Is my car dealer trying to trick me?

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#1 Posted by DeiNile (125 posts) -

I was talking to the car dealer today (Saturday) about a car I have been looking at. The dealer was adamant that new car import tariffs were going to increase the price of the car significantly if I did not make a decision by end of business on Monday. Are these tariffs a real thing that will go into effect this soon, or is the dealer just trying to rush me into making a rash decision?

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#2 Edited by DeanoXD (776 posts) -

Its easy to find out just ask him the build date of the car you are looking at if its was built anytime before the tariffs come into effect then no it shouldn't and i would think its a bit of a scare tactic. but anything built after words may cost more.

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#3 Posted by DeiNile (125 posts) -

I guess I am not sure when the tariffs go into effect. I am not even sure what specific tariff it is: I was under the impression that the US tariffs on Chinese goods does not include vehicles. The car I am looking at is Japanese, so it should not be impacted, right?

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#4 Posted by Ares42 (4366 posts) -

Quick google search lead me to this

President Donald Trump has threatened to place a 20% tariff on all European cars coming to the United States if the European Union doesn't remove its own trade barriers.

That was six days ago. As far as I can tell there's nothing decided yet (more recent articles still debating a deal).

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#5 Posted by DeanoXD (776 posts) -

The one thing you have remember is, depending what happens with a lot of this bullshit from trump is the vehicle may be made in the US but a lot of the parts to make that unit are imported. Which has the potential to increase the price of automobile market. So its not just imports that could be effected.

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#6 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7650 posts) -

"Is my car dealer trying to trick me?"

The answer to that questions is always, yes. It can be mild or it can be sever, but they are ALWAYS trying to gain at least slight advantage....that is just the nature of selling things.

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#7 Posted by e30bmw (651 posts) -

That car dealer is being sleazy as hell and trying to force you into making a rash decision. If it was me, I would take my business elsewhere and not buy any cars from him (assuming you aren't looking for something pretty unique that only he has).

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#8 Edited by pweidman (2867 posts) -

No auto tariffs are in effect yet, it's all bluff so far from Trump. The salesman is either straight up lying to get a sale, or he's been lied to about this. Go somewhere else where you can find a dealership that'll at least work with you honestly. But keep this in mind: There's no purchasing decision that you should go into more carefully; "buyer beware" never applies more than auto purchases from dealerships. Do your homework, it'll pay off and make you feel like a smarter consumer.

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#9 Posted by qrdl (445 posts) -

Even if the tariffs were in effect already, it wouldn't directly effect the prices of cars that had already gone through customs procedures. The only potential increase can come from the dealer themselves. They might for example want to increase the price slightly, because people looking for that particular model would pay the slightly elevated price knowing that the next imported batch would be even more expensive.

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#10 Posted by ThatOneDudeNick (1576 posts) -

As others have already said, If the car is already here it's not subject to a future tariff. Just a sleezy tactic to pressure you into rushing. He could be misinformed, but I doubt it.

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#11 Edited by TheRealSeaman (133 posts) -

Depends, has he ever said: How can I put you in this car this afternoon? I would love to see you driving this beauty home with your family!

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#12 Posted by FlappyHands (3046 posts) -

Classic tactics used by any kind of salesman, not just car salesmen, to make you think that if you walk away you will be making a mistake. Don't buy it, man. As others have said, unless this place has something you really want I would take my business elsewhere to places where such cheap tactics are not employed.

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#14 Posted by billyhoush (1273 posts) -

Yup. That's a classic sales tactic to close a deal. It's the old "fear of loss" to spark action.

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#15 Posted by DeiNile (125 posts) -

Thank you guys for all of your feedback and confirming my suspicion! I will not be buying my new car from there, at least not on Monday.

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#16 Edited by WillyOD (353 posts) -

Car salespeople and lawyers are the shadiest people I know. Very good at bullshitting or using legal mambo-jambo without actually saying anything. And if they get caught lying they'll just deny everything.

My word of advice, always get a young woman lawyer who actually has something to prove and still cares about her job and advancing in her career.

Dunno about cars, probably don't buy them brand new. I would go with just 500-1000€ used cars all my life and would probably be golden.

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#17 Edited by John1912 (2504 posts) -

Lol, yea...If the car is on the fucking lot there is no new tariff. Its been bought and paid for already. Tariffs are paid entering the country, and are not retroactive for goods already in the US. Dont ever go there again, and write a yelp review about what he said.

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#18 Posted by TheRealSeaman (133 posts) -

@willyod said:

My word of advice, always get a young woman lawyer who actually has something to prove and still cares about her job and advancing in her career.

Are you saying we should all hire lawyers from movies and TV shows?

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#19 Posted by ripelivejam (13227 posts) -

Hooray for everything in adult life being a months long drawn out research heavy ordeal where you have to become a complete certified expert in the subject (or you're doing it wrong).

I'm surprised there aren't more anxiety sufferers in the world. But maybe I'm just a very weak human being.

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#20 Posted by ottoman673 (1275 posts) -

Here's the other thing too; that car has already been purchased by that dealer. It's already a domestic product.

If tariffs were to go into effect, they wouldn't impact that specific car - it'd impact future cars.

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#21 Posted by Brendan (9218 posts) -

The "negative close" is always the worst close. It makes me sad that it works on so many people.

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#22 Posted by billmcneal (1266 posts) -

A car salesman is always trying to trick you

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#23 Posted by PhilipDuck (757 posts) -

If a car dealer said it then it's lies. Go by that logic and you'll get by just fine.

