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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This thread is dedicated to educating consumers on the dirtiest tactics employed at dealerships and how to spot them. I am busy with my company but I will try to post tactics every couple of days until I can't think of anymore. Salespeople on the forums will most likely claim that these methods are only employed at the worst dealers. Of course they'll say that. I can tell you that I worked at a dealership that was awarded top honors by Infiniti in performance and customer service. Well, I'll let you all decide for yourselves what you want to believe about your local dealers.

#1) ONE OF THE WORST: DISTRACTION TACTIC
In my opinion, this one ranks up there among the dirtiest. *Most of you probably know the "Let's be Friends" tactic. But what utterly shocked ME my first week in car sales was the "Distraction" tactic.*

During nearly the entire sales process, salespeople are trained to deliberately distract you from thinking about price, calculations, and the transaction in general. It works extremely well on a subconscious level. By keeping the customer engaged in activity that does not involve cost, at every possible point, they successfully prevent you from using your better judgement in decisions.*
They will make conversation with you just to keep your mind off of numbers and other useful *information resources.*If this sounds like something out of a movie, then you probably share my surprise at how underhanded and sinister this method is.*

The most crucial time to watch for it is right after agreeing to the sale, the point at which you have not officially signed anything, except maybe the numbers paper, which means nothing. At this point, managers and salespeople know you can change your mind at any time and just leave. So everything turns to big smiles and congratulations and the conversation gets very friendly. It is at this crucial time in the salesperson's transaction that they must make all attempts to distract you from thinking about the figures and your deal.*

My advice: ask to be left alone for 10 minutes after agreeing to the sale in order to reevaluate everything. Or just step out for a few minutes and go somewhere private and relaxed, like your car, or the service area.

My own message to all of you reading: I have decided to try something a bit revolutionary with my company, Drive Off Simple. Since August 4, 2013, Drive Off Simple has been a free public service. My goal is for driveoffsimple.com to become popular enough so that it can expand beyond Southern California and help consumers nationwide and in person. I have already negotiated deals for people in Arizona, Florida, California, and now Texas - all by phone. But I want to help more people, eventually in your own areas - not just Internet-savvy users. Your family, your friends, your colleagues - ALL stand to benefit, 100% free. At the moment, I am putting time into this on my own dime and I need contributions to help support this idea. If you appreciate the honesty and quality of information I have provided in my posts, imagine how much more effective it is when Drive Off Simple bargains for consumers directly. My most recent success was negotiating $2,050 in savings (from MSRP) on a fully-loaded Q50 Premium in Florida; I did it for a forum member here for FREE. Drive Off Simple also got the dealer to pledge $100 to a local charity, in writing! I offer all of you the same genuine service. PLEASE share my business with your online social circles and donate if you support the idea, I would love to keep this alive and 100% FREE. Thanks!
 

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This is simple.

1) Figure out what you want. Get your test drives done in the middle of the week early in the month when they aren't busy.

2) Use online pricing to determine the retail and wholesale of the car you want. Dealers will probably have a big inventory, but you should be able to get what you want regardless.

3) About 2-3 days before the end of the month, on a weeknight, show up 1.5-2 hours before closing. You aren't giving them time to play games.

4) You already know what you want, so you can talk turkey right away. You have enough time for the salesman and sales manager to have a stake in the game.

5) If the salesman goes to the back to talk to the manager, get and walk around the dealership. Sit in the car. Play around with it. There is no rule you need to sit at the desk. Let the salesman look for you. Alternatively, bring a book and be absorbed in it when they return. Watching a movie on a tablet also works.

6) Don't let yourself get distracted with add ons. These are always high margin things with less value that can be added later. Their goal is to sell them because this is a big once every 3-4 year purchase for you, but they do 50 of these a week.

7) By a few minutes after closing they will make a deal. They don't expect you will come back after you leave. It will count toward their monthly numbers. They can get more cars next month. They want to do the deal.

