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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just got to get this off my chest. I feel like the average Lotus buyer isn't someone who wanders in off the street and looks at the shiny red car and then buys it with no knowledge of what they are getting into. So why do so many dealers put inaccurate statements in their listings? One popped up over the weekend that just pushed so many buttons.

Canyon State Classics listed a red Elise ~30K miles at a TGTBT price....one lady owner (sure) and then this "The body on the car is laser straight! The car is arrow straight and is Carfax and Autocheck certified to have never been in an accident" EXCEPT they show a picture of the CarFax showing a disabling accident. I mean..COME ON it's right there! You expect a person not to look? I just don't get it. Car looks great, but considering it was used a fair bit until the accident and then...not, raises a few flags.

Same category as listing Evora's with Manual transmissions, when clearly are not. Am I going to not check, drive the dealership and spot it wasn't a manual and then say..."well, I'm here now, I came all this way so I guess I'll take it"

It isn't the first time I have seen "clean car fax" then look at the CarFax and see "major accident, severe damage". This isn't a $5000 Corolla I am trying to buy from a buy here pay here!!!! Frustrated Lotus shopper having a rant. I literally have no one else to rant to that would care so thought I would just write it down so others can laugh at me.

sigh. Back to work.
 

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Same category as listing Evora's with Manual transmissions, when clearly are not. Am I going to not check, drive the dealership and spot it wasn't a manual and then say..."well, I'm here now, I came all this way so I guess I'll take it"
You would be surprised how much this works for them! Most people hate dealing with car dealers so much they are willing to settle to get out. My BIL is a classic case. When he bought his last car he bragged to me how the car he wanted was sold right before he got there and that they found a nearly identical car for him for the same price but it had no sunroof. He legitimately thought he scored a deal when in reality he got swindled.

They all play these stupid games hoping someone not in the know will bite… I suppose Lotus enthusiasts know better but I bet they are hoping for a random window shopper to bite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They all play these stupid games hoping someone not in the know will bite
When I was looking for my Fiesta ST - I drove 90 mins to go see one that had "only just been sold" before my 11 am arrival on a mid week day, and I checked was still for sale that morning. However, they didn't offer me another ST instead "have you considered a Ford Escape? we have a great deal going on them right now" I didn't buy the Escape, I added them to the list of dealerships to "never to set foot in again"

The Ford Escape the classic cross shopper for those looking for a Fiesta ST.
 

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2017 Evora 400
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My dad saw a dealer ad for a new truck in the L.A. Times. I think it was a Chevy. Really really good price. He calls them up, yup, it's right here, come on down. He drives a considerable way (it's SoCal) and when he gets there, "It just sold... we have this other one at a lot higher price...." He goes home. Next weekend, same ad, same VIN listed, same price. My dad was a high school teacher in Compton. His hobby was writing letters to cause trouble. He writes a letter to the state board overseeing car dealers or to the attorney general or whoever showing the ads and relating his experience. A short time later, the dealership calls him up and says "come on over and this truck is yours at the price listed."
 

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My new DD (truck) was totaled September of '21. I was in a bind to find another vehicle that was similar and Covid inventories made it even harder.

I checked all the dealer websites within 200 miles and finally found one listed that was 2 hours away. I called them to verify it was still on the lot and confirmed a mutually good time to go see it. I also asked specifically if there were any add-ons or modifications (lift, over sized wheels/tires, off road lights/guards etc.). The woman I spoke with said all the salesmen were busy but assured me that "we do not do modifications or add-ons to any of our vehicles".

So, off I go.....drive 2 hours and look for the truck on the lot as I arrive but don't see it. I go in to see the salesman who says "its right here on the showroom floor". I turn to look and see a jacked up truck with a 2-1/2" lift, huge tires, front push bar with winch and lights, cowl lights and roof lights. I check the VIN and sure enough, its the tuck I called about. It was priced something like $12K over sticker.

I flipped out on the salesman and his reply was "well I didn't tell you that she did". I finally left before they called the cops on me, drove another 4 hours (my passenger was calling dealers for me while I drove a rental) and bought a truck (a whole different crappy dealer story).

I hate dealers more than anything.
 

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I hate dealers more than anything.
For me, real estate agents are up there. The worst being whichever I have most recently had to deal with.

Car dealers, used especially, have really no requirements or background to be selling you an expensive car. They could get out of jail one day and be on the used car lot the next.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's a good job that all the legislation (in the US) is there to ensure that the trusty car dealership remains in place to protect the consumer from those greedy, underhand manufacturers.

