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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Clever Advertising Or 'Bait & Switch'?
Target 5 Reports On 'Clown Cars' That May Lure Buyers

CHICAGO -- In response to consumer complaints, Lisa Parker conducted a Target 5 investigation into the car-selling techniques of a local dealer.

"Is it clever advertising or 'bait and switch'?" Parker asked about using "clown cars" to lure buyers.

Dealer Accused Of Bait & Switch

"Anyone in the market for a gleaming new Chevrolet Aveo should expect a basic price above $10,000," Parker said. "(But) anyone opening Chicago newspapers recently might jump to see the Aveo offered at $7,295 -- more than 20 percent off the lowest list price."

Yet that was the "astonishing deal" offered by a major player on Chicago's car scene -- Grossinger Chevrolet, a family business that owns four dealerships, one of which is making a stir with its "rock-bottom" ad prices.

"So how can one dealer sell so cheap?" Parker asked.

The low prices lured a Buffalo Grove family to the Grossinger Toyota showroom. A late February ad offered a new 2003 Camry at a great price. A call to the dealership assured them there were three in stock.

"I wasn't crazy about the colors, but for that price I would have taken any one of them," Marge Rothman told Target 5.

But if the ad was the "bait," Rothman said, the "switch" came when they walked into the dealership.

"He (the salesman) came back in 10 minutes and said, 'We don't have those cars in stock. All we have is one with manual transmission,'" Marge's son-in-law, Craig Neustadt, recalled. "And I said, 'You just told me on the phone.'"

Rothman and Neustadt said they could not get what the ad promised, so Target 5 decided to send a producer into the dealership with an undercover camera to see if she could get the bargain-basement Aveo listed in the current week's paper.

See Full Article & Story Here

 

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According to my inflation calculator program, What cost $3541 in 1978 would cost $10764.61 in late 2003 (last update of data I have). ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Originally posted by cyboexpo2002@Mar 23 2004, 12:14 PM
According to my inflation calculator program, What cost $3541 in 1978 would cost $10764.61 in late 2003 (last update of data I have). ;)
Ouch. :pain:

:D
 

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Instead of paying US $7,295 for a little Korean ****box with a green/pink vinyl roof, how about crossing the border and getting a '04 Sunfire for that price? That's what my local dealer is advertising them for these days...

Even after factoring in importation fees, it's still a great deal IMHO.
 

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meh. they don't have to say if a car is green or blue or red. so you don't like it... don't buy it. their ad said there was an aveo for $7295, and there was an aveo for $7295. it just happened to be hideously ugly. big deal. people are too sensitive. i don't see any broken laws. just people who like to complain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Originally posted by Jay@Mar 23 2004, 12:48 PM

It's more stylish too!

Where'd you get this?

:lol:
Google image search, I think. I have a bunch like this in the gallery.
 

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Originally posted by paul8488@Mar 23 2004, 02:37 PM
meh. they don't have to say if a car is green or blue or red. so you don't like it... don't buy it. their ad said there was an aveo for $7295, and there was an aveo for $7295. it just happened to be hideously ugly. big deal. people are too sensitive. i don't see any broken laws. just people who like to complain.
But don't you find it a little dishonest that a dealership will take a car, and purposely make it ugly? (It's one thing if the factory does it.)

It costs the dealership money to add a vinykl top, and paint.

Why not just advertise the car before they crappified it?
 

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Originally posted by Rex Raider+Mar 23 2004, 06:46 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Rex Raider @ Mar 23 2004, 06:46 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-paul8488@Mar 23 2004, 02:37 PM
meh. they don't have to say if a car is green or blue or red. so you don't like it... don't buy it. their ad said there was an aveo for $7295, and there was an aveo for $7295. it just happened to be hideously ugly. big deal. people are too sensitive. i don't see any broken laws. just people who like to complain.
But don't you find it a little dishonest that a dealership will take a car, and purposely make it ugly? (It's one thing if the factory does it.)

It costs the dealership money to add a vinykl top, and paint.

Why not just advertise the car before they crappified it? [/b][/quote]
If they didn't modify it, it would sell. it would sell very fast. They fix the car so noone will buy it and they can still advertise the same car week after week. ;) Shady sales practices if you ask me. :mrt:
 

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The base stripper Aveo stickers for $9995 and has an invoice of $9640, not much mark-up eh? There currently is a $1000 rebate on the Aveo, so in theory you could get one for $8640, if you wheel and deal down to the invoice price and add the rebate, not the $7295.

Yeah the dealer is being a little crooked, but shame on the customer too, I can find this information in 2 seconds, if the car has an invoice of $9640 and $1000 rebate, do you really think that the dealership is going to LOSE money (about $1300) to sell you a car? Why? Because they like your face? There is no free lunch!!! Did they not think that there was a catch? Didn't they do any research? If they did then they would have known that there was something fishy.

Shame on the bottom feeder customers who believe every add for a low price from a shady dealer and would sell their souls to save $5 on a car.

