We’ve already reported on how the factors that allowed the rise of the “stealership” model also make it hard to combat. And that got us wondering, what are your worst experiences with stealerships?
The term has emerged in response to the business model that defines auto sales in much of the world. Called “discriminatory pricing,” the model allows dealers to charge different prices to different customers for identical vehicles.
Although the name isn’t a reference to discrimination as we imagine it today, both senses of the word apply. In 2018, a report found that people of color were given fewer financing offers and were charged more than white clients, even if their credit scores made them more qualified to buy a vehicle, per NBC News.
Read Also: Study Finds 25% Of Car Buyers Won’t Return To Dealership That Charged Above MSRP
The model also means that dealers don’t have to charge what a manufacturer recommends a vehicle should be worth. That has long led to high markups for in-demand vehicles. The practice is worse than ever because of supply lines, and we have reported on Nissan dealerships selling Nissan Zs with wild markups, although this applies to other brands, too.
Some dealerships try to get a little more devious with their markups. Chevrolet dealers in Texas were allegedly auctioning off build slots for the new Corvette Z06, with one of them asking $90,000 over MSRP. They later backtracked, stating that they would sell the car at list price, but it was still an example of someone trying to slap a huge premium on a desirable car.
High prices aren’t the only way that dealers screw with customers, though. In April, we reported on two Nissan dealerships in Arizona that were found guilty of false advertising. They advertised a low price for a vehicle, then told customers they actually had to buy all kinds of add-ons to get the vehicle.
Although they were caught, many other tactics fly under the radar. And that’s why we’re asking you what immoral, unfair, and irritating business practices you’ve experienced or seen in your time shopping for a car. Have you been discriminated against? Upsold? Or charged an eye-watering markup? We want to hear about it.