This is not exactly a Vegas Tourist blog post. More for the people who live here or want to know more about the characters who make Las Vegas home. And one to watch out for. Yes, a disgruntled customer with a blog!!
On Friday, my wife took her Dodge Charger into Towbin Dodge for routine maintenance. While there, she admired a white Jeep Wrangler on the lot and being the attentive wife and business partner that she is, wondered if I was willing to take a look at it. She knew I have wanted one for as long as we have been together, but just never made it a reality. With my trusty Ford Explorer not being as trusty as it once was, it was definitely on its last Las Vegas summer, she thought maybe now is the time to make it happen.
The Chopper and His Blue Genie
Even if you are not a Las Vegas resident, if you have watched late night cable shows in the last 5 years or so, you probably saw the owner of Towbin Dodge and his trusty blue genie. He calls himself “The Chopper” because he “chops” prices. Get it?? They had a cable reality show called the king of cars/The world famous Chopper Show. He has also appeared on late night talk shows and other places.
Well, the blue genie is gone and we got a real human car salesman. He wasn’t obnoxious or anything. A little uninformed overall yet knew a lot about the 2016 Jeep Wrangler we were looking at. We told him we were pre-approved for a certain amount from our credit union and had no intentions of going over that amount or adding any downpayment. We also had an unbeatable interest rate, so skip the sales pitch on that as well. Ok, he understood.
Test drive went normal, loved the Jeep and wanted to make the deal. But the sticker price (actually they don’t put the price on the sticker) was within reason but with the title and extra added amenities that were not optional, it took the out-the-door price over our limit by approx $3k. He couldn’t get it below our price and tried his best to get us to cough up some extra cash. Maybe even finance it through their sources??
New Batter Up
Time for the junior salesman to bring in the heavy hitter, his boss by the name of Ceasar. Yep. A real slick dude right out of the movie Glengarry Glen Ross. (Google it) He tried to get us to up the amount we would pay. Even went back to “the credit manager in back” Yea, we know who that is… Came back without any luck. Maybe if we finagle the numbers a bit, bit still could not get it lower. Debbie turned into the business analyst that I know she is. I kinda got a little turned on at that point… Anyway…
No Go… So slick 1980’s style closer man suggested “how about a different vehicle” A Jeep Cherokee. Still four-wheel drive, but not a Jeep. I was willing to consider it. When we saw it, we knew. But still took it for a test spin. It was a small crossover/SUV with all the modern bells and whistles and best of all, it was a 2018 model. Full warranty and all the gadgets a man could love… But we both knew it was not “me”.
So back to the table to negotiate. We were really wanting the jeep and were even considering leaving to look elsewhere. I waited 16 years for this one, another dealer or another day waiting won’t really matter. Mister Slick 1980’s sales closer there would not hear of it.
Do We Have A Deal?
We went back and forth a few more times and he even went back to get a drink of water, I mean to talk to his boss… He came back, wrote something on a sheet of paper and said “If you give us $500 cash/debit card” plus the amount you are approved for, do we have a deal? Debbie and I agreed we could do that. The benefits of getting the Jeep outweighed the not getting the Jeep. So we signed the statement, gave him our debit card and he was gone to close the deal.
You Were This Close to Getting Our Business
He came back with a great big smile on his face. Telling us “Congratulations, we got the deal!” Shook our hands and then said “All you need to do is give us another $2000” – Yikes!! What? What happened to “we have a deal” at $500?? You now want to change the deal and congratulate us for paying the sticker price after all this negotiating and game playing??
I could not believe my ears. This is the year of 2018. The year of car buying on the Internet. The year of one-hour delivery and you want to pull THIS stunt on us? This is so 1980’s style of car selling. I was in shock. Seriously. I thought they got the memo it’s not how you sell in the new century!
No way. The deal is off, you lied, we are so gone! Debbie was about as livid as I have ever seen a woman. Remember, I have been married 4 times, I have seen some really pissed off women in my lifetime, this look would have leveled half of Las Vegas if she were outside.
At that point, I think he could have given us the Jeep for free and Debbie would have said: “Hell No” – Dear Ceasar, You were “This Close” to selling us a jeep and could have had the sale, but no, you needed to lie to us. Extra PS, at that point, we would have probably paid the extra money had you told us that when we shook hands… But No, You Lied to Us!!
One lunch, one short drive down from Towbin Dodge and three hours after leaving Towbin Dodge, I was handed the keys to a 2016 Jeep Wrangler Ultra Sport in better shape than the Jeep at Towbin for about the same amount of money from AutoNation.
A New Fan of One Price Shopping
We went into AutoNation reluctantly. After some earlier price shopping for a different vehicle, I wasn’t sold on this “one price” model. Maybe because I’m old school. You never pay sticker price or first price for a car, a horse, a wife… You always negotiate. It’s the American Way!
But it was just down the road and on our way to an actual Jeep dealership. Katie was our sales person and she was as friendly as she could be. Having the price carved in stone, what do they have to offer to seal the deal? Service. Pure and simple, service and backing up what you are telling us. That sold me. I have taught customer service in the past. I used to train hardcore credit card collectors how to be nice to find deadbeats and get them to pay. Never thought how that would translate into selling cars, but it does!
From the dealership to the entire staff, they are there to serve the customer, get you in a car you want and get it out the door with a smile on your face. Do you see that smile on my face? They did it without tricks, secret meetings in the back with “the boss” or manipulation of any kind. They do sales in the modern age – not the age of our grandparents.
Towbin Dodge, You Lost a Sale You Had in Your Hands by Being Stupid…