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Thread: New Car Buying Shennanigans

  1. #1
    Site Supporter rob_s's Avatar
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    New Car Buying Shennanigans

    5 years ago when I bought my current truck I almost had them call the cops on me because they wouldn't give me back the keys to my potential trade-in and started getting louder and louder in the showroom.

    Here I am 5 years later and contemplating a new car again and it's pathetic how little things have changed in the 30 years I've been buying cars (25 years I've been dealing with dealerships). In that time I've managed to do a few deals online, and given that 5 years had passed since my last car-buying experience, and COVID should be at least somewhat limiting people's desire to interact...

    But nope.

    "fill out this form for your online price"

    fills out form

    "thanks for your email, when would be a good time to call you?"

    "no, thanks. If I wanted to talk to you on the phone I would have *called* you myself."



    None of this is helped by the fact that car salesdoods are probably the people I'd *least* like to have to interact with on any level.

    My best experience ever was when I bought my 2006 GTO. I tried going to a local dealer and got the runaround. Bitched about it on a GTO forum and a (young, of course) sales dude on the forum saw my complain, PM'd me, moved it to email, and I wound up driving hundreds of miles in a rental car (that they paid for!) to pick up my new car at their showroom without ever having spoken to the man in any form. Pulled in, test drove, signed papers, handed over rental car keys (that they returned for me!) and drove away. I might have been there an hour.

    Had almost the same experience when I bought my Tacoma a few years later. funnily enough, knew the sales guy from a local gun forum. The only hiccup on that one was when I got handed over to the "finance guy (perhaps the only worse human being than salesdood) who started to try the upsell and I lost my mind and got up to leave, but once they realized the sale was almost ruined completely they got that guy away from me.

    here we are, damn near 2021, and you still can't just buy a car online.
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  2. #2
    Site Supporter LOKNLOD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob_s View Post
    My best experience ever was when I bought my 2006 GTO. I tried going to a local dealer and got the runaround. Bitched about it on a GTO forum and a (young, of course) sales dude on the forum saw my complain, PM'd me, moved it to email, and I wound up driving hundreds of miles in a rental car (that they paid for!) to pick up my new car at their showroom without ever having spoken to the man in any form. Pulled in, test drove, signed papers, handed over rental car keys (that they returned for me!) and drove away. I might have been there an hour.
    That's brilliant. That kid should get a bonus.

    Had almost the same experience when I bought my Tacoma a few years later. funnily enough, knew the sales guy from a local gun forum. The only hiccup on that one was when I got handed over to the "finance guy (perhaps the only worse human being than salesdood) who started to try the upsell and I lost my mind and got up to leave, but once they realized the sale was almost ruined completely they got that guy away from me.
    Finance guys are the worst part. I have some plans for how to handle that next time I do a deal. May not work, but it'll be fun to harass that guy.

    Here we are, damn near 2021, and you still can't just buy a car online.
    There are places, but you pay a premium. We got one of those carvana "vending machine" dealerships locally. It's a really cool building. They'll deliver to your house and stuff. But their prices are HIGH.

    Really it's the trade-in that makes it most difficult. Buying a new or lightly used car is pretty easy but disposing of your current vehicle cleanly/efficiently is the tough part.
    --Josh

  3. #3
    Moderator BehindBlueI's's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob_s View Post
    here we are, damn near 2021, and you still can't just buy a car online.
    The cheat used to be to contact fleet sales and I would assume that still works *if* you are buying and not trading. They were used to dealing via email, etc. and usually didn't mind dealing with an individual. If they didn't deal with individuals, they'd pass you off to a specific salesman and you bypassed the web site's marketing/data gathering "contact us" BS.

    When I bought my Ram, I did it by a bid process. I emailed the fleet sales email address from the website of every dealer in the radius I was willing to drive. I gave them the specs of the truck I wanted and requested an OTD price minus state sales tax (as some where in different states), gave a date I would buy, and gave no other contact information. Once bids were received, I sent out to those that responded "current low bid is X, I will accept one more bid and then buy from the lowest on the date previously provided".

    I went with the second lowest bid, as it was much closer to my house and once they through in a spray in bed liner it was actually the cheapest by a few hundred dollars.

    Now I still had to go to the dealer to pick it up, go to the F&I office to fill out all the paperwork, etc. so it was not fully online.
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    Quote Originally Posted by UNM1136 View Post
    Maybe with talented students I would lube up with baby oil and then go at it.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by rob_s View Post
    here we are, damn near 2021, and you still can't just buy a car online.
    Bought a vehicle off Vroom in 2016, went very smooth. Haven't tried Carvana. It's coming, Tesla has more or less cracked the dealership firewall.

