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I actually fairly enjoyed the buying process - it was a challenge to me.

As a customer, first I wanted to be educated. This meant doing my own homework (consumer reports, websites, price searches).
Then I wanted to see the car, have a sales person go through all the features throughly, test drive.

Then once I knew exactly what I wanted I started bargain hunting. I talked with every dealer within about 50 miles. I made offers (very low) but really I wanted to see counter offers. Some dealers wouldn't even give me a counter offer. Some were very high - these dealers didn't get anymore opportunities to negotiate with me.

The few dealers that made reasonable offers, communicated with me for about a week or two - some via email (my preferred way of communicating) , some called.

As a customer , price was bottom line. And it's not a personal thing - the customer is trying to get the best deal they can and we know full well that the dealer is trying to do the same. The goal is to come up with a deal that everyone is fairly happy with.

I almost bought from my local dealer who had spent a lot of time showing the car. He made an offer over the phone, I went and looked at the car again and said, yes to the offer. Then we sit down to do paper work and he (with his "management" ) tries to jerk me around - "oh, we can't sell you THAT car for that price WE OFFERED...we'll have to order one" .....no thanks.

So, I say, fine order one but I'm not putting any money down (actually I offered to if they were willing to type up and sign an agreement saying they promised exactly what I wanted, for the price agreed on AND if they didn't produce a car within 20 days , I would get the "hold" money back...they wouldn't sign that so I wouldn't leave the credit card. And my advice for anyone is to NEVER give any cash up front for a car that doesn't exist (ie., isn't on the lot and ready to go).

Any, few days later dealer decides to sell me THAT car for the price he orginally quoted. and i'm ok with that but another dealer is wooing me now, and they end up undercutting the "jerk me around dealer" by $500.00 plus they throw in extras. AND they are nice - always polite, never rude and I can't say that about the first dealer mentioned.

Moral, if the first dealer had stayed informative, POLITE, negotiated in good faith (if you offer a drive out price, honor it) and stayed in good communication with me , I would have bought from them. The sales person tried the "pressure the buyer" method and was rude and I'll walk out on that in a heartbeat.

These traits were offered by another dealer 30 miles from my home so I went with dealer B.

AND, Dealer B stays in touch (asks how the car is doing, reminds me of services, sends coupons, AND asks for referrals) I appreciate his emails and If I know of someone in the market, I'll send them his way, AND it is very nice to know that if I have a problem with my car, he will help me with the service dept. And when I need another car, after I've done my homework, I'll give him a shot at that business too.

Bottom line: be informative, when asked a question answer it fully and honestly, don't play games, always be polite, and when you can feel that the customer is ready to buy - don't be shy about remaining in contact and negotiating agressively to beat out the other dealers. (the dealer that won my business knew I was about to purchase from another dealer and he called me about 7 times in one afternoon - finally making an offer I couldn't refuse, all the while remaining very friendly, polite and curteous.)
Sorry to have rambled, but I hope something in this is helpful.

Oh, and remember too that when you meet someone and they say "oh , we are just looking, I don't plan to buy for another year or so" - stay in touch with them anyway, I said this to one toyota salesman and ended up buying less than two months later. You never know.
 

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After a bad vehicle buying experience (not the Ody) some years ago I developed a very sensitive B.S. detector. So now if I get a hint of B.S. from a saleman (not just autos) I walk. When I walk in I pretty much know exactly what I want and I don't care about your commission, profit margin, etc., because it ain't my problem.
 

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Another suggestion, which may not be applicable to many dealers, but don't know for certain. My wife and I walked into the dealership mid-morning this week to look at the '05 EX-L RES. We were the only customers (that I could see) on the lot. We spent 25 minutes asking questions and developing rapport with the 'consultant' (per business card). When we asked if we could test drive the '05 EX-L, he shook his head with a nervous laugh and said no. He wanted to negotiate pricing, financing, trade-in, etc. before test drive as the dealership had a policy of dealing only with 'serious' buyers.

Needless to say, we have yet to test drive the '05 Ody. Guess we'll need to find another dealer in the area who is willing to let us test drive the vehicle we're considering to purchase BEFORE we decide to make a purchase decision. If that is still done these days...it's been 2 years since I last bought a car.
 

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mmackenzie said:
Another suggestion, which may not be applicable to many dealers, but don't know for certain. My wife and I walked into the dealership mid-morning this week to look at the '05 EX-L RES. We were the only customers (that I could see) on the lot. We spent 25 minutes asking questions and developing rapport with the 'consultant' (per business card). When we asked if we could test drive the '05 EX-L, he shook his head with a nervous laugh and said no. He wanted to negotiate pricing, financing, trade-in, etc. before test drive as the dealership had a policy of dealing only with 'serious' buyers.

Needless to say, we have yet to test drive the '05 Ody. Guess we'll need to find another dealer in the area who is willing to let us test drive the vehicle we're considering to purchase BEFORE we decide to make a purchase decision. If that is still done these days...it's been 2 years since I last bought a car.
That is sooo Sad....Go get a toyota.... When they first came out (Toyota) I went up to look. The saleman told me to take it home and see if I liked it better than my Honda.

