Okay look, I sell cars. I want to share with you How To Really Buy a Car. Forget all that nonsense you see on television from True Cars, Car Gurus, and the like. Sure, some of it is good advice but listen, dealerships and car lots and more importantly, sales PEOPLE are not going anywhere. Sure you can use Carvana, go ahead. Nothing wrong with that, go Capitalism.
How To Really Buy A Car
I actually met someone who used Carvana and they said their experience was decent. Slow, but they purchased in December so they chalked-up the delay due to the holiday season.
Now, if you want to buy a car locally, and I strongly suggest you support your local businesses, then here are some tips.
Just like having a personal banker, hair stylist, or real estate agent, having someone in the car business that you develop a professional relationship with is a good thing. Don’t be scared. I promise, it will be okay.
Let me state right up front, that yes, car dealerships are a business and just like any other business you may frequent, they are there to make money and profits too. Oh my god, really?! Yes.
All businesses are created to make money and profit.
Okay, now that we have that out in front of us, here are some simple tips to make your experience better.
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT. Let’s say you have already been to the car lot or dealership and actually talked to a sales person but for whatever reason you did not purchase that day and you want to return, please make an appointment with the same sales person. You probably have their cell number, I am sure they gave it to you on your first visit. Call them or text them to let them know you are coming back in. That will give the sales person the opportunity to make sure their schedule is clear so they can dedicate time just for you and to make sure the car is still there.
BE HONEST. What are you talking about Carol? It is the dealership and car sales person that are not being honest!! Not true. Thanks to the internet, the car sales process has changed. The internet is the new showroom now. And you, the customer, now have the full knowledge on your side. Thanks you Car Gurus, True Cars, and Car Fax. It really has made our job easier. We only ask you certain questions, now, in order to get you the accurate information you will need so you can make an informed decision. We are asking these question to HELP YOU.
RELAX. Car sales people are now being trained to give you an unexpected WOW experience. We have advanced with the times and internet. We have learned, that in addition to you wanting a great deal, you also want to be respected and cared-for, as YOU SHOUD BE. Great customer service has become paramount in the car sales process. So relax, have fun, that is what we want as well.
TEST DRIVE THE CAR. I’ve had customers come in and say things like, “What’s your bottom line on this car?” Or, “Oh no, I don’t want to drive it because then I will want to buy it.” Then why are you here? Isn’t that the reason you’re here? LOL No, for real, test drive the car because it MAY NOT BE THE ONE you like or want after all. You most definitely will want to test drive the car to see if you even like it.
COME BY WHEN YOU HAVE THE TIME. You would be amazed at how many people come by and tell us they only have 10 minutes. What? Or, they were just driving by and saw the car from the road but they don’t have time to do anything, just looking. You can look and research on the internet then come back (make an appointment) to come back when you have time to THOROUGHLY look and drive and get more information. I mean, that is fine if you really do only have ten minutes, I am still happy to help you any way I can in those ten minutes.
BELIEVE. As stated before, the internet has changed the car business. You, the consumer, now have more information at your fingertips than ever before. So when you see the pre-owned car on the internet with “Fair Price” or “Great Deal” listed, and you make it into the dealership, please do not assume we STILL HAVE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS to take off. Dealerships have changed their pricing structure BECAUSE of the internet. We not only have to compete with other LOCAL dealers but also dealers in Atlanta, Chattanooga, Birmingham, Nashville. Yes, people will drive 500 miles away for a better deal. Heck, we’ve had people FLY in from other states because of a good deal. So please, believe us when we have already put our best price forward. Gone are the days of making THOUSANDS of dollars on profit. Sales people pay structure have changed because of this and it is BETTER for everyone.
BRING ALL THE PEOPLE. If you need your wife’s approval, bring her. If you need grandpa’s blessing, bring him. If you need your 14-year old’s nod, then bring them. Bring everyone in the party who is the decision maker. No sense in making several trips.
RESEARCH. Do it. That way, when you finally make it into the dealership, you will already have all the information you will need to make your decision and you can leave with your car the same day.
As a car sales person, and I can only speak for myself, no one is out to rob you. Forget the money for a second, think about the internet and social media these days. If you were treated unfairly or felt like you were ripped off, what are you going to do? You are going to blast it all over social media. No one wants that so of course we are going to put our best foot forward, as we should do all the time anyway.
Plus, I work for a family-owned dealership and they have been around for over 50-years. They have built up that great reputation, they are not going to do anything stupid to jeopardize that.
I hope this has helped.