Auto Dealer Shops -- They make no sense

With hundreds of mystery shops under my belt I've come to the conclusion that these type of mystery shops make no sense. Typically, I do the online inquiry followed by the dealer visit. All guidelines suggest that the sales guy is suppose to provide a thorough needs analysis of what I want/need etc. in a car, however, this NEVER happens because the sales guy always assume that I've made my mind up with the car that I inquired about online. It's as if they are being set up to fail. I understand why the sales guys don't sit down with me and go thru the shpeel, because I already found a car online that I am targeting! If the MSC/client want the sales guy to do as trained, they do away with these online inquiries that set the sales guy up for failure 99% of the time. Just my experience with these silly things.

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I agree.

And I always feel guilty for taking the salesman's time as he goes through his spiel, not knowing I'll never be in a position to buy a car, LOl!
One MSC has in their guidelines to not do the test drive alone. So how are we supposed to have control over that? Many times the salesperson is busy with other paperwork or phone calls, or even selling to another customer when you arrive at your appointment, and sets you up with a car to test. Sometimes they don't even tell you they won't be accompanying you until the last second, when they say sorry I can't go, I have a call to make... or they just say have fun - take as long as you want!
@Aquiest wrote:

One MSC has in their guidelines to not do the test drive alone. So how are we supposed to have control over that? Many times the salesperson is busy with other paperwork or phone calls, or even selling to another customer when you arrive at your appointment, and sets you up with a car to test. Sometimes they don't even tell you they won't be accompanying you until the last second, when they say sorry I can't go, I have a call to make... or they just say have fun - take as long as you want!


Just tell them what happened. It was out of your control. They should still pay you for the shop.
I like it when manufacturers and/or dealers offer test drive incentives! Your post got me thinking...hmm, haven't done a test drive in a while.

So I did a bit of searching for test drive offers. I got a coupon code for a Hyundai dealer where a "representative will validate your coupon code and give you a $50.00 gift card."

My code is valid for the next ten days. So I"ll wander into the dealership at my leisure before it expires.

I suppose this test drive offer makes me ineligible for the mystery shop. And that makes sense to me, LOL.
I disagree somewhat. Regardless of what you selected online, the salesperson should still attempt to discover your needs and assess whether the car your selected is really the best fit. This goes toward long-term customer satisfaction and loyalty.
If salespeople are not doing what the business expects of them, that’s important to know. Not just how good a job they did selling you on the car you selected, but did they follow tested and proven techniques to make you a lifelong customer.
I have never been allowed, by a dealership, to take a test drive on my own. I can't even imagine it happening.
I used to do a lot of car sales shops. I don't do them much anymore. When I did them I definitely preferred the no lead type of shop. To me it just makes more sense to just show up and let the salesperson do their thing. When I'm shopping for a personal car that's what I do. It might be a time saver for some people because the dealership already has an idea what you want. However my experience has been that they usually still want to go over options and higher trim packages so they can upsell you.

What's done is done. An egg cracked cannot be cured.
There are 3 kinds of lies. Lies, Damn lies, and statistics.
Hey MrEd, I think you're on to something... $50 gift card for taking a test drive sure beats a test drive, an hour long session of filling out a report, then waiting a month and a half for your measly $20. Sign me up for the gift card any day.
Sassy, I'm surprised they've never pulled a car up, opened the door for you and said have fun. I do about half to a dozen dealerships a month and I'd say out of 12, six go with me and the other six don't.
Yes indeed. I'll be up bright 'n early for the test drive! That $50 Visa gift card is calling my name.

Last year I was too lazy to do a $25 "test drive" for a different manufacturer, with no report required. That was stupid!
On this theme, what do you guys consider bottom line number for car shops? I see them from all over, say 20-100 dollars. I usually draw my line at the 50-60 dollar mark, because you are at the dealer for over an hour, then you have paperwork. Let me know your thoughts. I have a car shop tonight. smiling smiley

Orlando - lightly shopping NC
Two lines have to be drawn: Time spent at the dealer and the fee of course. Under no circumstance do I go over an hour at the dealer. If the 'conversation' needs to be moved along, thats what I do to be out of there no later than an hour, that includes test drive, sit down, etc. Usually by 45 minutes, if it gets there, I start to make it clear that time is almost up. Fees depend on a few things. If its the 28th of the month and I'm just looking to pad the month I'll draw the line at $40. Other than that, I'm looking for $60+ to step foot in a dealer and go thru the reporting and all that. Early on I did a $20 one and I will never go down that low again. Those just aren't worth the time that go into them.
Totally agree on the fees, and that is why I don't do too many of these. Most in my area are in the 20-40 dollar range, and don't seem to ever get bonuses. I just can't imagine going through the car buying hassle, whether you are buying or not, for that little.

