Salespeople have a bad rep of being pushy, aggressive, and very money-hungry. Well, according to these stories, that is true, but that didn’t intimidate them. Customers share how they handled a pushy salesman. Content has been edited for clarity purposes.
Online Price Vs The Saleman’s Price
“It was 2007. I had a Ford Explorer Sport – not a bad car. My ex-wife decided that she would total the car on her way home from work to entertain herself. The insurance company was actually quite quick and fair with the settlement. I had a check in my hand for more than I thought the car would have brought me. I looked on Craigslist and found a year-old Ford Five Hundred listed at a dealer about 30 miles away. I called down to see if the car was still available. It was so I drove down and took it out. It was fine and still under warranty.
We sat down to negotiate price, he named a figure that was 2,000 dollars more than advertised on Craigslist. He told me that it was a ‘really sweet deal.’
I said, ‘I think that I will pay .. . ‘ and I named the price that was on Craigslist.’
He said, ‘Oh, we can’t possibly go that low.’
I replied, ‘I think you will.’
‘Why is that?’ He asked me.
‘Because that is what you advertised it for on Craigslist,’ I told him.
He paused and asked, ‘Do you have a copy of the listing?’
‘I do,’ I told him and pulled the printout out of my pocket.
Not much what more was said but I got the car at that price. Used car salesmen suck.”
Trading Cars And Drama
“I was trading my car in for a new lease. I knew what my car was worth and how to make a deal. I also believe in ethical sales at all costs.
I specifically asked the salesman, ‘So I’m getting ‘X’ dollars AND you are paying off my car?’
He seemed dodgy but said, ‘Yes.’
Fast forward to signing the papers with the finance guy. Something seemed amiss but I knew I had 48 hours to cancel.
I asked him, ‘So I’m getting ‘X’ dollars and you’re paying off my car, right?’
He was very dodgy, so I asked him again and clarified to my daughter that sometimes salespeople lie to make a deal.
She said, ‘You asked the other guy the same thing.’
We got home and sorted out all the paperwork. They lied. Both of them. Now what they didn’t know was that I was a publisher for a magazine that dealt with Honda corporate a lot. They thought I was some dumb woman.
So I called them with plans to return the car within my window, which they tried to back out of.
‘Listen, I’m not interested in any more of your games. I’m returning the car and taking mine. If I need to show up with the state police, let me know.’
When I got there, the guys were pricks but I didn’t mind. I had my daughter recording on her phone. I called them out on the lie and told them that I had asked both of them to be honest with me. The manager witnessed it all and was still trying to prevent me from backing out of the deal. Finally, I let them have it.
‘You do not know who I am, but you have not given good customer service to the wrong person. It was clear you all saw me as a mark, and you would have had a sale, maybe two. But instead, you were all complicit with the lying. We’ve got this all on record today and we’ll be sending it to XYZ in Torrance. I’m not impressed at all,’ I said.
The manager’s face was perfect. I then filed an ethics complaint with the Attorney General in my state and bought the car from their biggest competitor. Who was more than happy to help us as they received a call from corporate asking to help me get what I wanted.”
“I Can Get You A New Ford Pick Up Truck For Under 10k”
“My father had Ford trucks for most of his life. He did buy a Chevy Love, and we had it for a short while and then a Dodge Ram, which had continual problems.
So he decided we’d go back to Ford. We happened to buy the F-150 that had the gray paint problem and the recall on the dual tanks. It also had a weird electrical problem that didn’t interfere with the operation but would give you a mild shock on the door now and then. Despite the problems, someone really, really liked the body style of the F-150 we had, aside from the gray paint issue, it was in excellent shape and not too many miles. He sold it to some guy who had a son who wanted that model for making his dream vehicle.
I decided to again go to Ford. Someone at my work told me that what he’d done was go to the commercial Ford lot as he’d wanted a utility vehicle. With trucks, we liked working trucks. This was about when the split happened and people began buying trucks that would never see a sheet of plywood, or a two-by-four, much less a load of beauty bark. I mentioned it to my father and we went to look at the commercial lot. That coworker said he liked white vehicles, but if we didn’t, we could take some of the money we saved and paint it and still be way, way ahead.