Note: bring a tablet or laptop with a spreadsheet that calculates financing. You are negotiating price and financing separately Make sure you get a low purchase price, high residual, and low money factor, not just a monthly price that sounds right. Also low fees. Make sure you have all the fees included, both sales fees (doc fee, prep) and lease fees (initiation, turn in, etc.) Make sure sales tax is handled correctly in the lease calculation.

Note 2: If you want to see what a dealer does behind the scenes, watch the movie Fargo

Note 3: Add ons you may want later include extended warranty, wheel and tire insurance, and key insurance. These are expensive items you can shop with them later. You can determine competitive prices as a negotiating point. I bought my Honda extended warranty from a dealer 200 miles away over the phone. Note, wheel and tire insurance may not be a good deal if you change to non-factory tires.

Note 4: Trade-ins make the negotiation much more difficult. If you have a trade-in, especially one with significant value, go to other dealers, it doesn't have to be an Infiniti dealer, and get trade-in quotes on deals. That will give you a baseline.

Note 5: If you are leaving a lease early and the dealer is buying you out, find out what your early turn in costs are. The dealer doesn't have an edge here unless it is factory financing with manufacturer incentive to the dealer. If you determined the early lease termination costs and have your spreadsheet ready, you will find the real numbers. Note that the dealers get comp'd on leases and financing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nice. You're a pro. And many on the forum probably are too. But it's definitely not simple, especially if you've ever been on the Inside. Great if people have seen "Fargo", we don't always know WHAT to believe in movies... is it dramatized, is it real? How do you reconcile what you see in movies with the friendly sales consultant who greets you amicably and comes off truly genuine while thinking "cha ching." This is for the online population who isn't glued to the forums, people who Google "Q50" and run across this thread - the average person who doesn't understand half of what you just wrote. Everyone feel free to contribute what you know. Good quality, in-depth stuff, is the most helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
2) Excellent Customer Service is compensated by many car manufacturers, including Infiniti.

Infiniti salespeople get about $1000/mo extra for getting a certain number of "truly exceptional" consumer surveys. This creates a biased system that does not accurately reflect customer satisfaction because salespeople only ask their happy customers to fill out their surveys. When they do ask, they emphasize the all-or-nothing nature of the rating system and lightly pressure the consumer into providing perfect scores that are "truly exceptional."

My advice: When it comes to negotiating the Q50, try anything that might bring those ridiculous price premiums down, come Aug 5th. One survey question salespeople are rated on is the negotiation process. I would utilize their need for a perfect score as leverage. Be smart about it. Think about how to use this knowledge in your favor.
 

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FYI.. he is right about the survey's being important. If you use that against a salesperson when negotiating, do not expect them to sell you the car. Most won't risk selling a car to someone who would hold the survey over their head.. it is TOO important to our livelihood and that of our families.
 

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I can attest to the "distraction" factor! I'm an extremely friendly and outgoing person, even more so in person!:D At times that plays to my advantage while at times it can be a negative trait. People often assume outgoing = not bright. The local dealership that I won't work with for my Q50 did this exact move. I visited them two months ago while looking at another car. Both the (female) sales rep and the (male) sales manager sat in an office with me for about an hour discussing everything from Facebook to Louis Vuitton purses (the guy actually brought up the purses, noting he bought one for his ex girlfriend).

They ran all sorts of numbers, leaving a few times to do so and came back with final numbers. They STRONGLY encouraged me to take the car home, even for the weekend. When I didn't give in and told them that I'd be back next week to finalize things, they let me go....but the sales rep let me take the "internal use only" page home that showed all the numbers.

Imagine my surprise when the "pull ahead" numbers for my lease weren't paid by them as they told me many times, but actually added to the final cost of the new car. It was blatantly visible on the paperwork. That really showed me just how sneaky they were and thought that because I'm a bubbly blonde who can chit chat all day, I'm not an idiot and wouldn't just write it off as a mistake. When I confronted them on it, they were surprised that I caught it and didn't even deny it. The manager called me back with the old, "my general manager has allowed me to make an even better deal that I think you'll be really happy with." Yeah, at that point...I can't trust anything they say or offer.

Made me realize just why car sales people have such a slimy reputation. It's unfair to those who really are genuinely great sales people on the up and up. It seems that they are taught these tactics from management so it isn't necessarily "their fault" for doing their job the way their bosses tell them to do it. Sad really.

