A car dealership will hire an outside third party to come in and promote a high energetic Slasher Sales Event. These events can last anywhere from three to five days or more and are normally held over a long holiday weekend. These types of events attract people who are in the market to buy a used car.
Slasher Sales are staffed by highly trained professional car salesman to create excitement and bring customers to the dealership in hopes of getting a new or used car at an incredibly low price.
These dealer events are also called "Government Liquidation Event" or "Repo Joe Events." This scam has many names. These events bring thousands of dollars in profits to car dealerships in just a few short days by tricking car shoppers into thinking they're paying less for a vehicle than what they really are.
Read on to learn everything you ever wanted to know about the "Used Car Slasher Sale Advertising Scam" but didn't know who to ask.
What is a Used Car Slasher Sale?
A Slasher Sale is one of the most exciting of the car dealership used vehicle sales events. These types of events may go by different names, Slasher, Repo Joe, etc. Some of these sales consist of free food, door prizes, DJ's, loud music, giveaways, and sometimes an actual vehicle sold for a very low price ($88).
These types of sales events are usually held on a weekend and towards the end of the month. A dealer will normally seek out and pay an outside company to host the event at their dealership. These companies employ seasoned professionals, highly trained in the art of retail used car sales, negotiation, and manipulation.
The problem with a lot of these sales is the people running them do not always tell the truth. They will tell you whatever you want to hear to get you to buy the car during the event.
The reason they don't care is because, they'll be packed up and gone to the next sale while you're left behind to deal with the dealer if anything goes wrong with the vehicle or the financing.
How does a Used Car Slasher Sales Event Work?
The company hosting the slasher sale will do an all out, in your face advertising blitz on radio, TV, direct mail, and newspaper in the days leading up to the event. The advertisements will offer car's being sold at incredibly low prices, including a car that will be sold for $88 or less.
These companies will have a disc jockey set up at the dealership playing music and sometimes have free food available or even door prizes.
The outside company will arrive at the dealership the night before and write the price on the windshields with a grease pencil. The secret is when they price the vehicles they will be marked up $4,000 to $8,000 or more over the true cost of the car.
When they start slashing the price on the windshield in front of you, it gives you the impression you're receiving thousands of dollars off the retail price of the vehicle. Pretty simple gimmick but you'd be surprised how well it works.
I've hosted Slasher Sale Events at my dealerships where the company put an actual fence around my dealership the night before the event. This creates curiosity and excitement as the line of people starts to grow at the front gate.
We hosted a Repo Joe sale at one of my dealerships and as you came through the gate you had to "register." When you registered you had to give your social security number (you would be amazed how many people would just tell you their SS#). We would pull their credit right there on the spot and hand them a certain color balloon and tell them they must keep it with them.
If you had a red balloon the dealership staff knew you had horrible credit. If you had a blue balloon you're credit was in the middle. If you had a green balloon you had GREAT credit. Needless to say, you had salespeople all over you if you were walking around with a green balloon.
Slasher Sales Event Advertisement Example
The idea behind the Slasher Sale ad is to get people excited about buying a car below what they would normally buy it for.
Don't get caught up in all of the excitement going on around you on the lot. The whole idea behind the type of event is to get people excited, impulse buy, and make uneducated car buying decisions.
These types of sales events bring in a lot of used car sales and profits for car dealerships across the country. Some of the good companies out there may sell up 80 cars or more making the car dealership $150,000.00+ in profits in only a 3 day time period.
The company that staffs the event will normally get a percentage of the total profit made from the cars sold. Another reason you should be very cautious when attending one of these types of events.
Car buying tip - With there being so many variables with used cars. It is almost impossible to figure the true cost a dealer paid for a used car. To protect yourself, the best thing you can do is try to estimate a dealer's used car cost. I'll show you how to estimate a dealer's used car cost on any used car in my Quick Used Car Buyer's Guide.
How to Avoid the Slasher Sale Scam
- Basically to avoid a used car slasher sale scam or any other dealer event sale is to avoid attending one all together.
- The best way to shop for a used car and get the lowest price is to get dealer's to send you used car competitive price quotes to your inbox. The online companies we recommend are CarClearanceDeals and CarsDirect.
- Remember if the advertised offer is too good to be true, it most likely is.
- The number one key to not being ripped off when buying a new or used car is to take your time and do your homework before contacting a car dealership.
- Take someone with you before car shopping. This will help keep you from making a bad car buying decision.
- Before buying a used car protect yourself by having the vehicle inspected by an independent mechanic and also obtain a used vehicle history report.
Now that you know how to recognize and avoid the "Slasher Sale Event Scam," to familiarize yourself with other common car dealer scams committed in dealerships nationwide.
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