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Car Dealer Hell
Car Dealer Hell
Car Dealer Hell
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Car Dealer Hell

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Be armed and ready the next time you buy a car. Car Dealer Hell is a complete car buyer’s guide. This book exposes the scams, gimmicks and deceitful practices used by dealers every day. Get useful checklists, summaries and resources that will help you avoid car dealership traps while getting the best deal for your new or used car.

Release dateDec 2, 2009
Car Dealer Hell
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Charles G. Irion

Charles G. Irion is a publisher, best-selling and award-winning author, successful entrepreneur, adventurer, philanthropist, executive producer, and actor. For several decades, he has served as the sole proprietor and broker for U.S. Park Investments, a leading operator of Manufactured Home and RV communities in the United States. Before that, he was a pharmaceutical representative for Johnson and Johnson, McNeil Laboratories after completing his Masters of Business Administration in International Marketing and Finance from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. One of his life-long passions is for the written word. Determined to make his dreams a reality, he wrote and published fourteen books comprised of the Summit Murder Mystery series, and the Hell series. Inspired by his 1987 attempt to climb Mt. Everest, and a 2011 summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, each book in the Summit Murder Mystery series is set atop the highest point of the world's seven continents. Deaths from falls, avalanches, illness, heart attacks, and high altitude sickness are a matter of course, and when you add in murder, action and adventure, the combination makes for unforgettable reads. The climb begins with the first book in the series, Murder on Everest, and is followed with WIKI ARTICLE Murder on Elbrus, Murder on Mt. McKinley, Murder on Puncak Jaya, Murder on Aconcagua, Murder on Vinson Massif, and ends with Murder on Kilimanjaro. There is also a novella, Abandoned on Everest. The Hell Series includes, Remodeling Hell, Autograph Hell, Car Dealer Hell, and Divorce Hell. He also published a fun novelty cookbook for outdoorsmen called, Roadkill Cooking for Campers - "The Best Dang Wild Game Cookbook in the World." Many years ago, Irion's first medical mission was to Benjamin Hill Senora, Mexico with the Phil Am Lion's Club. Even then, he knew that medical missions were experiences he wanted to continue. Charles is currently a Director of the Phil-Am Lions Club in Phoenix, Arizona and has participated in medical missions in a village near Subic Bay, Philippines and in Caborca, Mexico to provide approximately 300 free cataract surgeries to needy patients. He also traveled to the Municiple Hospital in San Pablo City, Laguna Philippines with the 3000 Club, to administer eye and diabetic screenings for those in need. In June 2011, Irion went on a trip to Mt. Kilimanjaro with the K2 Adventures Foundation. They took Project C.U.R.E. supplies and used them to examine more than 200 patients. The following year, he visited Lima, Peru to help translate for the doctors and nurses at a C.U.R.E. clinic for a day. In addition to philanthropy trips and translating services, Charles participated in the training session at the Denver headquarters to become a certified Needs Assessment Representative. He went to Burkina Faso, Africa for the field training requirement and his first assessment alone was in Cuenca, Ecuador to conduct assessments on a hospital and a mobile surgical unit. His next assessment trip to Nicaragua included assessments of Project C.U.R.E. Clinics, where he translated for the doctors and passed out medicines and vitamins to children and adults. Since then, he has also conducted needs assessments to Ouanaminthe, Haiti; El Banco,Colombia; Santa Marta, Colombia; Buenaventura, Colombia; Cali, Colombia; Boma, DRC; Lumbumbashi, DRC; Kalemie, DRC; Lima, Peru; Machu Picchu, Peru; Bahia Kino, Mexico; Nogales, Mexico; Benjamin Hill, Sonora Mexico; Santa Cruz, Bolivia; Belize City, Belize; Cuba; Antigua, Guatemala City, Guatemala; San Jose, Costa Rica; Jaco, Costa Rica; Panama City, Panama; Zambia, Zaire, DRC; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Moshi, Tanzania; Manilia, Philippines; Zambales, Philippines; San Pablo, Philippines; Kenya, and Mumbai, India. He loves being involved with such an amazing organization and helping those that really need it. In that spirit, his slogan is One World, One PeopleTM Irion's passion for adventure has encompassed the full gamut. He has traveled to over 60 countries throughout the world. SCUBA diving is a favorite hobby of Irion's and he has seen the underwater world from California to Mexico, Costa Rica, the South China sea, Belize, Colombia, Rio De Janeiro, the island of Phuket in Thailand, Bali, and in Subic Bay of the Philippines. Irion has also skydived throughout Arizona, loved the thrill of white water rafting on Pacuare River in Costa Rica, and in 1988, Irion completed a week long course in High Wall Mountain Repelling conducted in the Bavarian Alps.

