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.
3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum MoneyThe key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:
Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted NetworkSelect the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirectTrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.
Step 3 Complete my ChecklistFollow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan
Each week, I'll keep you up-to-date on the latest car deals and news that might affect your purchase. This includes...
- Best Rebates, Incentives, and Lease Deals
- Latest Car Buying Scams and Tricks
- The Best & Worst Time to Buy a Car
- Which Cars You Should Avoid