Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Car dealer slang...not always nice!

These are some of the terms used by car salesmen (and maybe a few intrepid saleswomen), according to both a longtime poster and a newbie in the forums on (Thanks, "mackabee" and "greenpea68" for the list.) A lot of these words are not very complimentary to the putative customer; that's for sure.

in the box = finance office or business office

the tower = sales manager’s office

squirrels = customers with no loyalty to one salesperson

bumblebees = customers that can't decide between three or more cars

Disneyland shoppers = same as bumblebees

strokes = time-wasting shoppers

bogues = same as strokes

ghost = customer with no credit score

roach = customer with bad credit

a player = customer with strong credit

fairy = pipe smoking, folder carrying, internet customer

mooch = customer that wants floor mats, alloy wheels, satellite radio, etc, "thrown in," usually on a mini-deal

laydown = customer that walks in and pays sticker for a car

grape = same as laydown, as in "I stepped on a grape"

mini-deal = salespeople eating cheese sandwiches with no cheese (low-commission sale)

cherry = a very nice trade-in

rough = the opposite of cherry

sled = a beat-up trade-in (same as rough)

clam = same as a sled

skate = salesmen or women who steal customers from fellow salespeople; commonly known as thieves

snake = same as a skate

hand shaker = manual transmission

get me done = customer with terrible credit but can be financed, usually at very high interest rates

mop and glo = paint sealant and fabric protection

rust and dust = rust proofing and undercoating

delivery coordinator = woman with a big smile that sells mop and glo, rust and dust

"club them like a baby seal" = selling a car for full sticker!

grinder = “negotiates” for hours down to the last penny

pack = just another way for dealers to take money away from salespeople

front end gross = gross profit over invoice price less pack and shop fees

back end gross = gross profit in the box (finance or business office)

spiffs = daily or weekly bonuses for salespeople

stuff holders = storage bins

CSI = customer satisfaction index, inversely proportional to the amount of gross profit on the deal (that is, happy-go-lucky emotional buyers pay more; miserable analytical people pay less)

double nickels = $5500

pounder = $1000 front end gross: How many pounds was that? = a deal that has 2 or 3 thousand front end gross

home run = 4 pounder or $4000 or more front end gross

third base coach = someone at the negotiating table who is telling the buyer they don't have a good deal

spoon = a salesperson who gets a done deal from a manager

hook = same as a spoon but you might have to do some work

house mouse = a salesperson who gets all the spoons or hooks

veteran = a salesperson with more than 6 months at a store

greenpea = novice salesperson

rat = a trade that is a clam or a sled

$1 car = any trade that is worth $1000 or less; usually in real money only worth a dollar

team player = the only person who goes and gets coffee and lunch every day

"RUNNER !!!" = what is yelled when a customer gets up from the negotiating table and proceeds to walk out the door. The customer gets up and the salesperson says, "We got a RUNNER," one of my favorites...

Actually, I have found through reading Edmunds and the other car-buying sites that you ought to plan to be a RUNNER. That is, there is a plethora of information on the Internet (including detailed online dealer inventories) that should enable you to confidently walk into a dealership and offer YOUR price. Then if the salesperson comes back with a rejection from the sales manager, you head for the door. If you're not emotionally tied to the idea of buying a particular car from that dealership on that day, you are likely to have someone run out to intercept you accepting your offer!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this.Good luck!

Anonymous said...

you forgot

"Lot Lizard" what buyers call (or should call) Car Salesmen :-)

David said...

Nope, sorry... Lot lizard is already taken. Refers to prostitutes that work the parking lots at truck stops... Usually rough looking from years of trucker sex in 18 wheeler sleeper cabins, a steady diet of newports, lite beer, and methamphetamine...

Anonymous said...

From car dealers in the north east:

gumby = customer with bad credit