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    Book preview

    Car Dealer Hell - Charles G. Irion

    Car Dealer Hell

    Charles G. Irion

    Published by Irion Books at Smashwords

    Copyright © 2009 by Charles G Irion C.I. Trust.

    First Edition 2009

    10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

    ISBN 978 982598634 Ebook Version

    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in, or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

    Smashwords Edition, License Notes

    This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

    Cover Design by Johnny Miguel, www.johnnymiguel.com

    Book Design by Jason Crye

    Irion Books


    4462 E. Horseshoe Rd.

    Phoenix, Arizona 85028

    email: mailto:charles@charlesirion.com



    This memo from the Underworld, disguised as a book, is dedicated

    to those who have gone before me, those who are now with me,

    and those who will inevitably follow my footsteps into

    the netherworld known as Car Dealer Hell.


    You’ve met this guy—in your nightmares! He’s the mouthy car dealership sales minion. His great-grandfather was a sneaky horse trader, so it runs in the family.

    Chapter One: My Story: Charles And Chriselle

    It’s one thing for the old man to be taken advantage of in the course of a few deals, but the devil be damned if I’ll let my sweet, lovely, trusting daughter be lied to and financially ravaged by these beasts. A father must teach his children well!

    Chapter Two: Horse Tradin’: A Short History

    When you read these true tales of old-time horse traders, you realize that the writer of Ecclesiastes was right: There is nothing new under the sun. Every underhanded, switch-and-bait trick used by car dealerships was first perfected by horse traders, who eventually went to hell, where they taught aspiring car dealers. Learn it all here so you don’t repeat the mistakes of your Great-Great Uncle Bartholomew.

    Chapter Three: The Rise Of Car Dealerships

    Did you ever wonder what happened to professional horse traders? They bought plaid sports jackets, opened car dealerships and hired other hoss swappers as their salespeople. There wasn’t much to sell at first, but a man who could turn a tidy profit on a blind horse could certainly peddle a used car with a little hail damage. Car dealerships grew from the talents of bold American entrepreneurs, showmen, ad writers with liquid language and a few outright geniuses.

    Chapter Four: Car Dealership Horror Stories

    Until recently, people thought they could only experience eternity in two places: heaven and hell. Turns out there’s a third location—car dealerships! In this chapter, normal nice people like you tell their true tales of eternal woe with dealerships. They’ve learned their lessons; now they want to spare you the agony of eternal torment.

    Chapter Five: Dealer Gimmicks, Scams, And ‘Come-On’ Promotions

    Unless you’ve never bought a car at a dealership, you wouldn’t believe the dark lies and swampy scams employed by these demons—The Bump and Grind, the Ten Surprises of Fine Print, Fiendishly-Clever Psychological Manipulations, and then the famous Must Have Been a Misprint in that Ad Come-on. That’s just for openers! Learn how you can counter these nefarious deceptions so you can keep some light in your life.

    Chapter Six: My New Best Friend – My Lawyer the Shark: A Legal Perspective

    You’ve heard all the lawyer jokes, but lawyers themselves think the funniest punch line is when they can take an unethical car dealership to court, where he loses his pants – or rather, his suit – and is exposed for the slimy creature he really is. Now that’s funny!

