“Give Me Your Bottom Dollar.”

There are several variations of this statement:

“What’s your best price?”

“I’m not paying more than…”

“You better sharpen your pencil.”

The goal is always the same though. You want the absolute lowest price that you can get on a vehicle. What you need to know is that the lowest price on a vehicle isn’t always the best deal.

For example, at my dealership, we offer a warranty on used vehicles for the first 30 days or first 1,000 miles, whichever comes soonest, on 20% of parts and 20% labor. The fact of the matter is that any used car, no matter where you buy it and no matter how well it is inspected, is still a used car with many unknowns. This warranty is to account for that fact. Usually these issues will rear their heads in that period.

This is a straight-line policy on every used vehicle with under 100,000 miles. Anything over 100,000 has no coverage. Here’s the deal though. As salespeople, we want our customers to be happy (obviously the dealership does too), not just because we care (it may be hard to believe, but we do), but also because car salesman (who are paid commission) live off of repeat business and referrals. If you’re not happy, neither of those things will happen for them.

So if there is a problem (say a $600 fix) your salesperson will fight to have that problem fixed for you even if it costs him money (it’s likely the salesperson will lose whatever percent of commission he makes off of the profit margin). And not just the warranty coverage. Free. Past your 30 days or 1,000 mile warranty (within reason)? Free. Over 100,000 mile vehicle and no warranty at all? Free. If you fought to get that last $300 off of the price of the vehicle that is harder to do now. I think most people would rather pay the $5 extra dollars a month that $300 will cost them rather than have to front $480 or more at one time.

The policy we have in place is to protect the dealership (and even the salesperson) from the unknown. If there’s a $2,000 problem the dealership had no way of knowing would occur in the first 30 days or 1,000 miles they can’t be expected to fix it for free. From my experience people understand that and understand that used vehicles are a bit of an unknown. I’ve been at Lovegreen’s now for 9 months and NOT ONE SINGLE TIME have we used the 30 day or 1,000 mile and 20% rule. That means one of two things or both: 1. We sell reliable vehicles and 2. We take care of our customers.

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