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I wanted to purchase a new CLA 250. I headed down to the dealership in Washington, PA. I made my way through the door and to the receptionist who introduced me to an older gentleman leaning over talking to her. The sales person had his back towards me the entire time we spoke.

He looked over his shoulder and said, "What can I do for you?"
I replied saying, "I would like to check out your cars available."
He then said, "This is a Mercedes dealership, we only have cars available."
(Talk about rude)

We sat down and did not find a CLA that suited me.
We exchanged information, and I was told he will check for cars and call me the next day. 2 weeks later, I decided to e-mail him and I was ignored. 1 week after that I decided to give him a call, and left a voice mail, and still no reply. I could not believe that a Mercedes Sales person would treat potential clients this way. Is it because I was stereotyped as too young? I recently just turned 21 and was moving up from the car my parents had given to me.

Since then I went to another dealership with superb service and purchased through them. I have had the car for 3 days and put in 300 miles into it. I love it!

 

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Probably because you are quite young and not likely to be able to afford it going by the numbers. Personally when I look at cars I dress in a way that does not in any way convey my financial situation, and I look young enough to pull it off and not appear like someone who is just trying. I find it quite useful to throw people off (it also keeps them at bay in the lot until I am ready) and usually I throw some comment about the car that prompts them to ask what I do for a living. That's when I spring on them what I do and then I immediately get into haggling so they don't have the time to recover and push hard.

On the other hand, if you don't like the kinds who make that judgement, being young looking also helps since you can read their face and body image and know right away if they are liable to judge you that way. I look for those ones; in my experience they are easier than the ones who are cautious and keep an open mind.

I don't know your situation, but it can be helpful and useful to have the salesman be dismissive to you. Use every advantage you have to get the best deal. And you can always play them off of each other, either in the dealer or among dealers.
 

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I throw some comment about the car that prompts them to ask what I do for a living. That's when I spring on them what I do and then I immediately get into haggling so they don't have the time to recover and push hard.
I am new into the car buy experience, and this seems like a good/if not, perfect technique. Thanks.
 

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having been in retail for over 30 years i always evaluate how im being treated when im shopping. it absolutely blows my mind how folks who are on commission can treat folks so shabilly. this is how they make their money. so you are right to go some other place. on the other hand, if im treated well, i never forget and ALWAYS make sure to be loyal and let his boss know.
 

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Good for you, Jimbo. As a long time waiter for a 45, I am locked in (??) with a salesman I am really unhappy with. You should realize that you will have only one long time relationship with the dealership, and that is "your" service writer. Assuming the two stores appear to be about the same quality, pick out the one closest to you to do your service. It doesn't have to be the one where you bought your car. (Wouldn't it be fun to rub your purchase in the salesbums face?) Always ask for and use the same service writer (if you like him or her). Make friends, because this will be your long term relationship, and may determine when you get loaners or a little 'extra' help.
 

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if im treated well, i never forget and ALWAYS make sure to be loyal and let his boss know.
YEAH! On that note the sales person that sold me the CLA said he will call me in a few days so, I think I'll talk to his boss and let him know he's doing great.
 

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You should realize that you will have only one long time relationship with the dealership, and that is "your" service writer.
Service writer is the person that does your required maintenance, right?
Do you tip them?
 

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Good for you, Jimbo. As a long time waiter for a 45, I am locked in (??) with a salesman I am really unhappy with. You should realize that you will have only one long time relationship with the dealership, and that is "your" service writer. Assuming the two stores appear to be about the same quality, pick out the one closest to you to do your service. It doesn't have to be the one where you bought your car. (Wouldn't it be fun to rub your purchase in the salesbums face?) Always ask for and use the same service writer (if you like him or her). Make friends, because this will be your long term relationship, and may determine when you get loaners or a little 'extra' help.
On that note, I assume for us CLA45 people that would be a bit of a moot point wouldn't it since the dealerships (unless you're in a really rich area) tend to only have one person for the AMGs. Is that right? I know at least the AMG certified mechanic is usually solo. I wonder if they also play service writer?

It also does not hurt to develop a relationship with the owner of the dealership as well. I did with my dealer (it helps to have the right profession) but it has already paid off in ways outside of the Mercedes in benefits for my family in terms of work and experience not related to Mercedes. Remember, these dealers of luxury cars usually have a nice, fat Rolodex. It never hurts to have access to that network. It's also fun to be allowed to play with an AMG that you otherwise would not be allowed to play with because you have a relationship.

Service writer is the person that does your required maintenance, right?
Do you tip them?
Usually you don't. Also if your car doesn't end up needing much maintenance (like yearly or so) you may not be remembered unless you really give them something special, especially for a high volume vehicle like the CLA250. However, like with any service worker, if you like them, it never hurts to tip or in some way show appreciation if they deserve it. It's also a decent thing to do. I usually give a little something around the holidays (or the closest appointment to it) and a world in with the boss-man. And as vr says, that may help if you find yourself needing a loaner or an expensive part/repair in the future. Quid pro quo/do ut des does exist.
 

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I wanted to purchase a new CLA 250. I headed down to the dealership in Washington, PA. I made my way through the door and to the receptionist who introduced me to an older gentleman leaning over talking to her. The sales person had his back towards me the entire time we spoke.

