car dealership - salesman's vs manager's selling price

Zee

Diamond Member
Nov 27, 1999
5,171
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Anyone who used to work at a dealership - can you answer this please.

Theoretically, lets say you are buying a car from a friend who works in a dealership as a regular salesman... does he have the ability to sell the car for the lowest possible price or does a sales manager/fleet manager/internet manager have the ability to sell a car for even lower than the salesman (Who is supposedly your friend) is able to?

Let's say it's depressing to make this thread because Im now questioning a friendship



edit: This can go in the Garage. This can go in L&R. this can just stay in OT.
 
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apac

Diamond Member
Apr 12, 2003
6,212
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Anyone who used to work at a dealership - can you answer this please.

Theoretically, lets say you are buying a car from a friend who works in a dealership as a regular salesman... does he have the ability to sell the car for the lowest possible price or does a sales manager/fleet manager/internet manager have the ability to sell a car for even lower than the salesman is able to?

I bought my car through the fleet manager (via AAA agent) and got it for $1000 less than MSRP. I think they can get the better price.
 

SearchMaster

Diamond Member
Jun 6, 2002
7,792
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I bought my car through the fleet manager (via AAA agent) and got it for $1000 less than MSRP. I think they can get the better price.

When did you buy? Deals seem pretty good now. I helped my neighbor buy an Altima yesterday for $3000 under invoice, and for giggles talked to him about a Sentra which he offered for >$2000 under invoice. This was through the Internet manager. It may just be Nissan trying to boost numbers this year...
 
Aug 23, 2000
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Anyone who used to work at a dealership - can you answer this please.

Theoretically, lets say you are buying a car from a friend who works in a dealership as a regular salesman... does he have the ability to sell the car for the lowest possible price or does a sales manager/fleet manager/internet manager have the ability to sell a car for even lower than the salesman (Who is supposedly your friend) is able to?

Let's say it's depressing to make this thread because Im now questioning a friendship

If you expect a "friend" in the auto sales business to bend over backwards for you forget about it. They are there soley to make a buck. The more the sell the car for the more money they make. It's pure numbers.
 

Zee

Diamond Member
Nov 27, 1999
5,171
3
76
If you expect a "friend" in the auto sales business to bend over backwards for you forget about it. They are there soley to make a buck. The more the sell the car for the more money they make. It's pure numbers.


Yes but im talking about a theoretical real friend. Like the one I would go help out if he was stranded somewhere in the middle of the night.
 
Mar 11, 2004
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Yes but im talking about a theoretical real friend. Like the one I would go help out if he was stranded somewhere in the middle of the night.

The thing is, he might see you paying a higher price as helping him. Some dealers were/are hurting so much that buying a car from the friend could very well be considered saving their job, for the time being at least. If he can get a higher price out of you it will make him look like a better salesman.

I'm not presuming to know your friend, but people get crazy when it comes to money and keeping their job. Of course maybe your friend would be one that would be greatly offended if you bought a new car and not from him. At least, I wouldn't just take his word that he's getting you the best price unless you can afford it. If nothing else check online and call other dealers in the area or reasonably close by and have a figure already, and ask if he can match it.
 

Fiat1

Senior member
Dec 27, 2003
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I actually did that already and the car can be bought for lower. which is the reason for the debate and then this post on whether a salesman is limited on how low he can go
Depending on the make and model you may have the upper hand if the dealer has not sold many cars this month they may deal with you. Depending what the hold back is on your model and how sales are going. Have your friend offer $100.00 over True Cost's dealer invoice and see what happens.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,389
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Depends on the situation. If it's an "in demand" car, then it won't make a difference who you talk to or how good a friend you are. The price for the car ultimately comes from the sales manager in the end, anyway. The salesperson is just the conduit. However, if you walked in off the street and demanded to see the sales manager and asked for the best price right now, you will probably end up paying more for a common model than if you had your friend tell the sales manager that you had been buddies since 2nd grade and wanted to give you a great deal. There's also the other school of thought in the car industry that says you should "gross the hell out of family and friends", meaning that you should make as much gross profit as you possibly can, because they will ask fewer questions and be less likely to shop around. Just depends on the dealership and staff there. There's no real answer to this question.
 

olds

Elite Member
Mar 3, 2000
50,053
710
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Sales persons can not set prices. They come from a manager, usually the sales manager. Fleet managers can set prices too.

Your friend gets the prices from a manager unless he quoted you MSRP. What price your friend can sell it for depends on the price his manager gave him after he told the manager it was for a friend. Sales are sluggish, you might not get a great price.
 
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darkxshade

Lifer
Mar 31, 2001
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Yes but im talking about a theoretical real friend. Like the one I would go help out if he was stranded somewhere in the middle of the night.


So theoretically, it's ok to use your friend to get the absolute lowest price(possibly at the expense of his commission) but it's not ok for him to make a few bucks in the process? This isn't a PS3 at best buy, this is a car. It's a huge purchase, if his commission is based on whatever he sells over $x, then by selling it to you straight up for $x, then not only does he make nothing for all the work and effort he'll have to put in[read:paperwork] but it may also affect his monthly sales figures which are used in determining promotion.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,389
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So theoretically, it's ok to use your friend to get the absolute lowest price(possibly at the expense of his commission) but it's not ok for him to make a few bucks in the process? This isn't a PS3 at best buy, this is a car. It's a huge purchase, if his commission is based on whatever he sells over $x, then by selling it to you straight up for $x, then not only does he make nothing for all the work and effort he'll have to put in[read:paperwork] but it may also affect his monthly sales figures which are used in determining promotion.

