Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
There is a crisis going on at our dealerships. And it’s called “Addendums”. This is a sore subject with many, as everyone has different viewpoints as to the functionality of addendums. You’re required to keep reading this blog. It costs you $50, but it’s required. Everyone has to pay that reads it.
Sounds pretty stupid, huh? Dealers are using addendums to generate additional profit per vehicle (likely because they are far too weak to sell them without making it a “requirement”). It’s sad and pathetic. Accessory sales, aftermarket, and all of the accompanying bumps should be done on the sales floor, in the finance office, from the parts counter, in the service drive, or on the lot… because it is offered. Not because it is necessary.
Many dealers place addendums on their vehicles solely because their competitors do the same and it is “just what they do around here”. They say “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” But I’m urging you… if you can’t beat them, don’t join them. Beat them in a few years when they’ve sullied their reputation from the antiquated business practices of yesteryear. Ask around the dealership. My guess is the Managers that don’t have to explain to the customers about the addendums love them (for the profit aspect), but the salespeople who have to apologize for the addendums hate them (because of the customer frustration aspect).
I’ve sold “environmental protection packages”, pin stripes, Vin Etch, and every other trivial upsell available. I sold them because of sales skills. If you want someone to pay for something, sell it to them. Don’t require it. You aren’t the government and pin stripes aren’t taxes. I never allowed a sticker on a window to force the issue on the customer. It doesn’t build trust. It builds unhappiness.
I’m currently purchasing a vehicle as I write this. They’ve had the deposit on a vehicle I was promised in 4-6 weeks. Here I am, 10 weeks later… still no word (but that is another blog). However, because this (giant, nation-wide group that everyone knows) dealership requires every customer to purchase a $799 addendum (for paint protection and some worthless “security theft” styled sticker), I do to. After all, the vehicle is being built for me so it’s not as if it is coming from the factory with this. Even when I refused the additions, they said it was required and I couldn’t purchase the vehicle without them. AND I have Ford X-Plan pricing. (Once again, all of this will be in another blog when I take delivery. Oooh, how the hellfire will rain down when that happens). Nonetheless, it is required. I don’t want it. And that makes me strongly dislike the dealership I’ve chosen to do business with. Nevermore.
If addendums are required, so must negative reviews, I believe. And I’ve NEVER read a review from a customer that says “I was really happy they placed an additional $800 required fee onto the car at purchase for some features I never wanted or asked for.” Show me this review and I will relent. This has grown to be a crisis where we have stopped relying on sales skills and started relying on shitty loopholes and bad dealership practices. Away with it. Away with it all. Sell the additions like a professional and stop force-feeding your customers what they don’t want. Stop the addendum crisis. Or you’ll get what is coming to you.
I can’t be the only person that despises these practices. What say you?