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It’s Counterintuitive, But He Should’ve Listened To The Salesman

, , , | Right | CREDIT: luther_williams | October 20, 2021

I used to sell cars, and the dealership I worked at had a policy of being honest, honoring our word, and not advertising bulls***. This was both a blessing and a curse, because our competitors didn’t abide by the same rules, and if you took a split second to look at our reviews compared to our competitor reviews, you’d see that.

I was working a deal on a truck for a customer and it had a conquest rebate of $1,500. We were at roughly $40,000. The customer I was working with qualified for that conquest rebate.

However, before I closed him, he was browsing on his phone, and he saw a competing dealer offering a very similar F150 for $35,000. Our offer to him was basically invoice minus rebates. I knew this dealership was lying on several fronts and I explained how the dealer got to the $35,000 price.

Me: “They didn’t include freight or prep in any of their advertising; they have small print saying this. They stacked rebates that weren’t stackable. They included every single conditional rebate possible; you won’t qualify for those rebates. They have mandatory add-ons — such as VIN etching, nitrogen in tires, and tinting — that they won’t mention until you get there, and they charge a lot for those options. I also know that the general manager at this dealership never does invoice deals, ever.”

I tried to explain this to my customer, and of course, he didn’t believe me because I’m a car salesman and no one should trust a salesman.

Me: “It’s close to closing, I know what the inventory on your vehicle looks like, and it’s really unlikely the conquest rebate of $1,500 will be available come tomorrow.”

Customer: “I’m going to go to [Competing Dealer] and get a better deal since you refuse to beat their offer.”

We couldn’t. If we’d have matched their offer, we’d be losing tons.

Me: “The price we offer is off the table the second we close up shop for the night, and tomorrow the deal could be completely different.”

He went to the other dealer. The next afternoon, he came back fuming.

Customer: “Can you believe they wanted to charge me freight and prep?”

Yes, I could.

Customer: “Can you believe they included rebates I didn’t qualify for?”

Yes, I could.

Customer: “Can you believe they included rebates that can’t be combined?”

Yes, I could.

Customer: “Can you believe they wanted to charge me thousands and thousands of dollars for bulls*** add-ons?”

Yes, I could.

Me: “What price did they finally come to?”

Customer: “$42,500.”

Me: “Did you buy the truck?”

Customer: “No way in h*** was I going pay $2,500 for the same d*** truck then I could get from you!”

Me: *Smiling* “So, you want the truck?”

Customer: “Yes, let’s just get this over with.”

Me: “Well, unfortunately, the conquest rebate didn’t get renewed, so your new price is $41,500.”

Customer: *Staring blankly* “Are you f****** kidding?”

Me: “Nope. Here, I can show you.”

I showed him the list of rebates from the month prior, and the expiration date on those rebates — which was the previous day — and then I showed him the new list of rebates which clearly showed no conquest rebate.

Customer: “Look, if you don’t honor the price you gave me yesterday, I’m just going back to the other place.”

Me: “Every dealer has access to the exact same rebates. They also don’t have the conquest rebate anymore, so if yesterday their price was $42,500, today their price is going be $44,000.”

He huffed and puffed and bought the truck.

Rebates are not money from our dealership; rebates are money directly from the factory. If the factory decides to stop offering a rebate, I have zero control over that.