On my way into the office this morning, I spied a billboard for a local car dealership proclaiming, “You Pay What We Pay!” It got me thinking about the many reasons car dealers have been the brunt of jokes since the first used Model T was sold on a corner lot in Flushing.
Last time I checked, car dealerships didn’t fall into the non-profit organization category for businesses. So how could one be so crazy to believe that the dealer is selling you the car for what they pay? Who is paying for the salesman, the flashy showroom, the finance guy who sells you packages at closing you will never use, not to mention the free coffee and cookies while you’re waiting for the “manager” to offer you their best deal.
Nobody is in business to lose money, including the dealer selling cars at cost.
So are they telling a little white lie in that message? Well, yes! After all, it’s marketing.
They’re selling you the car at cost, but are holding back any dealer incentives that may take hundreds off the invoice that they’re claiming is their cost. It’s nothing to lose sleep over but it does bother me that these type of tactics are used to lure in people who think they’re getting the “best deal” when they may not be even close to achieving that goal.
A quick Google search for the term “You Pay What We Pay” reveals this promotion is quite popular in the automotive industry and even computer giant Lenovo used it for a short time. However, how many people really question the business offering such a promotion? Not many. And until we do get ready for the “We Lose Money On Every Sale” event coming to a car dealer near you.
Unfortunately, it may draw a pretty big crowd.