Car Salesman

Car Salesman


Los Angeles, CA

Male, 33

I sold luxury cars in Los Angeles, quickly learning all tricks of the trade … which I’m happy to share with you. Between the staff and the clientele, one can only imagine the range of personalities I encountered.

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24 Questions


Last Answer on May 17, 2012

Best Rated

Are women more likely to get taken advantage of when buying a car? Would you recommend that women always have men with them when car shopping?

Asked by Corinne over 7 years ago

Great question. If the salesperson is a male, he will most likely feel he has an advantage over you. But this is only true if you allow it. Prepare yourself with the tips listed above. Also, if you're married, he may assume that your husband is the decision maker and ask to negotiate with your husband. Make it clear that you're the decision maker (if you are). Remember, don't fall for scare tactics. Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions and say no. If you happen to be the type that would rather jab your left eye with a sharp stick before negotiating with a car salesperson, by all means, take someone with you and play "good cop, bad cop". Have fun with it!

What’s the best time of month/year to buy a car?

Asked by ITSATARP over 7 years ago

The best time of the year to get a discount is at the beginning of the new model year (usually end of summer or beginning of fall). Keep in mind that the discount will be on the old model year. The end of the month is the best time to buy a car because salespeople are trying to hit their bonus goals.

What's the easiest way to tell if a dealer has really offered me the best price possible?

Asked by helldog1 over 7 years ago

This is practically impossible. The best you can do is FEEL that you've been offered the best price possible. So it's up to you to figure out what price you're happy to pay. I personally feel that I've achieved the best price when I call as many dealers as possible within driving distance to me. Then I go to the dealer that quotes me the lowest price and further negotiate until they say no and are willing to let me walk.

What are the biggest "sucker" options that dealers will try and sell you to beef up their commissions? (Extended warranties? Rust-proofing? Etc?)

Asked by tinydancer over 7 years ago

Always, always, always negotiate everything in your car purchase. That includes extended warranties, interest rates (if you're financing through the dealer), lo-jack etc. There's profit margin on all those options for the dealer. Still, I pass on rust proofing (I don't keep the car long enough for that), Scotchguard, Lo-jack etc. If you really want any of those, you can usually find it cheaper if you shop around. Just make sure any options, such as rims, etc don't affect the warranty, unless, of course, you gotta have your 22 inch spinners and just don't care.

How much sales experience did you have when you started selling cars?

Asked by metero over 7 years ago

Despite some light sales experience outside of the auto industry, I actually had no experience selling cars previous to my time at the dealership.

What are the best websites to learn how much others are paying for a certain car model?

Asked by BLACKwhite over 7 years ago is the best, in my opinion, for all models. You can also search for forums specific to the make/model. is great for BMW. Lastly, I like to get the lowdown on lease rates.

What are the tell-tale signs that a salesman is one to avoid?

Asked by chuckles over 7 years ago

Looks can be very deceiving on the dealership floor. If they look too slick, then maybe they are, but the most important quality in a good salesperson is the ability to really listen to the customer which enables them to help a customer make the most informed decision. But, if they're talking really fast and shifting their eyes around a lot, that guy is probably hopped up on Red Bull and in any case will have a hard time listening to you. If you're feeling really ambitious, go for the guy that looks nervous to engage with you (newbie) and show him how to really negotiate!

What can a top-tier salesman expect to earn annually?

Asked by mindysmith over 7 years ago

A good salesperson selling luxury brands make six figures annually, including commissions and bonuses.

What's the training like?

Asked by indaband over 7 years ago

No training whatsoever. That's the beauty of car sales – it’s sink or swim. They handed me the same product brochure that customers can take for free and set me loose on the sales floor.

What’s a common car salesman trick-of-the-trade?

Asked by lerry over 7 years ago

A salesperson will ask how you plan to pay for the vehicle. If you plan to finance through them, they have more ways to potentially make money, including marking up the interest rate more than the rate at your local bank or credit union.

Do car salesman usually buy new or used? I've read a million articles saying anyone who buys new is an idiot given the immediate depreciation that occurs as soon as you drive it off the lot.

Asked by allfiredup over 7 years ago

Actually, I always lease for a couple reasons. I prefer to have a new car every few years to keep up with model changes and stay within manufacturer free service programs. Also, because there is so much depreciation as soon as you drive it off the lot, I'd rather invest the rest of my money in assets that grow. Also, I lease vehicles that maintain high residual values to take advantage of lower depreciation. Besides, you'd be a damn good negotiator if you plan to buy a used car, since there's much more profit potential in it for the dealer. Unless you have access to a wholesaler dealer who will charge you less.

Do car salesmen work completely on commission, or do they have base salaries as well?

Asked by slipnsled1 over 7 years ago

Straight commission is very typical.

Assuming I know what make and model I want, what information should I have before walking into a dealership?

Asked by corky over 7 years ago

Definitely find out the invoice price of the vehicle, including options, on Also, make sure you've called at least ten dealers in your area for prices to make sure that the dealership you actually set foot in has the lowest price.

What's the difference between "sticker price" and invoice?

Asked by sitnow2 over 7 years ago

"Sticker price" means the manufacturer's suggested retail price, which is always higher than the invoice. The invoice is the price that the dealer pays to the manufacturer. So the dealer's profit is the difference between sticker and invoice. The profit can be up to a few thousand dollars for luxury vehicles.

So, i thought that i co-signed on my mothers car but i actually am the primary buyer for her vehicle. She is trying to trade it in to remove my name and we are having a hard time. is it possible for my mom to refinance the vehicle in her name only?

Asked by Dayquan over 4 years ago


Hi, I bought a 2011 new Toyota corolla last october2011, went by myself not knowing about buying cars and got completely taken advantage of. Well I know it's petty but I don't want my car I want to trade it in but still owe 19000. Any advice?

Asked by Badatcars over 6 years ago



Asked by zanbab about 7 years ago


In your opinion, which luxury brand is currently offering the best combination of performance and value? Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Lexus, Acura, Infiniti, Cadillac? Other that I haven't thought of? Thanks!

Asked by bigWASPYcarguy over 7 years ago


Do car salesman prefer that customers lease or buy?

Asked by J.J. over 6 years ago


What's the most you ever made in commissions on a single sale, and how did you do it?

Asked by Spero over 7 years ago


I'm interested in buying a used 2008 Ford Escape XLT with 65k miles on it. It's listed at $13k, do I have a shot of negotiating it down to $11,800.00? I'm trading in a 2008 scion TC with 40k miles if that helps.

Asked by Anne over 6 years ago


Im buying a used car. The price is 16.9k, $387 a mth. I have to bring 4k down. Will I have to bring more money for additional fees, or will that be factored in into the total vehicle purchase?

Asked by Dash over 6 years ago


What's the biggest lie you ever told (or heard another car sales guy tell) to a customer?

Asked by Shannon about 7 years ago


If I have to bring 4k down, will I have to come out of my pocket for additional monies. Or will all the fees and other stuff be factored in to the total price of the car?

Asked by Dash over 6 years ago