I am a current owner of a car dealership and I would like to help change how people view most car dealers. True some are shaddy.. but just like EVERY single job out there , You have the GOOD and the BAD

Comments: 597 • Responses: 76  • Date: 

Salacious-31 karma

What is the most ethically questionable thing you have ever done to sell a car?

dealershipowner50 karma

The only thing that i have done that i wasnt happy with was when a car i was selling had a small dent and i wanted to get the car delivered i parked it so the customer didnt see it.... i fixed it the next day because they saw it when they got home... i was a young saleman at the time and didnt own the store yet

someguysaid20 karma

This is gonna seem a little strange, but...in all honesty, how are your relationships with women?

dealershipowner19 karma

Well i believe they are good, but does any MAN ever know if they have good relationships with WOMEN?? i guess i look at my marriage together 20 years and married for 13

gasface17 karma

This is perfect timing since I am test-driving a car with a private seller tomorrow. What can I do to determine the condition of the car? How can I negotiate the best deal? And what pitfalls should I be aware of (like liens on the car, for example)?

Edit: I see you are a Chrysler dealer, so I might as well mention it is a 2010 Dodge Challenger SRT8 manual.

dealershipowner23 karma

Thats a great car... as far as the private sale.. pay for a mechanic to LOOK OVER THE CAR. also you can run a carfax on the car... ask to see the title make sure the person you are buying from is the person on the title(biggest way to check for scams)

emailaddressforemail15 karma

Do you have any kids that tell their friends, "Dude, my dad owns a dealership!"?

dealershipowner7 karma

haha i have 2 kids my daughter doesnt but my son does.... I DONT ASK THEM TOO.. because then at birthday parties i get everyones horror stories of dealerships

thelick13 karma

What's the profit margin on a sold car on average?

dealershipowner21 karma

about 2200$ on new cars and 3000$ on used

funkarama13 karma

What make of cars?

How is business?

Any good stories?

dealershipowner25 karma

chrysler dodge jeep

its not bad right now at all.

I have someone that works for me that had a customer bring in 4000$ worth of pennies for a down payment

LikeALincolnLog4218 karma


dealershipowner3 karma

no i am in NY sorry

dealershipowner13 karma

I am new at this ... so please be patient with me if I dont do something correct.

adamup2711 karma

What kind of car do you drive? Sell?

What do you do if someone is looking at a really bad car and if they buy will spend over 10k? Basically how good are your ethics?

dealershipowner15 karma

i sell chrysler product my favorite is the dodge charger i really love that car... i also dont sell but love the new corvette.

i have told many people to not buy specific cars... there is never a car on my lot that i sell that i wouldnt want to put on the road... some cars i have bought back from customers because things happen to them after they bought them and we didnt have a way to predict it.

welshfarmer10 karma

Thanks for taking the time;
I'm into how the business runs... are you a new or used car dealer?
If new, are the cars on the lot 'rented' out to you by the mfg until they are sold? or are they totally bought and paid for by the dealership?
About what % margins does the dealership make for each car?
What are some typical challenges with the manufacturer?

dealershipowner13 karma

i am a new car franchise dealership... we get whats called floorplan financing from the banks ... there are some very big dealerships that have enough money to not get financing ( i am not one of those dealerships) you would need about 15 million just for the inventory. We pay for every car when it is shipped to us..( mostly by floorplan financing) the % for profit is 2200$ total profit avg new and used is $3000 manufacturer are constantly asking you to buy more and stock more and to spend more on your facilities .

davdev8 karma

Hope you don't take this personally, but why should I have to buy a car from a dealer, instead of hoping on the internet and buying direct from the manufacturer. Dealers seem like an outdated concept that simply add cost to the price of the car.

dealershipowner11 karma

The manufacuters dont know how to retail... i guess it is the same as trying to buy clothes from the manufacure some you can buy direct and some you have to go to a retailer... like other items... craftsman tools and other items..

Doktor_Evil7 karma

What do you think how future cars are going to be? I don't think that electrical drive engineering has any future and the oil reserves are draining, so as dumb as it sounds: scientists have to invent/discover something totally new that reinvents cars, or atleast the fuel.

dealershipowner6 karma

i agree i know that americans are in love with their cars and no matter how much you give as a tax incentive for the electric cars you will still have people like me that love the power of the gas engine.... i feel the government should do more with CNG we have plenty of CNG in the country and would not have to rely on importing it... the issue is the infrustructure to service the cars that had CNG conversions

hookedtoreddit7 karma


dealershipowner13 karma

my profit after overhead ranges from a good month of 100,000 to a bad month where i could lose 60,000... when i bought the store it was losing 1 million a year

castlecraver7 karma

That's interesting and impressive! What were the problems before you arrived and how did you turn the place around?

dealershipowner6 karma

biggest challenge was customer satisfaction... it was REALLY BAD

Yodamanjaro3 karma

I appreciate you being honest about that. Most, if not the rest of the AMAs I've read skip over money-related questions.

dealershipowner2 karma

i have nothing to hide or not share (in regards to my business)

christian15423 karma

How did you manage to buy the dealership? I find it hard to believe that someone could save up 500k-1m by being a car salesman.

