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Worst Sales Pitch You've Come Across?


GregLaR
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I'm sure between all the members here, we've collectively read, seen or been exposed to enough "Car For Sale" pitches to fill a library.  I know I have come across many that just make me cringe and ask myself "What the hell were they thinking?!"

I'm curious, what is the strangest, oddest or downright deal-killingest pitch you have come across?

Here is mine:

A few years ago I went over to Los Angeles to look at a one owner 1972 Lincoln MKIV. Priced right and I've always had a spot for this year/model. 

 When I get there I meet the orig. owner's son, in his 50's, nice guy, credible. Father had passed, so he decided to sell. We spend about 15 minutes going over the car (which was very nice) when he suddenly pops out with this unsolicited story.

It seems the elderly dad came out to start the car one day, and somehow he partially exited it, door open, sleeve caught, shifter bumped into reverse, he falls, half in half out of the car and half of his head gets ground off on the driveway  concrete, killing the owner, before the car stops against some heavy landscaping.

Then he asks me very nonchalantly "So would you like to buy it?"  😳

I just backed away from him, got in my car and drove home. 

For all I know, if his game didn't improve, the car is still sitting in that garage.

Edited by GregLaR (see edit history)
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That has got to be about the best worst I ever heard. The worst I ever ran into myself was many years ago I saw a nice enough '60s pickup outside a flea market I was leaving. I walked by it, noticed an ignition switch badly wired and hanging under the dash. The 'seller' (?) walked up, followed a minute later by two of his best buddies, all well dressed and clean (NOT!). I commented on the ignition switch. He quite matter-of-factly replied that the original switches were notorious for failing and the repair was of the best quality. A comment about the front and rear license plates not matching was that the DMV had sent them that way. It really was a decent truck, and the price was right (why wouldn't it be?). He had the pink slip in his hand and showed it to me. At a glance I memorized the VIN in short term memory and then casually wandered over by the driver's door and looked through the windshield to read the VIN on the dash. He knew what I was checking, and quickly commented again about the DMV issued it that way and said it was a common occurrence. I stammered some excuse, and walked away.

If I had seen a police officer around? I probably would have alerted him. But I didn't, so I left. I did keep an eye in my rear view mirror as I drove away.

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I am guilty of saying this one. I had a derivable 1960 Cadillac that I was slowing doing the body work on but needed to sell because I was living with my brother and sister-in-law and she hated that it took up so much of the driveway.  We lived near Atlanta GA, and an airline pilot came to look at the car. He asked a lot of questions, and finally said that he lived in Texas and did I think he could drive it home  After I finished laughing I told him I didn't even drive it to work if I had to be on time.  He bought it anyway, and I always wondered how far he got with it.

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I think GM's recent, and totally ineffective advertising campaigns for Chevrolet ("Chevy runs deep", "Find new roads"...) have been the worst sales pitches ever, with the results to match.

 

Their current advertising is NOTHING like the iconic, 'See the USA in your Chevrolet' and 'Baseball, hotdogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet' ads from the 1950's through the 1970's when Chevrolet was the top selling car.

 

Craig

Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)
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I have seen and heard too many to count. 

 

I saw a car photographed in snow once and the ad stated that the car had never been in snow. That one always makes me laugh.

 

Runs perfect always garaged. then how would you know if it runs? Or did you take it out of the garage?

 

The best one I have heard is: I have to sell the car because my girlfriend is pregnant and my wife found out.

 

I always like when a car has a major problem and a seller says they are all that way, that is how they were made or they never worked when new.

 

Buyers pull the same stuff. I like when a guy calls and says all the people who want these cars are dead, nobody wants them. Yet the one I have is the only one for sale and I know that I do not have the only one.

 

I like when someone calls and states your price is way too high. I ask what should it be? Then the caller has no idea. If you do not know what a price should be then how can you know it is too high?

 

Adult owned on a muscle car or snowmobile is always entertaining to read.

 

I had a guy call me, make a deal to buy the car, He told me he was going to send me the payment. A day or so goes by and nothing happens. I call the guys place of business and his son tells me he was killed in a car crash on the way to the bank to pay for the car. I feel really bad. So at Hershey a month later I look up the sons space so I can pay my respects. When I find him he is sitting there selling parts with his dead Dad. The Dad was the loudest talking obnoxious dead man I have ever seen. I Asked if he was so and so. He said he was. I introduced myself. He told me he didn't have to buy anything he didn't want. I told him just saying that would be better than faking his death.