Thank goodness there are some good reps out there to help balance the industry.
 
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The one thing worste then car sales people are brokers...
They are bigger scums, they have there customers come in and waste the dealerships time and gas. They make the sales people do all the work and work for free. I don't mind taking my time and helping customers and getting a flat. I treat everyone the same , does not matter is I made $1000 or $100 on the deal I treat everyone equaly. It seems like the people that Steal the car (litterly get the car $1000 behind after holdback) are the ones that are never happy and genrally the ones that we make some money on are the ones that are happiest. With the internet and all resources that customers have nowadays no one really gets ripped off. The banks will not allow dealers to mark up the rate over 2%. Dealers can not mark up the money factor so no one is really getting "taken" , in most cases it is the saleperson that is getting taken. They work 2-3 hours working the deal, anouther hour getting the car ready and 2 hours delivering the car for $60 after taxes, and you are telling me that we are being dirty. Salespeople do get a bad rap and most of it is uncalled for.. Yes there are "dirty" salepeople and my dealer had 2-3 of them but they are no longer here.

When it comes to the "friend" thing, I am not here to make friends. I am here to feed my family and help customers. I love what I do and I love working with people but the longer I am in the buesness the more and more I lost hope for humanity. When is the last time that you got a great deal on a car and your salesprson went above and beyond for you and you gave him a tip. I just bought a new car , I did not tell the guy I was in the buesness. He worked with me and gave me a great deal and I gave him $200 because he spent his time with me and I know he did not make any money on the deal but spent his time with me...
 

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First, I had NO idea that sales people can accept tips. That's surprising but good to know.

I apologize if you felt I offended your role. I certainly do not or would not say that all car sales people are evil and scum. I said that a few give the rest a bad name/reputation. And that is a fact. Also a fact, even though I am now being told I'll have to pay for a transfer fee between my dealership and the dealership with my car, I have stuck with this sales rep because he is a nice guy and has worked hard for me. I'm someone who is loyal but in return I do expect to be treated fairly for my business.

Would I use a broker? Umm no! I think that the fact that so few people on this forum have embraced his offer proves that most aren't. I think it's fair to assume that most people want to have an equally fair sale, for all parties involved.
 

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dont wear jewelry.........im a jeweler and wear shiny expensive things...i dont want them to see it and think im mr money bags.

when I was at BMW last week, the sales man kept talking to my fiance....trying to get her to convince me to take the deal. he noticed i was being a hard ass and was trying to use her to soften me up. thankfully i trained her well...she didnt give in. she eventually got sick of it and walked away.

One guy REALLY pissed me off by insulting me, saying that i probably couldnt afford the car since i kept saying his price was out of my budget and that nissan was down the block. I started boiling on the inside! i pointed out my jag in the parking lot...i told him "you see that brand new XJ over there? dont tell me what i can/cannot afford"
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
dont wear jewelry.........im a jeweler and wear shiny expensive things...i dont want them to see it and think im mr money bags.

when I was at BMW last week, the sales man kept talking to my fiance....trying to get her to convince me to take the deal. he noticed i was being a hard ass and was trying to use her to soften me up. thankfully i trained her well...she didnt give in. she eventually got sick of it and walked away.

One guy REALLY pissed me off by insulting me, saying that i probably couldnt afford the car since i kept saying his price was out of my budget and that nissan was down the block. I started boiling on the inside! i pointed out my jag in the parking lot...i told him "you see that brand new XJ over there? dont tell me what i can/cannot afford"
EXCELLENT POINT! That's another common tactic they use. If they can't get you to pay what they want, the bigger sales jerks will throw that exact comment at you. Believe it or not, it actually works. I've seen men change their minds and walk right back to the table after hearing that sort of insult.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The one thing worste then car sales people are brokers...
They are bigger scums, they have there customers come in and waste the dealerships time and gas. They make the sales people do all the work and work for free. I don't mind taking my time and helping customers and getting a flat. I treat everyone the same , does not matter is I made $1000 or $100 on the deal I treat everyone equaly. It seems like the people that Steal the car (litterly get the car $1000 behind after holdback) are the ones that are never happy and genrally the ones that we make some money on are the ones that are happiest. With the internet and all resources that customers have nowadays no one really gets ripped off. The banks will not allow dealers to mark up the rate over 2%. Dealers can not mark up the money factor so no one is really getting "taken" , in most cases it is the saleperson that is getting taken. They work 2-3 hours working the deal, anouther hour getting the car ready and 2 hours delivering the car for $60 after taxes, and you are telling me that we are being dirty. Salespeople do get a bad rap and most of it is uncalled for.. Yes there are "dirty" salepeople and my dealer had 2-3 of them but they are no longer here.