How much work is it being the owner? Could someone successfully be an owner without any dealership experience?

dealershipowner7 karma

i saved and borrowed i started with $250,000 as a downpayment and borrowed the rest

you would need experience

B32DB081707 karma

Which brands are you dealing?

Are you in a large or small city?

Do you deal with repeat customers or new customers more at your dealership?

How often do they make you update the look of your dealership?

dealershipowner10 karma

chrysler product ... fairly large area....

we have lots of repeat customers ... the goal is to make EVERYONE happy and repeat customer however it is easier said than done

T1mac7 karma

How good is CarFax? if you sell used cars how do you insure that the car was never totaled or in a flood?

dealershipowner16 karma

yes we run a carfax with EVERY CAR. Carfax is good but we also use ATUOCHECK it is more accurate and is used by our industry(kind of like an insiders tool) we do all we can to check for the totaled and the flood cars ... they usually arent hard to spot

Emartyr7 karma


How do you feel about the Dodge Dart. I currently bought one, and was wondering what your reaction to Dodge trying to put out a european looking type car.

dealershipowner11 karma

i love the way it looks ... i am a little disappointed in the power of the engine but chrysler is trying to have cars that have better gas mileage and i guess something had to give to get the 41 MPG

Barking_Giraffe6 karma

What is your favorite car at the dealership?

dealershipowner6 karma

that i sell dodge charger .... its my go to car to drive... what i dont sell....... chevy corvette

hunteryall6 karma

Could you explain holdback and what that means to me as a customer?

dealershipowner6 karma

it is the money that the manufacture give to the dealership to help with overhead and expenses and cost for employees etc... however in the past 15 years it has been figured into the profit of the car.. it ranges from2-3% of the invoice price... depending on the manufacturer. as a customer you should know about it for negotiating power ...

amadea566 karma

Have you ever heard of carwoo.com? If yes, your thoughts?

dealershipowner8 karma

no i am not familiar with that... what is it?

amadea568 karma

It's an online new car buying website, they basically get offers from dealers for the consumer. My brother just used it to buy his Subaru it was great.

dealershipowner8 karma

There are plenty of sites that give good information and help buyers buy cars ... i dont have a specific one i would reccomend but i am glad they are out there to help customers stay informed

indieshometownhifi5 karma

is there really an ass for every seat?

dealershipowner8 karma

i would say yes but with a caviot.... at the right price

Delois25 karma

Do you ever sell 'below cost'?

dealershipowner6 karma

yes .especially if chrysler has a specific volume goal for us .... or if it is a demo or an undesirable car... etc

subl1m1nal5 karma


dealershipowner5 karma

I am in NY... i would reccomend the grand cherokee i personally have one for my wife and we are a family of 4 and she feels there is enough room for all of our stuff and the kids

Dat_Pug3 karma

The MY14 Grand Cherokees are nice. A shame they got rid of the flipper glass though.

Will I make a better deal if I finance a new Jeep or pay in cash?

dealershipowner3 karma

sometimes there are incentives for financing check with the dealer in your area... each area has different incentives

glacierfreeze5 karma

I was told that I could buy a car, and if I wasn't satisfied I could bring it back within a week. I tried to bring it back yesterday (within the week) and they are completely denying it. Is there anything I can do?

dealershipowner6 karma

unfortunatley most DMV laws do not allow you to return a car. i have bought back cars from customers because of problems with it... you can research lemon laws that are available in YOUR specific state... why do you want to return it?

mosaver5 karma

Would good parts and service department support a dealership that isn't selling cars well? This could be pulled from my ass, but i thought someone told me once that there's not very good money in selling cars, it's all about servicing cars after.

