The Haven
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The Haven

Diary of a used car salesman

Image courtesy of Pixabay

“What do I have to do to put you in this car tonight?”

That’s a very cliché statement that people often joke about whenever they are talking about a professional in auto sells. As I mentioned in my first article, I own and operate a small used car dealership called Fuzzy Dice Motors. I can’t speak for everyone that is in the business, but for me it is certainly much more difficult that what I could have ever imagined.


Not only is there simply word of mouth, but in our modern age where so many use social media your business can be drastically damaged or shut done with a handful of bad reviews. Especially if you only have a handful of reviews to begin with. It’s much more to the advantage of the person selling the cars to obtain a good reputation as a place you can go and get a decent vehicle for a fair price. Happy customers are repeat customers.


With so many of decades of used car salesmen jokes lets talk about for a moment of what it’s like dealing with the public from the sellers point of view.

  1. CELS ( Check engine light syndrome) “Oh holy shit!” “The check engine light is on… At any second the vehicle is going to have a full scale nuclear meltdown. It’s going to melt through to China, kill millions and be the catalyst to start world war 3!” No, it isn’t. There are 1400 different things that can turn on your check engine light. One of the most common is a loose gas cap. Another common one is a O2 sensor. It may not even be dirty or in need of replacing, but instead the vehicles computer is programed to turn on the light within so many miles for you to replace your O2 sensors whether or not it’s necessary. It’s very similar to needing to change your oil either every 3000 to 5000 miles depending on whether your vehicle requires synthetic oil or not. WWIII avoided.
  2. “We’re five minutes away from your lot” reality- It’s four years later and I still haven’t seen you on my lot. Apparently it is socially acceptable to lie to car dealers.
  3. “We’ve got a few more that we’re looking at” Apparently it is socially acceptable to lie to car dealers.
  4. From Craig’s list, Facebook market place, and all other selling platforms; “Would you take X amount of dollars for it?” ( this is always a horrific low ball offer usually at least $1,000 less than the dealer paid for the vehicle) You’re really going to make an offer on a vehicle that you’ve never seen? If for some bizarre reason you actually accept the offer and call their bluff you’ll never hear from them again. They are simply very sad lonely people that either want to feel important, big, or simply reaching out for human interaction.
  5. Unreal expectations- The prospective customer shows up to have a look at the 20year old Toyota Camry that is listed for $2,000 cash. The customer immediately produces an electron microscope from behind their backs just like in a cartoon and throws the vehicle under it and examines it both inside and out. If the vehicle is not the the exact same condition as the brand new one sitting on the showroom floor with 0 miles on it you’re getting your ass jumped and they will be taking their $2k else where!
  6. The whatabouts- This is very similar to the unreal expectations. Same vehicle as above for the same money. The customer will make a huge theatric performance nothing short of Broadway showing of a Shakespearean play pointing out every hairline scratch and proclaiming “What about this?” As if this is the first time that it is being brought to your attention that the 20 year old vehicle indeed does have a scratch, you’ve obviously never seen it before. It’s also important to note that for every “whatabout” you are expected to lower the price by at least $500 so by the time they’re done you actually owe your customer $200 for taking the vehicle.
  7. “I have to talk to my wife” Let me just stop you right there. You’ve wasted both of our time.
  8. “Can I take this to my mechanic?” Why don’t we take it for a test drive instead and you can see for yourself if the vehicle runs and drives you’d like? Mechanics make their money by swapping out parts, not by doing inspections. You take the new vehicle off the showroom with 0 miles to a mechanic and the vehicle mysteriously needs a new motor, new transmission, new struts, front end alignment, and a dozen other things. All the while my vehicle is gone out of my sight. I don’t really know for sure where it is, when or if it’s coming back? I do know that once it comes back it will have less gas in it then it did when it left and you’re not going to buy it because you were told that it needs a new motors and transmission.
  9. None wants the vehicle until is sells. Then the phone never stops ringing from people wanting the vehicle.
  10. “There’s another one down just like this but cheaper.” Please tell me where it is so I can go buy it. Apparently it’s socially acceptable to lie to car dealers.
  11. “We’re going to have to think about it.” You don’t want the vehicle. Just tell me now, so that I do have to worry about you coming back.
  12. “That’s really more than I wanted to spend” The price was clearly listed on the ad. You thought you could pay me $1,000 less than what I paid or it at a dealer only auction. A place that you aren’t even allowed to go.
  13. Profit resentment- Although it may come as a shock to some people, but those items that you buy at a retail shop i.e. Walmart, Amazon, Target, Costco, Best Buy etc. you’re paying more for those items then what they paid! Those miserable sons of bitches!!! I know! I was really pissed off too! I had no idea that Best Buy was going to charge me more for the TV than what they paid for it! For some reason if I try to make $100 off a used vehicle I need to be led away in irons. The idea that a small used car dealership makes $1,000’s of profit on every car they sell is for me at least a complete and udder myth.
  14. Why it’s difficult to sell someone you know a vehicle. Every time that vehicle has even the slightest issue you’re going to hear about it until the end of days. I’m not responsible for all maintenance that is required from now on for a vehicle that I sold. I’m not paying for new wiper blades two years after the sell. Yes, I am a SOB!
  15. Amateur mechanic/know it all- This person will be absolutely paranoid. They know absolutely nothing about a vehicle expect that it needs fuel put into it before it runs out. However, they have armed themselves with information! They knew that they were in the market for a vehicle so they decided to brush up on the mechanical workings for a vehicle. So much like the hypochondriac that is convinced that they have every disease that they see on WebMD they will be so hypersensitive that not only are they not going to purchase your vehicle, but they are going to convince themselves that they saved themselves from the ruthless cut-throat soulless car dealer that was about to sell them a thermonuclear reactor that was about to melt all the way down to China!

This could go on forever and who knows I may even add to it later. Just please always remember that there are always two sides to every story. It’s just that one side seldom gets told.




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