I once had a Mazda franchise dealer in Honolulu hold my driving license to ransom so I couldn't leave, they just wanted to explain to me one more time how they could get me into the car I was looking at and the "person with my license would be along any moment". Fun times.

Thing with those Automatic vs not really a manual listings, is that I dismiss them from my watch list, but then they lower the price or something, they pop back up in my email or whatever, I get excited, go look and then spot the photo missing that all important l gear stick, get sad again and somewhere in Neverland a manual shift fairy dies. "they got me again! blighters!, I'll remember you next time 2011 Ardent Red Evora that isn't a manual"
 

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My hot button is salespersons that tell you that "you'll never find that particular spec or option set you're looking for, so you need to buy this alternative that we're offering you...right now." I've had that happen, walked out and of course found exactly what I was looking for at a great price. Won't even set foot in that dealership again (not Lotus).
 
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I felt like I was being held hostage when I was last looking for a car.
At a big Toyota dealer looking for a Tacoma and hoping to trade in my reasonably new Corolla. They take my keys to look over my car, we talk about what Im looking for and what ive seen on their site.
Then they sit me down with some contract out of nowhere saying something along the lines of "If we can agree on a price you agree to buy the car"
When I wont sign it because, firstly it makes no sense and secondly I havnt even seen a car I want, they have a couple of other vultures come in and try talk to me about finance options that no matter the price they would incrementally improve the rates.

Then they offer me atleast 35% less than what I could sell it for so I ask for my keys back. Guy says he'll go see where they are, he doesnt come back, original guy comes in with all these Tacoma options that were nothing like we talked about, I say I want my keys, he says he'll go ask to get them released. Wait another 10mins. I get suitably pissed off and go to the counter to get the keys, they dont know anything about it, they say they need the salesman to confirm what keys are mine. No salesman around, wait another 10mins. Threaten to call the cops if he doesnt give me my keys. He then just gives me them without needing the 'saleman' approval.

I thought a big dealer like Toyota would be different!
 

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The new DD I was searching for was a replacement for my DD (also new) that was totaled while at the dealer for warranty repair.

The dealer refused to release the totaled vehicle to me for 7 days until I went to the local police department and asked that they accompany me to the dealership to get my vehicle back (I paid cash for it so it was 100% mine). I advised the police that I was going to sign a criminal complaint against the service manager if I didn't leave with my truck that day (on a flatbed of course).

When I arrived at the dealer with two police vehicles in tow, the service manager stated that "it was just a misunderstanding, of course he can have his vehicle". I almost wish he still refused because I was ready to swear out a complaint in front of the court clerk.

Did I say how I hate dealers?
 

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@DrPots, please feel free to rant away. (Storytime) I have a very hands-on knowledge of the subject of salespeople, being I sold cars for 23 years (Fords from '97-2020; started at the age of 20). I've heard so many horror stories, it will make your head hurt & steam come out your ears (from anger). I can say with almost 100% certainty, that most of these stories are caused by salespeople who are NOT car people. That was a HUGE difference with me (and part of why I succeeded when others around the area didn't).

I'd say, about 90% of all car salespeople, at normal car brands (Ford, Chevy, Chrysler, etc) are not car people AT ALL (the high end/exotic are a different story)! Most don't even want to talk about cars during their off times. They do it for a job, plain and simple. Back in the late 90s, before computers, it was a very good living from what I gathered. Me being a lifelong car person (dad was a lifelong auto mechanic, who turned 85 a few weeks ago, still works on cars, and is a savant on antiques/classics) I wanted to be around cars all day. But it took a LONG TIME to get all the stuff down. But I always took product knowledge and treating customers right as my 2 main goals.

Must have worked as I worked at the same store for 23 years (I basically grew up from a 20 year to a 43 year old) & had a large returning client base. Customers who also saw me grow up, and also knew of my many medical struggles (UC, liver transplant, Crohn's). They would stop in to just sit, have coffee and chat cars with me (I loved this) and ask how I was feeling. Had it not been for severe Crohn's disease, I'd probably still be there today. But I can also say, I had VERY FEW interactions with salespeople from other stores. Just hearing how they talk about how much $$ they made on oeople was nauseating (and unprofessional as hell). I did have some managers from other stores always keep in touch because they would call me if they had a Mustang question, in terms of ordering, or features, or issues, or general knowledge. They knew I knew my stuff better than their own staff (was called "The Mustang Guy" by many).

