Monday, February 28, 2011

Adrian Helps In Car Shopping, Destroys Salesmen

Aug 11, 2010

Current mood:argumentative

My sister decided that she wanted to buy a new Ford Fusion.  I couldn’t blame her, her VW beetle is almost ten years old, and has 130,000 miles on it.  She had done her homework on the Fusion, and found that Veteran’s Ford had a few in stock.  So my Dad and I went with her to make sure the salesmen stayed in check.
We did the test drive with a guy named Bill.  He was good at knowing his stuff about the specs and performance.  He seemed like an ok guy who had done the same thing over and over again twenty times a day.  Anyway, he handed us over to a guy named Sean.  He was overweight, feminine, and had a lisp.  Again, not a bad guy, but something wasn’t right about him.
Anyway, I’ll get to the good stuff.  He came up with “some numbers” and asked us what we thought.  I said, “No.”  That’s it.  I just said, “No.”  He asked what the problem was.  Note:  Melanie (my sister) hadn’t said anything yet.  I looked at the paper, and said that no one pays sticker price.  I also mentioned that the price they gave her for her trade in wasn’t that great.  The truth was they had given her exactly Kelley Blue Book price, but if they weren’t going to come off the sticker price they should give more on the trade in.

He then took off the “paint protector” which is code for wax, and “fabric cleaner” which is code for Febreeze, and that took off the $547 they wanted to charge for it.  After arguing he twice lowered the price by a total of only $400.  He just wouldn’t come off the sticker price.  So I asked him for a final out the door price, and how long that price would be good for.  Would it be seven or fourteen days?  He then looked like I hit him with a baseball bat.  He said, “I thought we would do this today?”  I said there were other Ford dealers such as Bill Curry, Heritage, and Brandon, and that was just in Hillsborough County.  There were more dealers in Pinellas.County.  I then asked Sean if he had ever been out to Brandon?  He said that he lived out there.  I asked him if he knew that Brandon Ford had close to 6,000 vehicles over there, and numerous lots over there.  He didn’t answer my question.
So Sean then asked me what he would have to do to make this deal happen.  I gave him a complete bullshit number.  I know he couldn’t do it, but I was trying to knock him off his sticker price.  He asked me in a smartass way, “How am I supposed to do this?”  I said, “You asked, I told.”  So we haggled some more.  What it came down to was that he was saying that Ford has no incentive plan on the Fusion to bring the price down, and then the kicker was that they didn’t offer 0 percent financing on it.  Other models they did, but they didn’t offer it on the Fusion.
So here’s the scorecard so far.  We had only managed to knock $1200 off the sticker price, and only we were still trying to get an additional $250 for Melanie’s trade in.  Then, the 0 percent that they had offered on “most” vehicles didn’t apply to the Fusion.  So what kind of deal was this?

A finance salesman was then called over to talk about financing.  For now on I will call him, “Slime.”  You will see why in a minute.  He was a greasy sort of Spanish/ Italian/ Greek guy with slimy hair, and a mock air of authority about him.  He came in and started “fast talking” about numbers and such.  I straight up asked him at that point did Melanie with her great credit qualify for 0 percent financing.  He flat out said, “No.”  He then started talking about how Ford didn’t offer 0 percent financing and incentives at the same time on a vehicle.  I told him that they did it on Dad’s truck right outside.  That’s when Slime made his mistake.  He called me a liar.  Actually, he said they didn’t do that.  I then lost it, and told him that Bill Currie did, and at least we could deal with them.  I also might have used the words, “bullshit” when it he said that Ford didn’t do that. 
So we then got back to arguing about the financing.  He said Ford would match our Credit Union, but not beat it.  So we came to basically their final offer which was $19,000 (that includes the trade in, but not tax, tags, and title.)  At this point I kind of called the guy slime, and Dad was trying to calm me down to make sure I didn’t strangle the guy.  Slime then asked me, “Why would you say that?”  I said because he had flat out lied to me, and they wouldn’t come off the sticker price.  In all honesty Melanie and Dad did get that slimy feeling from the guy. 
Then it came down to this.  I flat out asked for an offer that would be good for 7 or 14 days.  Dad then said, “No, their offer is only good until we walk out the door.”  Sean and Slime didn’t disagree with him.  So Melanie said no, and we left. 
Here’s the breakdown.  I asked three different times for a price offer sheet that would be good for a certain number of days.  They would not do it.  I have never been to a car dealer that would not give a customer an offer sheet.  Even the crooked Chevy dealers would give an offer and I quote, “good for as long as you want.” 

They lied or didn’t answer the question of 0 percent financing until the end.  It was offered on other Ford vehicles, but not this one.  If they wanted to make it happen, they could of.
They gave an average trade in value on the Volkswagen Beetle.  It could have been a much better offer.  They offered $2250 and might have come up to $2500, and I was trying to get $3000. 
Simply put, the biggest factor was that they wouldn’t come off the stupid sticker price.  Why should Melanie pay sticker price?  She could walk into any Ford dealer, and get that price.  Think about that.  She had no incentive to buy that vehicle.  Sticker price with an average trade in, and average finance rate?  Why? 
So we left after I had completely embarrassed her.  But there’s a bright spot in this story.  A salesman named Paul at Heritage Ford e-mailed Melanie with a much better offer for the same type of vehicle (a Ford Fusion with almost identical specs.)  How much better was his offer?  His price for the Fusion is better than the price at Veteran’s Ford with our haggling and Melanie’s trade in.  So we will go there tomorrow.
Then a funny thing happened.  The first salesman (Bill from Veteran’s Ford) e-mailed my sister, and told her how fair their offer was, and that my insults were unnecessary.  She then e-mailed Bill back with Heritage Ford’s offer, and how it beat their “fair” offer.  I made sure to tell Melanie to make sure that Bill knew they never once gave an offer sheet to us.  I doubt we will hear back from him.  However, if Melanie does get a great deal tomorrow I will make sure that Bill, Sean, and Slime at Veteran’s Ford know about it. 

Melanie Two corrections:  it's the Ford Fiesta I'm buying and Paul is at Elder Ford which used to be Ernie Haire.  Other than that, that's pretty much how it went.  Ladies, this is why you take a man, or better yet, men (as in plural), to go car shopping with you.

Adrian This is the problem with Ford names, Focus, Fusion, Fiesta, and F-150.  I'm beginning to see a pattern.

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