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5 Car Salesman Techniques to Look out For


Buying a car should be a happy experience, but most people walk away from the dealership feeling frustrated because they ended up with a higher payment than they wanted or the sales price ended up being substantially higher than they were originally quoted.

Most car shoppers also end up getting way less value for the vehicle they trade-in than they were expecting. Most car salesmen are well-trained and use many tactics to get a higher commission from selling you a vehicle.

5. Bait and Switch

Most car dealership ads have small print that states there is only one of that make, model and year available at that price. All other vehicles of the same make and model with the exact same features usually cost hundreds of dollars more. Buyers often arrive at the dealership expecting to buy the vehicle they saw in the ad and quickly find that the advertised vehicle has already been sold.

4. Ambush

Anyone who drives into most car dealerships during business hours is immediately approached by a salesperson, usually before they even get out of their vehicle. The salesperson tries to get as much information about the buyer as possible so that they can sell them a vehicle. Sharing as little information about yourself as possible is a good idea because it limits the salesperson’s tactics. They should not know if you are in a hurry to buy a vehicle or are just looking.

The salesperson is usually followed by a sales manager, floor manager, finance manager and several other people before the sale is complete. Dealing with several people is confusing and dealerships depend on buyers feeling like they are letting several people down if they leave the dealership without making a purchase. Buyers should do their best to only deal with one person from the time they first look at a vehicle until the purchase is complete.

3. False Rush

Salesmen make money by selling as many vehicles as possible for as much money as possible. They hate to see people leave the dealership driving the same vehicle they drove in. Most salespeople will do whatever they have to in order to get you to sign papers the same day you first look at and drive the vehicle.

They will often tell you that the price of the vehicle you are looking at will go up if you come back tomorrow or that the vehicle is such a great deal that it will probably be sold right after you leave. These assertions are rarely true, but they often get people to buy a vehicle on impulse, before they are ready to buy.

2. Confiscation

Salespeople who know that you want to trade-in your current vehicle will try to get the keys away from you as soon as possible. Taking the keys means that you no longer have a way to leave the dealership easily unless you purchase a vehicle to replace the one you drove to the dealership. It is best if the salesperson doesn’t know that you plan to trade-in your vehicle until after you have agreed on a price for the vehicle you are purchasing so they don’t increase the sales price because they are counting on the trade as a down payment.

Some managers will ask for your keys before you test drive another vehicle, while others will insist that they must have your keys to assess your vehicle and decide how much it is worth. Offer to start the vehicle and open the hood for them, but don’t give up control of your keys until you are satisfied with the deal and the papers have been signed.

1. Changing the Bill

Many car buyers don’t read over the entire contract before signing it. It is essential to read the contract to ensure that you understand all of the terms of the sale and you are not paying extra for services or fees that you didn’t agree to. Dealerships are known for adding small fees for things such as cleaning and not telling the customer until after the papers have been signed.

Julie Allan writes for and covers a number of motoring related topics.

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