Car Salesmen and Immigration Reform

Posted on April 14, 2013


Your 2013 Immigration Reform Sportabout won’t look this good or perform this well – which isn’t saying a lot. Actually, yes it is.

First of all, despite my unwillingness to devolve to politically correct terminology (see Associated Press and Illegal Immigrant), I will point out that women also sell cars, new and used, although not in great numbers.  What I mean, not in great numbers, is that I haven’t noticed a lot of ladies in the car selling ‘profession’ – probably because the whole idea of attempting to substitute an excrement sandwich for the ‘great deal’ that was originally promised, doesn’t seem like a moral and ethical thing to do.

But there are no shortage of guys out there who think that God has gifted them with the talent of using their ‘superb communication skills’ to flim-flam customers and make extra money – and they should put those talents to good use.  That’s Rahm Emanuel thinking.

I went – or actually, my wife went looking for cars last month.   We’ve been down that road before and we were braced for the games.  I was more or less a bystander.  She doesn’t need my help, and as a matter of fact it’s best I stand clear from the carnage.  The first thing that you will experience is that the friendly (phony) and helpful (to himself) salesman will offer to provide you with a test drive.

To do this, however, you are going to have to provide them with your driver’s license.  This begs a question right out of the starting gate.  Remember the Democrats howling about how unfair it is to require potential voters to have to verify identification? How do illegals fulfill this requirement?  I guess they go to the independent used vehicle dealer called ‘Me and Julio’s Private Fiesta Car Hacienda’. That’s on that vacant lot – you know the one,  where people park the gently used, previously owned vehicles with a big price sign in the windshield with an Obamaphone number underneath.

Back to the Auto Center.  Let me give you a tip, those of you with personal information privacy concerns, anyway.  Do NOT simply hand your driver’s license to one of these shmoes.  If they need to show your D.L. to the general manager for confirmation, go with them while they do so and get your driver’s license back immediately.  Under NO circumstances, allow them to make a photocopy or copy any information off of it.  If they insist on doing so, don’t walk – run away from this dealership, while you are telling them to do something that is anatomically impossible for anyone to do to themselves!   I’ll explain why in a moment.

We take the test drive.  What will usually happen next, once the salesman confirms that this is the car you are in the market for, is that either he or you will raise the subject of ‘how much’?  If you ask the question,  the salesman will answer your question, not with the proper answer to your question, but with another question. “How much do you want your payment to be?”  You ask once again firmly – “How much will you sell this car to me for?”.  If he reverts to the monthly payment diversion, you tell him to do that physically impossible act I described earlier, and walk out.

This brings me to the key principal in vehicle negotiation.   Never mix emotions with the process of purchasing or leasing a car.  Never.  Put your game face on and keep it on.  Don’t be a turd, but don’t allow the salesman to try to become ‘friends’ with you.  Always be prepared, no matter how much you ‘love that car’, to walk off the lot and don’t look back.  Why do you think they call them ‘Car Lots’?  I’ll tell you.  Remember Lot’s wife in the Bible?  Remember what happened to her when she just couldn’t walk away from that Chrysler with all the options?  O.K., I know that’s not exactly the story, but if you don’t discipline yourself, these shysters will use your lack of resolve to give you the screw job of the decade.  Don’t let them.  Be firm.

My wife, against her better judgment, did gave Abdullah, her driver’s license but told him in no uncertain terms to “do NOT make a copy of this!”.  What did he do?  That’s right – he made a copy of it.  How did she know?  When we went into his office, right on the corner of his desk, he has a stack of photocopies with potential customers’ driver’s licenses and personal information just sitting there.  My wife looked one over when he stepped out for a moment.  We kicked ourselves later for not taking down the name of the person and advising her to sue the pants off that dealership for violating privacy laws.

The point of greatest danger is when the salesman tells you “I’m going to sell you this car for less than dealership invoice,” and then he gets his calculator out.  You’re in for trouble now.  You are that is, unless you’ve done some due diligence and researched the dealer’s ‘actual’ cost of that car before you go shopping.  Bring your own calculator along and when he does his little Three Card Monte act with it, insist that he walk you through exactly the steps and the factors he used to arrive at the payments and the total at the end of the loan or lease.  That’s when you’ll destroy his whole dog and pony act and get to see him sweat.

