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What You Should Know About Car Salesmen

By Michael Royce
Consumer advocate, former car salesman

When you are at a dealership, the car salesman will ask you questions in order to learn as much about you as he can. So to even the score, here are three important facts that you should know about him:

1. He needs you more than you need him.
The car salesman may be under a lot of stress. Since he works on commission, he doesn't eat or pay his rent if he doesn't sell a car. That's a lot to live with. In addition, his Sales Manager may be pressuring him to sell, sell, sell. So despite how cool and calm the salesman may appear on the surface, he may be desperate to sell you a car.

2. He is not really in control.
The car salesman operates under the illusion that he is in control of the car-buying situation, that he's running the show. He's confident and smooth. Yet in actuality, you have the final say. And the car salesman knows this. He knows that, at any point, you can simply say "no" and walk away.

3. He may not be totally honest with you.
When you ask the car salesman a question, he may give you an honest answer. Or he may lie. Or he may say he doesn't know the answer because he really doesn't know. Or he may say he doesn't know because he wants you to think that he's not as smart as he really is (that's a ploy that some salesman use).

In other words, because the car salesman is under so much pressure to sell you a car, he may say anything to get you to buy. And he may do it under the guise of being a nice, sincere guy. So to protect yourself, it pays to be a least a little suspicious of any car salesman no matter how friendly you may get with him.

Aren't there any honest car salesmen?

Yes, of course there are -- just as there are honest politicians. But the problem is that there are so many unscrupulous car salesmen and the nature of their game is so tricky, that it's best to be on your guard. It's sometimes the ones who seem the most honest who are actually the trickiest.

Avoid the car salesman's games! Get a free price quote.


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