As you might have guessed, dealers make less money on new cars now than they have in years passed. As a result, many dealers will take marginally profitable deals – or in some circumstances, negative deals. Their hope is that when the customers arrive, they can make some puny deals less puny and lift the dealership’s low spirits with a few home runs. Another way to think of this is a “bottom-up” pricing structure – this is what unscrupulous dealers do when they send the lowest quote possible and then find ways to build on top of it.
So, how can you make sure you aren’t that home run deal or have your deal changed? Don’t worry, I’ll tell you.
How do these dealers make home runs?
- They don’t tell you about pre-installed accessories until after you arrive, and they increase the price
- The vehicle you wanted is no longer available once you arrive, and this sets you up to be switched to another vehicle at a higher price
- They attempt to redirect your primary focus onto the payment, with the hopes that you’ll agree to a higher payment than the selling price they quoted you, and fill that gap with profitable items
- They add percentage points to the financing or lease rate you really qualify for and pocket the difference
- They offer you a value for your trade-in that’s significantly less than it’s worth.
- One more method trumps nearly all of these: The grand slam of home run tools. I’ll save that for later.
Are all dealers like this?
Not all dealers employ these tactics. But chances are, in highly competitive markets like Los Angeles (where I live), you’ll see them in practice. But not all is lost. I also see many dealers changing their ways, too. Every day, I notice more and more dealers employing more up-front processes with their prospects, to limit surprises. They inform customers right away if there are accessories on the car. They confirm that vehicles are in stock, even to the point where they’re capturing videos of the cars and sending them to customers. And, for a long time now, most dealers have offered credit applications you can complete from home. Some also have online trade-in appraisal tools that are more reliable and generate a conditional offer on your trade.
So how do you find these dealers?
How do you ensure these practices change before you’re pushed to the point of nearly walking out? The answer is simple. By using CarWoo!, dealers not only provide a price quote, they can provide a price quote on a specific vehicle in stock (or obtainable via a dealer trade). They’ll also inform you of any extras they have installed on that exact vehicle and the additional cost for each of those items. Also, consider that since they’re giving a real price quote on a real car in stock (or soon to be), the dealer doesn’t have a lot of ways to play around with the pricing and perform a “bottom-up” strategy once you arrive. Because of this, CarWoo! is a naturally favored pricing tool of conscientious dealers, since the playing field is leveled amongst dealers in their quotes. But what about the other tactics unscrupulous dealers use to make a home run?
Worried about the rate or payment?
Don’t worry – on CarWoo!, you can even add your own credit details for a rate and associated finance payment, based on the quoted selling price. Dealers can’t see you, but they can see what other dealers are quoting you. Chances are, if you qualify for 1.9% and five other dealers tell you that, they won’t expect you to select their offer if they say your rate should be 4.9%.
Lastly, and best yet, CarWoo! saves you from the Grand Slam of unscrupulous dealers. The phone call. To a dealer, the phone call is the easiest way to speak in generalities and make promises you can more easily back out of later. Remember, with CarWoo!, the dealer doesn’t know who you are. Your email and phone number is kept hidden from the dealer until you’ve accepted a deal, and reveal that info yourself.
Now who’s hitting the home runs?