Buying a new car can sometimes be an extremely frustrating experience. Between all the negotiating, up-selling tactics and pressure tactics, you might leave the lot with your head spinning. Then, once you manage to get your new car home, you might run into additional problems with it that the dealer failed to mention or specifically assured you wouldn’t happen. Sometimes these negative experiences with dealerships aren’t just a product of bad luck but are actually intentional.
Dealership sales tactics and fraud
All salesmen make promises and persuasive arguments about the value of their wares. But sometimes promises can cross the line into fraudulent business practices. This most often comes up when the salesman promises you something to make the sale that doesn’t actually end up conforming to the product or service you receive.
Sometimes your awful experience with a dealer was on purpose to wear down your defenses. Your salesman might have used tactics such as going back and forth with their manager, showing you a variety of cars you weren’t interested in or engaging in long-winded explanations of irrelevant features to draw out the experience.
Then, once you’ve been there for hours and are tired, they might be more successful in slipping things past you or convincing you to accept terms that you might not otherwise have accepted. This tactic isn’t fraudulent in and of itself, but it is sometimes used to disguise fraud, like tricking you into accepting add-ons that inflate the car’s price.
Getting rid of unsellable cars
Occasionally, you might run into a sales associate whose entire strategy revolves around making your experience so tedious and overwhelming that you’ll settle for a car that you wouldn’t otherwise buy.
Car sales associates often get a commission for each car they sell, and they often get bonuses for getting rid of cars that have been on the lot for a long time. If they can waste your time showing you a lot of cars that are out of your price range or otherwise don’t fit what you’re looking for, they could trick you through contrast into being satisfied when they finally show you one of these unsellable cars.
Some stressful parts of car shopping are an unavoidable part of the experience. However, it’s good to know when a negative experience is by design and be on your guard not to allow yourself to be taken advantage of.