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Discussion Starter #1

Background: I'm 71 and have shopped for over 40 cars in my life (includes wife's cars, helping daughter, company cars) -- The point is experience with dealer shopping.

I don't mind a "good" sales person. Good in my book means:

-- knowing his/her cars & the competition's comparable cars, although, in general, I've done my research and know what I want,

-- dealing with you professionally, courteously and without condescension,

-- eliminating mind games (holding your car keys after looking at your trade in, calling over the "manager" for the close, etc),

-- not sitting in their office with you in front of them & chugging away at their chintzy $30 paper tape calculator for half an hour as if they were working on global warming (it's really very simple...),

-- respecting your time when you know exactly what you want and are ready to go given a decent net price,

-- giving you some space & time and not constantly being "on" you,

-- being straight forward and giving a competitive price net of trade in value,

-- and, yeah, a decent personality and a little sense of humor would go a long way.

Dealers carrying US "big" three (what are they now, Larry, Curley & Moe Autos, Inc?) cars are the worst in general and exclusive foreign car dealers are usually quite a bit better.

The best sales experience I've had was buying my second Subaru. I searched Subaru's web site and emailed three dealers to start. The dealer I bought my first Subaru from never answered; another dealer emailed me to say someone else would follow up and they never did; the third sales person was great. He responded immediately, gave a quite reasonable quote including trade in value (surprised me that he quoted trade in value, even subject to seeing the car), and sounded like he had an IQ higher than a pigeon. When I went to the dealership, he lowered the net price by $1,000 based on trade in value increase and I signed on the dotted line...

It sounds like I should recommend him, but I had a second experience with the same guy, who was new at time #1, and it was more usual car salesman using sales approach #14.

The paper work guy (who also tries to sell financing, extended warranties, etc) at the same dealer was a pain. I don't buy extended warranties; he started offering it at $2,700 and ended up in a series of steps at $800. I told him "no" at each point and that I wasn't interested at all and he appeared irritated with me when I didn't buy the warranty.

Well, I'm on my way to get my fourth Subaru in a row; I'm really excited about the new Outback. I hope the dealers don't tick me off; I'd like to make 72.

P.S. I love my wife's 2009 Forester (except maybe the 4 speed automatic).

2006 Forester XT Limited 4EAT
2,008 Posts
Good luck on 72!


& the OB too!

Premium Member
12 Premium 5-speed
4,733 Posts
Good post.

Both our Subaru purchases, from two different dealers about 1,000 miles apart, went quite well. Here's hoping they're the rule, not the exception. Even the dreaded F&I experience wasn't bad, and in the second case was quite pleasant as the young lady handling paperwork that day was a complete hottie. I wanted to ask her to explain every little detail but my wife was soon on to me. :icon_wink:

Funny how some dealerships make buying a car a more difficult experience than buying a house.
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