You Need to Know THIS Before You Go to the Truck Dealership
If there's one thing to learn about Mark, it's that he does his research.
Its a catch 22 really.
On one hand, got to love a guy that's willing to dig in and know what he's talking about.
On the other hand, I occasionally had to stage an intervention.
He'd spend hours pouring over information on rvs, generators, solar panels, and, of course, trucks.
I've learned so much by sheer osmosis that I can tell when we're being bs'ed by a salesman. Tip: If you're going to sell something, you should know more about it than your customer.
Mark knows a lot's inventory better than they do.
Fast forward...we've decided we know what kind of truck we want to buy and we've picked a few dealerships we wanted to visit to see the trucks in person (when I say we, Mark had them in his head).
First lot - can't find the truck. Finally discover it is sold. Look at another truck but it's more than we wanted to spend, so we leave.
Second lot - We spot the truck, it's nice. Not our first choice. It's scorching hot, nobody comes to greet us. We decided to go inside the sales office to use the restroom. Come out, still no sales people. Usually I'd welcome this but this time we did want to at least drive it. We decided to leave.
Third lot - We tell the salesman we're browsing, knowing there are two we want to find that we saw on the Internet. He leaves. We walk around and around. Nothing. We finally go inside and ask. One truck is sold. The other truck is ...missing. They come back to tell us they found it, but it's on a test drive. We're like ok, when can we drive it? Well, the son of the guy that's name is on the building let his friend drive it. Damn. It was a good price.
I know what you're thinking, why didnt they call ahead? Well, we were still in shop mode not necessarily decide mode. And, I don't know. Anyway, we keep striking out.
At the third place, our little one was having a blast playing in the kid area while they tracked down the trucks.
That is until she couldn't get the door opened and instead lodged her finger between the door and the door frame. Awesome.
Fourth lot - We drove by and spotted an F450. It was a strange place where the salesman were in a guard shack waiting for you. We find the truck and start looking at it, the salesman start telling us how long it's been on the lot, they're ready to make a deal, name your price, etc, etc, etc. Long story short...lies. We test drove it and liked it. We didn't like the price. There was no sticker in the window so everything was verbal. We talked to 3 different guys, the price kept coming down, but not enough to keep our interest. We left after telling them we were not impressed that they wasted our afternoon.
So, what is it that we have learned about buying a truck?
- The window sticker price in 3 of the 4 lots was on average $3,000 more than the internet price. Check the price online first.
- The inventory they say they have online is not always for sale. Perhaps we should have called first? But sometimes I think you lose some negotiation room if they know you're coming for that specific truck.
- No price is firm and everything is negotiable. Lot 4 tried to show us a printout of the truck value at wholesale, but when we objected to that price, magically they dropped it again.
I wanted to say, do I look that stupid? I hate negotiating but I was on a roll.
- Most truck salesman have no idea how much truck you need for your camper, 5th wheel, toy-hauler, etc. They want to sell you a truck and most will misinform you to get the sale. Do your research.
After our debacle with the last place, we decided to walk away do more research. An F450 was not the truck we were originally looking for, but it still seems like it might be a good deal...if we could get past the shenanigans.
Last but not least:
- It's ok to walk away. If it seems like its too good to be true, maybe it is. We've learned...there'll be another truck to look at and now we have a little negotiating practice under our belt to help us.
Happy truck shopping!