PARK RIDGE, IL - MAY 24: New Chevrolet Impala cars are seen at Bredemann Chevrolet May 24, 2006 in Park Ridge, Illinois. General Motors has offered gas reimbursement for automobiles purchased in Florida and California before July 5, for gas prices above $1.99 per gallon, and will credit the customer for the additional cost. The Chevrolet Impala is one of the vehicles. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Here's why car enthusiasts are at a big disadvantage when buying a new car


What kind of car buyer are you? Really, how would you describe yourself in that search for the next vehicle? The answer you give may be very telling as to how you're treated in a dealership, says

Contrary to what you think, being a well-informed, knowledgeable car buyer doesn't impress the salesperson. It drives them off, pardon the pun. Writer Jack Baruth, who at one time sold cars, says dealers and salespeople actually hate seeing what he terms "enthusiasts" walk in the door because they know it will end up costing them. How? He describes it this way:

"The time it will take him to deal with you--and your factory-order specs, and your determination to pay factory invoice, and your requests that your new vehicle not be washed with a brush or rag before delivery--is about three times as long as it will take him to lease a new SUV crossover. To a busy parent of three. Who will make the decision based on nothing but monthly payment."

Baruth says car enthusiasts are like the people you make fun of at a restaurant. You know the ones. While you order the #5, your friend will order the #5 but without half the ingredients listed and then add in these extra ingredients but only on the side and make sure that it is cooked in non-gmo earth-friendly oil. Your order took 5 seconds, your friend took 5 minutes. That's how a salesperson views a car enthusiast.

"While you're asking him to confirm that the Track Pack is available for March production, he's watching his fellow salespeople close deals with about 30 to 40 percent of the people who walk in, making high-profit sales that take less than 90 minutes from handshake to wave goodbye. Each one of those deals can mean well over $1000 in salesperson profit with the right incentives. Your invoice-price factory order? That's what we call a "mini deal," which pays between 50 and 500 bucks."

To get the best deal AND the service you expect, Baruth suggests making an appointment to meet with a salesperson during a weekday before 4 p.m. Stay away from weekends altogether. Come in armed with knowledge and flexibility. And be willing to put something on the table.


"Thanks for making time for me today. I'm interested in ordering a new Gorgonzola MVS-400istxC Black Edition to my specs. I'm not in a hurry. However, if the numbers are right, I will give you a deposit today and I will place my order today."

By keeping "today" high in the conversation, Baruth says you dramatically increase your chance to have a good experience and get exactly the car you want.