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My Insight inspired a neighbor to go out and buy a Civic Hybrid. The salesman at the local dealer I foolishly recommended frustrated him so much that he went to another dealer about an hour's drive away to get the car he wanted. The local greedy, pushy, rude salesman kept trying to talk him into an SUV. Maybe this is one factor in why there are so many SUVs on the road?

The only positive car salesman experience I've ever had was with the guy from whom I ordered the Insight I'm still waiting for. Unfortunately, he quit before the car showed up. When I say, "positive experience", I mean that the guy was nice and I believe he was honest. Even he didn't provide what I'd describe as service, since he knew bugger-all about the Insight. He got me prices when I asked, helped me order a new Insight from the factory when the dealership couldn't get a 5-speed from any other local dealers, and gave me the best (very limited and inaccurate) information he could get about when to expect the car.

My fantasy is that a car salesman ought to be a knowledge worker. He or she ought to know more about the car you are buying than you do and ought to want to match you up with a car that will make you happy for the next several years. This person should care about their reputation, intending to be at this job for years to come. This person should get you the car you want instead of pushing you toward the car he's trying to sell.

Meanwhile, here in the world as I've experienced it, salesmen have fallen into two categories. The first category has the personality type that would be a lawyer, if he had been smart enough to make it through law school, or a con man, if it didn't involve the risk of going to jail. This personality type is basically a lawyer, only less smart, or a con man, only lazier.

The guy who sold me my 1992 Civic comes to mind. During the test drive, he waved toward the back seat and pointed out the "60/40" split on the back seat. I looked back and saw the 50/50 split on the back seat and in the back of my mind, I decided that he was both an idiot and a liar and I didn't listen to anything else he said. He tried really hard to push me into getting air conditioning ($1,400) and a radio ($400). He was an obsticle and an adversary and I had to be really pushy to get the car I wanted. He seemed frustrated because he couldn't talk me into an automatic transmission. He even insulted the car I bought, explaining that it was the "come-on" car the dealership ordered in order to have one on the lot at an advertised low price, while "everybody" wanted the air conditioning and the radio. I got a $200 radio at Crutchfield and installed it myself.

I got my 2000 Insight from a person of the second category. She was sweet, quiet, polite and clueless. She knew nothing about the car and couldn't answer any questions about it. I had to ask her if she had a brochure. She seemed impressed by this idea. This was her first car sale. I never saw her again. I doubt she was there very long.

Has anybody out there had a positive car sales experience? I'd like to hear about it. I'm on the verge of cancelling my order and asking for my $1,000 back and I'd be willing to travel somewhere to deal with a service-oriented car salesman.
 

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i had a great experience. when i was looking for a dealership that was close to me that had an insight there was one in my town and i was like 'awesome!'. so i put in a request that they call me about it on their website. they called me the next day at like 9:15 am. i was going to work actually and as i was on the phone with them, i looked in my mirror and i saw a green insight. so right then i knew i was supposed to have this car :) so they set up an appointment for me to test drive it the next day. i went there and met the guy i talked to, he was a really cool guy and knew what he was talking about. he didn't try to pressure me into buying another car. so i took the test drive and told him i would be back in a few days when i get my money issue sorted out. and he said 'cool, keep in touch.' and i drove off in my crappy car. so 2 days later i went back and he wasn't working, but this really awesome super nice lady named vicky was there and she asked me about myself and how i was gonna pay for it and everything. and she was really supportive of me getting the insight. then i met the sales manager and she was like 'wow, you're buying the insight today?' so i explained to her my situation and she thought that was cool. so after about 2 hours at the dealership i was the owner of a brand new insight. and they had this really cool thing where they take a picture of you next to your car and they send it to you. and i got a card from tom wood honda a few days later and it said 'thanks, keep in touch. chris, vicky, and jo ann' and i have kept in touch with them since i work in a movie theatre and i see them occasionally. so in anderson indiana, the staff is really nice.
 

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When we bought our Insight from Vista Honda in Ventura, CA, everyone we talked to on the staff was pretty stoked about the car but didn't know a whole lot about it -- we knew more than most people from visiting this website. That was almost 3 years ago, so dealers may be more knowledgable now although I still read here about them being clueless.

At that time, there was never an Insight on the lot -- they sold within a day of arrival. Now they appear to stick around longer. I suspect that dealers make more from SUVs, car companies certainly do, the margins are much higher, and thats why they push 'em.
 

