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True dealer story

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Main Forum' started by karter, Mar 20, 2011.

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  1. karter

    karter Junior Member

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    After reasearching for months (almost a year) I finally decided to buy a new 2010 Prius with the close out incentives. I had researched pricing, knew everthing I needed to about the options, levels, colors, port installed options, etc. So all I wanted was to give the dealership the exact configuration I wanted and get their best price (the Email approach didn't work in our area). I even gave them their stock number on a Prius they had that met my requirements.

    I called and made an appointment to see the sales manager hoping to skip the multiple levels of sales people. When I arrived I was met by the sales manager and he immediately handed me off to a salesman to help with starting the process. The salesman then tells he before they can start the process I have to test drive a Prius. Told him I had rented many Prii and was very familiar with the car. But no we had to take the test drive if I wanted a price.

    Should have left at this point but no I had to push on.

    So we went to the demo Prius and saleman gets in and can't figure out how to "start" car. I explain to him he has to hold the brake and push the start button. I am serious he then argues that that's not right because the engine did not start so there must be something else wrong. I finally convince him to try putting it in reverse and low and behold the car actually moves. I then spent a 15 minute test drive explaing the mode buttons, how to change the display, and maybe a half a dozen other tid bits.

    After the test drive we go back in and he presents a ridiculus offer that we then have to work up the sales chain to get the real selling price. Then they started explaining dealer fees on top of the price - at this point I gave up and purchased at a different dealer.

    Thre are five dealers in the immediate area and only one was really knowledgable in how a Prius operates. I do not understand how after 3 generations of an automobile there are Toyota sales people who still do not understand all the Prius features.
  2. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator Staff Member

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    I completely agree. It's been ten (10!) years that Prii have been sold in the United States. There have been three (3!) different iterations. And yet, it sounds as though there are still Sales folk who need to take some test drives of their own.

    Congrats on finding the Prius you want at the dealership you deserve!
  3. GoMetricToday

    GoMetricToday 42 is the answer to the ultimate question.

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    Wow sounds like you had a time with that dealership. I had quite the opposite experience. I selected the car from the dealer stock on-line. Already had a preliminary quote on my 2010 Honda Insight trade-in. Did the credit application on-line, even got an estimated payment that was within my budget. Again I did this all on-line. I decided to go and do some shopping, whilst I was out. I got a call the from the internet sales manager at Phil Bachman Toyota in Johnson City, TN. He said Mr. Herbertson, we have your Prius ready, just come on by and take a look and sign the paper work. I went to the dealership. Tested the car. Liked it. Then we haggled a bit before signing the paperwork. I ended up getting $1000 more for my trade than the preliminary trade quote that I got on-line. Like you, a test drive was required even though I didn't want one. I did tell the sales person that if he pushed any buttons or tried to show me something whilst I was driving that would kill the deal. He agreed and we had a wonderful test drive. When we got back then I allowed him to show me the bells and whistles.
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    seems like most people who go into auto sales are gearheads and not greenheads. could be the whole i.q. thang.
  5. mmcdonal

    mmcdonal Active Member

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    I used to sell cars and this all sounds familiar to me. I can see why the Sales Manager gave you to a sales person, that was okay since he/she doesn't have time for personal sales. There is usually an online sales person that will take care of this sort of transaction if a price has been agreed upon beforehand. That whole take your offer up the chain is bs, btw.

    That is why I always get my new Toyotas at CarMax Laurel Toyota (I am not associated with them) since you get the online price, model and stock number and walk in and buy your car. They do like you to test drive just so you can be sure it is the car you want, but not required.
  6. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Funny...

    But not rare. I spent much time also researching Prius and had almost an identical experience test driving.

    Note to Toyota: If you are expanding your Prius Family...better training and knowledge of Hybrids for your salespeople I think is in order.

    It was laughable some of the things Sales people told me Prius could do, was doing, or couldn't do....

    It was like they were describing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang while taking LSD....I found the whole experience entertaining BUT for the wrong reasons...
  7. Thai

    Thai Prius Neophyte

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    Dealers hire people that want to make money, not people who know about cars....
  8. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    Bad dealerships probably have a really high turnover of salespeople.
  9. SW03ES

    SW03ES Senior Member

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    Actually in my experience people who go into auto sales know nothing about cars at all.

