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12/06/2004 Archived Entry: "We are the Ferengi"
Posted by CKL @ 04:54 PM PST's Confessions of a Car Salesman, in which a journalist describes his undercover experiences working at two Los Angeles-area dealerships, is a great read. For the impatient, here's the bottom line:

"[I]f the salesmen aren't the bad guys, who is?

"Having been a salesman myself, I began to view the managers and dealership owners as the real culprits. While salesmen play people games with the customer, the guys in the tower work the numbers with computers, their eyes fixed on the bottom line. They can see at a glance what kind of profit they are taking from the customer and they do it any way. Furthermore, they bully the sales staff, encouraging them to manipulate, control and intimidate customers while they take the lion's share of the profit...

"By itself profit is a positive word. But in the car business, the dealership's profit is the consumer's loss. I'm not suggesting that the dealership be run without a profit, but in one case I heard about, the dealership made a 16 percent profit on a $25,000 car. That meant the consumer, the average Joe buying the car, paid about $4,000 too much."

-- Chandler Phillips

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