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I mostly buy from private parties, so I haven't had much experience buying from dealers, and certainly not new car dealers. I had thought that I might make an exception this time, 'cause I thought an Insight would be the ideal replacement for my CRX.

So I went in to the local dealer, said I wanted to buy one, and they said "Duh, what's an Insight? Why don't you buy this or that?" (Which were nothing at all like what I told them I wanted. Tried the other dealer in Carson City - they were much friendlier, at least knew what it was, and said they'd give me a call if they heard of a new or used one around.

I do have a bit of prejudice when it comes to car salesmen, though. A good friend got sweet-talked into buying something she couldn't really afford by one, then into letting the guy move in with her. Within six months he'd cleaned out her bank account and departed for parts unknown with her jewelery, leaving behind his dog.

Have to admit it was a darned good dog, though :)
 

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There has been a 2003 silver CVT sitting at the local dealership for at least 3 months now, probably longer. It has moved twice so I'm thinking possibly someone took it for a test drive, that or they wanted the up front space for something else. It's usually dusty too. One day I walked over from the service dept that I was visiting for oil or something and was looking at it for a few minutes and the sales men didn't even come over and bother me about it. Maybe it's because I don't look like I have any money.

Before finding my Insight at an auction I did go test drive a civic hybrid as they had just came out and the sales guy did not know a thing about the car. The look on his face when I asked if I was driving a CVT model was priceless though. After question 3 I stopped because I knew he was clueless.
 

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I am currently investigating buying a new Insight. One thing I have found is that some dealers do not want an Insight on the lot. I.E. They will order one for you, but they want 20% down or more.

I think it is simply because they are not selling. And because they waste a salesmen's time from people who want to look but not buy. Remeber: Time=$

Alot of honda dealers have no problem selling cars at MSRP. It tends to make them greedy and stupid.

Currently, Honda is giving $1k cash to dealer for each insight sold. Knowledgeable salespeople will know this and try harder get you to buy an Insight from them. Knowledgeable buyers will be able to make a deal. :wink:
 

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So far I have always found the smaller, independent dealers much better to deal with as they can be more flexible and tend to make more of an effort to meet your needs.
 

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I have a great dealership about an hour from me. I've bought 4 Hondas from them myself, and referred two other people to them. The salesguy I dealt with at Bobby Rahal Honda was awesome. He was there for my '96 Civic EX coupe, my '97 Civic 4-door (yuck) and my '01 Insight.
He really knew his stuff...of course I made it easy "Hello Philip? Hi this is Jim Holmgren. I want to stop by and get an '01 Insight - Blue 5-spd with Air, give me your best deal". No muss...no fuss. No need to haggle, he gave me what I would consider a very fair deal right up front.

As always - Philip would laugh and refuse to talk to me seriously until I test drove it...I tend to make up my mind on a car before actually driving it. He only had a CVT on the lot, so he had my car brought in from Maryland - just so I could test drive it! Of course, he knew I would likely buy it anyway.

Imagine my disappointment when I called earlier this spring interested in an '03 Odyssey for my wife - and I was told he transferred to their brand-new Acura dealership :(
Fortunately - its right next door (literally - they share a parking lot) and he was able to meet with me and refer us to another sales guy on the Honda side who seems to be from the same mold as Philip. I would highly recommend Rahal Honda in Mechanicsburg, PA to anyone nearby.

By the way - I live less than 2 miles from my closest dealership - Apple Honda in York. They couldn't pay me to buy a car from them. Each time I see a Honda with their decal on it (another reason I like Rahal - no FREAKING ADVERTISING STICKERS on my new car) I cringe. I want to politely suggest they look elsewhere for their next new car. Rahal gave me a better FIRST offer on my 97 Civic than Apple did on their "best possible deal" after they played the "I have to talk with the sales manager" game for over an hour.
 

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A local dealer here had a brand new '03 CVT on the lot this morning. It still had the plastic on the doors and seats. It also had the "dealer add-ons" sticker with $400 for paint protection, $400 for security window etching, and $1095 for dealer markup. This all drove the price up over $22,000.

I found this amazing since only two weeks ago a salesguy here told me "Nope, no more Insights here now or ever"!
 

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Man....I HATE "bump stickers"...what a scam.
I looked at an Insight on the local Honda dealer's lot (NOT the one I frequent).
They had a bump sticker for under-body rust protection ...hhmmmmmm.

I thought about calling my local news station's investigative reporter, but I figured it was probably a long-shot to get them to do a story.
 

