What Is The Dumbest Gimmick A Dealer Has Used To Get You To Buy A Car?

A sad Viper back in 2002. Photo Credit: Getty Images
A sad Viper back in 2002. Photo Credit: Getty Images

I’ve mentioned before that dealers sometimes will use mailers that may offer a scratch-off, a key or maybe a chance at a free cruise! All you have to do is visit the dealership, and go for a test drive...and submit a credit application...and maybe have them evaluate your trade in that you weren’t planning on selling anyway.

This week I am shopping for a lady in New England looking for a used Honda Pilot. I get a voicemail from a store who did not realize I was a professional car shopper and left me what I thought was an enlightening message on how they do business.

“Hey Tom, this is (redacted) from (redacted) Honda. Look man, the 2014 Pilot you inquired about is still available.

But I have some even better news for you. This weekend we are having a big sale with huge savings!

If you can come in and buy a car we can get you into the money booth and you can grab as much cash as you can!”


Money booth? What is this, a carnival from 1997?

Often the stores that pull this crap are usually not the most competitive on price and will try to find any angle they can to get more money out of you. You can and should discriminate against dealerships that operate this way. If they can’t respect your time and intelligence take your business elsewhere.

There are thousands of dealerships in this country that know how to do it right, don’t reward the ones that do it wrong.


What is the dumbest, most outlandish gimmick someone has tried on you?

Tom is a contributing writer for Jalopnik and runs AutomatchConsulting.com. He saves people money and takes the hassle out of buying or leasing a car. (Facebook.com/AutomatchConsulting)

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Dumbest gimmick?

“Here’s your chance to pay interest on a rapidly depreciating asset!”