Confessions of a Car Salesman

Car Buying Learning Center

What really goes on in the back rooms of car dealerships across America?

What does the car salesman do when he leaves you sitting in a sales office and goes to talk with his boss?

What are the tricks salespeople use to increase their profit and how can consumers protect themselves from overpaying?

These were the questions we, the editors at Edmunds.com, wanted to answer for our readers. But how could they really know that our information was accurate and up-to-date? Finally, we came up with the idea of hiring an investigative reporter to work in the industry and experience, firsthand, the life of a car salesman.

We hired Chandler Phillips, a veteran journalist, to go undercover by working at two new car dealerships in the Los Angeles area. First, he would work at a high-volume, high-pressure dealership selling Japanese cars. Then, he'd change over to a smaller car lot that sold domestic cars at "no haggle" prices.

We invite you to read the following account of Phillips' day-to-day experience on the car lots. Doing so will broaden your understanding of the dealership sales process. It will also cast a new light on the role of the car salesman. And, finally, it will help you get a better deal — and avoid hidden charges — the next time you go to buy or lease a new car.

Read, learn and enjoy.

— The editors at Edmunds.com

Read more articles in the Edmunds' Confessions Series.