Being a crook is universal.
I got the job at a Southern California dealership (rhymes with "Breast" Chevrolet...) because my friend's dad worked there. I was told if I worked hard, and was good at what I did, I'd make a lot of money. What I didn't learn, until after a few weeks, that "what I did" was try to scam people out of as much money as possible for sub-standard cars. It doesn't matter if you're selling Toyota, Chevrolet, Ford, etc. The car itself doesn't matter. Cars don't sell cars, salesmen do.
Suckers. It's a horrible 90's movie, but it rings fairly true about what goes on at a car dealerships. Used cars are marked up thousands of dollars. You can talk them down $3,000 and they're still fleecing you. Dealerships prey on people who don't do their research, don't know how to negotiate, and don't know how to simply walk away, even when they know they're getting taken advantage of.
Salesmen are taught from the beginning: commission is king. The more profit you make on the car, the more you get paid. Sell high, get a big paycheck. I was put into training classes to learn how to doubletalk, how to answer questions without really answering them, and clouding a customer's judgement enough where they think THEY actually one-upped YOU and got the best deal possible.
|My former workplace: Aug-Sep 2010|
"Brandon, one thing you have to understand about selling cars: We club baby seals for a living. It's a horrible profession, but damn those lil pelts sell for a lot of money. Just get over it, live with it, and club away." He toasted 'to clubbing baby seals' and I turned in my resignation the next day.
I'm all about making money, but I don't want to take advantage of others in order to make a living.
When I moved to Idaho, jobs were scarce. I applied to the local Chevy dealership up here, since I had a good knowledge of selling cars. This place had a good reputation, and seemed more interested in building long-lasting relationships instead of drugging and raping ever wallet that entered the door like the SoCal dealership did.
This Idaho dealership focused more on building repeat customers. Yes, they still made a LOT of money on every car they sold, but were slightly less sleazy about it. Gone were the days of selling a $20k car that's only worth $10k. Now they were only $15k... "Because we care." (ha)
Or maybe he's just into getting facials and eyebrow waxing. There were talks about that amongst some of the other salesman, and this guy was a few steps beyond the normal metrosexual...
Oh, don't get me wrong. We worked too. When we had customers, we would hustle, and say all the right things to make them think THIS was the car for them. Yes, you're looking for a fuel-sipping car that seats seven, but this little hatchback has A NINE-SPEAKER SURROUND SOUND SYSTEM!!!! Oooohhh...
"Oh, but it needs work. Look how dirty it is under the hood..."
"The tires aren't wearing at an even rate. We can't sell it like this (BS), we are going to need to put a brand new set of tires on it..."
"Do you smoke in the car? Have you ever let anyone smoke in your car? I smell a smoker. We are going to need to overhaul the interior..."
If you let them, car salesman will snake and hustle every dime they can get out of you. I should know, I was one. I didn't like the job, but it puts food on the table. Even when the food tastes like shame, it still fills your stomach.
I'm glad my new career is more honest. More worthwhile. One where I'll be able to sleep at night...