    Chapter Seven: Salvation! Strategies to Stay Out of Car Dealer Hell

    Finally, some good news! You are in charge of your own eternal car dealership destiny. Armed with the information and strategies in this chapter, you will be so powerful that you’ll never need to spend time in car dealer hell, or even purgatory. Don’t be a wimp; be a champion warrior. Slice through the darkness and let the sunshine in! These invaluable buying strategies are down loadable separately from the book for $3.95—on line only at www.CarDealerHellTheBook.com


    It’s time to shop for a new car, so you stop by a dealership. An overweight guy sporting checkered pants and slicked-back hair is on you like a cheap suit before you can slam your car door.

    Welcome! Welcome! Welcome! he says. I’m Elmer, and I’ve got news—no, great news for you! You’re about to get the deal of the century! But first let me tell you a little bit about my favorite subject: myself!

    You’re listening in amazement and thinking, Hey! This guy has teeth only a dentist could love.

    I was born in a cabin I built with my own two hands! I won a Nobel Prize for literature. I own a prize-winning snail farm. I have climbed Mt. Everest 10 — no, 12 times! I have single-handedly reupholstered 15 different cars in one day. I sold Elvis his pink Cadillac…

    The sun reflects off the medallion on his gold necklace, momentarily blinding you. You blink. When you open your eyes again, the Elmer of today has morphed into another Elmer—a smooth-talking horse trader from 150 years ago.

    Now, to be honest, this Elmer says, this here roan mare, I want to keep her. But the missus gave me marching orders this morning to come back with some cash money so she could buy a new dress. Fact is, friend, you’d be doin’ me a favor if you didn’t buy this horse, ‘cause then I’d be able to look Abigail in the eye and tell her I tried. Course, that wouldn’t work either because she knows how much this beauty is worth and would throw a pan at me fer lyin’. If you don’t mind me saying so, friend, my roan would sure be a big improvement over that ole’ sway-back nag you got there.

    You rub your eyes, but he’s not finished.

    Course, I’d need a fair amount to boot. Sixty dollars should do it.

    You close your eyes again and shake your head, then wish you hadn’t, because the modern Elmer has returned…

    "…I’m a wanted outlaw in Bolivia. I once swam the English Channel in one hour. I wrestled a bear for 12 hours before he gave up. I broke Forrest Gump’s table tennis record. I am an expert on plywood! I sang opera in the Met. My good looks have made women swoon in public and worse in private! I once flew a 747 and landed safely, even though I had never flown before. I have won the lottery 9 times. I can cook a 3-minute egg in 30 seconds.

    Anyway, you get the idea — I am amazing! Plus, I’m honest!

    Before you get away from the dealership—hopefully, without buying a car—you realize that Elmer has about as much honesty as Mussolini, and an attitude that only a dictator could appreciate. You also understand that Elmer is a reincarnation of a slick-talking horse trader from the 1850s.

    Car salespeople will recoil in horror at this caricature. But there’s enough truth here to chill the gizzard of anyone who has shopped for cars long enough to recognize the pattern. Many people even put off buying or trading cars because they just don’t want to go through the hassle of talking to Elmer. If you recognize any part of Elmer-the-car-salesperson or Elmer-the-horse-trader, you’re ready to read this book.

    Car Dealer Hell will fascinate you with emotions, facts and stories that will bring your own memories of buying cars rushing back to consciousness, right where you don’t want them. You hid details of those terrifying events in a deep chasm of your brain for the same reason you hid memories of breaking your leg or falling off a diving board or losing your job. Thinking about it just makes you mad again.

    I apologize in advance for any ill effects this book may provoke, but my inspiration to write it was overwhelming, driven by the experiences I shared with my sweet 16-year-old daughter.

    Chriselle and I just wanted to buy her a car—but it wasn’t that simple. (This didn’t surprise me, but it sure did her.) In Chapter 1, you’ll read our true stories and the unfathomable things dealers did to us. We survived intact, but we both grew thicker skin.

    The history of car dealership deceit began long before the automobile was invented. In Chapter 2, you’ll chuckle at how horse traders used some of the same tricks and tactics that today’s horseless carriage dealers use. Well, actually, they used all of today’s tricks, plus a few more!

    Chapter 3 follows the rise of American car dealerships. Even Harry Truman thought about opening one before they got so downright nasty and competitive!