This kind of scenario is exactly the reason that I hate selling cars to family and friends. The best thing to do is have the friend shop around, get quotes, etc. from other dealers. Then go in to his friend and get his quote last. Then if it's high, you know that you're dealing with a "Gross your friends and family dealer" and you should just go elsewhere. If it's reasonable, then you have to ask yourself "how much is it worth to do business with my buddy?"

The problems usually occur after the sale when the buddy suddenly expects all kinds of special treatment when he needs a free oil change or suddenly decides that he wants different wheels and tires or there is a small squeak just under the back seat when you turn left and the blinker is on. Huge amounts of unreasonable requests and demands start flooding in for things people would never request of an average salesman. It sucks, I hate it. I encourage my family to do exactly what I just said and then bring me the numbers. If I can do better, I will. If it's not worth it, I will tell them where I think they should buy. Some salesman might be hurt that you went somewhere else, but when it comes down to it, this is a business and I still want the best deal for my family and friends.
 

StrangeRanger

Golden Member
Oct 9, 1999
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At the dealership I worked at us sales guys were not allowed to set prices. They always came from higher up the food chain.

That being said, as someone mentioned, if the salesman is truly a bud of yours he will go to bat for you. I've done this many times.

But a little reciprocation is always nice. For example the last car I sold to a friend he picked up a growler of yummy beer for me. I wasn't expecting anything, didn't ask for anything, but it was a nice little surprise.
j
 

sourceninja

Diamond Member
Mar 8, 2005
8,805
65
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There is actually a new car dealer by me that seriously holds to their guns of 'the price on the car is the best price'. They even let me walk out. The guy called me a few days later with a 'better deal that just came in', but insisted that the price on the car is the best price they can offer. It was strange.

That said, I never mix business with friendship. It costs friends.
 
Nov 5, 2001
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Dealers do have a set threshold for a sale price. The sales manager may be willing to go lower than your average salesman. As I understand it, the sales manager makes his commissions based on total sales, not individual sales, whereas the salesman only makes the commission on what he sells. And commissions are small (we're talking sometimes only $100 on a car). I don't think it's reasonable for you to expect your friend to not make any money, but if he's not eating his commission and the sales manager doesn't care about the individual commission, yes it's possible.
 

apac

Diamond Member
Apr 12, 2003
6,212
0
71
When did you buy? Deals seem pretty good now. I helped my neighbor buy an Altima yesterday for $3000 under invoice, and for giggles talked to him about a Sentra which he offered for >$2000 under invoice. This was through the Internet manager. It may just be Nissan trying to boost numbers this year...

Bought June 2008, an '08 legacy. The 09s were just around the corner so they were probably priced to move. Still, I don't think I would have gotten such a good deal through a salesman, especially with 3.9% financing.

AAA agents are the way to go. They make a commission paid by the dealership, presumably for marketing their product, and will do all your shopping for you.
 
Dec 19, 2009
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I was hoping someone could help me buy a new G37

the MSRP is $35,700

I am getting $29,500+++ from all my local dealerships

the question is when the 2010 hit in a month, will the 09s be worth even less? They are already coming with $3500 incentive. Which is really high compared to other luxury brands.

plus 2010 comes standard with a bunch of prem stuff I do not want

http://g35driver.com/forums/g35-37-sedan-v36-2007/318799-6mt-prices-up-2010-a.html

they say it's "invoice" - $3500 factory incentive.. I'm sure they're not making money on it but at the same time how desperate are they to move these cars? Are they willing to LOSE money?
 
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olds

Elite Member
Mar 3, 2000
50,053
710
126
I was hoping someone could help me buy a new G37

the MSRP is $35,700

I am getting $29,500+++ from all my local dealerships

the question is when the 2010 hit in a month, will the 09s be worth even less? They are already coming with $3500 incentive. Which is really high compared to other luxury brands.

plus 2010 comes standard with a bunch of prem stuff I do not want

http://g35driver.com/forums/g35-37-sedan-v36-2007/318799-6mt-prices-up-2010-a.html

they say it's "invoice" - $3500 factory incentive.. I'm sure they're not making money on it but at the same time how desperate are they to move these cars? Are they willing to LOSE money?

Casiotech
Start your own thread. Oh wait, you already did.
 

kranky

Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
21,014
137
106
It seems very believable to me that the manager has more leeway than the salesperson does.
 

HybridSquirrel

Diamond Member
Nov 20, 2005
6,161
2
81
short answer without reading all the replies: yes he can sell it to you for what they own + 150 (or however much the employee pricing is) but they have to have the managers approval, so:

yes, but they need manager approval to go below what they would usually sell. (worked at a car dealership for 2 years before let go)
 
Dec 19, 2009
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You got a deal $29,000 +++ when can you pick up your new Infiniti?


F****** Y***
New & Preowned Sales & Leasing
**** ******* Automobiles



sweet $29g for a new G37... This is the week to buy your cars guys.. $6000+ off msrp on a base model

of course the 31st you can expect prices to go down another 1-2%