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.
Have you signed up for our Free Drawing yet? This week’s prize is an audiobook of Dog’s Run, my stand alone mystery set in a small town in Ohio in 1951. It’s grittier than my Big Lake series, but everybody who has read it says it’s my best work yet. I tend to agree. All you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – Do not forgive others because they deserve it, but because you deserve inner peace.