It's a GD van..............Give me a break...
 

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I think they should make forum threads like these required reading for all car salespeople!

sahm - I feel for you. . . Most salesMEN treat women as if they know nothing about mechanics. My wife is a teacher, and although she is not into the mechanical stuff, she doesn't like to be talked down to or "handled".

Actually, we test drove a van where one of her former students was our salesman. . . It was funny how nervous he got around her! The sad thing was that he knew very little about the van [didn't know where the spare tire was, didn't know if it came with headphones, etc!] When we left, I asked her how he did in school, and she said that he had poor grades & rarely studied. . . Hmmm. . . Guess his habits haven't changed.

The dealership we purchased from [see earlier post] employed very professional curteous people. Our internet sales manager was a lady and she was actually the one who demonstrated the van features to us before we left. My wife was very impressed with her demonstration. When we told her we owned an Accord, she quickly skipped common features like the mirror controls, turn signal, lights, etc. She was concious of our time [it was getting late] and dedicated her efforts to the stuff people have more trouble managing [like the remote, rear doors, DVD, etc.] She even gave my wife some hints on stowing the back seat using less effort.
 

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mmackenzie said:
Another suggestion, which may not be applicable to many dealers, but don't know for certain. My wife and I walked into the dealership mid-morning this week to look at the '05 EX-L RES. We were the only customers (that I could see) on the lot. We spent 25 minutes asking questions and developing rapport with the 'consultant' (per business card). When we asked if we could test drive the '05 EX-L, he shook his head with a nervous laugh and said no. He wanted to negotiate pricing, financing, trade-in, etc. before test drive as the dealership had a policy of dealing only with 'serious' buyers.

Needless to say, we have yet to test drive the '05 Ody. Guess we'll need to find another dealer in the area who is willing to let us test drive the vehicle we're considering to purchase BEFORE we decide to make a purchase decision. If that is still done these days...it's been 2 years since I last bought a car.
Sorry to hear about your experience. It demonstrates very poor salesmanship and a dealer that doesn't care about their customers. We currently have a new Odyssey (Touring) that is available for anyone to drive and experience as well as ANY Honda on our dealership lot.

I started working as a new sales consultant two months ago (no prior sales experience) and try to have all my potential customers drive and experience the Honda they are interested in. In fact, my sales managers encourage it!

I find that many are new to the Honda product. To ask for a financial commitment only to test drive it is absurd. The demo drive is most important. I wouldn't ask anyone to buy a car unless they have driven it. Before I committed to being a sales consultant, I made sure the philosophy of the dealer I'll be associated with is customer focused. This kind of dealer's business is based on repeat customers and referrals, not a today sale.

Vytas
 

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buying a car

I had tons of experience in buying a car. In my 18 years here, my brother and I must have bought (or leased) about 15 cars...

this is JMHO...

1. we don't like games...

when we enter the dealership, we already have done our research...we know the MSRP, the invoice price, the rebate (if any), etc...we know the specs of the car...the interior/exterior...the engine specs...the performance...etc...
so we can smell a salesman who doesnt know much about the car he or she is selling...that's perfectly okay as long as he/she doesn't play games...games like offering us a price, and then later "ask" the manager if our counter offer is "okay"...just say one reasonable price or we'll walk out!

one time I entered a BMW dealer and asked the salesman to give me the bottom line, and then he said "I am selling the idea of the car..." my brother and I stared at each other and we politely thanked him and walked out..."the gall of that salesman"...
he must be a flunked out student who is drugged or something because he's so stupid...we knew about that BMW much more than he did and "he's selling the idea..." @#%#$%@&

2. we don't like being annoyed

we entered a Toyota dealership and this salesman hounded us like a "conscience"..."oh this deal is going to expire soon..."
"this truck has a very beautiful color...why don't you drive it home?"..."oh it's very cheap right now"...

we were so annoyed and we made it obvious we were trying to avoid him but he constantly followed us anyway...I guess he was trying to destroy that dealership...I will be amazed if today he is still a salesman...seems like a stupid project leader to me...

3. we want to be treated like people with dignity (not just as a sale)

when we were new here, of course we were straight out of college and we didn't have much money...so we borrowed money from my mom...we didn't want to borrow much...that's why at first
we were on the market trying to buy a Tercel...one of my brothers tried very hard to persuade us to at least buy a Corolla....

we went to this Toyota dealership in New Jersey...I asked for the price of the Tercel and the salesman replied...then I asked him "Can you give me the price of the Corolla? If the difference is small, then I will just buy the Corolla." The salesman was Italian American (guys I am not prejudiced about anybody and I have some Italian American friends) and I am Pilipino. My brothers and I (and a friend) were totally shocked to have heard his reply which was "I am going to tell you the price if you can afford it."
We politely (although we didn't need to be polite) excused ourselves and left.