When it comes to the "friend" thing, I am not here to make friends. I am here to feed my family and help customers. I love what I do and I love working with people but the longer I am in the buesness the more and more I lost hope for humanity. When is the last time that you got a great deal on a car and your salesprson went above and beyond for you and you gave him a tip. I just bought a new car , I did not tell the guy I was in the buesness. He worked with me and gave me a great deal and I gave him $200 because he spent his time with me and I know he did not make any money on the deal but spent his time with me...

My name is EX-infinitisalesguy, I used to be in sales. I know exactly what StonedCL feels like. There are car salespeople that are very nice and warm, with families and good morals. I knew them, I was friends with them. But this business is seriously screwed up. It forces good people to do bad things. I don't care what he says on this forum, I know the very nature of the car business forces salespeople to lie and be immoral. There is simply too much pressure from managers and upper managers to sell fast and sell hard. The polite, nice salesmen are the ones that don't make the cut because they lose too many customers.

Here's an example of a great human, but poor salesman- I worked with him at my dealership. He was in his 60's and worked to support his family and autistic adult son. He was a true gentleman, even at work, a very nice guy. BUT he worked under the same pressure to sell as I did, which made him lie, deceive, and yes, even tactic #1 above, distract. IT'S THE JOB.

So what's one to do when their morals conflict so strongly with their work? You COULD leave and do something else. Or you can keep at a job that forces you to deceive and manipulate people every day by justifying it to yourself however you want.


Are brokers really so evil? How about real estate agents then? Brokers and the like offer comparable services to realtors. Cars are the second most expensive purchases in people's lives, right after homes. What's so bad about a professional consumer advocate ensuring a customer gets a wonderful deal and is thoroughly informed? BTW, I am personally not a traditional broker. If I was to work with StonedCL's dealership, for example, to negotiate savings on a Q50, he would still make over $400 commission himself. The salespeople here are just annoyed because I'm making it harder for them to make $800 or more in commission.

Truthfully, I don't care if anyone on this site utilizes my services. Yes I am advertising my offer, but above all, I just hate the whole stupid car sales system and want people to get through it fairly. Until that change comes, sales people will play unfair and that forces consumers to play unfair too.
 

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The one thing worste then car sales people are brokers...
They are bigger scums, they have there customers come in and waste the dealerships time and gas. They make the sales people do all the work and work for free. I don't mind taking my time and helping customers and getting a flat. I treat everyone the same , does not matter is I made $1000 or $100 on the deal I treat everyone equaly. It seems like the people that Steal the car (litterly get the car $1000 behind after holdback) are the ones that are never happy and genrally the ones that we make some money on are the ones that are happiest. With the internet and all resources that customers have nowadays no one really gets ripped off. The banks will not allow dealers to mark up the rate over 2%. Dealers can not mark up the money factor so no one is really getting "taken" , in most cases it is the saleperson that is getting taken. They work 2-3 hours working the deal, anouther hour getting the car ready and 2 hours delivering the car for $60 after taxes, and you are telling me that we are being dirty. Salespeople do get a bad rap and most of it is uncalled for.. Yes there are "dirty" salepeople and my dealer had 2-3 of them but they are no longer here.