So we were looking.
A salesman walked up and said, ‘I can get you a new Ford Pick Up truck for under 10k.’
That was an outrageous statement. That would have been an outrageous statement maybe ten years before. But there he was, saying that and we thought we’d really hit on a great idea, hitting the commercial lot.
So he started showing us trucks and not one was under 10k.
We were patient for a while then I kept saying, ‘Where are the pick-ups under 10k?’
He said we’d go in the building and he’d talk to the manager. We went in and he talked and the sales manager came up.
He said, ‘We don’t have any pickup trucks anywhere near that low.’
‘Then why did he say it? We came here to look at trucks in good faith, and he’s a liar,’ I pointed right at the man. ‘We never had that number until he said it so it was a stupid fucking lie.’
The sales prick didn’t buck up. He faltered.
I turned to a pair of customers who had paperwork before them and said, ‘Ma’am, that individual just lied to us for no reason. I recommend you read that contract very carefully.’
My father was a bit taken aback; his view was car salesmen are generally scum.
So we went to Toyota. This was many years ago, and that Toyota pickup truck is still running great. For himself and relatives, my father bought a truck, four cars, and an SUV, all from Toyota. They would have been Ford products if it wasn’t for one stupid liar with an unnecessary lie.”
No More Mr. Nice Guy
“I had the intention of buying a used car.
The salesman was nice enough but the typical pitch was given then they ran my ‘numbers’ and would not tell me what the results were. The whole conversation went to buying a new car, which they had nothing I even remotely liked. But according to the salesman, what I did like that was the new cost. So we were an hour and a half into this. Even a test drive of something I had no interest in.
So basically we got back from a test drive of this junky new car and he said, ‘Well, you want to sign the paperwork?’
I told him, ‘Well, thanks, but you have nothing I want to buy.’
The guy was taken aback a bit, then he tried the threatening approach where he said I wasted his time. So I broke it down for him.
I said, ‘I came here to look at a specific vehicle, which you said was sold. I had three used vehicles in mind, you showed me none of them. Also, I basically said I could not buy them. You wasted an hour of my time on paperwork for a ‘new car’ I had no interest in. Twenty minutes on a test drive of a car I did not like. You told me I could not buy the new car I had a slight interest in. I can not buy any other cars if I even wanted to! The used cars were all less than the base model but according to what you said I could not buy one.’
Eventually, I was done with my rant. So basically they were pushing me into a new car that was out of my price range and simply disrespected me. I left the lot and bought a new Dodge Challenger a few weeks later.”
“I Could Just Take It Or Leave It”
“When I was looking to buy my Volt, I visited all dealerships that had a Volt and after a while, I knew exactly who had what and what price they were offering each model. So when I went to the dealership that had the one with the color I wanted, I could just take it or leave it, based on the price. I let the sales guy go through his song and dance, and even when he went to ‘check with his boss’. I whipped out my laptop and did some work till he came back.
When pricing came about, I offered a price that was 100 dollars more than the next Volt I was interested in. When he heard the number, he seemed ‘surprised’ at how low the offer was and acted as if there was no way his boss would approve. As he was started walking to ‘talk to his boss’ yet again, I just told him, ‘You know, never mind. I know I can get the same Volt for under this price at XYZ.’
I knew this was literally true; I had nothing to lose and started leaving. That’s when he stopped and gave me the ‘What would it take’ question. I told him that the other dealership has the same Volt, but a different color for less than my offer. I didn’t specify how much, so they needed to beat it by enough to make it worth it. I still left, telling the guy to call him after he ‘talks to his boss’.
He ended up calling me a couple of hours later. They offered me a price 500 dollars below the other dealership and when I hesitated, they also offered to throw in a free 240V charger. I agreed and that was how I got my Volt, which is still going strong.”
“We Felt They Were Just Robbing Us Without Weapons”
“I went to three dealerships over the weekend for my youngest one. He was leasing his new car after his graduation from college. We narrowed it down to one car model and tried to find the best deal.
