Let me tell you a secret

I am in the market to buy a car these days, and while the process is really frustrating me because of reasons I don’t want to get into here, I have realized there is a lot to learn from car salesmen.

One of the most interesting things I noticed is how a lot of them let you in on a secret.  The first guy I went to showed me how to read car prices by looking at the serial number assigned to the cars by the dealer. This was not something that he claimed as a trade secret, but simply referred to it as an old dealership trick.

The second guy showed me some sort of a receipt, which was from the auction where he bought the car. This was something he said he didn’t showed anyone, but was showing me just to emphasize what a great deal I was getting. A trade secret of sorts.

Yet another guy shared his personal mobile phone number with me only because I seemed like someone who was serious about buying a car and didn’t look like I’d call him at odd hours.

I’d lie if I say this didn’t work on me. Although I do realize this is an old method of gaining trust and exerting influence – it really does work on me. It especially works wonders when mixed with a show of sincerity and a few small actions that sort of backs their word. Simple things like calling back, and faxing documents quickly.

I think some part of this is also to do with the general frustration that creeps in when you have to go through dozens of cars without liking any of them, or have to wait for up to 15 minutes on the phone to talk to your credit union. When the car salesmen is the only cheerful person in the entire sales process – you do tend to trust him a bit more than is good for you. But, then again, I might be being too skeptical, and the sales-guy might really be telling me a secret.

Anyway, it is a good trick and I feel that it works well most of the time. Would love to hear what you think about it.

On a totally different note – posting has been light and will probably remain that way because I have to deal with a lot of stuff at the same time, and do a lot of running around. Car buying is probably the biggest, but not the only one, hopefully this will get done soon, and I will be freed up in a few days.

3 thoughts on “Let me tell you a secret”

  1. Isn’t it great that these guys let you in on a secret? I think over time you can patch it all together and you can become a pretty savvy car shopper. But who has the time to do this – My reaction to these secrets is similar to yours. I am skeptical mostly because I wonder about all the secrets that they do not share.

    1. Yeah, I’d like to know the secrets they don’t share too. In one case I went to a dealership and the sticker price was 13k, after haggling for about half an hour, they reduced it to 10.5k. That after saying he couldn’t do the price a number of times, and also showing me other cars that were cheaper. We didn’t really want that car, but I was left wondering how big of a margin they have.

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