How not to sell a car

Posted on September 6, 2009


Dear Ms Wilson,

this is The Marching Jester.

You might remember me as the silent accomplice of my good mate Sandeep, who bought the Ebony Black 1.5L 5dr Manual Hyundai Getz SX from you last week.

$14,000 is a lot of money. Assuming you take home 5% of the sale price, that’s a princely $700.

Before I continue, congratulations for sealing the deal. In the current economic climate, you don’t get many people walking in and purchasing a brand new car within three days of test driving it. People vote with their wallets, and you must have done something right.

Yes, let’s talk about what you did right. Wait, let’s not. Rather than putting you on a pedestal, I’m just going to tell you as it is. It’s painful enough falling from where you are. You don’t want to climb any higher. I apologize if I’ve killed your lofty aspirations.

Firstly, know your customer’s needs. Sandeep had spoken to you and made an appointment with you prior. He had spoken to you twice before coming in. Unfortunately, you dug yourself into a nice hole the moment you opened your mouth. Yes, we are here for the Getz. Not the i30. Or a Suzuki. He specifically told you over the phone. But you forgot. Your pretty face doesn’t cover your flaws.

Secondly, when Sandeep double and triple checks with you on the availability of the said model for a test drive, please make sure you physically check on them yourself. It was clear as day you don’t sell many Hyundais as we got into a 5dr Automatic Getz after confirming you have a 5dr Manual over the phone. The funniest part was, you led us to the car like a leper leading his dogs and we followed you wanting to catch your disease. You promised, but failed to deliver.

You then made Sandeep test drive the Automatic. Were you flapping serious? Please give us back 20 minutes of our lives.

Thirdly, getting dicked around for an hour as we drove around aimlessly to Yarra Honda, trying to find the Manual Getz for us. When we eventually found the Manual, it was a 3dr model.

You promised Sandeep a 5dr Manual would be available in Abbotsford. After 90 minutes in two cars, we still haven’t test drove what we wanted.

Fourthly, don’t bore us with the technical details. We can get that online. How many times can you tell us the SX model comes with ESP but the S doesn’t?

If we wanted a cheeseburger, would we walk into an Asian food stall and ask for it?

Fifthly, the Getz and Suzuki Alto/Swift are completely different cars. Twice, once on test drive day and the other on purchase day, you confused the metallic paint option available on the Suzukis with the Getz. We came down to see you in good faith, seeing how you are the knowledgeable sales person. You, Miss Wilson, are a massive disappointment.

Lastly, your manager Simon is a good bloke. Tough to squeeze dollars from, but is savvy enough to meet Sandeep’s price of $14,000. But what did you do? Undermine Simon’s good work with a quote of $13,990 instead. Yes, it’s $10. But by then we were frustrated, tired and hungry. We wanted to pay the deposit and go. You made us wait an extra ten minutes, waiting on an explanation from Simon for your incompetence.

At the end of the day, nice guys do win. Sandeep’s a nice bloke, and he was really anxious to purchase the Getz so he’ll look flash with his girlfriend in it when she swings by next week. Impressing the woman aside, he was courteous and maintained his demeanour. I would have walked out after the Yarra Honda debacle.

You, Miss Wilson, were lucky to have met a very patient buyer (and friend who kept a close eye on proceedings) who was unfortunately buying his first car and did not know the proper way to swing the deal in his favour and when to say no.

Everybody won in the end. Sandeep got a good deal, and you sold a car. Too bad that’s the last car you’ll sell to us, as I’ll definitely buy my car from someone else.

Yarra Hyundai Abbotsford =  Epic. Fail.

Thank you and regards,
The Marching Jester