In order not for the dealership to waste our time and we did not want to waste their time, we gave a very reasonable offer of what we were looking for. We already had an offer from the first dealer and knew exactly what we were doing. Of course, we mentioned it to the dealers and unless they had a deal to beat, we did not want to be there.
Two dealers came out with outrageous deals. We felt they were just robbing us without weapons.
I asked, ‘How on Earth could you come up with the numbers that don’t even make sense?’
They tried to bring in managers, asking what we were looking for.
I said, ‘We made ourselves very clear from the second we walked in here. We did not want to play a ping pong game. We already gave you the numbers to beat but you are treating us like we’ve never bought a car.’
We got up and walked out. We texted the salesperson from the first dealer and went there and picked up the car in 30 minutes.
The most outrageous things that a car dealer can say are, ‘How much would you pay for this car so that you could drive out today? or ‘Let me talk to my boss and I will be back.’
When I see a pushy salesman that wants to rob me, I just walk out.”
Good Credit? So What
“I was approximately 20 years old, married, and was considered very mature for my age. We had just bought our first home and now I wanted the new VW Rabbit. Although I did not know what constituted good credit back then was, I guess I had excellent credit according to the salesman. Monthly payments of 85 dollars were a common car payment but, for some reason, the salesman kept coming back with car payments over 100 dollars.
I was stubborn and very direct back then so I often was outspoken when I didn’t agree with something. I told the salesman that I wanted to stay at 85 dollars a month, no higher. They kept going back and forth with new payments and new financing land all kinds of different financing options. I kept saying no. I wanted lower payments. The salesman kept looking at my husband and my husband kept shrugging his shoulders, saying it was up to her, referring to me.
I started getting annoyed at the salesman because he was getting pushy. With me, the pushier you get, the more stubborn I become.
After a while of frustration, the salesman said, ‘Ma’am, did you know you have triple-A credit?’
I had no idea why he said that nor did I understand what it all meant, but I was annoyed with him.
I responded by saying, ‘Yes, that is because I don’t let people like you talk me into buying things that I can’t afford.’
I only remember that he seemed aggravated but, for some reason, I just told him I was no longer interested and we left without the car. Looking back on it, Volkswagon Rabbit? What was I thinking?”
A So-Called Discount
“My dad was looking for a cheap car just to run back and forth to work with – didn’t need to have any frills to it, just to get from A to B. Eventually, he found a car within budget and went to talk to the salesman. The salesman went off talking at a million miles an hour as a salesman does going through various things very quickly.
After a few minutes of all this talking, he told us he’d given us a 300 pounds discount on the car. That was when I lost it with him. In short, this salesman added 600 pounds onto the list price of the car, taking it above the budget we told him we had. How could you add 600 pounds to the cost of the car, then say you had given us 300 off pounds? Someone who was not adding it all up in their head would likely have just accepted getting a discount and proceeded.
I was firm about telling him I had added it all up in my head, saw what he had actually done, and wanted him to explain to us both how exactly he was giving us a 300-pound discount when he added 600 pounds onto the list price, which took us above our budget. He was so speechless that he was called out that he rushed off to get his manager to deal with us instead.
I said the same to the manager. He had no answer either so we left empty-handed and bought a car the next day from a rival company right next door to them.”
The Tantrum Tatic
“My sister was buying her Audi S3 Turbo Quattro. The dealer wanted a specific price for the car. She negotiated a price for the car with the dealer. He didn’t like the price and tried to use the ‘make her feel guilty approach’ by throwing his papers down on the desk and storming out.
She just sat there, sat there, and sat there. Of course, after his tantrum, he came back.
Because she didn’t react to his behavior, my sister now had the power. The dealer ended up agreeing to the price and not only the rotors needed fixing because she now had the power, but she also said that she did not want a machined fixed-job, she wanted brand new ones put on the car. The car was sent off to a genuine authorized Audi dealer here in Auckland called, ‘Continental Cars.’ They fixed the rotors with new ones, however, they also fixed some other bits and pieces. The cost of the fixes came to 3k. However, since my sister and the dealer had both signed legal forms to say that she would receive the car in a drivable and up to spec condition and the cost was on the dealer, not my sister.
