A motor vehicle salesperson recently explained to me that there are 11 steps that dealers use to get the most money out of you that they can get in a deal. I call it 11 Steps Dealers Use to Rip You Off. Here are Steps 1 thru 4, along with some comments and tips to help you avoid wasting your money!
Step 1: Dealer Prep
For new cars, it means doing what the factory requires but watch out they don’t try to charge you for "dealer prep" because the factory actually pays them for it anyway. Charging you too gives them double the money!
For used cars, it could mean anything from putting sawdust in the transmission to "clocking" the odometer (altering it to reflect a more desirable lower number that makes the vehicle worth more), or a lot more.
Tip: For used cars, ask to take the car to get an inspection done by an independent mechanic. If they won't let you, there's probably a reason so be careful. For new cars, watch out for all the extra charges the dealer will try to tack on to the deal...they are all negotiable!
Step 2: Sales Meetings at Dealership
This is usually a morning pep rally where management pumps up the sales staff, tells them what iron (a vehicle) has the spiff’s (cash bonus to the salesman who sells it first), and other promo’s.
Step 3: Meet and Greet the Customer
"Lot lizards" (salespersons) are generally required to pounce on the customer the minute he steps foot on the lot but, of course, by using businesslike polite language and introductions.
Tip: Make no mistake about it. Their only goal is to sell you a vehicle for the most they can get out of you. Salespersons are paid on commission ... the higher the price they get you to pay, the more money they make.
Step 4: Stealing the Trade-in During the Appraisal
You may not realize that the salesperson usually tells you that your trade-in vehicle is worth less than it really is and a lot less than you think it is. They may even tell you that it’s got what they call "negative equity".
That’s a term car dealers invented when they had to come up with some way of explaining why your car wasn’t worth what you owed on it when you wanted to trade it in, but they didn’t think there was enough profit in it for them to take it off your hands. "Upside down" or "in the bucket" are similar terms.
These terms can be used to play games with the buyer in order to literally steal the trade-in vehicle, by taking it in for trade but taking the payoff amount and tacking it onto the price of the car that the customer is buying.
Tip: Defend yourself by knowing for sure what your trade-in is worth and finding out what your loan payoff really is. Don’t take the dealer’s word for it. Know before you go. Check trade-in values online. Look in newspapers to see what dealers are selling your kind of trade-in vehicle for. The more you know, the better prepared you are to keep from getting ripped off. And above all, be careful thru each step of the process.
Remember: the dealer's objective is to get the money out of your pocket and into their's. Your objective is to keep as much of your money as you can!
Steps 5 thru 11 will be posted soon!
For now, if you've been ripped off by a car dealer, or if you've got a lemon, email or call us 1-888-331-6422 Toll Free. Getting rid of lemons and getting your money back, that's what we do. Every day.