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Average Car Salesman Salary

Average Car Salesman Salary

Average Car Salesman Salary

One factor in how much a car salesman made was whether he sold new or used cars. While the salary figures reported by Simply Hired were much higher than those reported by the BLS, the website’s average salary listing for new car salesmen was nearly three times that of used car salesmen. Part of the difference may be attributable to commission work, since new cars are generally more expensive than used cars — often quite a bit more.
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Average Car Salesman Salary

New vs.Used One factor in how much a car salesman made was whether he sold new or used cars. While the salary figures reported by Simply Hired were much higher than those reported by the BLS, the website’s average salary listing for new car salesmen was nearly three times that of used car salesmen. Part of the difference may be attributable to commission work, since new cars are generally more expensive than used cars — often quite a bit more.
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Average Car Salesman Salary

Car salesman don’t typically get paid a traditional salary and are usually paid on a full commission basis. That’s not a hard and fast rule, I’ve been paid a base salary before, but that’s the norm.
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Average Car Salesman Salary

An example would be a car deal with a negative, or very small, front end profit. In this scenario, with no mini, the car salesman salary would be $0 or next to it.
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Average Car Salesman Salary

“I don’t care what anybody says, verbally,” says Prentiss Smith, the general manager at a Toyota dealership in Brookhaven, Mississippi. “If they pull up on our lot, they might say they’re not ready to buy, but that’s not true.” Salespeople watch for subtle signs to read your mind. “If it’s a trade-in and I’m doing an appraisal, I see how much gas is in there,” says Daniel Wheeler, an Oregon-based Hyundai salesman. “If it’s a quarter of a tank or below, it’s usually a fairly good sign ready to purchase.” David Teves, a California-based salesman who writes the blog Confessions of a Car Man, says he can determine a customer’s mood by the parking spot they choose. “There’s a place at the end of our lot we call ‘Laydown Lane’ because the people who park there are too timid to park out front. They’re either total ‘laydowns’—which means they buy whatever you want for whatever price—or they have extremely bad credit.”
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Average Car Salesman Salary

Prior to getting into car sales I had always been paid a salary or on an hourly basis. If I worked 40 hours a week, I was paid whatever the hourly wage was, times 40 hours. When I was salaried, I was getting a fixed amount each month, as long as I did my job. But after my first week in sales I realized I had just given up 50 hours of my life and hadn’t made one red cent. Because I hadn’t sold a car that week.
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Average Car Salesman Salary

OK, I lied. (I’m a car salesman, right?) Those aren’t actual customer names. As soon as I found out Motor Trend wouldn’t cover my legal fees (editor’s note: Not for that, anyway), I changed all the names. But the numbers are real and drawn directly from my paysheet.
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Average Car Salesman Salary

OK, I lied. (I’m a car salesman, right?) Those aren’t actual customer names. As soon as I found out Motor Trend wouldn’t cover my legal fees (editor’s note: Not for that, anyway), I changed all the names. But the numbers are real and drawn directly from my paysheet.
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A potential customer is an “up,” a new salesperson is an inexperienced “green-pea,” and a buyer with no credit history is a “ghost.” Taking up too much of a salesman’s time without actually buying? You’re a “stroke.” If you’re lugging paperwork around—like newspaper ads or car reports—you’re a “professor.” And “one-legged shoppers” are customers without their spouses, which is a regular excuse for why they can’t buy right now—gotta ask the old ball and chain!
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Half the time, I’ve found that car salesman limit their own income by being overly knowledgeable (usually about credit, financing, down payment,etc.) and trying to over educate a customer and or make decisions they shouldn’t be making out on the lot.
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But the broader point is, for the most part, the dealership lost money on the cars I sold. I think if you asked the average customer to create a chart like this for the average salesperson, the numbers under “Front End Gross” and “Back End Gross” would all be in the “plus” category, and every deal would be making thousands of dollars in profit. The reality is far different.
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But the broader point is, for the most part, the dealership lost money on the cars I sold. I think if you asked the average customer to create a chart like this for the average salesperson, the numbers under “Front End Gross” and “Back End Gross” would all be in the “plus” category, and every deal would be making thousands of dollars in profit. The reality is far different.
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I think most people understand this, to some degree. What they don’t understand is that I only get paid if I sell a car. If I don’t sell a car, I don’t get paid. I make nothing. So if you come in and ask me to test drive a few cars, and I work numbers with you, and you take up three or four hours of my time, but you leave and don’t buy a car . . . I have made nothing. I am not compensated in any way for the time I just spent with you. I just poured three hours down the drain.
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Forget about the high failure rates, pressures to sell, and potential debts to their employers. Car salespeople also have to endure brutal tactics used by fellow salespeople. For example: It’s your day off? Opportunistic coworkers might tell your loyal customers that you’ve been fired, sell the car themselves, and keep the commission. “Some people would step over their own mothers to get that car sale,” McDonald says. They also risk life and limb whenever buyers take them out on a test drive. “I once went for a ride with a drug dealer in Oakland who took me on a test drive to collect drug money,” Teves recalls. “Any test drive when you come back alive is a successful test drive.”
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Keep in mind, the national average for car salesmen is roughly six to eight vehicles sold per month. Not many sales people are getting rich in this business, but can still make a comfortable living.
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I get paid a commission every time I sell a car. My commission is a percentage of the profit. At the dealership where I work, I get paid 25 percent of the “front-end” profit and 5 percent of the “back end.” The front-end profit is made on the purchase price of the car. The back-end profit is found in financing and anything else we sell you, such as extended service contracts or GAP insurance.
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A while back, a reader suggested I lay out the details of two or three car deals in a row, just to give everyone an idea of how much do car salesmen make. I’ll do you one better. I’ll lay out an entire month for you, so you can see for yourself what the dealership made and what I made.
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In most places this is known as “slavery,” but in the world of car sales it’s called being “in the bucket.” And it’s a terrible place to be. I’ve known guys who were $5000 in the bucket. At that point, there’s no hope of ever getting out — unless they make 10 grand in one month, which is unlikely. The next step for a salesperson after the bucket is usually the front door — quit, and try your hand at something other than car sales.
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In most places this is known as “slavery,” but in the world of car sales it’s called being “in the bucket.” And it’s a terrible place to be. I’ve known guys who were $5000 in the bucket. At that point, there’s no hope of ever getting out — unless they make 10 grand in one month, which is unlikely. The next step for a salesperson after the bucket is usually the front door — quit, and try your hand at something other than car sales.
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In 2015, more than a million Americans work at car dealerships. But that could change. Thanks to the Internet, people now walk into dealerships with their minds already made up. They don’t need—or want—a salesperson’s pitch. It makes sense that some dealerships are trading in their inflatable gorillas for online ads, as the Internet is by far their top referral source. In 2013, brand activity on Twitter alone drove $716 million in car sales, according to marketing analytics firm MarketShare. In other words, for better or worse, selling cars is becoming less of an art that involves human interaction, and more of a science that doesn’t.

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