Also, if you could just say some great stuff about Jeep and I'll just skip the generic, fishing question about my car, thanks.

dealershipowner3 karma

well i have said for years Sales makes a customer to the dealership and the service and parts department keeps them a customer.

i love the new 2014 interior for the grand cherokee!!! i am really excited about that

crazyduckperson5 karma


dealershipowner7 karma

we have a bobblehead car fox on our desk

agk235 karma

How much off msrp would you typically be willing to give off a new car?

dealershipowner5 karma

it really depends on the price of the car... example a 20000 dodge dart my invoice is 745 less..

givewhatyouget4 karma

Is this the best you can do on this iama?

dealershipowner3 karma

i thought i was doing a good job

sorry this is the first time on here

sorry your disappointed

givewhatyouget2 karma

Ha i guess you didn't get my joke. I was referring to when people try and talk you down on price "is this the best you can do?"

dealershipowner2 karma

oh sorry.... got ya!

monty22114 karma

My brother and I co-own a car dealership and we always have conflicting view on this. My brother thinks driving a new car for 400-500 km is better for the business than driving a used car for ~5000 km.

What is your view on this question? Do you drive a used car or a new car?

dealershipowner4 karma

i drive a new car and i have my guys drive for about 7000 miles... i dont agree with puting little miles on a lot of cars the discount is usually the same

enrodude4 karma

If you damage a car when its in for servicing, will you try to weasel your way out or will you man up, take responsibility and let them know it was damaged and fix it the right way?

dealershipowner6 karma

we call the customer and let them know and fix it... some deaelrs are not that way

lostintheozone4 karma

One of my best buddies has worked in auto finance for a decade and he has told me a ton of stories about the people who work at dealerships most of them paint a pretty unsavory picture. Drug use seems to be ubiquitous, not just marijuana but lots of cocaine and pills, have you witnessed this? I have also heard it's quite common to make sales to people who have terrible credit, half my friends time was spent trying to get dealers to cancel sales the finance company was not cool with. have you noticed this practice? Why do all dealership jingles suck so much?

dealershipowner6 karma

ok- drug use... unfortunately the car business you dont need a college education to work in and be successful at... i think it comes down to the dealership we do drug testing before we hire .... bad credit-customers do come in and have little or no or bad credit ... we dont make the loans we submit the information to the bank and they say YES or NO... jingles ------ two words.... advertising agencies

frones4 karma


dealershipowner6 karma

The largest that chrysler sells would be the durango.. but i think you would have to see if they are looking to move people or they liked the power from the tahoe.... sometimes minivans are good substitutes to larger vehicles and you can get decent gas mileage

dealershipowner6 karma

i would need a little more information of what their goals are for the next car. top 3 items would help

enternets4 karma

Would you consider dealer trades a bad thing?

I purchased a new honda civic recently that was a "dealer trade" and for a month I was driving without the wheel locks.. thankfully I did not get a flat tire. I'm assuming the previous dealership took the wheel lock key out.

I feel like I got a decent price - I paid 20k, and with ~2.9% financing and a warranty it came out to be 25k total.

dealershipowner7 karma

i always tell family and friends to buy a warranty with any car purchase... i like dealer trades especially if the car was well maintained we just got in a 2007 charger r/t with only 9000 miles on it

as far as the wheel lock... customers that trade in their cars MOST of the time forget about that and the 2nd key!!

Pg21_SubsecD_Pgrph123 karma


dealershipowner4 karma

-chrysler dodge jeep adp - hate it -hard pack only used-700 -depends on the manufacture... chrysler tries to be supportive(haha) -dealing with personalities of employees and managing to make sure -they follow proccesses -look at everything... each deal jacket each R/O -depends on the reward _ally -not too bad - we offer 8$ oil changes for the life of your car if you buy one from us -it will be on the upswing because the bankrupcys took out a lot of dealerships and is helping the surviving ones do more business. and i think the market will be back to 17mil SAAR however the big question is where is the regulation going

_Order663 karma

The movie "The Goods".... Spot on depiction? Or auto biography?

dealershipowner4 karma

i saw it ....it is not close to my store... but i can not speak for others... like i said in the BIO there are good stores and good dealers and bad stores and bad dealers.

christian15423 karma

do you recommend a demo over a new car?

how much should a demo car be discounted for it to be a good deal?

how badly do the demo cars get abused?

dealershipowner5 karma

well if you can save some money then yes usually the savings are around 1500-2000 discount ( depending on the miles)

Most of the demos are driven by managers or owners or like myself my wife..... we never beat on our cars... but its like anything (depends on the store ) i cant speak for them

CrazyDave7463 karma

What's the best way to talk down the price of a car?

dealershipowner5 karma

do your research and be respectfull.... its all supply and demand... if there are few out there be prepared to pay (if you want it) if there are a lot of them out there then you are in the drivers seat

brotherjonathan3 karma

In my town, Walmart is opening up a UC dealership, will this pose a huge threat to other UC dealers?

dealershipowner5 karma

to maybe the independant used car lot... not necessarily the new car dealerships

piedraa3 karma

How can one get the best deal out of A dealership

dealershipowner5 karma

do your research and learn about the supply and demand for that specific model

Dom_the_Wop3 karma

Do you guys service Vipers? Some dealerships don't, so feel free to disregard the rest if not.

