Wednesday, February 04, 2015

6 ways to tell if your car salesperson can be trusted!

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Car purchase is a tricky thing. From few lakhs to several crores, there’re numerous options suiting every budget, needs and likes. While most of us do research a bit on internet to shortlist a few cars, final decision is often taken after visiting a dealer and checking out the cars in person (Few companies have started selling cars online as well). In this process, car salesperson plays a key role, explaining the features of the car and helping you decide the right model, variant etc. But then, there is a fundamental difference in priorities. Your objective is to buy a best car at reasonable price in near future. But the salesperson’s objective is to make you book a car of their company, preferably a more expensive one, as immediately as possible.

In this post, I am listing a few factors to keep in mind while dealing with car salesperson. If you observe carefully, you will be able to decide if he is honest in his approach or is trying to trick you into buying a car that may not be best suited to your needs. Do read. 
Evo vs Avventura

1 Not accepting that there’s a facelift coming up. There’re lots of automobile blogs and websites tracking upcoming launches and facelifts of existing variants which are likely to hit the market in near future. But sales people have a mandate to sell NOW and not '3 months from now;. They need to clear existing stock, so they will never volunteer to say “Please come back in 2 months, we have a facelift planned for this model”. That is understandable. But a honest salesperson should at least acknowledge that there’s a facelift planned when such a question is posed to him. If there’s a facelift coming up in few months, it could bring couple of advantages- one- there could be some new features or some known issues fixed, or the prices of existing stock may drop as dealers aim to clear old stock to make way for fresh model. So if a saleperson is knowingly denying you these benefits by tricking you to buy like NOW, he doesn’t have your best interests in mind.

2 Forcing you to stretch your budget. Most of us will be visiting showrooms with a specific budget in mind, though we can usually extend it by a few lakhs either by digging into our savings or taking extended loans. But keep in mind that car is a depreciating asset. It loses value fast. And after purchase you may still wish to spend some more on the car- for accessories, for maintenance etc. So stretching your budget beyond your comfort level is not the right thing to do. But salesmen can get a sense of your spending abilities once they know where you work etc and often tempt you to opt for a more expensive option, than one that is within your budget. Saying so once should be fine, but if he/she keeps pushing for more expensive option even after you said No, then be careful not to fall into trap. At times they may circumvent you by taking your wife into confidence, convincing her that the expensive model is a better choice. Watch out. With an expensive car, everything will be proportionately expensive- insurance, fuel, maintenance etc.

3. Book it like TODAY. Never book a car unless you’ve done enough research. Leave your checkbook and credit card at home while going for test drive. There could be other good options with the competition which you might wish to explore. Sales staff are trained to tempt you to make a booking on the spot. They often quote discounts and deals that exist only today and trick you to believe you will have to pay more from tomorrow (or next month). This is never true. Next month also the showroom will be open, they will be selling cars and there will be some discounts and offers. I would rather recommend paying few thousand more after you’re fully convinced about the car, than saving a few thousands on a car whose purchase you might regret little later,  because you bought it without proper due diligence. More you can wait, more options you will have.

4 Creating illusion of more space. If salesperson is pushing the driver seat to extreme back while you’re driving and pushing it to extreme front when you check rear seat, then he is trying to trick you into believing that there’s lots of space in the car. Watch out for such tactics.

5 Complete disregard for the competition:  Any car will have some pros and some cons. A salesperson is playing fair as long has he is trying to capitalize on the strengths of his brand and highlighting the cons of the competition. But if he/she is using extreme superlatives- like his brand is the best and whole of competition is totally useless piece of metal junk, then he is not being fair. So don’t trust such people. Some minimum knowledge and respect for the competition is expected.

6. Ask for reference and measure his/her comfort level. Ask for contact details of one or two of their existing customers from whom you wish to take some feedback about the car or after sales service. Measure the comfort level on their face as they respond to your question. If you sense a lot of discomfort, then probably something is wrong.


Anita said...

Nice points.
Buyers have to be aware :)

Anonymous said...

Excellent points. I didn't even realize they would use #4 as a tactic.
I'd suggest to always have a knowledgable friend with you to double check whatever the salesperson says.

Also, during the end of the year or festivals, there are additional discounts. Check at other showrooms to make sure.

Never give them a copy of your current car's RC. If they ask for it without offering you an exchange bonus, don't trust them - they just tried to scam you.

Ananya Tales said...

Great Helpful article !