Top Ten Things Not To Do If You Go Into a Car Dealer

Here is the 29th installment of Ten Top Lists of What Not to Do by Marie Ann Bailey of 1WriteWay at and John W. Howell of Fiction Favorites at These lists are simu-published on our blogs each Monday. We hope you enjoy.

Car dealer

10.  If you go into a car dealer, make sure you really want to buy a car. If you don’t, at best you may walk away from a car that you fell in love with but can’t afford. At worst you might end up paying for that car the rest of your life.

9.  If you go into a car dealer, do not say anything regarding your like or dislike of a car. If you do, at best you will tip your hand. At worst, you may end up with the one you dislike since it is priced so well.

8.  If you go into a car dealer, do not drink a big gulp prior to arriving. If you do, at best you may need to interrupt your negotiations at a bad time. At worst, the sales rep may detect your uneasiness, interpret it as a sign of weakness, and hammer the negotiations until you agree to everything just so you can make a break for the bathroom.

7.  If you go into a car dealer, do not wear any clothing with designer labels. If you do, at best you will impress all the people in the show room. At worst, you may pay thousands more for a car than the people at JCP.

6.  If you go into a car dealer, do not bring the children. If you do, at best they will get hyped up on the sugary donuts the salespeople will feed them. At worst, the kids will want to sit in your lap just as you try to negotiate a good deal and tell the salesperson that you are just kidding.

5.  If you go into a car dealer, do not park your car where it can be seen. If you do, at best the condition will tip off the salesperson as to your trade-in before the deal. At worst, the sales person will get a heads-up as to how badly you need transportation.

4.  If you go into a car dealer, do not accept anything to eat or drink if offered. If you do, at best you’ll take on extra calories you don’t need. At worst, you may feel you owe the dealership something and you don’t want to get talked into a thousand-dollar cup of coffee.

3.  If you go into a car dealer, do not sign anything before you read it. If you do, at best you may have some expensive surprises when the car is delivered. At worst you may have sold your home for a dollar.

2.  If you go into a car dealer, do not demand to see the manager if you’re unhappy with the deal the sales person is offering. If you do, at best you may be embarrassed to learn that the sales person is the manager. At worst, the employees will use the video tape of you ranting at the company party as the main entertainment.

1.  If you go into a car dealer, do not even think of special ordering a car. If you do, at best you may pay too much. At worst, you may be riding around in something that lost fifty percent of its value the minute you drove it off the lot since Habanero Orange is not everyone’s favorite color.



About 1WriteWay

Writer, blogger, knitter, and cat lover.
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27 Responses to Top Ten Things Not To Do If You Go Into a Car Dealer

  1. Jade Reyner says:

    Haven’t had chance to read one of these lists in a while but really enjoyed this one. Thank you both 🙂


  2. This is why I am building my own car. Good morning and nice job.


  3. sknicholls says:

    Haha! Try to keep my cars forever…mine is a dated 2005…it’s a Lexus, but it is a 2005. I so dread that day when I have to negotiate. It is like new technology. I don’t know it, so I am good to go with what’s out, at least it is comfortable/familiar.


    • 1WriteWay says:

      We keep our cars forever too! I drive a 1994 Toyota pickup and my husband drives a 1996 Saturn. But the Saturn is (literally) falling apart so we’re planning to get a new vehicle this year. And we are not looking forward to dealing with the car dealers 😉


  4. This is why I drive a car until the wheels fall off. I had my last car for eleven years. I’d rather go to the dentist than into a car dealership. Happy Monday, Marie!


  5. ericjbaker says:

    Like John W. Howell above, I am building my own car. However, I am building it from Legos. I do not expect it will run, but if I ever get these laser cannons working, look out world.


  6. Helena Hann-Basquiat says:

    #8 is so important, darling. I, myself have a nervous bladder — god forbid you have to tinkle DURING a test drive!


  7. Just went through this experience myself. I needed this list before.


  8. Bonnie Guy says:

    Hi Marie, I like your writing style and yes, this is information car buyers need before heading to the dealer lot, but I’d like to say a few things on behalf of those of us who are selling used cars for a living. I’m only referring to used car dealers who run reputable businesses and live up to their word when selling a reliable vehicle, as we do here in Poland, Ohio. Every deal we make is put in easily readable writing and we make sure our buyer knows exactly what they are buying before they sign. No surprises.

    This is my first experience working for a car dealer and my job position is internet sales manager, but I will shortly be heading out onto the car lot to deal with the public one on one.

    My suggestions to get the best deal and make buying a used vehicle as pleasant as possible for the buyer and dealer alike are as follows:

    1. Do some research online before coming to the lot. The more you know about the type of vehicle you are looking for, the easier it is for us to tell you upfront if we have that vehicle or if there is one comparable to it in your price range.

