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  • The Car Pro: Worst Bait & Switch Ad I’ve Seen This Year

    The Car Pro: Worst Bait & Switch Ad I’ve Seen This Year

    Just when you think it couldn’t guess worse.  Typically, one car dealer will start a scam and others will copy it.  It spreads from coast-to-coast.  Such is the case with this catchy headline that is making the rounds:

    bait-switch-ad-jerry-article-dec-15

    How could you possibly pass that deal?  It sure looks good UNTIL you get to the fine print that is buried in the ad.

    The Disclaimer explained


    Here is the disclaimer for you to see (if you can find it), then I will translate it for you:

    Trade-in vehicle must be a 2013 or newer model with 120,000 or less miles on it.  Vehicle must have a clean CarFax, salvage titles will not be accepted.  Offer does not apply to trade-ins with an original base MSRP that exceeds $40,0000 or trade-in vehicles that have had any major OEM modifications made to them.  The trade-in amount offered for qualifying vehicles will be the vehicles base MSRP less $.20 per mile put on the vehicle, additional reconditioning costs and any manufacturer incentives, rebates and/or discounts that the vehicle qualified for at the time it was purchased.  Offer only valid when trade-in value is applied towards the purchase of a new Nissan from current dealer inventory, excluding 2021 Nissan Rogue models and all commercial vehicles.  Offer with approved credit and cannot be combined with any other offers.  See dealer for additional details. 

     

     

    So lets take it line by line:

     

    #1- Trade-in vehicle must be a 2013 or newer model with 120,000 or less miles on it.

    Pretty straight forward on this one, must be a 2013 or newer with under 120,000 miles.


    #2- Vehicle must have a clean CarFax, salvage titles will not be accepted.

    Again, no explanation needed.


    #3- Offer does not apply to trade with an original base MSRP that does not exceed $40,0000 or to trade-in vehicles that have had any major OEM modifications made to them.

    Your trade-in must have had a MSRP (before any options) of less than $40,000 and if you’ve made any changes to the vehicle like bigger tires and wheels, exhaust changes, even tinting the windows would disqualify you from the offer.


    #4- The trade-in amount offered for qualifying vehicles will be the vehicles base MSRP less $.20 per mile put on the vehicle, additional reconditioning cost and any manufacturer incentives, rebates and/or discounts that the vehicle qualified for at the time it was purchased.

    It’s starting to get murky now. So, you take the base MSRP when your trade was new, deduct $.20 per mile, minus what the dealer says the car needs, like new tires, a detail job, they’ll likely hit you for a tune-up, and inflated prices to fix any small dents and scratches.  Oh, and if there were any rebates when you bought it, that is deducted, too.


    #5- Offer only valid when trade-in value is applied towards the purchase of a new Nissan from current dealer inventory, excluding 2021 Nissan Rogue models and all commercial vehicles.

    This will eliminate a lot of people from the offer.  No dealers have much inventory right now, but you have to find something in the dealer inventory, as long as it is not a 2021 Rogue or commercial vehicle.


    #6- Offer with approved credit and cannot be combined with any other offers. 

    The approved credit part is legit, but if you do happen to find a new vehicle in stock, you won’t get any rebates, special financing, or special lease offers on the new vehicle.


    #7- See dealer for additional details.

    This gives the dealer the right to change or add any rules at any time that might disqualify you.

     

    An example of a trade-in value


    I looked up the window sticker of a random 2015 Ford F-150 SuperCrew XLT 2-wheel drive.  Let’s say the miles are average at 90,000.  So, what would the truck be worth under this dealer’s offer? 

    Total MSRP was $37,450 but remember, we only get to use the base MSRP before options and freight which was $32,315.  That is the number we’ll start with.

    f-150-sticker-price-monroney-dec-15

    • Starting price:                                                           $32,315
    • Mileage (90,000 @ .20 cents per mile):        -$18,000
    • Estimated typical reconditioning:                 -  $1,000
    • Rebates in effect in 2015:                                   - $5,050

    DEALER TRADE-IN OFFER:                                           $8,265

    I pulled up the Manheim Market Report (MMR) for the fictional truck above.  This is scientific data based on actual Manheim Auto Auction sales in the last 30 days: 

    MMR Sale Price To A Licensed Dealer: $22,100

    I found a very similar truck at one of our dealers that has 5,000 more miles, but equipped the same:

    cavendar-gmc-buick-west-screenshot

    Retail Price: $26,500.

     

    Conclusion


    This dealer’s ad is your textbook bait & switch.  This is the kind of ads I warn you about.  Everything favors the dealer.  There are a lot of ways they can wiggle out of honoring what they say they’ll do, but even if they honor the ad, in this example your trade in value would be $13,835 under the wholesale value.

    When you get excited about a dealers ad online, on TV, on radio, in a newspaper, or if they reach out to you some other way, just remember my dear Dad’s words:

    If it sounds too good to be true, you can bet it is.