So, when my Viper hit 4,000 and 9,000 miles, it was due for the major services. I had the Chrysler warranty that covered friggin' eeeeeverything. Well, each service was over $8,000 (paid by the warranty company in full, no deductable, each time). Do you feel like they "milked" the repairs because it was a Viper as opposed to a car like a Challenger or Charger? A lot of the things they did seemed unnatural for a car with 4,000 or 9,000 miles.

It always kind of irked me because I didn't want to be a part of any fraud, willingly or otherwise.

dealershipowner2 karma

i do service vipers... i understand what you are talking about however viper parts are very expensive and the labor times on some of these repairs are 3x the normal for example an alignment on a normal car tech-1 hour and about 115$ (about) viper-15hours and about 1100$

Chocolate_Cookie3 karma

What metric(s) do you use to evaluate the performance of your sales team members?

dealershipowner4 karma

close % how many customers they saw to how many they sold

IAmNotTonyStark3 karma

Can you fit 3 baby seats into a Dodge Journey that seats 5?

dealershipowner7 karma

depending on the seats.... i would tell you to bring them in and try it.. some seats are very bulky and take up more than their fair share of room

snappy0333 karma

Do you have any relationships with other dealerships in the area? Are there rivalries? How do dealers feel when you shop around or they "go get a car" from another dealer for you?

dealershipowner4 karma

some i do... its usually good competition...there are a lot of personalities in this business

myWIFEforHIRE3 karma

Are you in Michigan? Can you tell me more about dealer auctions? I've seen cars so cheap there but you need a dealer pass which sucks.

dealershipowner5 karma

i am in NY

keep in mind that after the auction price you still have to fix up the car and have to ship it and pay the auction fee

zzz_lll_zzz3 karma

What are the best used cars under 10,000$ (preferably under 8,000) and what year range/mileage is expected?

dealershipowner5 karma

i would tell you to use consumer reports for the that... if you are asking me a specific manufacuture i might be able to help

zzz_lll_zzz1 karma

I was just wondering if there is a make or model that consistently impresses you at a lower price point that would be a good car to look our for. I'm new to buying cars and have a limited budget and just want something reliable.

dealershipowner2 karma

not really in that price range... its always the big question i have 10k what can i buy

littlefoot142 karma

Can you tell me if this is legit... my boyfriend and I tried to purchase a car and they let us drive away with the car that day and said we were approved for financing. Well three contracts and three weeks later, we are still getting denial letters in the mail for a loan. We were tired of the run around from the car dealership so we took the car back. They told me it would take 2-6 months to get my down payment back. Is that normal?

dealershipowner2 karma

no not at all i would see if you can get a lawer involved

animrast2 karma


dealershipowner4 karma

yes i understand.... no not at the auctions meant for dealers... you would have to be a licensed dealer to buy a car at the auction or if you had a friend that was a dealer he could go for you.

OSullivan142 karma


dealershipowner3 karma

110 new and 75 used avg

Kirkdoesntlivehere2 karma

i've always wondered this, do you sell cars?

dealershipowner3 karma

sometimes... most of the time just to referrals

Fap-n-bacon2 karma

I had a 95 Jeep Cherokee with a straight 6. We loved this truck and had over 400,000 miles when we got rid of it. Do you know if Chrysler plans on making another straight 6 Jeep suv? We are considering buying an 05 as this was the last year for them, but may wait if they're making new ones.

dealershipowner1 karma

i think they are backing the pentastar 3.6 v6 as their iron horse i know NO NEWS of a straight 6 coming back

OhDannyBoy002 karma

What's the best way to approach a trade-in to get the most value from it? Thanks,

dealershipowner3 karma

clean it and do your research on the market for your car!

