Reader Question: Advertising – but Not Selling?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Glenn asks: I am currently seeing TV ads for local dealers in my area. These ads are offering new and attractive lease offers and very attractive financing  on the new Silverado and other Chevy models. So the wife and I visited at least three dealerships within 25 miles of our home only to discover empty lots. Maybe one or two loaded up pickups. Why are they advertising incentives on vehicles they do not have to sell?

My reply: Well, some of these ads are national – even though they will say things like, “visit your local Chevy store.” There is also the old bait and switch tactic. They will advertise X – to get you to come on down – and then try to sell you Y.

Now, the good news is that if they advertise X, they are obliged to sell it to you – even if it is “not in stock.” You may have to wait for it, if it’s not on the lot and has to be ordered. But I am pretty sure the law is they have to order it and sell it to you at the price and under the terms (e.g., financing) advertised.

You might also consider leveraging this business to your advantage. What I mean is, if they run an ad offering a Tahoe LS for $32,000 (hypothetical numbers here) at 0 percent interest but there are none on the lot available for purchase – but there is a higher trim Tahoe LT available – ask them to sell that one to you for the same price. Point out that you’re here and ready to buy what was advertised but aren’t interested in being upsold. They can make a sale – on the LT – or lose one. It’s up to them.

They may not go for it – but then again, they may.

. . .

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  1. Eric, I think there’s a disclaimer on most of those ads (At least there used to be back when I used to consume mass media where such ads were run- but that was a long time ago) which says something like “Offer limited to dealer stock”- And even when lots were fully stocked, they’d make sure to only have ONE vehicle that actually conformed to the specifications of what was being if you didn’t like the color, options, or if it was sold already…you’d be out of luck. Car dealers are scum.**

    **=(((This post only applies on Tuesdays in months which contain the letter R. Offer valid only if you’re a one-armed albino Mongoloid,and you purchase the vehicle from a salesman named Stan when he’s wearing his 7″ wide plaid tie. Tax, tags, tires and engine not included. Odds of actually getting this deal are one in 350 million. Your mileage may vary)))


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