kittycatlover

37 Flips | 1 Magazine | 4 Following | 36 Followers | @kittycatlover | Keep up with kittycatlover on Flipboard, a place to see the stories, photos, and updates that matter to you. Flipboard creates a personalized magazine full of everything, from world news to life’s great moments. Download Flipboard for free and search for “kittycatlover”

Car Salesman Confidential: Get Over Your Fear and Ignorance

Everybody loves a new car, right?<p>What’s not to like? Every year there’s exciting new styling, the latest technological gadgets, the rush of adrenalin when you get behind the wheel for the first time, and who can resist that New Car Smell?<p>And yet . . . everybody hates buying a new car. I’ve been in …

Sport Coats

Car Salesman Confidential: Don’t Parachute Your Trade-In

One of the most widely accepted bits of advice you’ll find presented in practically every consumer magazine as Wisdom From Upon High is a bad idea.<p>The advice is this: First, negotiate your best price on the car you’re thinking of buying. Then, and only then, should you tell your salesperson you’re …

Hung Up

Car Salesman Confidential: Love, War, and Cars

I’m an honest person.<p>But I happen to work in car sales. I got into car sales out of curiosity. My stepfather sold cars, and he made it seem like a romantic profession. He liked to talk about the freedom it gave him, and the thrill he got every time he sold a car. I love cars, so I thought selling …

Middle Age

Car Salesman Confidential: Green Peas and Puppy Dogs — The Language of Car Sales

Like many secret societies, car sales has a language all its own. If you’re a member of the group, you understand. If you aren’t, you don’t have a clue what they’re talking about. Here are a few examples of some of the words used by car salespeople, and what they mean:<p><b>Back End:</b> The profit from …

Secret Societies

Car Salesman Confidential: The Trade Allowance — What it Means for You

At some point in almost every car deal, the customer will turn to the salesperson and say: “Yeah, but the guys at Down the Road Motors gave me $11,000 for my trade! How come all you guys can do is 9?”<p>It’s a legitimate question. And it deserves an answer.<p>From a car dealership’s perspective, there …

Selling

Car Salesman Confidential: Up to No Good?

Those of you who have stuck with this series from the beginning may have noticed something unusual about my approach, and it may have puzzled you. I don’t depict car salesmen as “The Bad Guys.”<p>This is contrary to every other book and magazine article I’ve ever read on the subject, and I hope it …

Cheese

Car Salesman Confidential: Paralysis by Analysis

If there were no car salespeople in the world, there would be no car sales. This statement may seem obvious, but it’s so important I think it bears repeating, in boldface and italics, no less:<p><b>Mark’s Maxim #4:</b><p><b>If there were no car salespeople in the world,</b><p><b>there would be no car sales</b><b>.</b><p>I’ll explain. A …

Lowe's

Car Salesman Confidential: How Much Will My Payment Be?

A friend of mine who used to sell cars likes to tell a story about a customer who came in one day and tried to buy a $72,000 Cadillac Escalade. When my friend presented him with the numbers, the man asked:<p>“How much money down would it take to get my payments down to $300 a month?”<p>“About $60,000,” …

Personal Finance

Car Salesman Confidential: Fair Market Value

Stop right there. Do you have a heart problem, or any other serious medical condition that might make you drop dead suddenly if you read something shocking online? If so, then read no further. Because what I’m about to write may turn your whole world upside down. It has been accepted gospel for the …

Real Estate

Car Salesman Confidential: What’s Up, Doc (Fee)?

You’ve found the car of your dreams, you’ve test driven it, you’ve spent hours negotiating a fantastic price, and now you’re sitting in the “F & I Office,” signing the final paperwork. In just a few minutes that beautiful new GarageMaster 5000 in Twilight Purple Metallic will be yours. And then you …

Selling

Car Salesman Confidential: Someday My Price will Come…

I had a guy come into the dealership the other day — I’ll call him Larry (apologies to all Larrys) — who said he wanted to buy a Mustang. Well, we have plenty of Mustangs, so we were soon able to find one he liked. After the test drive, I asked Larry if he would like to come inside to see if we …

Kelley Blue Book

Car Salesman Confidential: How to Avoid ‘Drain Bamage’

When I was working at a Volkswagen dealership a few years ago, I got a call from a customer who wanted to know what our lowest price was on a base, two-door Golf with a manual transmission. I told him it was around $16,000. “How come you’re asking so much?” the man complained.<p>“Whaddya mean?” I …

Selling

Car Salesman Confidential: What is a Rebate?