So my sister not only stopped the pushy car salesman but got the car for her price and the three thousand dollars worth of fixes.”
Negotiation Gone Wrong
“My mother had purchased a used car which quickly turned out to be a real lemon. When she brought it back to the dealer and complained, they tried to turn it around on her even though they had utterly misled her about the condition of the car. There was extensive damage that wasn’t readily visible, and she’d made the mistake of accepting the car before getting it inspected by her preferred mechanic.
I was visiting from afar and was with her when she tried to negotiate a different car. They even had the gall to ask her if I could pay for a better car for her, which unfortunately I couldn’t.
They kept saying, ‘We can’t take this car back. It’s unsellable.’
I could see she was flustered enough not to respond appropriately. I was sitting in the background and spoke up at that point, saying, ‘If it’s unsellable, why did you sell it to her?’
They got very, very quiet and she left that day with a much better car at no additional price, though they made sure she knew they were eating the cost. Must have tasted a bit like a crow.”
His Wishy-Washy Answers
“Years ago when I was in the market for a car, I went to a dealer. My previous five cars were all purchased through private party sales, so I had no experience with a dealership beyond the anecdotal stories and running jokes about ‘car salesmen’.
In the long run, I do believe I got taken for a bit of a ride with this dealer, I consider myself sharp-witted for the most part (who doesn’t though to be fair?), but I was clearly out of my element. I came into that dealership because they had a Cadillac sedan on their website that to be fair seemed pretty cheaply priced for its age and miles. In hindsight, I think it was a bait and switch, because the sales guy came back after walking away, told me the car was not available, and immediately shifted the conversation to try to push more expensive cars, particularly new cars, not used ones like I had come in for.
I did manage to ask him why the Cadillac wasn’t for sale, he gave me some wishy-washy answer about, ‘Oh I think they’re selling it as-is.’
I didn’t catch it at the time and asked, ‘Oh… so it is for sale?’
Because he went back into his spiel trying to railroad me into conversations about brand new cars. But I wasn’t that out of my element I suppose, because he started fast-talking me about how he could put me in a brand new Fiat Pop today.
I just looked at him and said, ‘I came in here for a full-size sedan with a powerful V8 engine, look at me. I’m 300 pounds, why on Earth would you think I’d be interested in a compact?’
That stopped him and seemed to get him to start talking like a normal human being instead of the fast-talking guys at the end of radio commercials. I ended up test driving a Buick Lucerne, loved it, but the deal fell apart on the price.
Bottom line, I left, and found another Lucerne, two years older but 20k fewer miles on it and 4,000 dollars cheaper from another dealer. That sale went off without a hitch and with no-nonsense, and it was even a nicer color.”
His Whole Sales Pitch Changed When He Realized He Was Selling To A Woman
“I was reviewing cars for my next company car and one of the choices I could opt for was a BMW. Wanting to test drive one prior to deciding, I took my husband to a local BMW garage.
We were looking around the cars on the forecourt when a salesman came out to talk with us, well, my husband really. He started off by describing the technical features of the vehicle to my husband.
At this point, my husband held up his hand and said, ‘The car’s not for me. Please talk with my wife, the car is for her.’
At this point, the salesman looked at me, smiled, and started by telling me there was a vanity mirror on the driver’s side as well as the passenger’s side. Whoa!
I looked at him, smiled, and said, ‘So, can you tell me about the torque of this 320 please?’
He replied, ‘Torque?’
I looked him in the eye and replied, ‘Yes… torque… You know, the pulling power!’
His face dropped.
He responded, ‘Oh… That’s right… I’ll have to check for you.’
At which point, I turned to my husband and said, ‘We have a salesman here who doesn’t think women know anything about cars, who thinks that women are only interested if there’s a vanity mirror, and who doesn’t know some of the basic specs of this car. Let’s go!'”