Every few weeks I head to the radio station to record new commercials. If you are familiar with my marketing message you know I say pretty much the same thing in each one;
“I don’t sell cars below cost. I am in business to make a profit. So are my competitors.”
Would I sell more cars if my commercials sounded like the one below?
WE ARE HAVING A HUGE SALE THIS WEEKEND !!
We just received a special shipment of cars from the manufacturer. Problem is, they sent too many. Somebody screwed up the order. We don’t have the room to park them all so… we are slashing the prices. Many of these “extra units” are actually being sold for thousands below cost. That’s right folks, BELOW COST ! Get in early while selection is best. The first 10 buyers this Saturday morning will receive a trip for two to LasVegas.
BUT WAIT !
THERE’S MORE !
If you purchase your new car this weekend, we will give you thousands off dealer cost, a trip to Vegas, AND we will make your payments for 6 months.
YOU DIDN’T READ IT WRONG.
THIS IS NO TYPO.
WE MAKE YOUR PAYMENTS FOR SIX MONTHS !!!!!
1. Somebody screwed up and ordered way too many new cars from the manufacturer.
2. This weekend you can pay thousands less than your friend paid for exactly the same car last month.
3. We will fly you and a friend to Vegas.
4. And we will make your payments for you.
HOLD ON ! BEFORE YOU GO.
I almost forgot.
If you are having financial problems, or if you have bad credit, no problem. We can finance anybody. We can also give you money to pay off your credit cards and finish that renovation you’ve been putting off. Don’t worry, if you have been turned down by another dealer, or your own bank, we will approve your application. (Even if your mama won’t loan you lunch money.)
I know it seems ridiculous, but I must tell you, as unbelievable as the advertisement above sounds, some unfortunate people are still duped this way. (I’m not kidding. Next time you hear a car dealer commercial on the radio, really listen to what is being promised. You may be surprised.)
Other retailers sometimes claim “hardship” such as “over-ordering” or “fleet order cancellations” to create the illusion you will be able to get some kind of one-time, never-to-be-seen again deal. I’ve heard rumours of some mattress retailers intentionally mixing and matching mattresses and box-springs to “manufacture” a need for a sale. (Even though they have matching sets.) It’s a gimmicky scam I believe the buying public is increasingly turned off by.
The truth is, any business consistently selling products below cost goes broke. How many Car Dealers have you seen go broke in Edmonton recently? I am a car dealer in this city and I don’t recall the last time that happened. Our economy is very strong. Most businesses in Alberta do well. Car dealers are no exception. They are profitable. My business is profitable. Nobody makes a profit by selling below cost.
OK. So what about the dealers who consistently claim they are selling below cost?
Are they telling the truth?
What do you think?