8 Classic Lines Used Car Salesmen Always Use

Used car salesmen get a bad rap, and it’s wholly deserved. Any honest used car salesman, we’ll pretend for the moment that this isn’t an oxymoron, will tell you that bad acting, manipulation, and lies are all techniques utilized by their brethren in order to get you to buy a car at the highest possible price. Some of the lines used car salesmen repeatedly use in negotiations seem harmless, and even earnest. Others are insanely over the top, designed to keep you on your heels, wondering if you’re going to make it out of the dealership alive with your shirt and your integrity intact. Before you go shopping for a used car, make a note of the following eight classic and bizarre lines a used car salesman might throw at you.

  1. “If you don’t like our prices, you can kiss our ass!”

    If you go into a used car dealership unprepared, not having researched the kind of car you want to buy and some idea of how you plan to finance your purchase, the salesman will smell it within the first few minutes of meeting you. One line they’ll try to hand you is that their prices are absolutely the fairest and most competitive on the entire planet Earth. Question this, and they’ll try to make you feel like you’re not only ungrateful, but worthy of contempt. Just like ol’ honest Abe implies to great effect in the commercial we’ve linked to, used car dealerships do not care if you’re too stupid to appreciate their generosity.

  2. “I don’t know if I can do that, but if I could, would you buy this car today?”

    One frustrating but seldom understood fact is that the sales manager for a car dealership has the final say in any negotiations taking place regarding your used car purchase, and you probably will never see him. However, your friendly salesman will tell you, earnestly and sincerely, that he alone is willing to go to bat with the sales manager for you. But only if you make a commitment to buy a car today. You may even be asked to sign a piece of paper attesting that. But remember, when negotiating a price, you do not have to sign anything. And if you do, whatever you sign isn’t binding anyway.

  3. “We knew it had that problem. That’s why it’s priced so low.”

    A classic line that spins a negative, like a smoking engine or a passenger side door that won’t open, into a positive. If a salesman hands you this line, and assuming you still really want the car in question, try to negotiate for an even lower price since you’ll be spending additional money to deal with needed repairs. But before doing that, even if the salesman has pointed out problems with the car for sale, take it to a mechanic for a thorough inspection.

  4. “People with bad credit driving everywhere!”

    If you find the notion of a used car dealership guaranteeing that they will approve any buyer for financing no matter how terrible their credit is, then you probably don’t have the cash flow to pay off a loan in the first place. It’s not that you don’t deserve and shouldn’t be allowed to drive a decent automobile. But anyone who tells you, “No money down, no credit check, and no problem!” is probably out to screw you over one way or another. Check out Take Charge America for free advice as to how to take control of your credit history and debt. New England residents with limited incomes or bad credit can contact the non-profit More Than Wheels for help with buying a car.

  1. “Beans!”

    “Ask for my wife,” says used car salesman Crazy Hubbard. “She’s cookin’ a pot of beans! And she’d love to serve some to you!” Mmm, yummy! Not all, but indeed, a disturbing number of used car salesmen, will go over the top trying to convince you that they are “crazy.” They may wear ridiculous clothing, run around the lot like a chicken with their heads cut off, or offer you bowl after complimentary bowl of beans, all in an effort to make you feel a little bit smarter than this spaz who’s trying to sell you a car. Don’t let yourself be distracted. At least not while on the dealership’s lot. You can check out and laugh at these wackadoos later in private thanks to YouTube.

  2. “There’s no better time to buy a used car!”

    Actually, with the economy still in the toilet, and interest rates relatively low as a result, now may be a good time if not a great time to buy a used car. However, we take issue with the high-pressure, Chicken Little on crack sales technique where the salesman implores you to understand and appreciate that this moment, this moment where you decided to stroll into a dealership, just so happens to be the perfect time to buy a car. Maybe the salesperson really is scrambling to make their quota for the month, but you really have no way of knowing.

  3. “…but you’d better hurry! Because when they’re gone, they’re gone!”

    You should shop around when buying a car in order to make an informed and financially intelligent purchase. Used car salesmen know this, and will try to push you into making decisions on the spot. It’s a tactic very similar to the Chicken Little technique, where if you, the buyer, snooze, you’ll lose. And the perfect car with the perfect deal will be gone! Forever! Or at least until you visit another used car dealership.

  4. “We have overhead! We need to make enough profit to pay for the lights, the electricity, and the salesmen!”

    If a used car salesman pulls this one out of their proverbial butt, congratulate yourself, because you, the buyer, probably have them by the proverbial balls. Whining is usually a sign of desperation. Car dealerships make big profits selling trade-ins on their lots. There’s no sticker showing what the dealer paid for the used car, and the buyer is left to do the guesswork. So no, the dealership you’re visiting probably isn’t in danger of going under. If it is, you should definitely take your business elsewhere.

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