They were hoping that by this time they’d gotten you to ‘trust’ them.  Never let one of these people believe that.  Know what the fair price for the car is and insist on it and DO NOT ever obtain financing at the dealership!  Also DO NOT ever acknowledge even the existence of a trade in until you have negotiated the price you want to pay for that car.  Even if they ask the question, dodge it until you’ve gotten the new car price in writing.  Then know what your car is worth.  The internet is full of resources for new and used car values and you can find out what the dealer bought the new model for and what he should pay you for your old one.

My bottom line here in advice to you, is to do all your research before you get to the dealership.  Do not rely on the dealership as a resource for educating yourself on the car or anything about it.   That is a fatal tactical blunder and will cost you several thousands of dollars.

Here’s another one.  If the salesman says, “Well, I don’t know if I can do that or not, let me go talk to the General Manager, or the Sales Manager”, and he excuses himself to do so – you get up and leave without saying a word to anyone and do not return.   Nothing good is going to happen when he comes back or you meet Mr. General Manager.  Nothing.  Trust me (I don’t mind saying that, since I’m not selling you a car).  Leave.  I don’t care if you spend all day, all weekend, in fact, shopping for cars – you will be better off down the road if you flee from such typical shyster tactics.  Buyer’s remorse is what you get when you let them pull these old as the hills maneuvers.  They are not so much maneuvers as they are manure.

Another  tip.  Can you discipline your instinct for instant gratification?   If so, here’s the ideal psychological environment for you getting the car at the low price you are willing to offer.  Wait until the last week of the month on a Tuesday, Wednesday or a Thursday evening about an hour or hour and a half before the dealership closes for the night.  Better yet, check the five day forecast in your area and see if one of those days is going to be rainy, foggy or gloomy.  Hitting them at the end or near the end of the month, you will catch the dealership in a position where they are short on projected sales and need to make their numbers.  They’ll move a low margin deal to get another car sold.

If you’ve really done your homework as you should and if you already have your financing ducks in a row (get to know a Credit Union in your area), may I suggest that you don’t visit the dealer at all.  Many of the best dealerships have Internet Sales Managers and you can get everything agreed to in writing, without having to look at Jack Ball’s stupid puss at all.

My absolute best advice, unless you are leasing, is do not buy a new car at all.   There are plenty of well maintained, low mileage (under 50,000 miles) cars out there that are a year or two old and great deals for the money – especially if you negotiate knowledgeably.  If you can live without the ‘new car smell’ and all the psychology that goes with it, you’ll be so much further ahead of the game, especially in this economy.   You might also consider paying a reputable, independent mechanic an hourly fee to inspect the vehicle mechanically, running compression tests, putting the car through a diagnostic sequence, etc.  If he gives it a clean bill of health – great.  If he finds any problems, ask how much the repair would be and get a quote in writing.  Then you can either negotiate the repair cost off the price or insist that the dealer repair the items before you take delivery and guarantee the work.

By now, however – you are wondering, “Where’s the tie-in with Immigration Reform”???.  Thank you for asking – here it is.  Congressmen, Congresswomen and Senators are Car Salesmen.  All of them.  Let me repeat – ALL OF THEM!  Right now, you are getting the sales pitch on the luxurious ‘2013 Immigration Reform’.  “It’s got everything you want and nothing you don’t want.  This sporty ride does not have amnesty or a path to citizenship.  Hurry before the deal ends!”  Uh,huh. That’s the line these stinkin’ Congressional car salesmen are pitching.

They tell you – “I’m giving you the strongest Border Control that Detroit, er Washington D.C. has ever put on one of these babies, that’s for sure!.  And if you buy now, you’ll get the most stringent penalties for the undocumented immigrants in exchange for only legal residency status”.  They’ll tell you not to worry about any fine print or details in the contract, just trust them.  Like Hell, I will.  Here’s the latest from the AP:

Sen. Marco Rubio, who’s among the eight senators writing a plan that’s expected to come out Tuesday, tried to promote and defend the framework for the emerging overhaul that would provide a path toward citizenship for those who came to the country illegally or overstayed their visit.

While the deal does include a long and difficult process for the 11 million individuals in question, Rubio insisted the proposal does not include an “amnesty” provision that fellow conservatives have called a deal-breaker. “We’re not awarding anybody anything. All we’re doing is giving people the opportunity to eventually earn access to our new, improved and modernized legal immigration system,” said Rubio, a Florida Republican and Cuban-American.

If you believe him or any of the ‘Gang of Eight’, you’ll pay for a 2013 Range Rover HSE, and be handed the keys to a 1986 Suzuki ‘Sidekick’.  Yes, that was the year we gave thumbs up to the last amnesty plan.

Such a deal.