10 Tricks Used By Car Salesmen That You Shouldn’t Fall For Source:

Car salesmen have a bad reputation for a reason. Most of the stereotypes about car salesman being slick, fast talkers who play games with customers in an effort to separate them from their money are true. This is because car salesmen are paid mostly by commissions they earn on the sale of cars. The fewer cars they sell, the less money they earn. And, they are under tremendous pressure to move the inventory of cars on their lot. Glossing over defects with the cars, pushing people to expensive upgrades and extended warranties, and convincing clients that a long-term payment plan is best for everyone concerned is all part of the job description. Fortunately, people can defend themselves against salesmen tactics with a little knowledge. Here are 10 tricks car salesmen use when dealing with the unsuspecting public.

10. They Lie About What’s Available to You

The first thing to know is that any car salesmen you’re dealing with is focused on one thing: getting rid of the cars he has on his lot. Winding down the inventory, as they say, is job number one. This means that salesmen want to get you into a car they have on hand and right in front of you. They do not want to scour the city, state or province trying to find you the car you like in another color. So, salesmen will often lie about what is available. You’ll hear statements like, “Sorry, that car is not available in the color red.” Or, “We checked the database and there’s no car that comes with a sunroof currently for sale in the state.” If you persist, you’ll likely be confronted with an additional fee that will be so expensive you’ll forget about a sunroof and tell yourself that you’ll get used to the color blue. In the end, car salesmen want you to drive away with a car from their lot. They don’t want to spend time trying to accommodate your wish list and spend money getting a car from somewhere else shipped to their dealership. Source:

9. False Advertising

Car salesmen use advertising to draw people to their dealership. You’ll hear about a great clearance price on last year’s model of cars, which have to be sold immediately, or you’ll hear about low prices on brand new models that just arrived from the factory. You head to the car dealership only to be told that the car you heard about on the radio or read about in the local newspaper have all been sold. But not to worry, the car salesmen would be happy to show you other car models they have on the lot—all of which are a hell of a lot more expensive. In the sales game, this is known as the “bait and switch.” Draw customers in with an incentive such as a low price on a particular vehicle, and then when they arrive tell them the advertised car is not available and push them to a more expensive ride. This is a particularly insulting sales tactic. Source:

8. Title Washing

By law, any car dealership that is selling a used or pre-owned vehicle has to disclose the history of that vehicle to the person who is considering buying it. This includes whether the car was in an accident, a fire or submerged under water for any length of time. The history of a vehicle is tracked when the car’s title transfers hands as it is sold and bought. However, many used car dealers get around this requirement and muddy the waters around a car’s title by engaging in what is known as “title washing.” This is when cars are shipped to dealerships and used lots in other states, where records of a vehicle’s history are not easily available or accessible. Many used cars have been shipped around from state to state so frequently, that tracking down their history and following the title transfers can be almost impossible. Checking websites such as CarFax and Auto Check can help. But it is always advisable to buy a used car whose title and history you can readily access yourself. Source:

7. Charging Extra Money for Standard Features

Every car salesmen will try to push you to pay more money for add-on features. They’ll want you to pay more for heated seats, a trailer hitch and towing package, and a DVD player. But what happens when you refuse to take on extras and push for a car with only basic features? In a lot of cases, the salesmen will try charging you for basic features that come standard in a vehicle. It may sound laughable, but many car buyers have been charged extra for things such as floor mats and head rests. Many salesmen will just put these charges on the bill of sale and not even mention them to the customer. For this reason, you should always read the sales documents carefully and squint to see the fine print. You’d be surprised at what charges might be hiding on a bill. Source:

6. Focusing on Monthly Payments Rather Than the Actual Price of a Car

You’re not paying $40,000 for this car. You’re paying $400 a month for it. This is how car salesmen want you to think about your next car purchase. Don’t think about whether you can afford $40,000. Just think about whether you can afford $400 each month. This is a psychological tactic that sales people use, and it is surprising how effective it can be. You’ll hear lines said like “If I can get you into this car for $400 a month, would that work for you?” Of course it would. But what you’re not paying attention to is the length of the payment plan, the interest rate you’ll be charged, and how much money you’ve actually spent once the car is paid off. Truth is that a car salesmen can get you any monthly payment you want. All they have to do is extend the length of the car loan and raise the interest rate. In the end, you’ll wind up paying exactly what the car dealership hoped you would pay from the start. Source:

