the skinny on car salesmen...

Tell me what it’s like being a car salesman. How much do you make, how much is comission and how much is salary, how tough is it? Stuff like that.

I have a son that has been selling cars for about 8 years. Even as a kid he talked about being a salesman. He tried selling things like paper products and carpet underlay. He was young; the companies were not into training and times were not good. The failures there helped him learn and only made him more determined. He went into car sales as a last resort. At first I think they give some draw pay, but not for long. He loved it from the first minute. Within two years, he was one of the top 50 Mazda salesman in the country. Soon he was made the manager of new car sales and is now the general manager at his dealership. I’ve never asked how much he makes, but it is well over $100 thou. I honestly think he would rather be out there selling, since he considers it an art. On the other hand he talks about salesman that don’t have it and as the sales manager he had no qualms about getting them out of a profession they weren’t meant for. I should also mention that he works long hours, including Saturdays. On the other side of the coin, he recently was taken to South Dakota to pheasant hunt (bagged 14) by a newspaper (he spents over $20,000 on advertizing a month.) I hope that helps answer some of your questions.

An often-recommended read on this topic here on the SDMB:

“Confessions of a Car Salesman” from Edmunds. A writer goes undercover as a car salesman. Basically, while you see how manipulative the whole thing is of the customers, you feel even worse for the salesmen.