Why the Finance Manager is the Most Dangerous Person at a Dealership
It may be true they negotiated a great price for their car, but that's only half the battle.
Car dealerships call this the "front end" profit - the money they make on the selling price of the vehicle, but some dealerships make most of their profit on the "back end", which is any profit made after the car sale.
This includes profit through arranging the financing, or selling products and services such as extended warranties, paint protection, and GAP insurance.
The average revenue a dealership makes on these "back end" products is around $1,000 per vehicle, but can easily be as high as $5,000.
The person responsible for this revenue is called the finance manager (or business manager), and they are usually the most highly trained and highly paid employees at a dealership.
This should come as no surprise since they are usually responsible for up to 50% of a dealer's gross profit.
80% of the finance manager's salary comes in the form of commissions on the products they sell, so you can guarantee they're going to be highly effective salesman - and high pressure as well. They are easily the most dangerous person you will encounter at a dealership.
They are trained to suck money out of your pockets while making it look like they're doing you a favor.
Unfortunately, you will be forced to deal with the finance manager regardless of whether you finance your car or pay cash because they're the ones that will arrange all of your paperwork and make sure you sign it.
The only way to avoid the finance manager is to have your vehicle delivered to your home or business instead of purchasing at the dealership.
If you live within 25 miles of the dealership, they should have no problem delivering the car to you, in which case you can breath a sigh of relieve since you won't have to deal with the finance manager.
My Recommendation for Car ShoppersTrueCar No-Haggle, Edmunds Price Promise and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan
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About: Gregg Fidan
Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.