This is a Guest Post by Andy Buck, Sales & Leasing Consultant at Lebanon Ford. Andy has over 18 years of automotive retail experience and is a University of Cincinnati graduate. To learn more about Andy and his GOLD standard jump over to his website myandybuck.com
When shopping for an automobile, most people like to brag about how they got such a great deal on their car. This is a phenomenon I believe we are born with, and is something we are supposed to wear like a badge of honor. How did this happen? How did car salespeople become the villain and the average person become the hero? Well, I will tell you what happened. War. You see when the US joined World War 2 in 1942, production of civilian automobiles ceased so the factories could help the war effort. Civilian cars were not produced from 1942 until 1946, therefore when new cars were finally being sold there was a huge demand for them.
When demand outweighs supply
This was a time when dealers were getting very few cars and the salesmen that sold them realized they could sell them for any amount of money; they had an unlimited supply of customers. At the time there were no window stickers on cars, and nobody cared about customer satisfaction or quality. In fact, most customers didn’t even get to choose color or style if they needed a car at this time; they just felt fortunate to be able to get one. Keep in mind the roads were barely better than dirt, so cars did not last nearly as long as they do now. If you bought a new car right before the war in 1941, your 5 year old vehicle was probably about ready to die by the time the new models rolled off the assembly line. All of this created some very dubious business practices in auto sales which have since created a stigma that has lasted well over 65 years.
Today, we have window stickers that offer a suggested retail price from the manufacturer, published rebates, and sources like Kelley Blue Book that give you a multitude of information concerning the purchase of a new or pre-owned vehicle. Generally, car salespeople are people just like you that are trying to make an honest living and have no intention of being dishonest or deceitful. A good salesperson can save you a lot of time and money. They can even provide you with options that you may not have considered which can save you thousands over the long run. Buying a car from someone that you can trust will often bring intangibles to the table. A good salesperson will be there after the sale to answer questions about your car, give you advice about servicing, and they may even be able to help you fix something that is broken because of the knowledge that they have acquired. So the next time you hear of somebody getting a better price on a car, remember. Best price is not always the best deal.