Salespeople often choose to project an image of success and competence. For vehicle salespeople, the appearance of success and intelligence when it comes to cars is important. This appearance is part of their sales strategy that allows them to make as much money as possible selling new and used vehicles to the public.
While a car salesman seems like a competent and successful professional, the truth is that their income is unpredictable and sporadic. Depending on dealership policies and negotiations, a sale of a vehicle might not even lead to $100 in income for a salesperson. Closing as many transactions as possible is the ideal for someone selling vehicles.
Unfortunately, the desire to always be closing can lead to unethical and even fraudulent sales tactics.
Salespeople make more when you pay more
Technically, Pennsylvania law is clear. Dealerships have to disclose known defects in any vehicle that they sell. Simply listing of vehicle for sale as-is does not exempt the dealership or salesperson from telling a prospective buyer about issues like frame damage from a previous crash or the vehicle’s history as a rental car.
Still, the salesperson talking to you may gloss over or avoid discussing those issues, especially if they think you will pay more for the vehicle if you don’t know the truth. Their commission on the sale often reflects what you pay for the vehicle, so the fewer concessions they have to make to you in the transaction, the more they make.
Dealerships need to move even vehicles that aren’t in great condition
Dealerships take trade-ins in poor condition and buy vehicles at auction in the hope of selling them for a profit. Some of these vehicles require major repairs that the dealership does not want to make.
While they can sell used cars in compromised condition, most people will shy away from a vehicle with an obvious issue because they want something that will run without requiring additional investments or repairs after a purchase. Salespeople have little choice about what vehicles are on the lot and have to make the best of the situation at hand.
If you discover major issues with a used vehicle that a salesperson hid from you, you may have rights under Pennsylvania state law. Fighting back against dealership fraud can help you recover the losses you incurred due to an unfavorable purchase.