  5. #5
    I don't want to buy a car online. I can't sit in and drive a car online. I can't count the number of vehicles that did not feel as good as their pictures and specifications appeared. I once got overenthused and went in "presold." First time I took that spiffy car over 50 miles from home, I realized I had made a mistake, the seats were uncomfortable for any length of time.

    The last car I bought, I bounced off of four unpleasant salespersons before getting somebody low key enough to let me get acquainted with the car and make up my own mind.
    Code Name: JET STREAM

  6. #6
    Site Supporter rob_s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BehindBlueI's View Post
    The cheat used to be to contact fleet sales and I would assume that still works *if* you are buying and not trading. They were used to dealing via email, etc. and usually didn't mind dealing with an individual. If they didn't deal with individuals, they'd pass you off to a specific salesman and you bypassed the web site's marketing/data gathering "contact us" BS.

    When I bought my Ram, I did it by a bid process. I emailed the fleet sales email address from the website of every dealer in the radius I was willing to drive. I gave them the specs of the truck I wanted and requested an OTD price minus state sales tax (as some where in different states), gave a date I would buy, and gave no other contact information. Once bids were received, I sent out to those that responded "current low bid is X, I will accept one more bid and then buy from the lowest on the date previously provided".
    .
    I did that via FAX in 2002 or thereabouts!
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  7. #7
    Site Supporter rob_s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Watson View Post
    I don't want to buy a car online. I can't sit in and drive a car online. I can't count the number of vehicles that did not feel as good as their pictures and specifications appeared. I once got overenthused and went in "presold." First time I took that spiffy car over 50 miles from home, I realized I had made a mistake, the seats were uncomfortable for any length of time.

    The last car I bought, I bounced off of four unpleasant salespersons before getting somebody low key enough to let me get acquainted with the car and make up my own mind.
    Generally speaking, I don't need to deal with the salesdood to figure those things out. I have wandered on to lots after parking nextdoor and sat in enough trucks to figure out what I want. What would be great would be if they'd make that whole thing less painful too. If the salesdoods weren't such turds to deal with they could just let you walk around and see what you liked and didn't.

    My deals have always been contingent on the final test-drive on arrival. Like I did with my GTO.

    I've had exactly two times in my car-buying life where the salesdood knew more about the car than I did. once was the GTO, and the other was the F150 Lightning I nearly bought in ~2002. Every other time they've not only known less but either been wrong or lied.

    ETA:
    at some point there's going to be an in-person interaction. What I want out of the way first is the pricing aspect more than anything else.

    And I'd also like not to be insulted by the dumbass in the "internet" sales department. If you have to ask for my phone number via email, you're not really the "internet" sales guy.
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  8. #8
    Site Supporter rob_s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LOKNLOD View Post
    That's brilliant. That kid should get a bonus.
    I'm pretty sure he did. IIRC he was like the top GTO salesperson in the country. Apparently he was also pissing off the old guido salesdoods at the dealership, and even some other dealerships (he was managing to re-route GTOs to his dealership, pre-sold, away from other dealers).

    He either owns the dealership today, got shanked by the guidos, or figure out the car business is shite and moved on.
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  9. #9
    Site Supporter RoyGBiv's Avatar
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    I've had a few good car buying experiences, not because the dealership made it easy.
    2 involved negotiating the deal on the phone/email and walking into the dealership with a check for that amount.
    You forgot a fee or add on cost for something that's already on the car? I can leave or you can honor the price.

    One was a car I did not want to buy... but my wife did.... So, I asked her to let me have some fun with it. I had her test drive several lower end cars (but not the one she wanted) and we went home. Dealer calls the next day.... "No, she didn't really like the car as much as she thought, but thanks.". Dealer says he has some of the higher end cars on the lot, it's late December, he's ready to deal. I make like I'm doubtful, "not really what we want to spend", and we go back out and drive a few of those. We leave with a "we'll think about it". We get a call again on New Year's Eve. They offered us 25% off MSRP on the exact car she wanted.

    Turns out that they had a bunch of them about to go to auction. There was a recall that prevented them from being sold for 3-4 months(I forget what, but it was already fixed), and the new model year car was a redesign that buyers were preferring. We both liked the old design better....
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  10. #10
    Site Supporter rob_s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyGBiv View Post
    You forgot a fee or add on cost for something that's already on the car? I can leave or you can honor the price.
    that reminds me of a fun one.

    I bought a... 2006 I think... Cadillac Escalade, used from a dealer. The listing said "certified pre-owned". When I got there we did a little dickering and then the guy says "what if I add the 'certified' to the deal" at which point I pull the printout from my pocket and say "it's already there". All sorts of drama ensues, but ultimately I left there at something like 8pm with my damn certified Escalade.
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