Pedder Nissan Makes the Sale
Pedder Nissan is a car dealership not terribly far from me. Although I usually post on my YoureOn.net site for local entries, I think the scope, and personal nature of this article deserves more exposure than just local.
First, I want to state that I noted that many car dealerships ("stealerships") catch a lot of flak for everything from people feeling like they were taken advantage of, to service departments doing the same and worse. Furthermore, if you go onto Yelp, or Google reviews, and even Facebook reviews, and looks at any seller of cars, pretty much anywhere, you'll find a heck of a lot of vitriol, angry posts mixed with glowing praise. We'll get into that later.
Back to the intro, since Friendslr.com is worldwide, I felt Friendslr was the better venue. That's how strongly I feel about it, so, let's get onto the subject at hand.
The Tables Are Turned for the Consumer
In this section is a merging of several of the reviews I wrote on Pedder Nissan on social media. Facebook, Yelp, and google all got variations of this review. Interestingly, I saw that this dealership is not doing very good in Yelp, so I took a moment, before writing mine, to see what the problems were. Typical stuff. So I looked at competitors too. Same old, same old. You know, if Yelp were fair, and didn't HIDE random reviews it "doesn't like" the whole process would be more fair for businesses. Another blog for another time. Anyway...
So last week we went to buy a Jetta, that dealer, which rhymes with "Diamond Valley," sold it to another as we test drove it. Basically they sort of used us as bait to make the folks who test drove it prior to make a deal. We left with a bad taste for that place in our mouths.
Today we ventured out to look, at a different dealer, and picked up a 2 year old 2016 Hyundai Sonata with a 2 year warranty for pretty cheap. It has some miles on it, but obviously freeway miles.
The dealer, Pedder Nissan, went out of their way to make the deal. Gonzalo Preciado was our sales guy, and all the way through he was 1st rate. Oh, sure, we could have probably talked them down some, but they have to eat too. Pedder Nissan went way out of their way to make the deal, far beyond that which would be considered normal, including driving us to another of their properties 15 miles away to get the car back to their lot, which resulted in the best test drive I have ever had,
And we were very satisfied with the deal! We bought a used Sonata.
Thank you Pedder Nissan! 3rd vehicle from these folks in the family, and surely there will be more.
And a great big thank you to Scott and Z for sticking with us through the whole thing, and of course to Gonzalo.
Social Media Counts
These days you have to be online, and, moreover, on social media. I mean, it is not even an option. Furthermore, businesses MUST manage their online reputations. Interestingly, I found almost every dealer inundated with bad reviews on Yelp, less so on Facebook and google, and I saw little effort from the sellers to manage this. From any of the dealers! Guys, all of you, you really need to step it up. You cannot rely on just product, location, and random good will. Seriously. that's one of the reasons I went to the boards for Pedder Nissan.
Also, when you read reviews on any platforms, you can usually boil it down pretty quickly. Angry reviews are, many times, cases of people simply not getting their way. You have to read between the lines to find this, most times. Great reviews mean someone got what they expected. It really is all in expectation and respect.
Buying a car is a big investment. And, as an investment, it is a poor one. So, in reality, buying a car is a big purchase, the 2nd biggest one most people make, the biggest being buying a home. Furthermore, it is almost always an emotional purchase. Have you ever noticed that when you buy, or start thinking about buying, a certain car, you start seeing them everywhere? That is your reticular activator at work. You are more focused on something, thus you notice it more, and in this case, your emotions are in the lead.
I Love Cars
Back in my youth I was a bit of a car nut. Okay, a huge car nut, and as a consequence, I dealt with a lot of car dealers. It got to be so bad that I ended up way upside down in value. If I could get financed, I would swap out cars every few months. Idiotic, I know.
Each car I bought had to pass "The Canyon Challenge." Here I would drive through this local twisty canyon road, and I'd measure how cars did through it all. I knew the road like the back of my hand, so it was easy to tell deficiencies of some, and excellence of others.
During this time, I usually dealt with dealers that were clearly reputable, aboveboard, straight up honest. And there were others that were flat out crooks. I also learned to tell the difference, but, being an idiot, when my blood was boiling for a particular vehicle, they could pretty much name their price. I'd pay it.
As a matter of fact, almost 30 years ago a guy came into my restaurant and we started talking about cars. "Wow, you're a car nut! You really love cars!" he said. "Well, not any mre than the average red blooded American, I guess." was my reply.
That man was Steve Saleen, who's shop was only a couple blocks away from mine in East Anaheim. I saw him on TV years later, and laughed my butt off. That was the guy I had a heart to heart talk on cars with.
I stopped doing that
The thing about being constantly upside down in car value, is that, at some point, you can't get back upright. So in time I learned to not do that. I learned that it's WAY cheaper to SAVE a few bucks here and there, and buy outright. What does that do? It takes the whole multiple facet negotiation out of play.
What do I mean? Well, let's dive in a bit. You see, the finance guy at Pedder Nissan asked me why we wanted to pay cash. I told him that
a) it's great not having a car payment, and
b) why in the world would I pay, for example, $32,000 on a $10,000 purchase if I have the means to pay $10k now? It does not take a rocket scientist to figure this out. however, there's more, and he knows it.
The job of any business...