    Here they are! Chapter 4 announces the winners of the Most Hellish Car Dealer Story contest from our Internet competition. Read the story of our $500 grand prize winner, as well as a compilation of other horror stories. All are real and frightening and revealing.

    Chapter 5 exposes the scams, gimmicks and deceitful practices used by dealers every day. This information is revealed to you in a way you’ll be able to understand so you’ll be able to protect yourself when the time comes. This chapter alone can save you thousands of dollars.

    In Chapter 6, an attorney with experience in auto fraud cases details four examples of outrageous dealership behavior that landed three of them in front of a judge. These cases are real and shocking. Even the lawyer was amazed, and he was one of the victims!

    Finally, in Chapter 7 you’ll find salvation, with useful checklists, summaries and resources that will help you navigate through car dealership mine fields and stay out (or get out) of their unique hell. This information will help you avoid car dealership traps while getting the best deal for your new or used car.

    Time’s a-wasting! Go ahead and read this book now before Elmer claims you as his next victim!

    Chaper 1

    My Story: Charles and Chriselle

    Time was, even the thought of buying a new car caused my anxiety level to rise dramatically. Breathing became labored, my palms sweat, and my heart rate skyrocketed. I felt like President Kennedy must have felt when he first learned about missiles based in Cuba. But I had to go to battle with car dealers because I wanted to experience the smell of a fine, fresh car, the thrill of more horsepower, the lovely sight of a chromed-up, shiny stallion sitting in my driveway drawing envious looks from my neighbors. Besides, by the time I got up the courage to shop for a new car, my old one was starting to cost too much in repairs.

    In my experience, negotiating with car dealers is much like conducting a war—only on a personal level. Car lots are war zones where acts of sabotage and deception take place every day in order to accomplish the mission: take money from the wallets of unsuspecting customers. Only the veteran car shopper is able to maneuver his way from the car lot to the showroom and drive away with the car of his dreams without being destroyed by car dealers’ tactics, obstacles and land mines.

    But things weren’t always this way. I grew up in a simpler time, before dealer games were the standard operating procedure. Sure, they had their techniques, but car dealers didn’t have the take no prisoners attitude you’ll see today.

    It’s almost incomprehensible to think that I bought my first new car in 1968 for $1,800. This might not sound like much money by today’s standards, but back then, it was considerable. I worked several jobs to pay cash for my new treasure. I was a senior in high school, and that shiny new convertible made me the big guy on campus.

    If we fast-forward through college and several jobs where I was given company cars, we arrive in the 1980s, and a rude awakening to the fact that something had changed. To my surprise, simplicity had been hijacked. A more sinister way of doing business had evolved—something out in the open, something suspiciously hellish. It was a kind of hell that demanded that buyers learn negotiating skills, patience, and Superman-like vision. You needed a strategy before you entered this flaming battleground.

    I realized that I had a whole new learning curve ahead of me. I needed to bring myself up to speed with all the dealer tactics and deceptions so I wouldn’t be considered a soft target. As with swimming, you either learned quickly, or you drowned. This pool seemed to have no bottom, and it was filled with sharks—grenades with fins.

    The lessons I learned, I learned the hard way—and the expensive way. Naively, I believed the ads that dealers placed in the newspaper. I believed the salesman when he warned me that this was my only option and that this was the lowest price I could get.

    But as my experience grew though the purchase of several cars and SUVs, I discovered the vast arsenal of cunning tactics car salespeople use to fool, baffle and manipulate. I was shocked and angered to uncover the number of weapons they deployed to get me to spend more of my money than necessary. At first I didn’t know how to deal with them, but boy did I learn! In fact, I’ve learned a lot, but every time I purchase a new car, I still find new and more sophisticated land mines and an enemy ready to catch me off guard.

    My last, but not least, car dealer hell story was in 2007. It began with the temptation to upgrade my ride. I fantasized about owning the latest and the greatest wheels, the kind the Joneses only dreamt about. I was seduced by sexy ads from clever ad agencies employed by the manufacturer’s Ministry of Propaganda. I tried

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