The real No Haggle No Hassle - or How to buy a Saturn

Let me first say that I love my Saturn. I believe that most people including my own family love their Saturns. With that in mind and considering I needed
to do something different, I became a Sales Consultant, thinking that because they are "A Different Kind of Company" who puts "People First" that they would be uniquely different than say Nissan of Dodge or any other garden variety dealership, in how they treat both customers and thier own employees.
Long ago, I had a short summer stint as a new car salesman. After seeing how they bilked and conned the unprepared and unsuspecting out of thousands on new car deals and salesmen screwed each other over while pimp-like management condoned such behavior. My coworkers stole my deals or coerced me into splitting my deals when I did all the legwork, while management ran me raggged and were not quite up front about my pay, losing me thousands of dollars.
I ran away from that job after a month with my $150. paycheck (sans draw) in hand vowing to disassociate from any such people again.
So decades later, a more mature me decided it was worth a try at Saturn when after 20 yrs my last career got outsourced overseas. Definitely an invitation to try something different.
With much marketing and support experience, Sales comes naturally to me, especially with something I already fully understand and love. The past month has been successful and I have joined the ranks of the top salesmen as well as become the most hated newbie by my jealous coworkers.
My goal has always been to sell Saturns while as remaining honest, knowledgeable and courteous as I can. Saturns are great and if you can relay that honestly to buyers then you can be successful. Then there's the reality part of it all. I think this article best describes it:
http://www.edmunds.com/advice/buying/articles/42962/article.html
For the most part, Saturn dealerships are honest with customers. In all my naivety I had hoped that all of the shenanigans of other dealerships would not exist at Saturn, but the truth is car sales is car sales and some old traits just wont die no matter where you are.
Just my 2 cents: I still hope to be the best salesman I can while maintaining as much personal integrity as possible and to be fair to all of my customers (in other words, I will problably last only a few months at this job, lol). I have always believed that as a customer myself that the best customer is an informed, educated customer. Just some tips in case you are ever planning to buy a new car:
Go online and read about the vehicle that you want. Cut your time short in the dealership by coming in prepared knowing what you want and why you want it. Otherwise you will end up spending hours only to have a salesman sell you what he thinks is best for you. Knowing about the car will help you decide what options you want to spend money on or not to.
Learn about any rebates or incentives Before you go to shop. Also, go online and research the internet price of that car, you may save thousands!
Have a reasonable facsimile of your personal allowance for this vehicle. Be reasonable and approximately pre-calculate financing costs, insurance, tags, tax, etc at home the day before. Figure out by researching the car you want online first, then you will be better prepared to know a ballpark of your allowable expenses on a new car before you physically set foot in a showroom.
These are some of the mistakes I have seen many customers make, costing them alot of money. There is much more in the above article. You can also get a good idea of what I have to endure each and every day as a salesman. Not all bad, but it's all in a day's work - a 10 hour work day.
I hope that some of this helps you guys in your next purchase. In retrospect to the second paragraph however, the pay is better but as I said before, some old traits just wont die no matter where you are. I guess that fuzzy feeling (alike that new car smell) just hasn't worn off yet.
--
marx404




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We went through Costco's buying service for a Honda recently. One of dealers had a sales guy that had nothing to do with the Costco arrangement and wanted to negotiate the deal on his own. The other dealer was fairly good however the paperwork guy wanted to sell some additional insurance that didn't make sense. I didn't care for the aftermarket alarm pre-installed (just me being picky).
My Saturn buying experience in 1997 was far better. We basically went for a ride in a single and twin cam, I picked the twin cam, they gave me a sheet showing the whole amount, I went to the Credit Union and came back with a check, then drove home. Woo hoo!!!
I'm still hoping Saturn will put some polymer panels on the Colorado or Canyon pickups. Otherwise Honda is teasing with a pickup that's looking pretty cool at the moment. Nissan's '05 pickup is looking better too - guess I'm getting off topic (again)...

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What did you think of the linked Edmunds article, Jonnie? It was a reality shot for me.
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re: http://www.edmunds.com/advice/buying/articles/42962/article.html
I didn't catch it, but I went back and skimmed/read it tonight. Long read (and I've bookmarked it so I can go back later).
60 hrs a week is for a younger man than me. (grin) Part time at an honest dealer might work - we'll see when I retire from the factory.

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These are some of the mistakes I have seen many customers make, costing them

The biggest mistake Saturn customers often make is buying a car with a 36,000 mile warranty- then they get a big major costly breakdown at 36,001 miles. They think that they won't need a costly extended warranty because Saturn is a fantastic "different" kind of car and the company is run by a bunch of Mother Teresa s!
Best way to correct that mistake- buy a car with a much better warranty.
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who let the nut job in? oh well, hes good for a laugh. mother teresa? :-P hahahahahahahahahahaahaha oh man, too funny
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"Jonnie Santos" <see snipped-for-privacy@jonniesantos.com
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I was not impressed with the Costco pricing on Hondas or Toyotas.
The last Toyota I bought was at Toyota 101 in Redwood City, which has a non-commissioned sales staff. Very pleasant experience. No haggling, since it was an "all in stock $5000 off MSRP sale," which was lower than carsdirect.com, or Costco, CSAA, etc. They did agree to 25% off any accessories I bought that I put on (mud guards, sun roof deflector, etc.).
There was no pressure to buy an extended warranty, or any of the other WAOs (worthless add-ons) such as undercoating, fabric guard, pin-striping, "gold package" (the all time winner for the dumbest dealer add-on), rust-proofing, glass etching, etc. No attempt to add on an "advertising fee," though two other Toyota dealers tried that trick.
While the non-Saturn dealers that tried no-haggle pricing quickly dropped it, there are more and more dealers going to a non-commissioned sales staff. Of course there are still bonuses for selling more.
I don't see the buying process as a major reason to select a specific vehicle. There are ways around the whole thing, i.e. carsdirect.com. The buying process is a side-issue that is easily avoided if it is distasteful, or if someone is not comfortable with negotiating. I'm much more concerned about long term dependability, an area where Saturn hasn't done well, than a few hours in a car dealership.
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I might check out cars direct when it's time - however I've been thinking of looking into a used vehicle too since so many folks seem to have such good luck getting something 3 or 4 years old.

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<snip>

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<snip VERY good advice (IMHO)>

If an honest salesperson like you can last anywhere, I would think it would be a Saturn dealer, from what I have seen with the Saturn dealership from which I have purchased my two Saturn SLs. :)
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