The car buying experience from hell turns into an incredibly pleasant experience at the competition.
The night before Christmas Eve, I went to the local Ford dealer (Mark Zimmerman Ford) and met a salesman by the name of Tyler, who did not come out to help me as I was looking over a 2010 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer. We got in the vehicle, put the key in the ignition and literally checked it all out.
With the exception of one other customer, I was the only other customer on the lot and it was cold (under 20 degrees), later at night driving my Cadillac STS. Needless to say, I wanted to get rid of the Cadillac and exchange for a four wheel drive to get us around better as our street is out in the open and drifts fairly fast.
Most people don't go window shopping for a new car on a cold night, especially the night before Christmas Eve.
I took the initiative to drive up to the showroom and go find a salesman. I always love it when the customer has to go find a salesman, especially at a car dealership.
I enter in and there's this guy setting up at the manager's desk, so I go right to him figuring that this is where I'll get the best service. To my surprise, this guy looks around to see if he wants to give me to another sales person. Then, he finally decides that he will take it upon himself to help me.
I told him that I wanted to drive the Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer and he goes to get it, pulling it up to the building and warming it up, which is probably the only nice thing he did for us the whole time.
I told him what I was expecting from the deal, and explained I knew the whole game, sighting my experience from selling hundreds of cars on ebay that I bought at dealer auction. I even explained how they know what to give on trade. That way, he won't mess around and we can get right to the bottom line.
So as we're driving the vehicle, he immediately goes into his salesman pitch, to which point I said he didn't need to do that, and again explained to him, we just needed to cut to the chase. It's more about him understanding what the customer is asking for and building the rapport necessary to close an extremely easy sale.
Guess what! This guy didn't listen and worse, continued to try and qualify us as buyers and not window shoppers, asking us what other types of vehicles we were interested in. It was like he was reading from a manual in the back seat.
When we get back, we go inside and he wants to test drive my car with his manager so they can prepare a buy offer on the car. When he gets back, he goes for the sleazy car salesman tactic of holding my keys out of reach, so that he can keep me there.
This ticks me off, but my wife is still talking to him. He asks if we could put a deal together that night and proceeds to dismiss everything we've told him so far, again doing the sleazy car salesman routine.
He tries to play numbers games to confuse us, but we weren't going by his numbers. We were going by market values on his car and my car. We already did the numbers before we left home to look at this specific vehicle.
He comes back the first time being over $8,000 off on where we should have been to get a deal done now. Worse, he inflated the price over the marked price of his vehicle by $3,000 plus and offered $2,000 below average trade in value for my car which needed some minor reconditioning to be front row ready.
When we addressed the value of my car, he tried to make us out to be fools like we were crazy to expect that much for our car. We told him that we were done and we weren't going to be buying the explorer, to which he immediately asked us if there was another vehicle on the lot that we might be able to put a deal together on. The guy didn't get that he had guaranteed we wouldn't buy any vehicle from him or Mark Zimmerman Ford.
He asked if he could have one more shot and was going to talk to the manager. I immediately grabbed my keys and my wife and I walked out.
The following week, I decided to go to Lynch Ford and instead of buying a Ford Explorer, I ended up buying a Ford Eddie Bauer Expedition. Lynch Ford had the right price on their vehicle to start with and once again I walked in late on another cold night.
Without trying to qualify me as a buyer, I simply walked in like I did at the previous dealership and asked to drive two different Expeditions. They immediately went out with me, and while we test drove one, they warmed the other one up.
We came back to the dealership and I said I was interested and wanted to trade the Cadillac. I told them that I would want to discuss the deal with my wife, but that we would most likely be able to close a deal the following day.
The Manager came right out to me and spoke directly offering to let me take the Expedition I wanted home for the night and he would call me in the morning with numbers.
The next morning I received the call, and he was right on the numbers for my car and it was just a little bit off on the Expedition. I hesitated and told him I thought we could do a little better, he asked me what I was thinking and he came within $200.
In a matter of a few minutes, Lynch Ford qualified me as a buyer, and sold me a car. No B.S. necessary.
Thanks to Lynch Ford for a great experience. You're Manager Don Schmidt and salesmen Dave Jordan are great people. Furthermore, Dan Lynch sent a personally signed letter thanking me for doing business with them.
I'm sure that there are many people that fold under the pressure of the sleazy car salesman tactics of Tyler, but you don't need to buy from people that do business like that. Just do a little more looking and you'll find a great dealer like Lynch ford.