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I think you're judging car salesmen a little too leniently. I wouldn't even insult lawyers by comparing the two, a car salesman clearly falls into the con man category. Rarely you'll run into one who is nice, and knows what he's doing, but the vast majority of the time you'll encounter one who is totally rude, greedy and utterly clueless. Worse of all, most of the time they're so arrogant that they're totally oblivious to the fact they don't know what they're talking about.

My most "memorable" experience with a car sales man, was at a local Honda dealership with a used Honda Civic Hybrid for sale. My family had already test driven a new HCH at another dealership, and we owned an Insight, so we went in knowing everything about the car. Amazingly, it turned out that they were trying to sell this USED car with more than 18,000 miles on it for $3,000 more than retail!.

When confronted about it, the salesman tried to explain it away by giving us a tutorial on supply and demand. Actually, what he explained was more like SUPPLY and demand. Sorry, bud, but supply is only 1/2 of the picture, and NO ONE is going to spend $3000 more on a used car, than was being asked for that same car new at a different dealership. The saleman also kept trying to get us to "make an offer". But why even bother negotiating when the car already starts out over $3000 overpriced??? Even if you managed to bargain it down, you'd still end up with a bad deal.

After a blatantly rude half hour conversation, we left feeling really disgusted. I'm sure some sucker showed up the next week and got totally ripped off too. Just disgusting. :x
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Jim Holmgren said:
Man....I HATE "bump stickers"...what a scam.
I looked at an Insight on the local Honda dealer's lot (NOT the one I frequent).
They had a bump sticker for under-body rust protection ...hhmmmmmm.
So, which is it that is supposed to rust, the plastic or the aluminum?
 

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Exactly...I mean we do get pretty bad acid rain in these parts..but let's be real.
They must have a generic bump sticker that they paste on all their cars...bastards.

I dealt with their Acura division ONCE.
They gave me their "absolute best possible price, not making any money - kids are going hungry because of this deal, etc." after about 2 hours of haggling. I walked out, drove about an hour to the next closest Acura dealer - their INITIAL offer was $1500 less that these joker's "absolute best deal". Slimebags.
 

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I feel that I was treated as fairly as I could have been by London Honda. I'm sure that if I had haggled, I would have a received a better deal, but their "first pencil" was decent, and I knocked little more off the price and left pretty happy. Funny thing is that I always hear of the hassles others go through to get an Insight, but I walked in, announced loudly "I wanna buy an Insight" and had the car 2 hours later. No fuss.

I do have a bit of prejudice when it comes to car salesmen, though. A good friend got sweet-talked into buying something she couldn't really afford by one, then into letting the guy move in with her. Within six months he'd cleaned out her bank account and departed for parts unknown with her jewelery, leaving behind his dog.
I don't want to throw this thread off, and I am certainly not trying to be mean or insulting. I just have to comment on this. This is not the fault of the "sweet talking car salesman", this is the fault of your good friend. Blame should be applied to whome it belongs.
 

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Jim,
A better approach is to take a picture and send it to Honda America and ask why a knowledgeable Honda dealer would rust protect an aluminum Insight adding both cost and weight. Then again perhaps they were just trying to coat the fender skirt bolts although that problem was fixed. Have fun, Rick
 

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Hmmm...not a bad idea Rick...maybe if I get some spare time I will see if they have any Insight's left on their lot. If they do have any, they hide them very well.
 

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james said:
Huh? Let me get this straight: what you're saying is that someone lies to you, it's your fault for believing them?
Partly yes. But my main point is that people need to do a little more critical thinking, excercise some common sense, and just plain use their brains.
 

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When I bought my Insight last year, I stopped on a whim at a big sales event at my local Honda dealer. A nice gal met me and she let me test drive a CVT. She was not the most knowledgeable, but always willing to find out things for me. After a few weeks I called back, and she said she’d been transferred to their “Internet Sales” division, but since I talked to her before that, she’d sell me the car for the internet price, no haggling, which seemed pretty good. I wanted a 5 speed blue, so she looked around the other states in my area to find one, but no luck. She said she had a silver 5 speed on the lot and if I’d take it, she’d knock $500 off the price. For $500, I like silver. (so much for no haggling) But anyway, it was a very pleasant transaction, one of the best I’ve ever had.

I went back to the dealer with a friend a number of months later to look at an Insight for him and we met a stereotypical salesman – greased hair, etc. I was very busy correcting everything he said. Needless to say, my friend did not buy from him.
 
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