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#24 Posted by nutter (2297 posts) -

So, I lease a lot nowadays (small cars can be leased super-cheap / I don’t really want to deal with end of life / my needs change year-to-year as my family grows). It’s not the best way to squeeze everything out of your dollar, but it’s what works for me now. Once the kids are older, I’ll probably buy a used sedan and small SUV.


Buy used. Look for a car that wasn’t made into a nightmare, look at it’s history, and go for it at a decent price.

If you want to buy new:

I figured out what I realistically thought was a good deal on the car I wanted. I lined up which features I wanted, didn’t want, and was indifferent about. I spelled out colors.

I got a loan from a credit union (saving WOULD be better).

From there, I just started calling dealers on the phone telling them I’d write them a check, today, if they could give me exactly what I want for exactly x dollars.

Most said no.

Some said yes and had me come in. They mentioned “well, not this feature” or “well, there’s this surcharge” and I left.

I did find a dealer (it took about two weeks and a few phone calls each day) who took me up on my offer. I got the car I wanted, new, less than bluebook, and rode that thing into the dirt. Fine car. Lasted ages, well longer than it took me to pay back the loan.

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#25 Posted by chilibean_3 (2375 posts) -

If a car dealer is talking then they are lying. Spent 2 years working on a dealership as a porter. The best salespeople were always the worst people.

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#26 Posted by nutter (2297 posts) -

@chilibean_3: I sold Kirby vacuums for a brief stint in college. The best sales people were absolute assholes.

When I was being “trained,” my trainer was basically Mr. Pink from Reservoir Dogs. Belligerent, disrespectful, crude...the guy was calling a woman out for not buying a $1,500 vacuum without talking to her husband. Things like “I guess the women’s lib movement forgot about you.”

She nearly called the cops because he refused to leave without a sale. He asked to use her bathroom on the way out and she let him (for some reason). He apparently left a huge mess, as he told it.

I did well in sales, but did it honestly (got a scholarship, got out of debt). I burned a lot of bridges not doing things like taking advantage of the elderly. I’m not cut out for sales, frankly.

I’m sure there are good sales people, but I only remember the assholes hustling folks for scraps, from my experience.

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#27 Posted by intro (1276 posts) -

So if tariffs are enacted, that could possibly happen. However, there's no set date or anything, the dealer is either misinformed or lying as far as I know. The president said on June 22, "Based on the Tariffs and Trade Barriers long placed on the U.S. & its great companies and workers by the European Union, if these Tariffs and Barriers are not soon broken down and removed, we will be placing a 20% Tariff on all of their cars coming into the U.S. Build them here!"

So far it's another Twitter threat. It could become real overnight, but again, I don't believe anyone knows a specific date.

Some more info:

"Prices of new cars and trucks could jump by several thousand dollars in the U.S. if President Donald Trump follows through on his threat to raise tariffs on imports. The same likely would hold true even if a particular car is made in the U.S. because analysts believe automakers would spread the cost of tariffs among many different vehicles to avoid putting at a disadvantage any of their models made in foreign markets."

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#28 Edited by pappafost (230 posts) -

Walk away from any deal where they are trying to pressure you on time. Stay in control. Do not get emotionally attached to one particular car on the lot, or even one color. You lose bargaining leverage as soon as you "fall in love." I.E., "I can't LIVE without such and such."

They have four quadrants of making profit on you:

Sticker price - keep the customer as close as possible to sticker.

Loan - dealership offered loans that are more expensive for the customer when compared to something like a credit union loan.

F&I department - aftermarket warranties, "clear coat protection" plans (aka wax, LOL), undercoating, etc.

Trade-in - Pay out as little as possible for the car being traded in.

If you get a good deal on the sticker price, stay vigilant in the other three quadrants where you could get a bad deal.

My brother has a car buying strategy of not ever walking onto the lot:

He emails several dealerships asking for their best price on a particular car model. Beforehand, he checked their online inventory to make sure they have it. And he tells the dealerships he will go with whoever gives him the best price. This is a good way to skip the "gameshow" and go straight to the decision-maker at the dealership.

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#29 Posted by Fezrock (732 posts) -

Bear in mind though, its not just the auto tariffs; the tariffs on goods such as steel/aluminum/etc. also have the potential to directly or indirectly affect the price of cars; and some of those are already going into effect. As others have said, it'll only be the price of future cars, not ones already on the dealer lots (those are only going to go up because of dealers cashing on in exactly this concern). The dealer is right that at some point car prices will go up, assuming there isn't a change in trade policy, but it won't be an immediate "prices are 15% higher now" kind of thing; except for maybe the auto tariffs themselves, but those haven't been implemented yet. Instead, for the most part it'll be a more gradual increase in price as the supply chain adjusts.

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#30 Posted by colourful_hippie (5914 posts) -

"Is my car dealer trying to trick me?"

The answer to that questions is always, yes. It can be mild or it can be sever, but they are ALWAYS trying to gain at least slight advantage....that is just the nature of selling things.

This is my answer. What the guy is saying is half true. Yes, possible future car tariffs will increase the price of *new cars coming into the country, but the car you were looking at will not be affected. At most your maintenance costs may go up when it comes to replacing parts for the car.

Salesman is either ignorant and doesn't know how tariffs work or is sleazy and just giving you misleading info. Either way, never trust car salesmen

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#32 Posted by billmcneal (1266 posts) -

They are always trying to trick you

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#33 Posted by someoneproud (624 posts) -

Yes. Always yes.