You walk onto a dealership lot looking for a white V-6 sedan with tan interior and certain options. The salesman knows he doesn’t have one like that. Only a red one with tan interior. With a lot more equipment. So he promptly takes you on a walk around the lot wasting your time. Why? To get you to look at the other colors and get your mind off white and tan. And the options you want.

He doesn’t have the combination you want so he’s going to try to stick you in one he does have. It’s the old “Sell what’s on the lot” dictate, working together with the “Don’t let anybody walk”. You’re set on white with tan and must-have options. So hold out for it. Don’t take anything else. If you feel you’re being badgered or deceived, walk out! Find a dealer that either has something close or exact to what you want. Or find a decent salesman at your local dealer who is willing to either do a dealer search for you and trade for it, or have you special order it.

And if you can get a dealer trade going for the car you do want, always demand to know what they charge for it. Be sure it’s a reasonable fee. If the other dealer is less than 25 miles away, you shouldn’t have to pay more than $75 to cover all the paperwork and man-power involved. Remember, the dealer trade fee is negotiable!

Shoving you into a car with either less or many more options than you want, in a color combination you don’t want, is the job of every blue-suede shoes salesman and dealership. You need to walk out of there as fast as you can and save yourself heartache and grievous buyer’s remorse.

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