Why do dealers waste our time...and theirs too?

My Subaru is coming off lease next month, and I just got a flat tire…went into dealership to have it replaced (just as well as tread was 3/32) and while killing time started talking to a salesperson.

Took a test drive (new Outback very nice) and sat down to talk…my current lease is $365/month with zero drive off, including 9.5% CA tax…didn’t even have loyalty coupon then…its a 2017 Outback Limited…36.5MSRP. I told him what my other dealer offered (about $500 month for an XT Limited, same terms). Also told him that at $500 for a $39K Outback, I wasn’t really interested…I can choose from a lot of much nicer cars for that price.

So he comes back, tries to put me a premium (a no go due to awful sound system), then a Limited (not XT) without options…35K sticker. $548 month. And the MF is marked up from .0007 to .0012!!! Discount on the car was less than $500!

On the plus side, turns out they replaced the wrong tire! The left front instead of the right front…didn’t realize until later that day…initially I thought they had rotated the tires (but don’t they do that front to back?), but tire warning light came on next day…wife stopped by and they replaced the right one for free! Too bad I only have 35 days to use them!


I had a dealer follow up with me after I had a deal in hand from a different deal, asking if I was still interested. Told him I was going the next day to pick up from another dealer. He asked for their offer to see if he could beat it. Already knew he couldn’t, but sent it over anyway.

The dealer I was going to (and did) lease from offered $2800 off MSRP, base MF. After seeing this, he countered with $500 off MSRP with maximum marked up MF, and then asked me when I’d come in.


It’s amazing, this is these sales peoples livelihood and they can just not listen. I was shopping a deal around the other day mentioned the best price I was offered was $825/month, he comes back with a price of $1,125…I mean??? Did you really not listen???

And you’re complaining that they “waste your time” while describing the approach as “killing time”?


lol and they always start off by saying “I dont want to waste your time or mine. I never go back and forth” Then all of a sudden I’m waiting for 20 minutes while they go back to the manager and “do crazy super secret atomic bomb math that nobody other then them knows how to do”…


First the sales person does not decide price, the manager does. Also, 90% of customers lie about payment, discounts, etc. It is either a straight lie or they do not understand the deal. When someone says I want to be at $500/mo or I was offered $500/mo somewhere else, it is most likely pure negotiation tactic with no truth. So the manager sends the sales person out at MSRP and full rate to get an offer. Do not take it personally or get upset, just say I will buy it today at X number and have evidence to back it up (written quote, KBB, Truecar, not it is what I want to pay or God told me).


Thats not always the truth. I was literally in a BMW dealership 3 days ago and told him exactly what I wanted to pay and had my lease agreement from the current car I’m driving to “back it up”. He literally said “I don’t want to see it. We DESERVE to make a profit.”

I almost sat there to argue with the guy but I then remembered that they are the bottom of the barrel sales type and don’t understand long sales cycles with relationships.

They are short sighted sales folk that are only looking at that months quota, not the big picture , so to speak.


Haha I had a dealer tell me that the other day! Said, a dealership is allowed to make money…

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Your lease agreement from you current car has no barring on the new lease. And of course it is short sighted since it is not a relationship business for the majority of customers and sales people. There is extremely high turn over, people cross shopping dealers/brands every lease, plus commissions are monthly. There is every incentive to sell a car today and make money today than hope someone comes back to you in 3 years if you are still there. I am not arguing for this type of business, but that is the reality.

As for deserving a profit, if the sales person spent time with you, did a presentation, test drove, etc, you can understand how they want to make make a profit and even deserve profit. You do not have to agree with that since you do not think highly of sales people, but surely you can understand how they can think that.


You didn’t have any intention to buy a car… so who was really wasting whose time? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


Moved to off-ramp. Another rant about “those slimy dealers.”

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What is the big picture? Give away all their stock for nothing to appease you?

It is a business. They can run it whatever way they want, and, believe it or not, businesses do like to make money.

I don’t understand why people get all up in arms about this stuff. You don’t like the price, go somewhere else. That’s the beauty of a free market. Not everyone is going to drop their pants for you to make you happy. You’re making a car buying decision way too emotional. It’s nothing personal…just business.


Wait, I’m not articulating correctly how I feel about sales people in general. I’ve personally been in a formal sales position my entire adult life. From working door to door to having a $6 million quota over my head doing what I do now. I’ve had a lot of different types of sales, short long, educational, you name it. I almost went into auto but a good friend of mine that has been doing it for about 30 years warned me off saying exactly what I see is the problem… New sales reps in the auto industry have a hard time building clientele. People do not keep cars as long as they used to so building a relationship should be advantageous for an auto sales rep.

And to the idea that any sales rep deserves to make a profit is a misunderstanding on how to become successful.

One would like to make a profit but the only goal we should have as salespeople is to further the companies mission and grow the company…

There are many ways to do that and margin is not always in the playbook.


The OP said why are they wasting our time and theirs. I dont disagree with most of what you are saying except that you didn’t answer the question. An efficient sales person wouldn’t waste time going back and forth with someone that has no intention at buying at an inflated price. They should get that over with right off the bat and say, no way jose and move on. Instead they make you wait as they go back and forth trying to break you down which is not a good way to do business in my mind.

Not sure what dealers you go to, but many sales people do offer pricing. If your price is $300 more per month, why even bother? Just stop wasting everyone’s time. BUT when said sales person did go to the manager, he came over apologized and offered a deal @ $840 per month. This is completely understandable, just hard to understand how certain people depend on car sales for income, yet totally disregard anything and everything you say…not to mention this sales personal also calculated increasing the mileage from 10k annually to 12k, by multiplying 2k miles per year by $0.25 per mile and dividing by 12 months…Not just simply subtracting 1% from the residual. Appreciate your opinion tho.

They both wasted each other’s time. OP had no intention on buying. Salesman offered a lowball offer because he didn’t know OP from Adam.

You COULD argue OP was the bigger time waster as he had nothing to lose. Salesman lost a potential mini dealing with OP.


I thought the OP said his vehicle was coming off-lease next month? Did I miss the part where he already had a replacement?

I do hate people that waste time so I’m on board with stealing his gas and brake pedals but I didn’t see it that way haha.

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Also, If I was in his shoes. I would have taken my current lease agreement and looked it over to try and punch holes in it to show why it wouldn’t work today or why I am not willing to do that price… It’s a different way of selling and honestly and being up front like saying “I’m not at the end of the month yet so when I’m desperate maybe I’ll give you a call” is a more respectable answer then flat out telling you to pound sand.

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Unfortunately the 2020 Outback is not a blowout car in Socal… They just redesigned it a couple months ago and the incentives aren’t anything special.

You defintely wont get anything close to what you got the 2017 Outback for as of this month

How does everyone feel about dealers asking for “written deal from the other dealer”. I always feel hesitant showing dealer 2, what dealer 1 offered me.

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