Orlando - lightly shopping NC
I stopped doing auto shops. In my area, fees have not gone above $20. Many are asking $17.
I got a test drive offer in the mail. I showed up, told the salesman I'm here only for the money and have absolutely zero interest in buying a car. He signed the paperwork and I got the gift card without wasting both our time in a test drive. I tried it again at another dealer and he said they had to do the drive, so we just talked about hiking the whole time, and not a word about the car. We just went 2 blocks. So yes, the test drive offers in the mail are much easier than MS.
I'm in the market for a car. Just did a shop at the dealership I will probably buy from, and got $35 for something I would do anyway :-)

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
I drove a really nice car last night. I wonder if they hope while you are doing a shop they can convince you to buy. No thanks, but hey, good job on that car design Mr. Car Company.

Orlando - lightly shopping NC
I've always had to take a test drive because they always ask, and the salesman always comes with me. I have had salesmen recommend another car, especially if my first choice isn't to be had, guess they train them better in CA....just sayin'. I think many people shop around before buying a car to get the best deal, so salesmen are used to "trying" to sell, and getting lookelou's.....

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.....
Dr. Judith Wright
The least I've ever done a car shop for is $40 (the no-test-drive one bonused up), and I probably won't do one for that again, even without a test drive. I got a chatty salesperson who had to tell me everything about the car, so I was on-site for an hour. Otherwise, I'll do them for $50, minimum, but have done one for $75. I like doing them, but they can be time-eaters. Depending on how far the dealership is, I like to get at least $60.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
Totally agree with this. I really don't like to go over an hour. Last night mine was 62 minutes. I also use the recorder on my cell phone so I can go back and listen to it over, to make sure I don't miss anything for narratives. They just eat a lot of time, and I don't really love shopping for a car to begin with. Shoot, I bought my 2016 over chat with a dealer, never walked in. They delivered the car and paperwork to my house, I test drove it from my house, then I signed off and was done.

It has to be 50 or more for me to think about it. Then, you have the dealers that keep your info for what seems like ever, and in my neck of the woods, a lot of the dealers are owned by the same company, and they cross populate your data.

@BirdyC wrote:

The least I've ever done a car shop for is $40 (the no-test-drive one bonused up), and I probably won't do one for that again, even without a test drive. I got a chatty salesperson who had to tell me everything about the car, so I was on-site for an hour. Otherwise, I'll do them for $50, minimum, but have done one for $75. I like doing them, but they can be time-eaters. Depending on how far the dealership is, I like to get at least $60.

Orlando - lightly shopping NC
@Irene_L.A. wrote:

I've always had to take a test drive because they always ask, and the salesman always comes with me. I have had salesmen recommend another car, especially if my first choice isn't to be had, guess they train them better in CA....just sayin'. I think many people shop around before buying a car to get the best deal, so salesmen are used to "trying" to sell, and getting lookelou's.....

Not sure about your neck of the woods Irene but down here where I live I went to see several dealers and had to insist they even show me the inside of the car, let alone a test drive. (Not a shop I was actually looking for a car to purchase) One place had the cars stored on the roof and after I asked about 6x if I could see the inside he finally ran in to see if he could find keys. As for a test drive he said it was too difficult to get the car off the roof. Needless to say I did not buy from that dealer.
@sandy, getting one bad dealer happens, they usually go to lengths to take a test drive, but if there are no cars on the lot you want.... there are good, bad and indifferent...I've done many dealerships as well, and when cars just come in, yes they may not be on the floor/lot....that wouldn't be the salesman's fault.

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.....
Dr. Judith Wright
Can't believe people are getting $40 to $60 on car shop. In my area they never go above $20. I did a few and stopped.
Tesla paid 75.00 and I wouldn't do one under 50.00.

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.....
Dr. Judith Wright
I wonder why the differences. In my area, So. Calif most are asking $17.50 to $20. I don't remember seeing any over $20.
Your with the wrong MSC, I'm in So.CA....

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.....
Dr. Judith Wright
I did the $17 car shop for $100.

@johnb974 wrote:

Can't believe people are getting $40 to $60 on car shop. In my area they never go above $20. I did a few and stopped.

The internet doesn't make you smart. It makes you good at regurgitation.
The $20 car shops are equivalent to market forces $4.50shops or no fee bookstores shops. Shoppers should never take those things. Eventually MSc will get message.
I'm looking at car shop for IntelliShop that are posted for my area, $20. You must take a test drive. You also must send in an online lead, 3 hours before going in.
Two hours or less, not three. While I don't like the online leads, they only take a few minutes. I still wouldn't touch them for $20. My minimum depends on the MSC. For Intellishop it is $60 because the reports tend to take me an hour. For others $40 might do because the report is easy and takes less than 30 minutes. .

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