Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Sales Associate at Car Dealerships

How much do Sales Associates make at BMW, AUDI, MERC dealers canon8303/30/17
No clue. I assumed these gigs are commission based so if isthisit03/30/17
They don't make much more just because it is an expensive br ruralattorney03/30/17
It is based on commissions. The commissions can be higher ba trollfeeder03/30/17
Had a client who started at about $80,000 at the Mercedes de fettywap03/30/17
I just spoke to someone who has a wealth of experience in th ruralattorney03/30/17
Unless you can get hooked up with some Chinese straw buyers fartacus03/30/17
A relative of someone I know has a business where he finance 3lol03/30/17
That's what do- importer/exporter. artvandelay03/30/17
This is absolutely horrible advice. If the manufacturer fin ruralattorney03/30/17
You don't necessarily need straw buyers. All of the local d soupcansham05/11/17
Buddy of mine sold cars for awhile. IIRC, he said because o majorkong03/30/17
Your buddy's information is generally only true for people w ruralattorney03/30/17
Let's take a step back, and look at whether being a car sale ruralattorney03/30/17
Like many things, the internet hasn't helped the business. anothernjlawyer03/30/17
Is that why car dealerships in DC metro seem to be overpopul sanka05/11/17
"Pre-internet, a car salesman who knew his product inside ou soupcansham05/11/17
A lot of them probably do. The problem is that knowing "ever anothernjlawyer05/12/17
I think it may be *more* valuable now. As an informed buyer soupcansham05/12/17
The salesperson isn't the one who does the monetary deal. Th fettywap05/12/17
Fettywap, that is a newer model of automobile sales that onl ruralattorney05/12/17

canon83 (Mar 30, 2017 - 10:10 am)

How much do Sales Associates make at BMW, AUDI, MERC dealerships?

How much do they make at a PORSCHE dealership?

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isthisit (Mar 30, 2017 - 10:26 am)

No clue.

I assumed these gigs are commission based so if you don't sell you don't eat.

Are you looking to sell cars for a living?

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ruralattorney (Mar 30, 2017 - 10:27 am)

They don't make much more just because it is an expensive brand.

Sales associates are paid based on the amount of profit that the dealership makes on the sale. The profit margin on expensive cars isn't that much more.

What matters the most is how many salespeople are employed by the dealership. A dealership can only sell so many cars per month. The more salespeople, the more the commissions are divided up.

But to answer your question, there are plenty of salespeople at Chevy stores that make more money than salespeople at BMW stores. It's all about selling units, regardless of the brand.

Lastly, this may the worst forum you could have chosen to ask this question.

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trollfeeder (Mar 30, 2017 - 10:31 am)

It is based on commissions. The commissions can be higher based on model, trim level, hitting a sales target, and or selling accessories. You usually get hired by a dealer group, and they assign you to a specific dealership, mainstream brands will have an emphasis on volume, luxury makes will be based on profit per vehicle, and coddling the customer.

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fettywap (Mar 30, 2017 - 2:21 pm)

Had a client who started at about $80,000 at the Mercedes dealership. These jobs do pay better but are harder to get than mass car sales at a Toyota dealership.

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ruralattorney (Mar 30, 2017 - 2:32 pm)

I just spoke to someone who has a wealth of experience in the business. He said that Mercedes sales staff doesn't make more than sales staff in lower end stores. The Mercedes stores just don't have the volume of the more traditional stores, and the customers are not naive and are therefore much better at negotiating. Since the sales staff is paid on profit, this cuts into their commissions.

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fartacus (Mar 30, 2017 - 3:05 pm)

Unless you can get hooked up with some Chinese straw buyers who then ship the cars to China, I read about that somewhere, maybe here.

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3lol (Mar 30, 2017 - 5:05 pm)

A relative of someone I know has a business where he finances the purchase and shipping of new cars to China through straw buyers. Apparently makes bank.

It's not "illegal" per se, just very very shady.

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artvandelay (Mar 30, 2017 - 7:20 pm)

That's what do- importer/exporter.

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ruralattorney (Mar 30, 2017 - 8:30 pm)

This is absolutely horrible advice. If the manufacturer finds out that you are selling to a straw buyer for oversees shipment, there are HUGE penalties. In the worst cases you could lose your franchise. And believe me, they will find out when they notice that you are selling tons of cars that never wind up being registered.

Most high-end car manufacturers keep a list of known exporters. You definitely don't want to be caught selling to someone on that list.

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soupcansham (May 11, 2017 - 4:16 pm)

You don't necessarily need straw buyers. All of the local dealerships serve a growing population of Chinese students who walk in, say, "How much?" and then return with a paper bag full of cash. They may be negotiators but they don't seem to be interested in negotiating as it's not a matter of expense.

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majorkong (Mar 30, 2017 - 2:57 pm)

Buddy of mine sold cars for awhile. IIRC, he said because of the low margin, the commission on a new car was a flat rate of $100. The only decent commissions he could earn was on the used stuff, that generally had much higher margins.

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ruralattorney (Mar 30, 2017 - 3:12 pm)

Your buddy's information is generally only true for people who sell low end models of low end makes.