He looked over his shoulder and said, "What can I do for you?"
I replied saying, "I would like to check out your cars available."
He then said, "This is a Mercedes dealership, we only have cars available."
(Talk about rude)

We sat down and did not find a CLA that suited me.
We exchanged information, and I was told he will check for cars and call me the next day. 2 weeks later, I decided to e-mail him and I was ignored. 1 week after that I decided to give him a call, and left a voice mail, and still no reply. I could not believe that a Mercedes Sales person would treat potential clients this way. Is it because I was stereotyped as too young? I recently just turned 21 and was moving up from the car my parents had given to me.

Since then I went to another dealership with superb service and purchased through them. I have had the car for 3 days and put in 300 miles into it. I love it!


I would send the salesman that treated you like crap a picture of you and your new CLA!!! He might think twice from now on.
 

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Do you tip them?
Probably nothing as crass as a cash tip, but a little gift would be very appropriate. Oranges from your garden? A souvenir from a trip to Germany? A ball cap? My wife grew up in a Communist country, and she is an expert in bribing! A little gift for their kid?
Hopefully you won't see much of them, but if you do, the difference in service you will get is amazing.

That's today's Life Lesson that you didn't know you were going to get when you signed up for this forum. :)
 

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I'll place my bets on you being young.

I've dealt with the same thing back then

They don't think you can afford it.
 

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A souvenir from a trip to Germany?
I'm going to Germany next week. Any suggestions on what I should bring back to bribe....or tip the service manager with? Or maybe something for the saleswoman who was so helpful to me. I'm terrible at picking out gifts. Just ask my wife.
 

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Is this common with the CLA? Are salesmen a little less helpful to CLA clients than E or S? The only reason i could imagine is the commission is much less than they are typically used to?

Its no excuse, but I used to see it at BMW dealers ALL the time. People trying to lease a 320 were treated like dirt compared to someone financing a 550...

good salesmen are needles in haystacks, but when you find one hold onto them. An established relationship with a sales person can go a LONG way in your future relationship with the dealer/company.

Just my .2
 

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Tony,
How about a pair of TIGHT lederhosen?
 

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As much as we like to take jabs at salesmen, I think we do need to look at it from their side. Someone coming in to see the CLA is more likely to be window shopping, more likely to be able to afford less car (and thus a less optioned car), and less willing to take extras. If you take every person all the way, it can take 1-3 hours before the buyer decides, meaning you've got only 3-4 chances a day. You're going to want to aim for the high rollers and carve out as much time during your day to find them, especially since they are much more likely to want to buy and accept extra options.

The other issue is any buyer looking at the low end of any car line is less likely to be a brand loyal customer than someone who is buying higher, and thus selling a cheaper car does not offer the long term benefits for a salesman than a more expensive car. Remember, the CLA is based off of a hatchback. It's an A-class, NOT a baby CLS.

We can argue all we want that they should be nice to everyone because you never know if you'll get that one customer, but anyone who as worked in the service business as a salesperson or wait staff knows that you treat the richer better. Sure if you're lucky you'll find that one table that only gets salads that will give you a nice tip, but realistically if you're a waiter, are you going to pay more attention to the table that has a bill of $20 or the one with the bill of $100? An extra 5% off of $100 is worth many times of $20. Also, even if the CLA buyer passes your name to their friends and gets you more business, odds are you get more CLA buyers. If the S-class buyer passes your name . . .

And let's be honest, just like with houses, many of the people who bought 3 series and C-classes in the recent past were people who could not afford them. They were people who "put it on the credit card" when credit was cheap. The dealers are still probably in the mindset that this is still common, and don't want to waste a couple hours only to find after the credit report that the buyer can't afford the car. However, someone coming by to look at a higher end car, you feel much more secure this person will be able to afford it and that your 2 hours isn't going down the drain.

An example, when I was testing the CLA250 I could tell that even though I called them and arranged a time (and thus showed obvious interest) I could tell both salesmen were not all that interested in me. However, when I told them I was interested in the AMG, they changed their tune, even before I told them what I did.

Think of it this way, if you're a salesman for a jewelry store and a teenager walks in wanting to look at an Omega, you're not really going to be interested in them because you're going to assume they just want to look. If a 40 year old in a collared shirt comes in, you're going to kiss their shoes. Also, if that 40 year old came in to look at an Invicta, you're not interested. But if they come in for the Baume and Mercier I guarantee the salesman will strip down and dance for you if asked.

_________________________
Dang, that was long.
 

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sleepyhead,
That's all true; I can't disagree with anything you said. And, let me add another thing - - - burnout from being lied to by 'customers'. I have an acquaintance, not friend, who likes to go for rides. I accompanied him one time to the Aston dealer where he put the salesman through his whole spiel, and a long ride. While he could afford it, there was no way he ever intended to buy. BUT, none of that excuses either lies or dishonesty from sales staff.
sleepyhead, thanks for playing Devil's Advocate.
 

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How about a pair of shoes!!! All Women love shoes! These are the most popular brand.. Ask your wife..LOL

Pigalle 120mm Black Patent
Not sure if you're kidding or not but shoes are so personal and I have no idea what her size is so that's out of the question. Besides, since I'm going to get it in Germany I was thinking of something uniquely German and perhaps with a Christmas theme. I can't tell by her last name if she might be a Christian or not. Anyway, I'm not going sweat it.
 
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