Every profession has its own jargon or slang and automotive sales is no different. Most of the vocabulary is meant to streamline communication, but knowing these terms could make the difference whether you get scammed or not.

According to automotive news, An Ohio lemon attorney obtained a list of terms from a dealership involved in a case. You can see the full list here, but below are some specific terms that should alert you if you hear them next time you shop. Keep in mind that most of these tricks don’t happen on the sales floor, but in the Financial office.

GO: This is where the buyer is tricked into believing one thing and it really turns out to be something else.

EIGHTY FIVE FIFTY FIVE, 8550: This is the GM paint code for black paint. It is sometimes used by a dealership to refer to a potential buyer’s race as a slang term. This may also occur with other franchise dealerships using their manufacturer’s paint code for the color black.

ETCH, ETCH-A-SKETCH: Often referred to as theft protection or a similar term, this is a soft add-on product advertised as a product that will reduce the risk of vehicle theft. To apply it, the dealer uses a chemical that eats or etches into one or more glasses. windows a series of numbers that the dealership says can help police find the owner of the car if they recover it after it’s been stolen, usually sold for hundreds of dollars by a car dealership, the proceeds itself can be found on the internet as a self-installed kit which will cost around $20, the window etching system allows maximum car dealership profit at little cost and some say the etching gives little or no real benefit to the consumer.

Five-finger closure: A technique used by some car dealerships to have the consumer sign sales documents without the consumer realizing that the numbers on the papers have been raised beyond what was discussed orally with the consumer, for example , the dealer’s finance manager holds the stack of sales papers still with one hand planted in the middle of the top document while pointing to the signature line with the other hand and asking the buyer to sign here and here and here, etc. ., using his hand to cover an area of ​​the sales document where numbers appear that the dealer does not want the buyer to see. Then the dealer sets that sales paper aside and places another in front of the consumer and again places one hand in the middle of the page while pointing to the next signature line with the other hand. The process is repeated through all sales documents so that the buyer does not realize that the sales figures have been changed on the previous document, in other words, the repetitive routine disguises the fraud that has taken place. produced earlier in the process. It seems to the consumer that the CFO is helpful in keeping the page still, but in reality the technique is used to trick the customer into believing that the numbers, such as price, etc., are the same as those whose it was discussed earlier. when in reality they are not. It is sometimes also called a five-finger spread or a five-finger thrust.

HEAT SHEET: A document in the sales literature that the dealership has the customer’s initial, usually along the right margin, that indicates the customer has been advised of a long list of specific disclosures and disclaimers, many of which are not may not have happened at all. Then when the buyer later discovers an act of dealer fraud and returns with a complaint, the dealer will pull out the heat sheet and indicate where the buyer signed or initialed saying the act did not occur or that he was informed, etc. In other words, like a heat sink used in metal welding, the thermal foil takes the buyer’s complaint and neutralizes it.

HIGH PENNY: To adjust a customer’s monthly payment. For example: from $101.13 to $101.93. It’s safe to assume that if the customer pays $101.13 for a car payment, they’ll pay $101.93 without thinking twice.

HIGH PENNY ROLL: This is where the financial seller’s computer is configured to automatically increase, ie, go up, the numbers of the transaction to a higher figure without tipping it to a dollar increase. Doing this on every trade can create $20,000 to $40,000 in extra profit per year, as it adds 1 to 98 cents to each payment. Also called High Penny or Penny Pumping.

PAYMENT PACKAGING: where the seller quotes a higher than necessary monthly payment amount to the buyer in order to overcome objections when the financial seller increases the payment even more because he is adding to the transaction, with or without the buyer’s knowledge, smooth addition of products like Etch or extended warranties, etc. For example, the seller knows that the normal monthly payment amount might be $275, but he deliberately tells the buyer that it will be $325, so there is $50 left over for the financial seller to wrap up. the agreement with complementary products at additional cost. A more deceptive way to package the payment is to trick the buyer into agreeing on a monthly payment number without the buyer knowing the length of the loan. This way, the financial seller can create more profit in the transaction by simply increasing the term of the loan without the buyer even realizing that the overall cost to the buyer is higher than it otherwise would be.

CUSTOMER SEALING: Means that the customer’s sales documents have been signed and placed in an envelope which has been licked and sealed and put in his hand, usually with the dealer’s salesman telling him that the envelope contains important sales documents which the customer must take it home and put in a safe place. If the dealer has packaged the deal with add-on products that the buyer is unaware of, this hurts fraud as it discourages the buyer from looking at the numbers to make sure they match what the seller said. that they would be. If the dealer staples the envelope, it could mean that the dealer is definitely trying to hide something printed on the sales papers by making it harder to remove the papers without tearing them, usually just where the wrong number is typed. .

SOFTWARE ADDITION: This refers to items sold by the F&I manager that increase the overall transaction price of the vehicle to the consumer but add no material value to the goods sold, which is why they are called soft add items. They typically include things like Service Contracts, Etch, Disability Insurance, Wheel Protection, Gap Insurance, and more. Often these additional items are pre-printed on sales and financing forms. This is where most dealerships make their biggest profit margins in a transaction.

YO YO DEAL: This is when all phases of the purchase and delivery are completed on the same day and a few days later the dealership calls the customer back and claims they need to sign a new finance contract or deposit more money or that the lender asks the buyer to obtain a service contract or an extended warranty in order to obtain approval for a loan, etc. This may or may not be true. It is sometimes used by a dealership to force the buyer to purchase softer complementary products as part of the transaction. Sometimes it is also called punctual delivery.

Of course, most of the time the customer is unaware of these conversations between dealership employees, but given how personally the dealerships took this Edmund’s ad that criticized hagglingno wonder many thieves want to keep you in the dark.

Although there are many dealers who don’t play these games, and I’ve worked with many of them, you can’t be too careful. Here are some quick tips to reduce your risk of being “sealed.”

-Always get your quotes in writing.

-Read all your documents carefully and make sure the numbers match your quote.

– Bring a calculator and do the math.

-Ask for a fee that doesn’t seem right.

– Be ready to go.

If you have a question, advice or anything you’d like to share about buying a car, email me at [email protected] and be sure to include your Kinja handle.

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