When it comes to the "friend" thing, I am not here to make friends. I am here to feed my family and help customers. I love what I do and I love working with people but the longer I am in the buesness the more and more I lost hope for humanity. When is the last time that you got a great deal on a car and your salesprson went above and beyond for you and you gave him a tip. I just bought a new car , I did not tell the guy I was in the buesness. He worked with me and gave me a great deal and I gave him $200 because he spent his time with me and I know he did not make any money on the deal but spent his time with me...
No offense to the dealers here, I'm sure the guys here on the forum are all upstanding, but I really hate the system we have now. I don't understand why they can't just sell everything MSRP. And I don't mean the inflated MSRPs we have now, I mean the honest to goodness MSRP that the manufacturer thinks a car can be competitive with.

There was a recent article describing the struggle of Tesla vs. NADA in selling direct to consumer. They referenced a DOE study saying dealers add 5-10% to the final cost of a car (total effect, not just the markup).
 

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Are you joking? Why would you tip a car salesman? I have never heard of that in my life!
Why not tip someone that goes above and beyond to help you.
Everytime I bought a car and I know the salesperson worked with me to get me the best deal possible then I always threw them a little something.
If I see a saleperson is guenuinly looking to get me the best deal possible and I know that he is working hard and taking time with me and getting a flat then why not. I tip everyone that exceeds my expectations, and thats how I show my appreciation.
 

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NOt all salespeople are forced to lie and stead by upper management. They actully call me the Flat king because I will work for the customer to get them the best deal possible and I work on volume. I have been the top 25 sales volume leader 6 times in 3 - 4 years and have been Elite member of award of excellence which is top 10% in the nation I belive.. or top 20%.. I have not sold that many cars by lieing and stealing , I have got there by being honest and trying to make the customer happy. I have families that have bought 5-6 cars from me and have highest lease retention in my store. I have Many dealerrattors all possitive (except one because it was a issue with the car itself) So not all of us are forced to lie and steal. The dealer does not care how you sell the cars as long as you sell them. Anouther thing is the CSI for Infiniti is VERY strict. There is no way to manipulate it and people have been fired for tring to manipulate it.. Yes I have been to dealers that I was treated like crap so I know they are out there but not all stores are like that. I know 1 Ininfiti dealer buy me that does suck and they have very high turn over in sales people but people at my store have been here for years, I am one of the newer guys and have been here going on 4 years..
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Anouther thing is the CSI for Infiniti is VERY strict. There is no way to manipulate it and people have been fired for tring to manipulate it..
I'm not saying you're intentionally misleading people, but I know for a fact that the survey system gets manipulated REGULARLY.

Look man, this is not an attack on you or sales people in general. It is a cautionary reference for things to possibly watch out for. People should be aware.
 

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dont wear jewelry.........im a jeweler and wear shiny expensive things...i dont want them to see it and think im mr money bags.

when I was at BMW last week, the sales man kept talking to my fiance....trying to get her to convince me to take the deal. he noticed i was being a hard ass and was trying to use her to soften me up. thankfully i trained her well...she didnt give in. she eventually got sick of it and walked away.

One guy REALLY pissed me off by insulting me, saying that i probably couldnt afford the car since i kept saying his price was out of my budget and that nissan was down the block. I started boiling on the inside! i pointed out my jag in the parking lot...i told him "you see that brand new XJ over there? dont tell me what i can/cannot afford"
been in this situation as well. not a good feeling
 

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Why not tip someone that goes above and beyond to help you.
Everytime I bought a car and I know the salesperson worked with me to get me the best deal possible then I always threw them a little something.
If I see a saleperson is guenuinly looking to get me the best deal possible and I know that he is working hard and taking time with me and getting a flat then why not. I tip everyone that exceeds my expectations, and thats how I show my appreciation.
you know, ive never thought about tipping the sales guy. however I do try to refer as many people as possible. I also try to come back and buy from that guy again. i feel those are good ways to show some appreciation
 

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you know, ive never thought about tipping the sales guy. however I do try to refer as many people as possible. I also try to come back and buy from that guy again. i feel those are good ways to show some appreciation
That is always appreciated too. Most don't tip.. even a $20 to $40 is hugely appreciated a remember by salespeople because while it isnt a lot.. we know that our work was appreciated.
 
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