 

Some people are just amazing. 

 

 

Edited by Brass is Best (see edit history)
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5 hours ago, Brass is Best said:

 

I had a guy call me, make a deal to buy the car, He told me he was going to send me the payment. A day or so goes by and nothing happens. I call the guys place of business and his son tells me he was killed in a car crash on the way to the bank to pay for the car. I feel really bad. So at Hershey a month later I look up the sons space so I can pay my respects. When I find him he is sitting there selling parts with his dead Dad. The Dad was the loudest talking obnoxious dead man I have ever seen. I Asked if he was so and so. He said he was. I introduced myself. He told me he didn't have to buy anything he didn't want. I told him just saying that would be better than faking his death.

 

Some people are just amazing. 

 

 

This is wild. How stupid do you have to be to decide to fake your death instead of just saying you are no longer interested in purchasing the car

Edited by Tate (see edit history)
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Parts sellers also.  I called a guy once advertising Triumph parts.  Conversation starts with "what do you want?  I have been taking calls for parts and all I got is an attitude."  We exchanged a couple more lines and when it became obvious I was being vetted to see if he would allow me to see his priceless collection and after another gem or two I told him I think we will skip it. 

 

It happens I called from the road, as a fellow TR owner and I were in the area looking at another TR project.  We both had interest, knowledge and..cash.

 

So two people with Triumph TR 6 models don't stop to look at.. TR 6 parts advertised due to the fact we were essentially uninvited - by someone who is advertising to get you to come look at, and buy parts. 🤔

 

I wonder how people like that get through life...

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, Tate said:

This is wild. How stupid do you have to be to decide to fake your death instead of just saying you are no longer interested in purchasing the car

 

An ego is an amazing thing sometimes. He ran a known restoration shop as well. Which makes it even more amusing.

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1 hour ago, Steve_Mack_CT said:

Parts sellers also.  I called a guy once advertising Triumph parts.  Conversation starts with "what do you want?  I have been taking calls for parts and all I got is an attitude."  We exchanged a couple more lines and when it became obvious I was being vetted to see if he would allow me to see his priceless collection and after another gem or two I told him I think we will skip it. 

 

It happens I called from the road, as a fellow TR owner and I were in the area looking at another TR project.  We both had interest, knowledge and..cash.

 

So two people with Triumph TR 6 models don't stop to look at.. TR 6 parts advertised due to the fact we were essentially uninvited - by someone who is advertising to get you to come look at, and buy parts. 🤔

 

I wonder how people like that get through life...

 

On the flip side nothing worse than someone stopping in to look at something only to be nosey. I always ask a few questions about peoples intentions. I find that a person who is interested will give you a straight answer. Somebody who is only looking for a day trip to be nosey will become short and upset be any question that is asked.

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Personally,  I find the J.D. Powers Chevy satisfaction themed ads "with a group of real Chevy owners" to be off-putting.  All of them are visibly stunned (or acting that way) that so many Chevys won awards. Does their surprise come from being amazed that so many awards were won by Chevys or that a Chevy won at all? Then they go on to advertise a great lease price that's only available to current GM employees.  Maybe that information would be better disseminated by an internal memo?

 

Then on a related note there was the guy who told me about the notches in the steering wheel of the 40 Buick he was selling. Each was supposed to represent a 'score" from the back seat. He told me I could feel free to add to the notches if I liked. Seemed like he was offering to let me use his bed without changing the sheets. Yuck.

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1 hour ago, Brass is Best said:

 

On the flip side nothing worse than someone stopping in to look at something only to be nosey. I always ask a few questions about peoples intentions. I find that a person who is interested will give you a straight answer. Somebody who is only looking for a day trip to be nosey will become short and upset be any question that is asked.

I agree.  No excuse for basic courtesy though.  I had an older guy and I think a nephew or grandson come look at a corvette I was selling.  Started to tell him I wanted to move the car along as I was getting married soon and he said, in a posturing, non joking voice, don't tell me your problems.  I walked away, said nothing more and would not move a dime on price.  Even at 23 or 24, I knew the SOB was using passive aggressive tactics.  An older me would have told him to F off, but he was super pissed he couldn't beat me up on price.  Sold it a week later with no hassles, and even delivered it, 45 minute drive because buyer #2 was reasonably polite.