There is nothing wrong with the dealer trying to bring people in, you cant sell someone who isn't there a car!


p.s. The statement above is the last time that the words "Aveo" and "stripper" will ever be seen together in the same sentence :roflmao:
 

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Originally posted by MCGARRETT@Mar 23 2004, 11:28 PM
The base stripper Aveo stickers for $9995 and has an invoice of $9640, not much mark-up eh? There currently is a $1000 rebate on the Aveo, so in theory you could get one for $8640, if you wheel and deal down to the invoice price and add the rebate, not the $7295.

Yeah the dealer is being a little crooked, but shame on the customer too, I can find this information in 2 seconds, if the car has an invoice of $9640 and $1000 rebate, do you really think that the dealership is going to LOSE money (about $1300) to sell you a car? Why? Because they like your face? There is no free lunch!!! Did they not think that there was a catch? Didn't they do any research? If they did then they would have known that there was something fishy.

Shame on the bottom feeder customers who believe every add for a low price from a shady dealer and would sell their souls to save $5 on a car.

There is nothing wrong with the dealer trying to bring people in, you cant sell someone who isn't there a car!


p.s. The statement above is the last time that the words "Aveo" and "stripper" will ever be seen together in the same sentence :roflmao:
:huh: So if consumers can't trust advertising and have to research to find rebates and deals on their own, what incentive does a dealer have to advertise at all? Consumers should be able to trust advertisments. If a dealer puts a car in the paper to get people in the dealership, that is fine, just put a picture and full discription off the car in the ad. That dealership will lose customers from the bad media and losing their BBB membership (some people do actually research companies in the BBB before making a purchase, if they aren't, they should). Food packaging companies use these types of gimicks on people. They will make the package lighter in color and then slap the word light on it to make people think it is something it is not. Bad business. :mrt:
 

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Originally posted by MCGARRETT@Mar 23 2004, 07:28 PM
The base stripper Aveo stickers for $9995 and has an invoice of $9640, not much mark-up eh? There currently is a $1000 rebate on the Aveo, so in theory you could get one for $8640, if you wheel and deal down to the invoice price and add the rebate, not the $7295.

Yeah the dealer is being a little crooked, but shame on the customer too, I can find this information in 2 seconds, if the car has an invoice of $9640 and $1000 rebate, do you really think that the dealership is going to LOSE money (about $1300) to sell you a car? Why? Because they like your face? There is no free lunch!!! Did they not think that there was a catch? Didn't they do any research? If they did then they would have known that there was something fishy.

Shame on the bottom feeder customers who believe every add for a low price from a shady dealer and would sell their souls to save $5 on a car.

There is nothing wrong with the dealer trying to bring people in, you cant sell someone who isn't there a car!


p.s. The statement above is the last time that the words "Aveo" and "stripper" will ever be seen together in the same sentence  :roflmao:
If the dealer isn't planning on losing money with each sale, then why is he advertising a car at such a low price? $8640 vs $7295.

It's not a little crooked. It's a LOT crooked. If the dealer has no intention of selling cars at the $7295 price level, then he has no right to advertise it. To go out and blatently make a car ugly so that it doesn't sell just make the guy look like a jerk, not a shrewd businessman.

I would not buy a car from someone that practiced that way. Very few educated people will fall for a bait and switch.

Exactly as you said, you found out the price information very quickly. Others will do it as well. So if people aren't going to fall for the clown car scenario, why should he advertise it in the first place?

Furthemore, if someone is "cheap" enough that they don't care about the car's paint job, will he get it at that price? If so, how many Aveos at regular price does the dealer have to sell to pay for the loss he takes on that one?
 

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It's not a little crooked. It's a LOT crooked. If the dealer has no intention of selling cars at the $7295 price level, then he has no right to advertise it. To go out and blatently make a car ugly so that it doesn't sell just make the guy look like a jerk, not a shrewd businessman.

I would not buy a car from someone that practiced that way. Very few educated people will fall for a bait and switch.

Exactly as you said, you found out the price information very quickly. Others will do it as well. So if people aren't going to fall for the clown car scenario, why should he advertise it in the first place?

Furthemore, if someone is "cheap" enough that they don't care about the car's paint job, will he get it at that price? If so, how many Aveos at regular price does the dealer have to sell to pay for the loss he takes on that one?


No....it's shrewd...it's a dog eat dog world..buyer beware.


I dont recall reading the anywhere in the article that the dealer would NOT sell the Clown Aveo. If you dont care about the paint or the top, then you can own the car. It's that simple. It's a loss leader, the idea of a loss leader is that it brings people in.

True....educated people will not fall for it.....most of them...In my time selling cars, some of the stupidest people I meant were well educated, these are the people who thought they had all the angles. The other 90% were just plain regular stupid.

True story: We advertise a "loss leader" new car, the ad reads "full factory equipment" , it's a no a/c, manual car. It's the ad car. If we sell it for the price thats in the paper, we lose money, but the idea is that no one would buy a non-air conditioned, black car in an area of the US where the temperature is over 80 degrees throughout the year. It's not "Bait and Switch" , we did not advertise that the car had a/c-the ad reads "full factory equipment" , all the standard equipment.

