were used to persuading people into high-finance deals.
They do afterall get extra money for directing the loan to certain banks.
After I insisted he called my Credit Union, and he complied, I got the Jeep financed for five and a half years, at a reasonable interest rate.
As I was signing documents for financing, one was explained to me, that made me stop and ask questions.
The loan-officer explained to me that this document stated I was not taking part in their "Free Gas For One Year"
deal, which they had been
caught by the Government in jacking the prices up an extra $3,000 on top of the price from their sales prices.
I was astounded that they would try something so criminal, and then got caught in the act.
Bottom line, to end this story with a bang, I ended up giving them my truck for a trade-in value of $1,800, I still owed $1,200, so I got $600
credited to my deal, and in the very end, I got the 1999 Jeep Wrangler for $15,888.00, plus interest of course.
[edit on 26-5-2009 by SpartanKingLeonidas]