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51 minutes ago, ericmac said:

Personally,  I find the J.D. Powers Chevy satisfaction themed ads "with a group of real Chevy owners" to be off-putting.  All of them are visibly stunned (or acting that way) that so many Chevys won awards. Does their surprise come from being amazed that so many awards were won by Chevys or that a Chevy won at all? Then they go on to advertise a great lease price that's only available to current GM employees.  Maybe that information would be better disseminated by an internal memo?

 

Then on a related note there was the guy who told me about the notches in the steering wheel of the 40 Buick he was selling. Each was supposed to represent a 'score" from the back seat. He told me I could feel free to add to the notches if I liked. Seemed like he was offering to let me use his bed without changing the sheets. Yuck.

You should have offered to pay him his asking price minus the cost of reupholstering that seat. (And maybe the wheel too!)

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Not really a sales pitch, but a few years ago my sister called from Utica, NY and said her neighbor was selling a 1970 GTO.  She said the lady's husband had been working under it when it fell off the jack or jack stand collapsed or something like that.  Now she just wanted it gone as soon as possible.  I asked if it was a Judge.  She said she didn't know and would check.  She never mentioned it again, so I figured it either was a plain Jane, or if it were a 'killer Judge,' someone else already got a good deal on it.  If she had responded back that it was a Judge and still available, I would have bought it.  And although I've never named a car, I probably would have either called it Christine, or Lucifer, or something like that.  How would that be for provenance on a car?  It gives a new twist to the term, 'Heavy Chevy.'

 

Along the same line, earlier this year I had my 01 Vette on 4 jack stands for over a month while I replaced the front and rear seals and brake lines, which requires supporting the body and engine, and removing pretty much everything else attached to them.  The day I set it back down on terra-firma, I saw the Harbor Freight jack stand recall.  I told my wife she just missed out on an opportunity to collect on my ADD policies.  

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10 hours ago, 8E45E said:

I think GM's recent, and totally ineffective advertising campaigns for Chevrolet ("Chevy runs deep", "Find new roads"...) have been the worst sales pitches ever, with the results to match.

 

 

GM's marketing before they pulled out of here was woeful, after killing off local production they tried to keep the commodore name with a boring opel insignia. 

 

 

Least they used to be creative - now it's just a boring family on a zoomed out country road interspliced with a grinning moron 

 

and for the most bogan way of selling a car (it worked, they sold a lot)

 

 

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10 hours ago, bdc said:

To my wife I'm worth more dead than alive. Makes me worry when I'm driving shotgun in a vehicle that can manually turn off the passenger airbag...

Most of us here probably have the same upside-down potential...worth more dead than alive.

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I'm always turned off by Chevy truck ads that show one of the trucks pulling a brand-new broke-down Ford. Occurs to me that if you can't talk about the virtues of your own truck without running down the other guy's, maybe your truck doesn't have any virtues. Sure enough, Ram has now passed Chevy in pickup sales, while Ford remains first.  

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22 minutes ago, jrbartlett said:

I'm always turned off by Chevy truck ads that show one of the trucks pulling a brand-new broke-down Ford. Occurs to me that if you can't talk about the virtues of your own truck without running down the other guy's, maybe your truck doesn't have any virtues. Sure enough, Ram has now passed Chevy in pickup sales, while Ford remains first.  

Hmmm!  Seems like Ford was the first to do it in 1985, carrying Chevy, towing a Dodge.  Then again in 1987 with a video towing not one but two.

 

 

1985-Ford-Truck-Commercial-001 (1).jpg

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22 hours ago, ericmac said:

Personally,  I find the J.D. Powers Chevy satisfaction themed ads "with a group of real Chevy owners" to be off-putting.  All of them are visibly stunned (or acting that way) that so many Chevys won awards. Does their surprise come from being amazed that so many awards were won by Chevys or that a Chevy won at all? Then they go on to advertise a great lease price that's only available to current GM employees.  Maybe that information would be better disseminated by an internal memo?

 

 

Considering how biased against American cars all the car awards are the surprise is surely genuine. 

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  I was in the market for a new diesel pickup in early 2004 and was shopping Dodge and Ford. Went to the local Ford dealership and when the salesman found out I was looking at Dodge trucks too he exclaimed, "Ford OWNS Cummins and those engines are SO BAD they won't even put them into their own trucks!". I just laughed and left. I ordered a new Dodge 3/4 ton with the Cummins 5.9 and still own it. 248,000 trouble free miles and nearly 17 years later it is still going strong.

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