Yet Another Scam

I’m rarely shocked by anything these days, but I came across a rattler this week (no, I’m not talking about the earthquake but that did freak me out for a minute).

A good friend of mine needs a 4WD vehicle and has convinced me to sell her my beloved Jeep. Periodically I pass my vehicle along and then purchase a newer one. I’m knee deep in that process now, this will be my 6th Jeep. I’ve been scouring the web, trying to concentrate on sales by owners as opposed to dealers. I always tell my customers to try to find one this way because not only will the price be better, but the whole experience tends to be.

Since my friend is nudging me for her to take possession of the vehicle, I’ve been under some pressure to find a new one. Unfortunately, I’ve had to branch my search out to include dealers. I’ve gone into this with my usual cynicism and I have not been wrong to behave in that way.

Here’s what happened this week: I found the exact vehicle I was looking for, at a good price , at a dealer in the vicinity. After a phone call to assure they still had the vehicle, I grabbed one of my mechanics and off we went. The Jeep was in decent condition and after taking it for a ride we noted a few noises and repairs that I would have to make. I requested to take the car back to my shop where I could put it up on the lift and look under it.

This is an absolute must when purchasing a car, I can’t stress this enough. If you can’t for some reason, then at the very least, ALWAYS bring a mechanic with you, the amount of junk cars I’ve seen people buy could fill junkyards.

Back to my story, when the salesmen heard I was a shop owner he said to me, “Have you read the entire ad online before coming over here?” Of course I hadn’t because I don’t believe half that stuff anyway. He demanded I come inside the office and read fine print. Since I didn’t have my glasses and I wanted to put him on the spot, I made him read it to me in his words. Here’s what he embarrassingly informed me. The prices they ask for vehicles are low (not really) and they don’t make any money off them (uh huh). The money is made off of selling extended warranties and the car CANNOT be sold without purchasing one.
WOW! This stopped me in my tracks and a little BING! went off in my brain. That’s why so many new customers come in with those useless extended warranties (oh I’ll get into that subject soon but for now AVOID, AVOID AVOID!!). Well as you can imagine, I walked right out of there, but not before telling a few shoppers to go elsewhere of course (I’m sure they didn’t listen to me but that’s their loss). So the quest continues and I’m still in the market.

Jeep Chrysler can you hear me? I need a new one !!!!


About dontgetwrenched

Elayne Kling, was the owner of a downtown Manhattan auto repair shop for 25 years and recently in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Elayne knows the particular ins and outs of the auto repair world and keeps up her blog because people will always need help navigating the potential pitfalls of that world. Due to the crazy NYC real estate market she has since closed down her shop and started a new business called Projects Unlimited Inc., helping other small businesses.
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