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The Future: Buying a Car Online

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First let me tell you the truth. I will make $40 if you buy a car by clicking on the  CarsDirect.com banner on my website.  I am not a car salesman. That is what CarsDirect.com  pays Coralsprings.com for the use of our website space for their advertisement.  At least you  know what I make on the deal. The question you always have to ask yourself is: Do you really know what the dealer or salesman really makes on selling you a car?

Isn’t buying a car perhaps the most annoying experience that you have to go through? There is a reason why car salesman seem to be on the bottom when it comes to people’s choice for professions of integrity.  We have all experienced the feeling that comes with walking into a dealership and all of a sudden you enter this world where all common sense and reason seem to disappear from your mind.  From their mouths you hear common statements like ” How can I have your business today?” as if anything I would ask they would do. How about the line they use  ” What price would you consider buying the car?”. Then when you tell them the price it’s always the same answer :” You have to be reasonable about it.”.  I particularly like when the salesman says that he is working for you. “Help me to help you”  as if you never saw the movie “Jerry McGuire”.  Having experienced this sort of shenanigans from every dealer no matter what make of vehicle, I was getting the impression that they all attend the same courses. The course in “How to get the maximum drop of blood from the customer: Course #101”.  However instead of the typical salesman using you to get what he wants, you can use the salesman to get what you want. How? Go test drive the car that you think you want, get all the information and price of what they want to sell you the car for “Out  the Door” . Then go home and click here on  www.CarsDirect.com .  Get the same car for less money and no hassle.  That is the truth and it has nothing to do with “Dealer Invoice” .

The Dealer Experience: The Salesman Show

I recently experienced the hassle of the dealership when I was out trying to buy a new car. I was prepared to put up the good fight and hopefully come out with a car at a reasonable price. Reasonable to me means that none of my friends or people that I know got a better deal then I did.

On a Sunday at 12:30 p.m. I walked into a dealer in Coral Springs.  I met a nice salesman that took us for a test drive. It is amazing how  you can make up your mind to buy a car in 3.5 miles of testing a car. Then you do what most people do: you check under the hood. What are we looking for is the big question.  As if we really knew what all those wires were about.  If we were an auto mechanic maybe, but most auto mechanics don’t buy new cars they fix up old ones. The fact is the Salesman actually encourages you to do so. Then he begins to try to make you look stupid as he recites all the specifications of the motor that you are looking at. Of course you nod you head in agreement, but what you really want to do is scratch your head in ignorance.

At 3:25 I figured I had the deal of a lifetime. The salesman spoke to the manager (they always have to speak to the manager, right?). He told me that I am paying  $100 below  the Dealer Invoice and that the Dealer is taking a loss and that he isn’t making any money either. That explains why this dealership is so poor as they only own the entire block of prime Coral Springs property with 4 buildings on it, 4 different franchises, including a $12,000,000 yacht. They always give the price that makes them lose money to people that they know for only 2 hours.

I asked if the Dealer gets money back from the manufacturer and he answered “NO”. Not this dealership and certainly not this manufacturer. They don’t do things underhandedly like all of those other dealers. He promised that the price “Out the Door”  that he is giving me is the absolute best possible price because he knows that I am the type of person that doesn’t like to go back and forth with bargaining. Again, wow, he got all of this from the 2 hours he knows me. I agreed to the price .  They mentioned that didn’t include Dealer Prep of $499.  Dealer Prep is the extra money you pay to get the car ready for you to buy it after you bought it. It takes one of their mechanics 1/2 hour or $20 to prep the car.   This fee is like McDonald’s charging you an extra buck a burger for preparing the Hamburger ready for you to eat.  It is instant profit to the dealer as they  tack it on after the deal is negotiated. There will be no negotiating the Dealers Prep. I was getting tired already of it all and I just wanted to end it. They got me. With a deposit in hand I said Yes already. That was 3:30 pm.  Now the fun and games began.

Yes wasn’t good enough . Now I had to talk to their Financing Manager. HE went to the same school as the salesman and took the same Course #101.  He wanted me to buy the extended warranty, the Lojack system, engrave a number on all the parts,  Simoniz the car with system 5, and prepay for the service for the next 36 months. That came to an extra $2100 or $52 more per month. “It protects that value of the car” he said.  I said “It pays for the gas for 10 minutes on the dealer’s $12,000,000 yacht”. I responded. He wasn’t amused. I told him I didn’t want the extra stuff. He shock his head and muttered something like “You’ll be sorry”. 

Then the  Finance Manager tried to convince me to pay an extra $20 per month to use their financing which was higher than the rate that my bank charges. They make an extra 1/4% per month on my back if I take it. He claimed that it was  worth it because I can have the car right now. I figured that $20/month  for 5 years is $1200, right now.   I asked the Finance Manager if they can come down on the price $1200 so that they can give me the car right away. He started getting nasty about it and said something like “If you don’t buy that car  in that color in that model now, it can be sold tomorrow even if you have a deposit on it. ” I asked him if he knew other people that the dealer wants to give the car away at a loss. Besides there were 4000 other cars on the lot in different colors and being color blind I couldn’t car less (check out my other story).  He didn’t understand what I was talking about. I understood exactly what he was talking about.

