When I set out to purchase my new Jeep, I approached the process distrustful, assuming all dealers to still fulfill the age-old stigmas, with respect to pushiness, machismo, swindling, and little authentic regard for the customer. Believing this to be the landscape of present-day auto sales, I decided to make sure I did my homework, getting all my ducks in a row prior to outreach, so that I could retain as much buying power, leverage, and objective confidence as possible for the day-of purchase. After perusing MULTIPLE listings from about 12-13 dealers (over the course of 2 months), I compiled my data and reached out to formally begin the process; I was surprised at the responses I received. 99% of them focused around what you would traditionally expect: SPAM-like email blasts promising falsified quotes, abound with cute asterisks, ensuring me an insane deal that seemed just too good to be true (and is). I was surprised by this, even though it was expected, because I can't believe that in an age of assumedly intelligent buyers, with so much access to factual knowledge, this behavior is still tolerated and propagated so embarrassingly. Also surprising, but for different reasons, was the response I received from Grava's own Al F. Amid a field of ridiculous and useless replies, Al treated my inquiry seriously, providing me feedback on the information I specifically asked for. He outlined potential listings in his lot, gave his opinion of my approach and suggested how to stay sharp for others' feedback. He provided detailed, line-by-line quotes, accounting for every penny (even fees, taxes, etc.) and even challenged my process, providing me pros AND cons to my own system, as well as suggestions for future objective buying. The best thing about our dialogue was that Al NEVER tried to sell me on Grava. Conversely, he only aimed to equip me with more savvy in order to tackle the rest of the field. I challenged Al repeatedly and he took ever bit of it, remaining supportive and open. Of course, throughout our back and forth I came to realize that Al was the only differentiated salesman of the bunch and after holding others to his set standard, they all fell pathetically short by comparison. I committed to a trade-in appraisal and test drive at Grava and thanks to Al advocating for me to his superiors, I was provided some astounding offers. They matched (and beat) my 3rd party financing quote, FAIRLY assessed the worth of my old car, and nickeled and dimed themselves where possible down to MY set standards. This did take me realigning some unreasonable expectations (which were only set by other dealers' absurd, hypothetical offerings), but through the process I found myself in one of the most transparent conversations I've ever been in. This is when I also met Dave P., who only further solidified my newfound positive opinion of Grava. Like Al, Dave advocated for me, and was able to dispel the "old salesman" vibe almost immediately. He was the first person to openly admit that dealerships DO in fact want to make money, BUT dealerships also SHOULD want to make relationships on the foundation of honesty. These ideas of longevity, advocacy and honesty were laid out so nonchalantly that I couldn't help but wonder how they are so foreign to other dealers I've dealt with in the past. Once the perfect offer was established for both sides, I agreed to signing on the dotted line, ONLY if I could have the vehicle off the lot by that night... this was at 4PM and Grava closes at 5...on a Friday. Al, Dave, Mike and the whole cast of characters then aligned into a well-oiled-machine, not once flinching at the significance of this obstacle. There were phone calls, faxes, nailbiting conversations between banks, insurance agencies, etc. ALL for me, on a vehicle that they really didn't make much money on after all was said and done. The point is they dug deep and fought hard for my sake and as a result I drove the Jeep off the lot that night, happy as an Ipswich clam. In the days that followed, I challenged Al and Dave one last time... call it buyer's remorse, or my naivety of their true personalities, but I had a moment of doubt and I called them to action for reassurance. As I should've assumed, they rose to the occasion, provided me yet again detailed info on all things that I requested and truly reminded me of what we'd accomplished only one week prior. They did all of this, again remaining objective and empathetic to MY perspective. Grava is a great dealership, but only if you are a sound enough customer to realize it. I have read negative reviews of them, but they all rely on an underpinning of unreasonably set expectations, or simple mis-communication between parties, or just personality conflict predicated by the very stress of the process. We (customers) have this foolish double standard when it comes to auto sales that we should be able to know nothing about the details and yet still be granted an impossible offer from those who sell to us. We open ourselves up to being followers during a SIGNIFICANT financial activity, pouring our entire trust into a salesperson who we haven't ever vetted out prior (or after). As a result, WE are responsible for poorly run dealerships that rely on false promises and fine print. We are too busy to do our homework or become informed and yet take offense when a smiling, swindler shakes our hand on a one-off transaction that slaps us with a huge investment and them with a huge commission. Since we have set no standard of who gets the privilege to sell to us, they have yet to react accordingly. However, I practiced this throughout my buying process and ONLY Grava understood my intention. No, they will not have every car you'd ever want. No, they will not grant you what price you think you deserve if it's unfounded. No, you will not enjoy Al or Dave the same way I did... in fact they may offend you, or simply rub you the wrong way. But, I feel confident that they will act no differently toward anyone and their honesty and advocacy will remain, regardless of how naive, curmudgeonly, or reticent you find yourself acting when on-site. Of course, they have room to improve, but I challenge us customers to hold to them up to a higher standard if that's what we desire. Unlike others, Grava will respond in full and I feel confident you'll realize that they will in fact dig deep for you too!
Post a Comment or Update This Review
You must be signed in to post a comment or update this review.Sign In