Here’s a representative sample of their feedback.
Charles: “Why do they still do that ‘get-up-and-go-check-on-something’ rigmarole?”
Jim: “The worst part for me is to do all the homework and have the facts and figures
with me, and still have a sales/finance manager talk to me like I’m stupid!”
Dianne: “Because I am a woman, most dealerships suffer from ‘dumb-broad syndrome’
and assume I know squat. I surprised a few salesmen by knowing more than they did about the car.”
Kelly: “Don’t ever ask me ‘if I am the sole decision-maker’ in my household if I am the
only person at the dealership test-driving the vehicle. No sale for that salesperson!”
Stephen: “Getting the runaround on the phone when calling with an offer based on
Internet pricing. They always say that you really need to come in to talk price, which is a huge time dump.”
The most positive comments came from buyers who did their homework. “I researched the real price of the car,” Kevin said. “Coming from a position of strength and knowledge helped a great deal. And be willing to walk out, and make it clear you will.”
Several also reported good experiences by avoiding the haggling experience entirely, by either buying at a fixed-price location such as CarMax or Costco, or by getting up-front dealer pricing information from a service such as TrueCar or the Consumer Reports Build & Buy service.
This article also appears in the April 2014 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.