5:30 p.m. I finally signed the agreement, gave them the $500 refundable deposit and was ready to walk out the door, when they said to me. “You can have the car right now”. I said what? ” Yep…We can prep it for you in 1/2 hour ( You can Drive it home …now!” You see they know that to really make this deal happen two things must take place. First, they must keep you at the dealership as long as possible to make you as uncomfortable as possible. Second they must make sure you have the keys in your hand and not let you leave the place without the deal finished and car in your possession. It is very difficult to give back the car once you drive it off the lot. They are taught by experts that if you leave the place, you might think things over, and decide not to buy. They will do anything they can to keep you as long as possible, wearing you down until you cry out in submission ” OK I AGREE.  GIVE ME THE KEYS. NOW CAN I PLEASE GO HOME?”  I wasn’t stupid. I said ” First I want to check with my bank on financing rates and  I will call you by Tuesday”. They were very upset that I didn’t take the car right away, but tough luck. It was getting late. I was getting smarter. Their big mistake was forcing me to meet the Financing Manager.

Monday I got a call from the salesman saying that he was able to get me a great rate on financing. He said that the needed to move the car off the lot. I said why? I only saw 4000 other cars on the lot. What would another one matter? Well this particular color turns out to be the most popular color there is and the salesman said he is getting into trouble because he is holding on to that car for me.  Now he is doing me a favor.  Tuesday he was putting on the pressure saying that unless I pick the car up by Wednesday, they might sell the car to someone else. You mean they want to sell the car to someone else at this great price and lose money?  And I thought I was the only one. I didn’t return the phone call as I started to think about it all.

Buying a Car online

So here is where I got smart. I went to my website, www.coralsprings.com and clicked on the banner located at the top left:  CarsDirect.com .

Tuesday 5:30 p.m. : Clicked on CarsDirect.com .  Entered the make and model and chose the options and color of the same automobile that the dealer said was the best possible price.  2 minutes later, I had the car I wanted, for a price $700 cheaper than the dealer.  And better yet.  Since I clicked on the banner on my website to get to them, Coralsprings.com gets $40.00 !  No BS. I ordered the car by giving a refundable $200.00 deposit.  A CarsDirect.com Rep will get back to me within 2 days.

Wednesday 11:00 a.m.   Frank Colson from CarsDirect.com calls me.  Thanks me for my business and reviews my choices.  He asks me if I want to finance it with them. That way he can arrange for the entire deal by the internet. The car would be waiting for me. Sure why not! I give him my social security number.

Wednesday 11:15 a.m. Frank  calls me back and tells me I am approved for a great rate from Chase Manhattan. A rate 1/2 point lower than the bank that I do regular business with. He will call me back and let me know  where the car is.

Wednesday 1:30 p.m. Salesman form the dealer in Coral Springs calls me back. I tell him the good news that CarsDirect.com has a better price than his best price. Salesman says that it is impossible since he is working off of the dealer invoice. Salesman says I must make a decision right away as the car is about to be sold to someone else!. 

Wednesday 5:30 p.m. Coral Springs Salesman leaves a voice mail saying  that his dealership will come down to within $100 of the CarsDirect.com price as they want my business and are willing to sell it for me at a greater loss, but the deal is only good today. Something about the car that they said needed to be moved yesterday needs to be moved today.  They have a big parking lot so they can move cars around all the time. I left a message on his voice mail and followed it up by a fax canceling the deal and asking them to refund the deposit. (It was later refunded with no argument).

Thursday. 11:00 a.m. Frank calls me and says that he has located the car at an associated dealer  in North Miami Beach . Everything is approved. He asks me if I still want to go ahead with the deal. I responded “Yes”. He gets the dealer on the phone and they ask me when I want to pick it up. I replied. is 3:00 p.m. ok? The dealer says yes it is. Frank tells me to bring my insurance, my drivers license, and a check for the balance between the sales price and the financing amount.

Thursday 3:30 p.m. I arrive at the dealer a little late. I ask for Peter. He comes out asks for my Drivers License and Insurance, and photocopies same.  I give him the cashiers check made out to CarsDirect.com. He asks me to sign 2 pieces of paper, the license and the financing agreements. I ask him if he is going to try to sell me a warranty I don’t need or how about a Lojack? He looks puzzled and says “That’s no that way we do business. You are a CarsDirect.com customer, and have a nice day.” Now I look puzzled. He wishes me luck. Hands me the keys and points to the car.

Thursday 3:36 p.m. I start the car and drive home. I am happy and my blood pressure is normal.  I am beginning to actually think there is hope for car salesman.

Thursday 4:00 p.m. The Coral Springs salesman calls me and wants to know if I still want the car. Last chance he replies. I rev up the engine and I said ” Hear that? That is the car I could have bought from you. Have a nice day.”

Thursday 4:30 p.m. I arrive back at my home in Coral Springs. My family is happy with the new car. I am happy with the new experience. I bought the car and got it within 48 hours. I also realize that not only did I save money by using CarsDirect.com., I even got back $40.00 commission because of the link on my website!

Buying a car from CarsDirect.com was the easiest most pleasant experience I have ever had in buying a new car. In the future I predict that the manufacturers will have viewing centers and all purchases will be done online. By using their techniques in how to swindle you out of more money, the Car Salesman will soon become extinct. The sooner the better. So here is the link. Remember : I make $40.00 if you buy a car by clicking on the links on my website.  “Help me….. to help you”.

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