It is a common trap for people to think of vehicle salespeople as service professionals rather than sales professionals. In most retail environments, the workers helping you make a choice and complete a purchase don’t benefit much, if at all, from the transaction.
However, at a used car lot, the workers typically don’t receive any sort of income unless they close the sale. That can lead to a very high-pressure situation for you as the buyer.
Salespeople can’t let go of an opportunity
There are people who will give you strategy suggestions about how to avoid salespeople at dealerships. They may tell you to go on a Sunday, for example, assuming the dealership will not be open, or to drive through the lot after dinner. However, dealerships have learned that people come when they think the facility will be unstaffed and have extended their hours according.
You may very well find enthusiastic salespeople ready to help you at 8:00 at night or the middle of the morning on a Sunday. As stressful as it can be, you could expect the salesperson to quickly lay claim to you as a prospective sale and to expect money in their hands in exchange for the time they invest in helping you. While you don’t technically owe them anything, they probably don’t see it that way.
Salespeople care more about closing than the customer
Although there are numerous state laws requiring that dealerships and their salespeople provide full disclosure about vehicles’ defects and histories, there are still plenty of salespeople who gloss over issues or misrepresent the impact of a problem as a means of getting a sale.
The average salesperson doesn’t necessarily intend harm to a specific customer, but they don’t feel bad about pushing someone to the edge of their own financial abilities with the financing arrangements or misrepresenting a vehicle slightly coercive reluctant buyer into signing paperwork.
When the salesperson lies to you or pressures you, you may feel that buying the wrong vehicle was just an expensive mistake. Sometimes that pushy behavior crosses the line and becomes auto dealer fraud. Pursuing a fraud claim against business or a specific salesperson could compensate you for overpaying for a vehicle in questionable condition and perhaps prompt some changes from the professional or their employer.