Sadly, the day of the car salesperson being a car person is mostly gone. It's all about the bottom line, and how many cars you can get out for the month. Your Fiesta ST story was eerily similar with me, but on the opposite end. Someone came in to see an ST Focus, but it too was sold. Didn't have another, so the customer left. I didn't "check out" with my SM, and he wasn't happy. Asked why I didn't check out, I said we didn't have another ST in stock to show him and he wasn't interested in me locating one (if we could as they were hot for a fast minute and dealers weren't swapping). He asked why I didn't show the person a Focus hatchback. I flat out said, "it's not an ST". SM said "so?! It's a Focus hatch" (with the utterly dreadfully awful DCT mind you). I said again, "It's NOT an ST", with emphasis on NOT. He again said "SO?". Mind you my boss isn't a car person and frankly, didn't know his product knowledge AT ALL (But all in all, he was good to me and he would be a great reference if I need it). I just walked away without answering his questions. While pissed on the spot, he understood later.

One thing I can say, is when your going to visit a store for any particular car your looking at (especially a niche car) check the website of the dealer your going to and read the description of each salesperson. That's how I got a lot of Mustang sales. They found out I was a 'car person", owned a modified Mustang GT, and it was my hobby outside of work. So customers knew going in, I wasn't BS'ing them, and the transaction was fun for both of us. Today, while I don't miss the BS that auto sales comes with, I miss "my" good customers and I miss being around cars all day.

I just hope that my dream of working for the new Lotus store in my area will be a reality in the very near future when I get feeling better (fingers crossed). Anything but sales. Client after-sale relations, marketing, anything to be around these cars. I love the brand, know the product, and exude passion for these! Just not sales. My health can't withstand it again. 👍

Car buying is much better when your dealing with someone (salesperson) who is just as enthusiastic about the sale as the customer is. Makes for a much better experience. But this business has far more negative salespeople than positive ones.
 

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I felt like I was being held hostage when I was last looking for a car.
At a big Toyota dealer looking for a Tacoma and hoping to trade in my reasonably new Corolla. They take my keys to look over my car, we talk about what Im looking for and what ive seen on their site.
Then they sit me down with some contract out of nowhere saying something along the lines of "If we can agree on a price you agree to buy the car"
When I wont sign it because, firstly it makes no sense and secondly I havnt even seen a car I want, they have a couple of other vultures come in and try talk to me about finance options that no matter the price they would incrementally improve the rates.

Then they offer me atleast 35% less than what I could sell it for so I ask for my keys back. Guy says he'll go see where they are, he doesnt come back, original guy comes in with all these Tacoma options that were nothing like we talked about, I say I want my keys, he says he'll go ask to get them released. Wait another 10mins. I get suitably pissed off and go to the counter to get the keys, they dont know anything about it, they say they need the salesman to confirm what keys are mine. No salesman around, wait another 10mins. Threaten to call the cops if he doesnt give me my keys. He then just gives me them without needing the 'saleman' approval.

I thought a big dealer like Toyota would be different!
Sadly they are not, they are actually worse! Why? Because they believe their product sells itself. And if you won't buy it, at their price, someone else will. Believe me, these tactics don't work in high-end stores.
 

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I've had too many of these to count in my relatively short 25yrs of buying vehicles (rant warning).

Latest one was trying to find a plug-in hybrid for the wife. We had looked at the Hyundai options and called around to find who had them available or incoming, and I found a local-ish dealer with one "on a truck" that met our spec.

A summary of our conversation,
Me: "I am prepared to put down a deposit or buy it at MSRP, but your website doesn't say if you're doing markups right now (this is mid pandemic), so, do you charge more than MSRP?"

Him: "Do you have a trade-in? Why don't you come down and we can have a talk about the vehicle? I'm happy to sit down with you and talk about financing options."

Me: "I don't want to drive 30 miles to sit down with you without at least knowing the starting price. So if you put $5k on MSRP or $10k on MSRP, great, I then at least understand where you're starting. So what is the price of the car right now?"

Him: "How about we look at some time tomorrow for you to come over?'

Me: "Yeah, well that's not going to happen if you can't give me even what the price is, so why don't you go to your manager and see if he's ok sharing the sales price, and if he is, call me. If he's not, great, but you won't get my business. I am a serious buyer who is prepared to come in same day to buy, but I need a price" I said thanks, and let him go.

I get a call about a week later from the same guy, asking me if I'm still in the market as they'd "Love to have me stop by to talk about financing options on a new PHEV!" WHAT THE SERIOUS ****!

By this time we had gone to the BMW dealer, had a great experience, and ordered an X5 PHEV to our spec at MSRP.
 

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I call those newb salesmen :) I normally email them. If their response is without the specific requests will be ignored. Buyer time is much more important than those salesmen. Congratulations on your purchase X5 PHEV (y) 👏 👏
 
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