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ruralattorney (Mar 30, 2017 - 3:21 pm)

Let's take a step back, and look at whether being a car salesperson is better than being a lawyer.

Here is the reality: The average car salesperson makes in the $40's. Sure, they don't have student loans, but they also put in a TON of hours and work to get to that number. If you think that law is bad for a family life, try selling cars.

That being said, there are some phenomenally successful salespeople. In the right dealership, it is possible to earn in the upper $100's. But these people have a true gift and they are very few and far between. They are the top 0.1%.

If you are willing to work hard and are decent at selling, it's not that hard to make in the $60's or more. For someone with a high school diploma that's not too shabby. And if you are smart, there is room for advancement into management. The best salespeople, however, don't want to be a manager because they can make more money selling cars.

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anothernjlawyer (Mar 30, 2017 - 4:01 pm)

Like many things, the internet hasn't helped the business.

Pre-internet, a car salesman who knew his product inside out, knew his competitor's products inside and out, could read a prospective purchaser, convince them that his car was the best, and get the most money out of a sale had valuable skills.

Today, anybody who has the wherewithal to buy a car can go on the internet, get every possible piece of information concerning the car, including what a fair price is, and what the other options are, and go into a dealership not willing to pay more (if anything) than 1 or 2% over a "great deal" price. I'd be willing to bet that there's much more regularity in profit margins today than there was a generation ago, which means that all the skills which made a good salesman valuable are less important now.

Go into your local dealership. Not all, but a large percentage of the guys selling cars are probably under 30, with a high school diploma and not much else. Dealerships just need someone reasonably personable to interact with the customers.

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sanka (May 11, 2017 - 1:30 pm)

Is that why car dealerships in DC metro seem to be overpopulated with H1b visa girls from Eastern Europe?

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soupcansham (May 11, 2017 - 4:22 pm)

"Pre-internet, a car salesman who knew his product inside out, knew his competitor's products inside and out, could read a prospective purchaser, convince them that his car was the best, and get the most money out of a sale had valuable skills.

Today, anybody who has the wherewithal to buy a car can go on the internet, get every possible piece of information concerning the car, including what a fair price is, and what the other options are, and go into a dealership not willing to pay more (if anything) than 1 or 2% over a "great deal" price. "

If it's your job to sell, say, Hondas, why wouldn't you spend a couple of hours learning everything you can about the ten models they make?

Pricing aside (because that may be a fair gripe), I can't tell you how many times I asked a basic question at a dealership and had a salesperson say "Idunno" or give stupid answer. We had one lady at a Toyota dealership tell us to go over to the posted copy of Consumer Reports showing reliability numbers. She didn't seem to realize that the car we asked about (a Scion FR-S) was second from the bottom on that list. The only car below it was the Subaru BRZ, which is the same damn car.

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anothernjlawyer (May 12, 2017 - 10:53 am)

A lot of them probably do. The problem is that knowing "everything" about Hondas doesn't make a salesman as valuable as it used to, because the customer has access to all the same information without asking a salesman.

Before I bought my last car, I had read all the consumer reports on the car, and all the comparable models in its class, reviewed pricing guidelines, again both on the one I was looking at and comparable models, and went into the dealership knowing exactly what I wanted and how much I was willing to pay.

When you're in that position, all a salesman can really do is get on your nerves by talking too much or say something that you know is untrue, which kills his credibility.......frankly, I wouldn't trust anything a car salesman tells me anyway because it's common knowledge that they work on commission and are desperate to make sales.

There are certainly low-information buyers, and people who don't understand the concept of pricing or interest beyond the monthly payment the salesman can offer......I bet that's where a lot of the money is made.

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soupcansham (May 12, 2017 - 11:05 am)

I think it may be *more* valuable now. As an informed buyer I was pissed off when the guy who does little but discuss these cars all day knew less than I did after an hour of internet research. I don't think it's necessarily a matter of winning sales, but instead not losing them.

I agree with you that talking too much can put people off.

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fettywap (May 12, 2017 - 11:01 am)

The salesperson isn't the one who does the monetary deal. There's a manager who does that. When I bought my car, I was turned over to the finance manager from the start to work out a deal. My saleswoman has nothing to do with what I agreed to pay. The salesperson takes you for a test drive, explains the car to you, and has you fill out the application. Sounds like most of you are going to some nasty used car lot and wondering why you didn't get luxury service.

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ruralattorney (May 12, 2017 - 1:23 pm)

Fettywap, that is a newer model of automobile sales that only a very small percentage of stores are using right now. The idea is that you meet with a product specialist whose only job is to get you excited about the car. The specialist is supposed to have excellent knowledge of the product, but is also supposed to be a cheerleader of sorts. They are not paid on commission, and their job is to find the best car for the customer.

Once they have you good and excited, only then do you meet with someone else to discuss the deal.

It remains to be seen if this is a fad or if this is will be the way cars will primarily be sold in the future.

But your characterization of other people going to a "nasty used car lot" if they didn't experience this model is patently unfair and untrue.

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