Jaerdo2 karma

Why do you try to get away with "dealer fees"? Or rather, what percentage of customers are suckers enough to pay them?

dealershipowner4 karma

just a way for profits very hard to make money on a car sale today... like any business and ALL are negotiable... i went for a drink at a bar and they charged me 1$ for "rocks"(ice)

trek_nerd2 karma

My car was in a fresh-water flood in 2007. I bought it, gutted it, dried it, and fixed it up in Jan. 2008. I have been driving it with no major problems since then. 67,000 miles later, I'm thinking about a new/new used car. What are the chances of any dealership taking the car in trade? Is it worth trying to sell privately? The car still runs and drives like brand new and I wouldn't hesitate to take it cross-country, but there are a few electrical bugs.

dealershipowner5 karma

salt water is the killer.. fresh water you can comeback from...is it branded? did the electronics get hit? i would sell privately... most likely the dealer will pick it up and offer you little for it

killswitchdh2 karma

If I come in and pay for a car with a trade in AND cash, what % can I expect in all reality to be marked off the sticker price?

dealershipowner3 karma

yes you can it really depends on the price of the car 20000 dart has 745 in markup plus holdback

reallifesaulgoodman2 karma

I didn't go for the headlight fluid in my new car, now I'm starting to freak out that the headlights will dry out. Should I worry, or can I fix this on my own?

dealershipowner4 karma

never heard of headlight fluid...

shdwtek2 karma

Hello! I am a current owner of a 2012 Jeep Wrangler, had a 2001 before that. When I was looking into things at the dealer, I had asked if they can get a custom ordered Wrangler. They told me no, like it was a stupid thing to ask. But why are there spot on the Jeep site to print off a build sheet and bring to the dealer? Thank you!

dealershipowner3 karma

yes depending on the time you looked there is a window to 'ORDER" a jeep built the way you want it

Evermist2 karma

I am just wondering what lead you to run a car dealership? Is a a family business? Do you just love cars? Or as a kid did you just decide that you wanted to sell cars? (I wonder this about a lot of jobs)

dealershipowner2 karma

my dad was a salesmanager... i always loved cars and loved the business and i did well with it right away... so it stuck

jhartwell2 karma

What do you think about the decision to spin off the Ram line into its own brand?

dealershipowner2 karma

not too fond of that... i thought dodge represented ram well

mastiffdude2 karma

Why are Chryslers such pieces of shit?

dealershipowner11 karma

Well that would take a long time to explain... i would agree with you if it were 10 years ago but the product has come a long way.... i know that because the amount of warranty work that we are getting every year is dwindling

artlovepeace422 karma

Do you have to start as a car salesmen to eventually own a dealership? If not, what does it take/did it take for you or someone else to start being an owner of their own dealership?

dealershipowner2 karma

not neccessarily..... i moved up the ranks and saved my money and got partners

Yo_Mr_White_2 karma

How do these huge car dealerships stay in business when it doesn't seem many cars are sold? What is a rough statistic of the percentage the dealership makes for every car sold?

dealershipowner2 karma

there are 4 profit centers.. -new cars -used car sales -service dept -parts dept

DingDongHelloWhoIsIt1 karma

I've often wondered how stock is financed. So dealerships have millions worth if stock sitting there. Do you buy used stock outright or pay a monthly cost to finance them?

dealershipowner2 karma

we finance them too... i am not well off financially to own my used inventory outright.... the rates right now are not that bad so i am not in a rush to do this

sectorsight1 karma

Why does Chysler make their cars so much harder to work on compared to other domestic manufacturers? Do you provide specialized training to your techs that are Chrysler specific?

dealershipowner2 karma

i cant answer that question... im not much of a tech

yes i spend about 30k a year sending my techs for traingin every year

awesomenissity1 karma

If I'm buying a brand new car, do I have any room to negotiate for a better price (aside from pitting one dealer against another) or am I pretty much stuck with whatever deal the dealer offers me?

dealershipowner2 karma

no you always can shop.... the only way you wold be stuck paying what they tell you is if they have the only car around!!... supply and demand

Llama_Steam1 karma

Hey thanks for doing this. My questions has to do with jeep patriots. What are your experiences with it? Good/bad?

dealershipowner2 karma

Your welcome i like the patroits because of the value they are ... i was a little disappointed with the interiors... most customers love them... very little issues with them

drivers2051 karma

Whats your average markup on a new 15k car. The actual profit after the sale.

dealershipowner2 karma

15k.... most likely 300-500$ plus holdback.... thats if we sell it at list... (which there are no cars going for list) that we sell

5howtime1 karma

How did you get into the business?

dealershipowner1 karma

my father was in it and i started as a lot boy when i was 16

Neandarthal1 karma

Did you really speak to your manager about selling me this car for cheaper price that I requested?

dealershipowner1 karma

i am not sure what the question... if you are refering to the salesman going to the manager to get approval for the price... most salespeople have very little "room" to negotiate and have to get approval from their maanger to sell for less