After several days we went to a Honda dealership and bought a Honda Civic. The salesman was a new grad just like me. He was sincerely friendly and treated me with respect. He even said (I didn't care if he meant it or not.) that he was skiing and that he'd be glad to show us some of the nice ski spots in the area.

After a few more days, I was shocked that the Toyota salesman even had the gall to call me at home and asked if I already bought a car. I didn't retaliate. I was nice to him and just said I already bought a Honda Civic.


In life, the biggest lesson is the Golden Rule...

Love your neighbor as you love yourself.

Do not do unto others what you do not want done unto you.

If you do bad to others, eventually it will come back to you.

It goes the same if you do good.
(But that doesn't mean you just do good because you want to be rewarded...just do good for the sake of it...real...from your heart...
even if there's no reward.)

Anyways...to be the best salesman, just treat your customers as you want to be treated. You will sell more cars and you will also feel good inside.
 

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Seems this thread has been kept alive for the past two years since people are still reply to the orginal post. Has anyone else noticed Ken has not posted since Januaray of 2002?

I don't think Ken made car sales a career and it was probably because he had a conscience. Not to slander the good car sales people but in my experience, the stereotypes of car sales people and dealerships in general are fairly accurate.
 

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Oh oh...don't ignore me because I look like I am 17. You never know, I could be the son of a millionaire. All I want is a "Hi. How are you doing? Do you have any questions?" And also everything else that has been mentioned so far.
 

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Traugh said:
Be as honest and upfront as possible. I am really tired of deceit and lying.
It's part of the training....You need to take courses on How to spot lies...

It's easy at a car dealer...Just figure most everthing that comes out of their mouths are lies and you will be fine;)
 

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simkalov said:
Amen to number 7. I've been a loyal customer to a dealership for the past five years and the dealership's GM "rewarded" me by trying to stick it to me for $1500 over MSRP. I guess that's what I get for thinking that customer loyalty means something.
Welcome to the new millenium. The key now isn't about customer loyalty, but about churn. Although the lip service says reward your loyal customers, the reality is screw your loyal customers. It's far easier to steal a new customer from your competition than making the same deal to ALL your customers. The hastle of switching is enough to deter most from changing. Just look at all the cell phone and long distance deals for NEW customers only. Banks give gifts only to NEW customers and 10% off purchase for NEW department store credit cards.

Lesson: JUMP ship regularly and you'll be rewarded! If the dealer knows they have to beat the competition, the'll work harder. If you tell them they're the only game in town, they'll SCREW you. That's what loyalty gets you these days.
 

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Guys;
You've got too much time on your hands (like me). This Ken Nix guy posted this note on 1/29/2002 and then left town. He hasn't been here for two years now. I don't think your comments are going to reach him. Maybe someone ought to kill this thread??
 

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bigjim said:
Guys;
You've got too much time on your hands (like me). This Ken Nix guy posted this note on 1/29/2002 and then left town. He hasn't been here for two years now. I don't think your comments are going to reach him. Maybe someone ought to kill this thread??
It's not just Ken Nix...... you never know when other sales people are trolling these boards, and hopefully some of these comments will be helpful to them.

Completely unrelated note.... here is another reason I respect the salesman that sold me my Odyssey. When I bought my Ody in early 03, I did all the internet research and I feel I got a fairly good deal, based on market conditions at the time. This past summer (04) my in-laws were in the market for the same van we have, so I sent them to my salesman. Because Odys were being discounted more in 04 than they were in 03, they got a better deal (relative to invoice price) than I did. I understand market conditions, and I have no problem with the fact that they paid less for an 04 model than I did for my 03. During their purchase, my salesman actually took the time to call me and explain why the in-laws were getting a better price than I got 15 months prior. I respect and admire that honesty that he showed me. Based on that experience alone, I will definately recommend him, and I will return to him for consideration of any future Honda purchases.
 

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A GRAVE INJUSTICE

I know Ken personally, he is one of very few car salesmen that do care. I saw these posts the other day and thought there had to be an explaination. Many of you don't know that Ken brought us pictures of the 05 odyssey first, even caught hell from honda for it. He ran the site http://2005hondaodyssey.com/ for several months. Odyclub removed him and all of his posts from here. (you may have remembered him as odymaster) Banned him. No explaination, just made him not exist. Then he received alot of heat from honda that someone had complained about his site. Rumors were ******************************************************************** (this part of post deleted as requested by ken) Nobody knows for sure what happened, but Ken was then transferred to Bob's Kia lot. I understand he can still sell hondas but has to work at Kia. I know Ken, he's really a nice guy. See what happens to NICE GUYS! They get banned, they're not good for the car business and then they get canned.
I'm sure this post will be removed also. I'll be banned, but maybe then some of you will know what happens when you cross **********. If you would like to contact ken, see his new site carsRus He's using a ******* personna, bubba samples to write car reviews, very funny.

Ken asked me to edit this post. I know ken personally and I know he is a good person that cares about his customers. Sorry if I offended anyone.
 
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