5. Low Balling the Trade-In Value of Your Current Car

This is one of the more obvious tactics used by car salesmen. But it continues to be employed just about everywhere. To start off, a car salesmen will offer you a ridiculously low value for the current car you own and want to trade-in or sell. This is the “sucker test.” The salesman essentially wants to see if you’re a sucker and will take the bait. However, as you continue talking and negotiating, the salesman will gradually, albeit slowly, raise the amount he’ll offer you for your used car. As this happens, you feel that you are winning the negotiation and getting more money and value for your car. But, the salesman started with such a low offer on your current vehicle that you’re still getting ripped off. You walk away thinking you got $4,000 for your used car, when really you should have gotten $7,500 for it. Do yourself a favor and sell your current car yourself, privately, and then take the money you get for it to the car dealership and put it towards the next car that you buy. Source:

4. The Good Salesman, Bad Manager Routine

Built on the tried and true “good cop, bad cop” routine is the “good salesman, bad manager” shtick. This is when the car salesman presents him or herself as a trusted and honest broker who is trying their best to get you a great deal on the car you want. But darn it, their manager is just such a hard ass. No matter how hard the salesman tries, the manager just won’t go for the deal you have negotiated. The salesman goes back to run the deal by his or her manager several times, leaving you sitting and waiting for extended periods each time, only to return again and tell you it’s a “no go” and proposing something else that is more expensive for you. This routine is a bunch of malarkey. The next time the salesman heads to the back to talk to their manager, follow them and see what they’re really doing. Chances are they’re pouring themselves a cup of coffee or checking their e-mail. Source:

3. Yo-Yo Financing

You particularly want to watch out for this one if you have bad credit. Yo-yo financing is a trick where the car salesman tells you that the financing on the car you’re buying has been approved, or is about to be approved, and they let you leave their dealership with the car you’ve bought. A few days later they call you up and tell you that the financing you thought was in place has fallen through and you now have to finance the vehicle purchase from another lender that, unfortunately, charges much higher interest rates. If you offer to return the vehicle you just bought and get the old car that you traded in back, low and behold, your old car has been sold and is now gone and unavailable. You’re stuck with the new car you bought and have no choice but to accept the financing that’s being offered. This is straight up B.S. Protect yourself by having a car loan in place, or be pre-approved for a car loan, before you go to a dealership. This way, you’ll know exactly what kind of financing, and rates, you qualify for. Source:

2. Purposeful Confusion

You’re not paying $500 a month for that new car you bought, you’re paying $250 bi-weekly. A bi-weekly payment is one you make every two weeks, which typically adds up to $500 a month. This is a simple example of how car salesmen and dealerships try to deliberately mislead their customers or make things confusing. The more confused people are, the more likely you are to not see that a fast one is being pulled on you, and the more likely you are to agree to the terms offered by the salesman. One of the most common methods of confusing car buyers is known as the “four square method.” This is when salesmen deliberately mix the price of the car, down payment, trade-in value, and monthly payment into a single transaction that is mind numbing for most people to wrap their head around. They can also do tricks like represent the interest rate charged as a fraction rather than a percentage, talk about the length of payment plan in months rather than years, and throw complicated tax figures at you. The bottom line is that the more confused you are as a customer, the better it is for the salesman. Source:

1. Take Your Credit Card

The ultimate psychological ploy has to be when the car salesman asks you, upfront, for a credit card. They take your credit card to the back office and don’t return with it. They hold it throughout the entire negotiation. You feel that you need to make a deal and buy a car in order to get your credit card back. You wonder what they’re going to do with your credit card. You feel like a hostage, and that is exactly the point. The salesman wants you to feel trapped and that you must negotiate with him or her. Taking your credit card is a way for sales people to ratchet up the pressure on you. In many cases, you feel like you’ve already bought the car. The only question is for how much money. First, you should never give anybody your credit card. Second, you’re not obligated to give anybody your credit card—certainly not a car salesman. And third, even if a car dealership has your credit card, it would be illegal for them to charge anything to it without your permission or refuse to give it back if you asked for it. So relax! You have more power in the car buying negotiation than you realize. Just remember, the most powerful word is “no.” Source:

Jack Sackman

Jack Sackman

Jack Sackman has been writing about movies and TV for Goliath since 2013.