...is to turn a profit. Their task is to get into your pocketbook as deeply as they can. This includes car dealers such as Pedder Nissan. If they don't profit, and seek to maximize said profit, they can't pay for their property, electric, water, wages, salaries, etc. They go out of business, simple as that. It really is not their job to look out for you so much.
The job of any consumer is to keep the dealer out of their pocket to the best of their ability. If they don't, they risk paying way too much, and possibly insolvency. The business must make a profit, and you must keep that to as much a minimum as possible, b ut they still must turn a profit. As long as this is clearly understood from the outset, all ends well.
Avoiding Tricks of the Trade
In this case, our going out to purchase a car, I was well aware of the various ways sales people work over customers. And by that, I don't mean worked over in a bad way, although it can go that way.
Parking on the lot. Avoid.
At the place that rhymes with , my boy drove right up onto the lot. I tried to keep him from doing that, because it signals that you are buying, no matter what. It also means you have to sort of do a "walk / drive of shame" off their property if you cannot make a deal. Sales people understand this. When I was there earlier in the day, we parked curb side. That indicates that you are skeptical about buying at this moment. the buyer can play that to their advantage.
When we arrived at Pedder Nissan, we parked curb side. No sales associate was on us immediately, and I prefer it that way. It gives me time to browse your inventory. The first sale associate walked up, and I said right up front that we were buyers, and that our window was x, y, and z. In other words, we're here to buy, we'll spend X amount, we want a car that does this, has this, and will pay no more than X, off the lot. I then asked for a couple cars the dealer had displayed online, with prices.
Sales guy said he would look them up, and be right back. 20 minutes later, we were in the hands of a different sales rep, Gonzalo. 1st guy got sidetracked, apparently.
How much are you willing to pay per month? Avoid.
Oh, how I hate that phrase. On one hand, it is a valid question that can wake you to your budget, and help the sales person determine the structuring of a possible deal. On the other, it is a way of distracting the buyer from the overall cost of the purchase. Never forget the overall cost! That is one of the tricks to avoid, never answer that question!
At both the other place, and at Pedder Nissan, we said right up front that we were buying cash. Most people nowadays do not have the cash at hand to buy outright, and when they do, many times they go with private party sales. Myself, I am NOT going to some strangers house with 15 to 20 grand. These days that's a good way to get killed.
Where's your trade in? Avoid.
Your trade in simply creates another wrinkle in the deal. That fold can make or break the deal on the whole. In some cases, they will offer you an insultingly low amount for your trade, and bring the new car price down, other times it works just the opposite. Disreputably dealers will use this to confuse you, and in the end, fleece you. It's just another distraction to the deal, one that I did not want to have. So we went into both places with no trade in.
For me, any and all car sale deals STOP immediately when a dealer draws the little inverted cross on the back of a sheet of paper. This is always the format, when used, to demonstrate the deal for you, the buyer. And in my experience, it is when the screwing begins. for a split second it looked like Gonzalo at Pedder was going to draw this cross, maybe out of habit, but he stopped. That goodness he did. I would have walked out.
Another note, if your trade has half a tank of gas or less when the dealer looks it over, they are pretty sure they have you. In other words, if you were not planning on buying, why would your fuel tank be low? If you're trading in, fill your tank before going. It leaves the dealer in doubt about making a deal, and they will have to work harder to earn your business.
Add-ons and additional warranties. Generally Avoid.
"...and for that price, shoot, we'll even through in floor mats! You'll have to pick them up next week though..."
Ugh, don't be a schmuck. It's never a good idea to pay $2000 for $30 floor mats. Or "underseal," or whatever.
In our case, we did go with a 2 year warranty, which the deal does, I'm sure, get a taste on. I was not in the room when that additional $2000+ item was added, and I would have fought over it. See, if the car is 2 years old, and has high reliability ratings, it likely isn't going to need anything that costs $2000 plus in the next two years. It may, but odds are it won't. But, say, a ford that's 5 or 6 years old? That may be a good deal.
The bottom line
Remember one thing throughout the deal: you are not obligated in any way to sign on the dotted line when it comes time to finish a car buying deal. Years ago a Nissan dealership, which no longer exists, tried to jack me through a deal. At the last minute, at the finance guy's computer desk, I found that they had altered all the previously agreed upon details of the deal. My trade was getting $2000 less, my purchase price for the new vehicle was about $2000 more, and they had my purchase sitting, all gleaming and clean beneath the lights under the portico, ready to go. They counted on emotion over-riding my common sense, and this one time, common sense won. And they are long out of business.
At the end of the deal, be sure you are satisfied with all the terms. Do know, at the end of the term of the contract, what you are paying, Do your homework, and if a deal ain't right, don't make it.
And if you're local, check Pedder Nissan.
It does not have to be a Nissan you're looking for. Just know WHAT you're looking for, and what you're willing to pay.
It's far better to make the right deal, now or later, than curse the other party later because you, inadvertently or not, were taken advantage of. Dealerships have to eat too. The thing is, so do you.
Oh, one last thing. I started this article a week ago, and in the mean time we have had a chance to really get to know our 2016 Hyundai Sonata. I highly recommend it! Never would I have thought I'd buy a mid size 4 door, but there it is. Quite, efficient, solid. All in all, a great car.