    2. Letting a car dealer know that you like a vehicle not only cuts down on spending hours looking through vehicles you have no intention of buying thus wasting your time and ours, it is also your best negotiating tool! You are on our car lot to buy a vehicle you want, we are here to offer that vehicle to you at a price we can both live with.

    3. If you go to a car lot who pushes you to buy a vehicle you don’t really want or the price is not comparable to it’s KBB value, walk away! You do not have to buy a vehicle from that dealer- go down the street and you’ll find someone who wants to make you happy. There is nothing worse than having a buyer call you days later complaining about a vehicle they aren’t content with. That is the reason we try so hard to get our buyers what they want…we even let them tell us how much they want to spend, not the other way around.

    4. KBB is your best bet at finding the retail price that the car you want should sell for on a used car lot. Make sure you put all the info in including if you want options and please, make sure it’s the retail price, not private sale. There is a huge difference in private sale and retail pricing. I list 99% of our 450 vehicles BELOW KBB retail value just to be sure folks get the best deal they can. I started this job in April, 2013 and just started listing the KBB value along with our price a few months ago. it works well for all.

    5. If I offer you a cup of coffee, it’s because I’m a nice person lol. We are very kicked back on our car lots and you won’t see any suits and ties here. I know most used car dealers put up a bit of a front or image, we prefer the personal approach and don’t feel that our dressing any better than the buyers will sell a vehicle any better than us wearing jeans and t-shirts.

    6 ..on the same subject, we don’t pay attention to what you’re wearing whether it’s designer clothing or dirty work clothes. If you’re here to buy a car, we’ll sell you the same car for the same price no matter how you dress.

    7. Don’t bring your small kids….absolutely right on this one! I’ve had to hold babies while the parents test drove a vehicle and although I love kids, I sure wouldn’t hand my baby to someone I just met.

    8. As far as parking your trade-in where we can’t see it….sorry, but we have to see it before we give you a trade-in price. We base it on condition, mileage, make, model, year and popularity as far as sales go. I can tell you straight up…try to sell your car yourself on Craigslist or some other venue before going to a car lot. Trade in value is much lower than you’ll get if you sell it then bring the cash to the lot. Dealers have to have your trade- in gone over by a mechanic, body man, possibly exhaust shop or transmission shop and have it detailed before we can put it up for sale. This all costs money and that is why we don’t offer you top dollar for your trade.

    9. Check prices at various dealers and online so your expectations are within the realm of the real car pricing at the time you buy. $3000 for a vehicle 5 years ago got you a great running, clean low mileage car. In 2014, you will get a decent used car with higher mileage, maybe a bit of surface rust that may need repaired, and the possibility of needing repairs later on. Just know what to expect to get for your money.

    10. The very best time to buy a used vehicle is December through April. This is when dealers have less buyers and are more willing to lower their commission. If we have a lot of snow, yes, it’s a pain in the butt to dig them out to test drive at times, but if you are seriously ready to buy a vehicle, we’ll do all we can to get the sale which benefits you with a lower price, and us with a sale even if we only make half of what we normally do.

    I’m sorry this is so long Marie, I didn’t realize how much info I wanted to get out there until I started writing lol. Please know that not all used car dealers pertain to the info I submitted here. I know there are some really bad dealers who will rip you off, but as long as you do your research, and know what you want and what it’s worth, you’ll get what you need and we’ll all be happy.

    Thanks for letting me give you my input. I’d be glad to reply to any comments and maybe I can actually help someone out.

    Internet Manager
    Western Reserve Road Auto Exchange
    Poland, Ohio


    • 1WriteWay says:

      Bonnie, thank you for taking the time to comment and provide so much information. I sincerely appreciate the tips you provide. I hope you understand that our list (I have a co-conspirator … I mean, a co-author for these Monday Top Ten Lists) was made in jest. We post such lists every Monday. They are meant to be funny, and we’re usually poking fun at the person who may do the things that we advise not doing. Admittedly, some suggestions may go against common sense, but it’s all for fun. Again, thank you for reading and commenting. I think you’re going to do a great job dealing with the public 🙂


  9. Bonnie Guy says:

    Hi Marie, well sorry to say, there are a lot of buyers out there who actually will take your/your co-conspirators advice as serious and I’ve seen them on the lot live and in person lol. Yes, I confess, I thought you guys were serious! My bad! Oh well, maybe one of our customers read it and will actually leave their babies with Grandma and know what they’re talking about when they try to buy a car from us right?

    Take care and again, I love your writing style. Keep up the good work!



    • 1WriteWay says:

      Thanks for coming back and leaving another comment. I have been surprised by many people take our lists seriously. I’m glad you have a sense of humor about it. I suppose you need one when dealing with the public 🙂 You take care and thank you for your kind words 🙂


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