Anyone here a Car Salesman?

Does ( or has ) anyone here work as a salesman on a car lot in USA? Are you willing to give some guides as to how a shopper should deal with the tactics and tricks that car salesmen often like to employ? What sort of things should a customer do, and what should they not do?
Please spill the beans for us.

I haven’t (I could think of little more dreadful), but there is an interesting article, Confessions of a Car Salesman on It’s the story of a journalist who spent three months undercover as a car salesman at two dealerships. I think it has a lot of what you want.

“What do I have to do to get you into this thread today? Let’s sharpen our pencils and get together on the dollar!”


I sold Chevrolets a long time ago. I hated the job, but I learned a lot. If it is possible for you, just buy the car from the dealer, not the financing or anything else. If possible, do not trade in another car. Financing and trades are two variables that the dealer can use to obscure what you are paying for what you are buying. Do not get into a discussion of “how much can you afford to pay per month” or negotiate to a payment. Negotiate the selling price of the car. Because every dealer knows that any other dealer can equal the deal he can make, dealers have a strong desire to consumate the sale today, right now, as in take the car home with you today. There is no reason for you to do this unless you really want to. They will do nearly anything to get you to take the car, to keep you out of the clutches of other dealers while you still have money. Whatever deal they tell you is invalid “unless you take delivery right now” will still be valid tomorrow, unless a factory rebate program is involved that ends today. If that’s the case, make them show you proof that it ends today.

Mr. Whia has been a car salesman in the past, and may be again by the end of today :).

He is also trying to give advice to my oldest daughter (not The Sausage Creature) about buying a car. Here is what I have overheard so far:

If you are not a member of a Credit Union, join one now if you are elegible and apply for the loan there. Otherwise, pre-qualify for a car loan with your current financial institution. DO NOT tell the salesman that you already have financing. DO NOT let them run your credit.

DO NOT tell the salesman if you are planning to put down a substantial amount on the car. Act as though you don’t have a lot to put down. DO NOT trade in your current vehicle. You will be money ahead to sell it on your own. Negotiate the selling cost of the vehicle first. Do your homework and research the model you want on the web so you know the approximate selling price in your area.

Then when you have all your ducks in a row, you can tell them you will be bringing them a check! :smiley:

Let me just shamelessly plug CarMax ( The greatest invention since TiVo. A friend of mine just bought a car at one of their branches. In and out with a new car in an hour and a half. That’s WITH a test drive AND financing.

  • Peter Wiggen