    For a lot of them its one step up from working at Best Buy, and they only work there a couple months before they figure out they can't make any money doing it and leave, or are fired. Dealerships generally offer zero training, so if the salespeople want to learn...they have to figure it out themselves.

    Its a hard job, and there are easier things to suck at.
  10. J5A

    J5A Active Member

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    The last guy that tried to sell me a car (before the Prius) was recently downsized from 20 years in the insurance industry and basically new at selling cars. These were Cadillacs and he knew very little about them. It certainly reflected poorly and I walked away uninterested.
  11. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    The short answer is that 97% of the US population have never owned a hybrid, and car salespeople have a pretty rapid turn-over. I do agree though a smart dealership would spend a couple of minutes training its salespeople to not appear morons.
  12. jdimetal

    jdimetal New Member

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    My family has bought 3 Toyota's from them in the past 2 years and this is where I got my Prius. I love doing buisness with them. I love the fact that their dealer fees are just $99.
  13. tpfun

    tpfun New Member

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    Toyota should make it mandatory that any salesperson selling the Prius in the dealership or in online forums has to drive one for at least 100000 miles.;)
  14. SW03ES

    SW03ES Senior Member

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    I know your post was in jest...but salespeople don't work for Toyota...they work for the dealership which is an independently owned and operated business.
  15. Newsie11

    Newsie11 Junior Member

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    Location:
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    Bought my 2010 last week, long story - short version:
    3 weeks ago test drove the 4 used Prii at my local dealer, could not make up my mind so they let me walk. Went back in to make a deal on the one certified they had, and finally got TFS to accept the deal. Then the stealership could not find the keys to the car. After an hour, they had to let me walk again, but promised to get keys overnighted to them and I could pick up the car the next day. The next day on the way driving to the lot, I heard that TFS was giving 0% financing on 2010's. When I went in, I told them I wanted to see what the numbers were on a 2010, and after comparing the used (total cost after interest) at $22K, I bought the 2010 marked down to $23500. I am wondering if "no comission salespeople" that they have are a good idea? I would have been really mad if I had signed the papers on that used car the day before.
  16. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    That's why you should buy cars over the phone, by email and fax. The only reasons to go to a dealer are for a test drive and to take delivery.
  17. karter

    karter Junior Member

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    Not sure what you mean by "in jest" what i described is what happened when I went to a local dealership. And yes you are right they work for the dealership but they represent Toyota. I agree there should be more training for their sales people. One sales person I talked to said he had to learn everything on his own after hours.
  18. SW03ES

    SW03ES Senior Member

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    I wasn't talking about your post, I was talking about the post directly above mine, posted by tpfun.

    Whether they "represent" Toyota or not, they don't work for Toyota...and Toyota has no ability to demand that they be trained in any way at all.
  19. twittel

    twittel Senior Member

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    Please help this dealer's next potential customer, by sending an email to the dealer owner and general manager. Tell them about your experience. There is some truth to the marketing theory that 1 bad experience causes 10 lost potential sales (or something like that).
  20. Jim Clark

    Jim Clark Member

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    We were lucky and found a good salesperson at a local dealer which has a good reputation. I had called looking for a Camry hybrid. He said I had reached the right guy because he was their hybrid expert. He told me there would be no chance of finding a Camry hybrid before C4C ended. He said he "might" have one Prius left if it wasn't sold the night before (C4C had decimated hybrid inventories). I explained that I hadn't been considering the Prius, he said he was on his 2nd one and it was a great car and that we should check it out. He took my number and said he'd call right back. He called a few minutes later and it was still there, a Barcelona Red IV with nav (as luck would have it). He made me give him a refundable credit card deposit to hold it. Met the wife there that afternoon so she could drive it. The salesman was a real nice guy and very knowledgeable. She drove it and liked it well enough so we closed the deal (took a while because of the C4C paperwork). They wouldn't discount it a penny because it was their last one (I believe that). But the C4C deal worked out really well for us, got $4500 for our Jeep which had a book value of about $1700.

    We've been really lucky with our last three dealership experiences. Our Lexus RX400h and the Prius were bought locally (Ourisman Fairfax Toyota and Lindsay Lexus of Alexandria) and I bought my very slightly used BMW on Ebay from a Houston Lexus dealership and had it shipped to VA. I would buy from any of them again.
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