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Re: Buyer Beware (long and pathetic, limited q-content)

      [In reference to your attempted purchase experience]. I've thought
about your post and the subsequent replies for several days now. I think
what you experienced is a reflection on the way soceity has changed
recently. Sometimes I've referred to this as the Walmartization of America.

       Selling cars for half a year now as a source of income I've had to
learn some tough lessons. I decided that I wouldn't be the stereotyped
car-salesman when I started and instead would deal with people in the
proverbial "same way as I'd like to be treated." The trouble is that most
people would rather go get their teeth drilled then go car shopping. People
are so increasingly distrustful that it seems they *need* to feel like they
fought for a great deal in order to buy a car. Last month I lost six VW
passat deals to my competition. It's a cut-throat business I'm in, and I'm
not whining about it, I'm just stating the nature of it. When sales are
slow, you grab the first reasonable offer that comes your way and run with
        Phil, you got burned... no question about it. But then again you
didn't exactly give him a deposit to hold the car. With people consistently
being dishonest with me more often then telling the truth,  the bottom line
is "no deposit..no commitment" unless the customer has a previous
relationship with the dealership. I was raised differently and I've had a
hard time relinquishing my faith in others. But just like Pavlov showed us,
conditioning changes behavior. The last straw was a customer who I spent
close to six hours with over three different appointments. We test drove
four different vehicles. I agreed to sell them the car at their offer.
Instead of giving me a deposit, they told me that they wanted to go get
lunch to think about it. LIke a sucker, I believed them even giving them
directions to a good italian restaurant nearby. Is it anybody's guess what
they did? They went straight to another dealership and put a deposit down
on the identical car for approximately $100 less, then they called me from
that dealership to tell me. $100 is a significant sum of money (although
it's less than 1% difference is selling price of that car). They didn't
have any problem with blatently being dishonest. The other dealer I can't
fault, they did what I myself would do. They stole a deal for a minimum
difference. The salesguy put in zero effort and had himself another car for
the month. 
         I even had a young couple put deposits down on two cars at two
different dealerships. We agreed to sell them the car, and we took the
deposit. I knew they were working with a competitor as well. I assumed that
since I had a deposit, they were done shopping. Then I got a phone call
from the other dealer trying to trade the car. within an hour, I had a
phone call from my customer (who's deposit I was holding). Instead of
telling me what happened (which would be a similar situation as above),
they lied to me and told me they decided they couldn't afford the car. I
asked (politely of course) why they were lying to me.

The young woman (of the couple) was shocked into silence. I explained that
the other dealer  had called me looking for the specific car.  

 I asked why they thought they could treat me like this. 

Silence on the other end of the phone. 

I then told them that they would have to come see me personally to get
their deposit back because I wasn't gonna pay for postage. I think I made
them sufficiently upset because they haven't come to collect their $250.
That is more then they saved by buying elsewhere. I didn't get the cash of
course, but hey I did get even for being treated so disrespectfully. They
had to wait to get the car (from another dealership trade) and they lost
some money for being so obscene. 
Everyday I have to tell people (in a nice way of course) that without a
deposit I can't hold a car nor can I guarantee that the agreed upon price
will be the same for a long time. I hate doing it, but guess what? Through
repeated abuse, I'm forced to not trust the customer. It's rather

 People have a hard time understanding why I need a commitment from them in
order to go get them a car, or to cement a deal. It boils down to a lack of
respect amongst people. A handshake deal isn't worth anything when it comes
to buying cars anymore. I wish it wasn't so. I don't know if this complete
lack of respect for other people, yes..car salesmen *are* people ;), is
prevalent in other parts of the country but up here in the Northeast it's
gotten ridiculous. Boy I could get into some serious trouble at work for
writing this but hey, I don't think I'll be in the business for much
longer. Then I'll tell you guys what I really think ;)