It has been observed that car buying is one of the least pleasant experiences most people will have the displeasure to endure, and this is to no small extent because of all the cunts you meet along the way. Generally they work in sales, and although there are undoubtedly some very pleasant, honorable car salesmen out there (somewhere), in general you would be hard pressed to find a bigger bunch of devious, lying twisters.
I don’t know about the UK, but here in the US you are better off avoiding the car-lot sales experience altogether by contacting the internet sales department at each dealer. The idea is that these people just field internet requests and they respond with simple quotes, usually much better than you’d get from the bloke on the forecourt because they are dealing with so many enquiries from people who are clearly comparing quotes between dealers that they need to be competitive, and they can’t hard-sell you by e-mail.
So Mrs Bison decided that she wanted the Honda; I set to work e-mailing about 10 local Honda dealers and asking for their quote. Almost all of them responded quickly with a quote, but one just sent me a note inviting me to come in and show them what price I got from someone else so they could beat it. Yeah, right. When I followed up and stated that, no, I wanted a quote, I got an e-mail which included the following delights:
“The Internet Department at [Wanker Honda] operates completely different than any Honda Dealer! We have the lowest processing / documentation fees. Just $99 compared to $149 – $250. So you can see that your short drive to see me (2 minutes from Chesterfield Valley) is already putting $49 or more in your pocket. And this is of course before I get started on the best possible “Internet Price”. I’m serious when I tell that I don’t get beat by the other dealers when presented with a written quote.”
Only a complete retard would fail to spot the obvious flaw here – since all dealers pay the same price then sure, this clown will “beat” the offer you get from anyone else, but only just. He won’t participate in the process – won’t even give you a price quote of his own, so why the fuck should I give him the last look? That privilege is reserved for the local dealer who did the test drive. And the processing fee? It’s pure bullshit. Most dealers add one on but it’s just an attempt to pad their margins. His “deal” is basically “I’ll only fuck you three inches up your arse instead of six”. The pitch goes on:
“…so in otherwords are you willing to drive all over town for the best possible deal because of an e-mail that you received stated one thing and after driving to purchase what you thought was the best deal actually was a bait and switch. [Wanker] Honda has the best selection of vehicles! If you view my website you will see that we have the cars in stock. When I say in stock I mean on my lot! One of the local Honda Dealers is showing cars on their website that they don’t have or just coming in. The sales people and Internet Department were telling the buyer that they had the car! Then when they arrive the car wasn’t there. They try to up-sale you to another model of car.”
OK, spot the professional selling approach and fine grammar (if you can). This is the new car sales department and all I’ve done is request a price THROUGH HONDA’S OWN WEBSITE! In response I get this load of ill-written bollocks. It just gets better:
“At [Wanker Honda] we add the least amount of equipment to our vehicles. In most cases our customers want certain items. We put together a “Protection Package” and charge a small fee for it. One of our fellow Honda Dealers charges $895 for the same equipment that we charge $299 for.”
Again with the rubbishing of the competition! And as for the “least amount of equipment”, let’s try zero. That’s right, don’t put any of the overpriced shit on the vehicle. It already comes “well-equipped” and I’ll buy it “raw” thank you very much (just the way the other dealers quoted it) because I know the $299 is just to pad your margins again.
Bear in mind that I know the invoice price the dealer pays, plus I know that they have a 2% holdback on top. If there were any dealer cash incentives or rebates I’d know that too. I know what other people are paying, from internet research, and I know that I’ll stand a better chance of a good deal at month-end when someone will be trying to hit their numbers. However it won’t be at “Wanker Honda”, where their “internet” sales department won’t even quote you. This, by the way, is Honda, who I had alleged in my last post to be one of the better auto manufacturers when it comes to managing the dealer experience. Apparently not in all cases…
So I called “Wanker Honda” today and they still wouldn’t give me a price, except to say that it would be between “MSRP and invoice” which means nothing, since only a moron would pay MSRP and almost no-one is likely to get below invoice on a new model Honda. They did say they would beat any price I brought in (documentation required) but when I asked by how much, they responded that if it was a good price they might only match it, not beat it. Hmmm. Seems like a bait and switch to me. In fact I’d be inclined to follow the only good piece of advice that “Wanker Honda” included in their e-mail:
“My question to you is …… would you purchase a car from a dealer that lies to you from the beginning?”
And my answer to you is “No, motherfucker, I wouldn’t.”
Copyright © 2008 Edward Bison