What Is Puppy-Dogging And Why Do Car Salespeople Do It?

There’s a secret slang vocabulary that vehicle dealerships use to describe the sales tactics they use to bump up their sales numbers. One of the terms they use is “puppy-dogging,” a strategy that is as old as car dealerships themselves.

Borrowing From The Pet Store

If you ever wanted a pet as a child, you probably wanted one, even more, when you saw a cute puppy for sale. Being able to hold and play with the puppy made you beg your parent to get it. Perhaps the pet store clerk offered the sale of the dog “on a trial basis,” noting the return policy.

The offer then turns into a sale, and the new owners become infatuated with it. Giving the customer the chance to experience the benefits of owning something, like a puppy or a car, is the puppy-dogging sales tactic.

Converting The Undecided

If a prospective buyer is on the fence about whether a car is the right one to buy or not, a salesperson may employ puppy-dogging to move the sale forward. The first step in this tactic is the test drive. In addition to experiencing the car in action, the test drive allows you to picture yourself as the owner of the vehicle.

If your home is close to the dealership, the salesperson may suggest that you drive the car home and see how it looks in the driveway. The ultimate puppy-dogging move is to suggest that you take the car home for an extended trial.

Emotions Over Logic

Skilled salespeople initiate the puppy-dogging tactic while emotions are running high. They know that emotions can be stronger than logic and they use that leverage to push the sale to a definite conclusion. They also know that the feeling of pride and elevated status you feel when your neighbors see you driving a new vehicle is a powerful elixir that enables a sale to close quickly.

Once the novelty has worn off, you may notice that your purchase agreement isn’t what was explained to you, or car features that were promised aren’t included. If you suspect that you’re a victim of fraud by an automotive dealership, don’t hesitate to talk to a legal professional that can help you preserve your rights.

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