Buying a new car is an experience most of us would regard as a chore at best and a waste of valuable time at worst.
It would be a lot easier if the salespeople actually treated you with the respect you deserved. The problem is, while most of them are polite and affable, underneath that seemingly ‘I’m your best friend’ countenance, is the I’m uttered words ‘ how much can I make from this deal’.
And that’s the truth of it.
It all comes down to money.
How much your willing to pay, and how much they can screw out of you.
Sorry, but after years and years of dealing with these people, I have built up considerable cynicism
But, once again, it’s time to go out into the shady underworld of car sales to get a new car, or as the case will be this time, a new SUV.
We don’t have a lot of money to spend this time, so the choices are going to be limited, and unlike years past when I could used the business to pay for a lease, and therefore watch the salesman load the price of the car to make it seem like we were getting more for our trade in than it was worth, this time it’s a straight cash transaction.
First thing we notice is that all the advertised prices are loaded for people buying with finance. So, we said there’s no trade in, and we’re paying cash, and they say the price is the same.
We haven’t event got out of the block, and they’re barefaced lying to us.
We have a short list of three. All three when approached with no trade in, pay by cash deal said it wouldn’t affect the price.
A good enough reason to just walk away, but that had the effect of getting, at the very least, their attention. Never seen a salesman yet who would let a customer just walk away.
OK, So now we know there is some movement on the price. Not much, but it’s a start.
First car is a Honda CRV. In reality there’s really only a few models truly equating to basic, better, best, and top of the range. Prices run from 28000 to 50000 before the dealer starts loading the price with imaginary costs like the ubiquitous dealer delivery charge, otherwise known as guaranteed profit.
Whatever else the salesman can bluff out of the customer adds to his commission and the unwritten profit margin per car that’s been set by the manager.
You can always tell who the manager is, he’s the one all the sales people go to when pretending to discuss any further allowances in the prices to the advantage of the customer.
Its more likely a discussion about the footy picking competition, if it’s winter, or the next cricket match if it’s summer.
Sometimes they’ll find a few dollars or thrown in a freebie, but most times there’s no change.
That’s when you walk.
It’s where you discover that their so-called best prices us nothing like what they can do if it means losing a sale. Or not.
You have to be prepared to walk away, especially if there’s no prospect of a better deal, and even if that’s the car you want. There are other dealers.
There are also other cars. I’ve found it’s not a good idea to get hooked on one particular car. It’s why we have a shortlist of three. I could live with any one of them.
The Honda people are affable, the salesman shows us the car, gives an little talk about the features, and we go for a test drive.
It fits the criteria, and has a few bells and whistles, like the screen, and safety features. The cost to get those bells and whistles might be too much.
We go then to see the Rav4.
First thing we learn, that Toyota is the biggest car company in the world, and the largest seller of vehicles in the world
Well I suppose that’s meant to make us feel better about the car, that Toyota wouldn’t be the biggest and best if they sold crummy cars.
Not buying it. Any car manufacturer can make a lemon, and happily sell it to an unsuspecting purchase.
We get a run down of the car on a large interactive t.v. screen. It certainly had the features were looking for, has the same 4 types of models, and roughly the same pricing.
The test drive proved that it met our on road requirements. Similar pricing to the Honda, a like the previous dealer, not a lot of room to move on price, surprise surprise, but one more advantage, fixed price servicing that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
The third contender is a Nissan X Trail. The same model structure but with a slight difference, there’s a special on, giving the second top model a little more incentive to buy. Still, at 40000 it’s more than we were expecting to pay.
The first experience with sales is not only disappointing, it was unprofessional. Never have someone on the floor who apparently knows nothing about the products being sold.
I walk out.
My wife doesn’t, mainly because one of the real salesmen had noticed the problem, and wasn’t going to let a sale slip through his fingers.
He does know his stuff, and the sales experience is one of the best we’ve had.
Still can’t get past the first impression.
So after spending about 4 hours on the road in the various cars, it’s time to made a decision.
Perhaps it’s time to simply think about it.
My preference was for the Nissan X-trail but it’s remarkable how a bad experience in a car dealership can put you off. Now it’s back to one of the three.
In order to make an informed decision I think we need to look at the basic model and it’s bottom line features.
In that regard, The Rav4 wins hands down.
So, we’re going with the Rav4, and back to the dealership for round two.