Time To Walk Away

 Posted by at 3:05 am  Nick's Blog
Mar 142014

I don’t believe that every RV salesman is a liar and a cheat. But the sad fact is that a lot of them are; enough to cast a wide shadow that, unfortunately, sometimes touches the whole industry.

I’ve worked in sales over the years, everything from advertising to automobiles, and was successful at all of it. And while I like money as much as the next guy, I never understood the need to lie to a customer to make a sale. I’d much prefer to treat them honestly and with respect, and maybe not make as much on the deal, but earn their business and referrals long term. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the prevalent attitude.

A few days ago I got an e-mail from a gentleman who has been shopping for a used diesel pusher motorhome and has contacted me in the past for advice on a couple of different rigs he has considered. The latest one, which had just come into a dealership, seemed like a good deal if it was everything that the salesman said it was, and they had worked out a deal over the telephone, contingent on his actually seeing and approving the coach.

He e-mailed me again yesterday evening to say that after driving over 350 miles to inspect the motorhome and close the deal, everything went to hell. The RV was everything the salesman said it was and more, and he was ready to hand them a check for the down payment and sign the contract. But when the salesman sat him down at his desk he discovered that the payments were going to be almost $2,000 a month, not the $800 they had agreed upon, and what the contract they had faxed him in advance said.

According to him, when he asked why the payment had more than doubled, the salesman told him that was not a hard and fast total, just a “working figure.” He told me that according to the salesman and his manager, the numbers they had quoted him were based upon their evaluation of the RV before they actually had it in their possession, and that since it was in better condition and had more options than they expected, they had to “revisit their selling price.” When he e-mailed me yesterday, he said he had been negotiating from noon until 7 p.m. and that they had lowered the payment down to $1300 which was “only” $500 a month more than he had originally agreed upon.

My response was to ask him why he had wasted seven minutes, let alone seven hours, talking to these crooks. I’d have walked away the moment they started to play games with me. Yes, it’s a beautiful unit and has a lot of nice features, and yes, he had a lot of time and expense invested in the deal already, but they had reached an agreement and then jerked him around. Why would he think things were going to improve?

Folks, there is an RV for sale on every other corner in America. Don’t fall in love with any particular one, because there is always another one down the road that’s just as good. If the deal starts to stink, if the salesman lies to you, or if you don’t feel comfortable, walk away. You won’t regret it.

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Thought For The Day – Do not forgive others because they deserve it, but because you deserve inner peace.

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  8 Responses to “Time To Walk Away”

  1. Good advice on ANY transaction these days…just simply walk away. I would do so more often, except hubby with me, usually won’t. Customer service seems mostly a thing of the past…but lying and “bait and switch” tactics are illegal last I knew. I learned that working retail…we sometimes need to remind the salesperson, that “bait and switch” is illegal…without trust, what do you have anyway?

  2. My wife, Karen, told me yesterday about a transaction that a friend of her’s, CJ, had. Now CJ seems to always have the best of whatever it is that she is buying. Since they are not traveling much these days, she wanted a regular bicycle to help her get rid of the 40 extra points she’s put on. Th bike she uses when they’re on the road wasn’t good enough. So she had it all researched and knew exactly what bike she wanted.

    The guy at the bike shop ended up selling her a totally different bike.

    The one she wanted wouldn’t fit her right for her height and the type of riding she would be doing, he told her. He had a suggestion for one that would be a better fit for her.

    He talked her into it.

    And, what do ya know, he would have made more of a profit if he had sold her the bike she originally wanted. CJ was amazed.

    There are some ethical sales people out there.

  3. points (should be) pounds. 😉

  4. You have to be willing to walk away and a lot of people just can not do that.

  5. Very true Nick!!!

  6. Good advice for all of us who have been “taken”. This is from someone who knows we paid too much for a F350. Still bugs me 3 years later. Oh well. Live and learn. But would have thought I would have learned more by this age.

  7. Nick,

    A while back, we found ourselves looking at a diesel pusher like yours, and you graciously answered some questions we had. Eventually, we decided that we were trying to talk ourselves into BUYING it, and if it were truly “THE ONE”, then we SHOULD have been trying to talk ourselves OUT of buying it. So we let that one go and will wait for another one when the timing is better, the unit’s condition is better, and the money part works out right.

    I always appreciate your comments to walk away from a bad deal because there really are other GOOD units on down the road. I believe that.

  8. Nick,

    I like to stir the pot. Too bad you could not include the name of the dealer. That kind of publicity they deserve. But, as a journalist I know you would not do that unless you had direct access to the particulars of the deal.

    About 45 years ago I bought a new car. When I went to pick it up the next day the salesman told me that my trade in was a piece of S H I _, and they needed an additional $300 to make the deal work for them. I was in a bind and as much as I wanted to walk, I needed a reliable car to get to work.

    Now it gets better. The Oldsmobile agency in Chicago lost my check. About two weeks later their bookkeeper called to ask if I would send a replacement check. I said the deal was now between GMAC and me and while I was “sorry” they had misplaced the check I felt I had lived up to my end of the bargain. As I recall, I put a stop order on that check the next day.

    So sometimes the unethical get a dose of their own medicine.

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