Monday, October 05, 2020

Competition is Car Dealer’s Kryptonite




Every week, for approximately the last 20 years, I’ve been writing a blog like this to help my readers buy a car without being ripped off by car dealers. I’ve also written a book on the subject (Confessions of a Recovering Car Dealer, available on Amazon) and I have a two-hour, weekly radio show on the same subject.

This morning, as I sat down, brainstorming this week’s topic, I began to think that I’m “over-complicating” things for my readers. This column will follow the KISS principle of communications…KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID! Car dealers are very powerful and smart at what they do, but they have a weakness, just like the one Superman had…KRYPTONITE! Kryptonite saps all the strength from Superman. COMPETITION saps all the strength from Car Dealers.

All new car dealers, selling the same make of car, pay the same price to the manufacturer as all other dealers. A dealer selling 1,000 cars per month pays the same price per car as the dealer selling 10 cars per month. All new Hondas are the same, as are all new Fords, Chevy’s, Toyotas, etc., and all with identical costs. They’re like the commodities gold, silver, and copper…an ounce of pure gold should cost the same no matter where you buy it. The only difference between new cars and other commodities like gold and silver, are that other commodity prices are readily available to buyers while CAR DEALERS WON’T TELL YOU THEIR TRUE PRICES until you’ve bought the car.

But you can render a car dealer helpless and unable to resist giving you an honest price with CAR DEALER KRYPTONITE…aka COMPETTION. When a car dealer knows that you’ll be getting out-the-door prices from at least two other car dealers for the exact same new car you plan to buy, YOU LEAVE HIM NO CHOICE BUT TO GIVE YOU HIS LOWEST PRICE.

It’s truly that simple, but it’s not easy because the car dealer will try every trick in his bag to avoid giving you his lowest price. I always recommend buying your car online and avoiding face-to-face contact during the buying process. Car dealer are pros and masters of intimidation and manipulation. They can’t practice this as effectively via email or text. I’d also minimize the use of the telephone. Make it crystal clear in all your communications with the dealer that you want their out-the-door price which is the amount you can write your check for and drive the new car home.

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