Some of you reading the title of this week’s blog are sitting there thinking “That’s a stupid question.” And yet, only a small percentage of the people I deal with every day know what a rebate is and how it really works.<p>So what is a rebate?<p>A rebate is a set amount of money taken off the price of a …

Electric Vehicles

Car Salesman Confidential: How to Protect Yourself, Part 1

For the past few months I’ve been telling everyone shopping for a new car to lighten up, give the poor car salesman a break, don’t listen to all the bad advice out there, and try not to be so defensive. So at this point you may be wondering, is he really saying it’s okay to let the fox into the hen …

Automotive Industry

Car Salesman Confidential: How to Protect Yourself, Part 2

<b>If you missed the first part of How to Protect Yourself</b>, here’s a brief recap. If you want to get a good deal on your next car, spend as much time researching WHO you buy from as you do researching WHAT you buy. Buy local whenever you can. Be flexible when it comes to brand. And don’t forget the …

Selling

Car Salesman Confidential: The Big Holiday Sale

Before I got into the car business I promised myself I would never lie to sell a car, and if I was ever asked to lie, I would quit. Most of the time, I’ve been able to live up to that promise. Most of the time.<p>But there have been a few times when I was placed in a position that made me exceedingly …

Loans

Car Salesman Confidential: How Things Have Changed! A Man Named Monroney

It’s February, 1956. Baltimore, Maryland. You and your dad are out shopping for a new car at one of the dealerships on Reisterstown Road. It’s only 5:30 PM, but already it’s dark out and cold as hell, but your dad couldn’t get off work any earlier. You don’t care. You’re loving the chance to wander …

Engines

Car Salesman Confidential: Dealer Add-Ons, Good or Bad?

Tomorrow is Saturday, and you and the hubby are planning to get out and drive around town to different dealerships to see what’s out there. But at practically every place you stop, right next to the window sticker, which shows the MSRP, or “Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price,” you see a tall, …

Automotive Industry

Car Salesman Confidential: Beware of “Experts” Bearing Advice

Imagine this. You’re a car salesman. And you’ve been working with Bill and Nancy, a nice retired couple who are finding it harder and harder to get in and out of their low slung Buick Lucerne. Over the past two hours, you’ve performed a “walkaround” on several vehicles, test driven two of them, and …

Kelley Blue Book

Car Salesman Confidential: Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

Most of the car salesmen I know are decent, honest people.<p>Notice I said most. Not all. Some are the worst scallywags you’ll ever come across. But those are the exception, not the rule. Fortunately, there’s one surefire way to tell when a car salesman is lying:<p>His lips move. <i>Ta-dum-dum.</i><p>Okay, that’s …

Time I

Car Salesman Confidential: What Kind of Buyer are You?

How do you like to buy cars?<p>Do you spend months doing “research” on the internet, reading every review of every model you’re interested in on Motor Trend online? Or do you wake up one morning and say to yourself “You know, I think I need a new car?”<p>Do you believe everyone else is like you? Do we …

Automotive Industry

Car Salesman Confidential: The Life of a Salesman

My feet hurt. My feet hurt nearly all the time.<p>Well, not so much anymore. But they did when I started out. When I first started in sales my feet used to hurt so badly I could barely stand it. Finally, one day, I found the answer. I went out and bought a plastic tub — the kind normally used for cat …

Christmas Eve

Car Salesman Confidential: CSI is Your Hidden Power

Everyone in the car business will want to kill me after this one. Because I’m going to tell you about something that levels the playing field between you and the car dealership. It’s called CSI.<p>What is “CSI?” Well, it’s not “Crime Scene Investigations” — although I suppose some might look at it …

CSI

Car Salesman Confidential: What’s My Trade Worth?

Twas the week before Christmas and I was standing outside the showroom, looking up at the stars and mentally going over my last minute shopping list. It had been a slow day and I was ready to go home. And then I heard it.<p>It sounded like the clatter of horse’s hooves, followed by the sound of …

North Pole

Car Salesman Confidential: The Value of a Test Drive

One of the things I’ll never figure out is why people don’t want to go on a test drive. You ask somebody to take a test drive and they throw their hands up in the air and starting backing away from you like you’d just pulled a gun, going “Oh no, no, no, no, I’m not ready to do that!!”<p>As if the …

Fuel Efficiency

Car Salesman Confidential: The Fine Art of Reading the Window Sticker

I’ve been saying since the beginning of this column that most car salesmen are honest, and it’s true. But that doesn’t mean you should let down your guard completely, or accept everything they say. Because some of the things that dealerships do can be unintentionally misleading, or at the least …

General Motors

Car Salesman Confidential: May I Help You?

With Valentine’s Day coming up I went down to the new Italian restaurant that opened in my neighborhood last week, just to check it out. Big mistake. The minute I walked through the door the hostess was on me like white on rice — or, in this case, alfredo on fettuccini.<p>“Hi, welcome to Al Dente’s!” …

Time I

Car Salesman Confidential: Try a Little Patience

Recently a couple came in looking to lease a new car, and in a few minutes we had picked out the perfect vehicle for them: a new Clockenwerks Arancia. After the test drive, I asked them if they wanted to come inside and see what their payment would be, and they said yes. I was excited. It looked …

Customers

Car Salesman Confidential: How to Get the Lowest Price

Okay, this is it. This is the one you’ve all been waiting for. This is the article where I pull back the curtain and reveal all the secrets of getting the lowest price possible on a brand new car. But in order for me to do that, you have to first understand what a car sale really is.<p>A car sale …

Hung Up

Car Salesman Confidential: The Needs Analysis

I once had a customer say to me “A salesman is a guy who tries to get me to buy something I don’t want and then talks me into paying too much for it.”<p>I told him that if that was my definition of sales I’d quit my job right then and there and start flipping burgers somewhere. Nothing could be a …

Fuel Efficiency