So here comes Mr. Slick, he's smart, financially well off, he wants a car for his daughter, and he comes in with the "no a/c " ad with the loss leader low price. Now..the idea is of course to disuade the customer from buying THAT car, it has NO AC! , but if he wants it, he can have it, most people would then opt too look at something else with a/c. Mr. Slick starts off by blabing about all this mumbo-jumbo about leagal this and that...as if I am listening....how by law..if he wants the ad car...then we have to sell him the ad car...fine... I sell him the no a/c ad car...he KNOWS the car has no a/c.....we make him sign papework stating that the car has no a/c.....the fact is...the car has no a/c...and everyone knows it.

So what does Mr Slick go and do....he takes the car into our own service dept, and asks to have a/c installed in the car....he finds out that the cost to add a/c to the car plus what he actually paid for the car together would have been more expensive than purchasing an a/c and automatic transmission version of the same model car. So then Mr. Slick decides that he will purchase just the parts to install the a/c system in the car..and then find someone else who will install them and void the warranty all at the same time....still more expensive than just buying the same car with a/c...so no Mr. Slick decides to call an attorney and the police......when the police arrive...we show them the paperwork that he knowingly signed that states that the car has NO AIR CONDITIONING. They advise him that he has no legal leg to stand on...the customer is un-happy, causing a scene in the showroom in front of other customers...now we are asking the police to remove him from the property...along with his no a/c new car.....so what did Mr. Slick get out of this?.....he would have been happier if he would have bought the car that he wanted to get...at a fair price....instead of trying to be a scumbag smarta$$ and get one over on the car dealership.




Epilogue: Later the customer finally found some mechanic who did install a/c in the car for a still un-reasonable price....and that voided the warranty on the car.....I hope that it was worth it....now he has a new car without a warranty.....all for what?.....to save a few bucks....he wasted my time...time that I could have been with a real customer that was going to let me earn money..so I can make a living... and he ended up unhappy with the car and the dealership....I hope that they all get what they deserve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Originally posted by MCGARRETT@Mar 24 2004, 11:17 AM
True story: We advertise a "loss leader" new car, the ad reads "full factory equipment" , it's a no a/c, manual car. It's the ad car. If we sell it for the price thats in the paper, we lose money, but the idea is that no one would buy a non-air conditioned, black car in an area of the US where the temperature is over 80 degrees throughout the year. It's not "Bait and Switch" , we did not advertise that the car had a/c-the ad reads "full factory equipment" , all the standard equipment.

So here comes Mr. Slick, he's smart, financially well off, he wants a car for his daughter, and he comes in with the "no a/c " ad with the loss leader low price.

so what did Mr. Slick get out of this?.....he would have been happier if he would have bought the car that he wanted to get...at a fair price....instead of trying to be a scumbag smarta$$ and get one over on the car dealership.

Couple of questions:

1. How is a car with base factory options a "loss leader"? There should still be a profit margin, unless the advertised price eliminates that profit just to lure suckers in, and then we're back to misleading avertising.

2. When you see Best Buy offering a Television on sale for $399 and go and try to buy it for that price, do you expect to face resistance, have to "fight" the salesmen, and be considered a "smart a$$" for trying to get the Television for $399? Or would you be pissed if Best Buy tried to pull a "no, no, you don't want THAT one" and got combative with you if you insisted on buying it without a remote control or HDTV support or whatever?

3. When you try to buy anything for an advertised price, do you walk in to a store and immediately start thinking about how you can profit the guy behind the counter, or how you can save money?

If you don't want to "fight" customers, don't advertise a misleading price.

Last point - that guy is probably financially well off *precisely because* he is a shrewd customer and watches how he spends his money. The installing the A/C stuff is over the top stupid, however. :p
 

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In the meantime, your dealership sold a car and lost money on it.
Pissed off a client, that will NEVER buy from you again.
Possibly scared potential customers that were in the store when the Police arrived and commotion occured.

What good did it do?
 

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to me it's black and white. the dealer has a $7295 aveo. it likely won't sell (who wants an aveo with pink vinyl top?!?)... and as long as it doesn't sell they can advertise it. at the same time if someone wants they can buy it. if the dealership wants to risk losing money, who cares? let them!

a dealership near me sometimes adds pinstripes to their new pontiacs (i think it's silly... but they didn't ask me!). if i see an ad in the paper of a pontiac without pinstripes, when i go to the dealership i'll look at the car, and if it has stripes i won't buy it. an ad isn't meant to show every detail of the car... it's meant to give you an idea of what's available. and a horribly ugly aveo with a pink vinyl top is available at that dealership.

i think people wanna be babied, and come away with a nice warm fuzzy feeling. personally i'd rather skip all the coddling and make the deal. it's a financial transaction... so figure out what you want and what you don't want, and deal from there. my last case of beer didn't include hot blondes and a private yacht.
 
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