New Jersey Consumer Lawyer
New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and buying a car
Protect yourself form used car consumer fraud and new car consumer fraud
Buying either a new used car can be very challenging. There are all types of tactics and tricks that a user or new car dealer can implement to take advantage of an unsuspecting customer. I must rephrase that because even a suspecting customer can be taken advantage of by an experienced dealership salesperson. They are usually very good.
The dealership controls most of the interaction and the flow of information between the customer and the dealership. Information is power. Since the dealership controls of this flow of information they control you. You do not control them.
In these circumstances when you are at the dealership you are relying upon information from the dealer. You have already lost. When you negotiate by telephone of fax you have an advantage, you can hang up the phone and there are no transaction costs. Once at the dealership you have already invested and committed time and effort and you want to go forward. The dealership is well aware of these transnational costs. This is why the dealership has the advantage.
I will state again. Information is power. The dealership tells you what they want you to know. The dealership tells you what financing you can get. The dealership tells you what vehicle you can get. The dealership tells you what you can afford. The dealership tells you what your payments are. The dealership tells you what car you want. The dealership tells you what car you can get based on your credit score. The dealership is in total control. You need to take this control away from the dealership.
It is with this control they can do anything. They can engage in bait and switch they can engage in deceptive practices they can engage in improper financing they can do anything they want is you are a willing participant. If you are not at the dealership were not a willing participant. Once you have stepped on the dealership's home turf you are participating and you think you are negotiating. There is no negotiating occurring between the dealership. The dealership is softening you up in getting you to agree to what they want.
This is not negotiating.
It is in this framework that the dealership can occasion upon you all of the tricks I listed below. It is your willing participation which permits the dealership to take advantage.
It is important to understand these basic rules. The understand these basic rules and you understand the games that the dealership can play you can prohibit the dealership from engaging in deceptive practices that work. To understand the difference? You can never control the dealership. You can never stop them from trying to deceive you and implement deceptive practices and tactics. You can, however, reduce the effectiveness of these tracks and tactics. It is the equivalent of wearing armor. It is equivalent of being in of the powerful position. It is in the position where the dealership cannot take advantage of you. Remember, information is power.
Used Car and New Car Fraud
These are but several examples of claims that you might have against the car dealership for the car dealership violating your consumer rights.The claims vary and would be called consumer fraud or fraud claims against the dealershipWindow Etching on Used and new Cars
This product is overpriced and has very little to offer the consumers who purchase cars. Window etching is a product that offers a benefit for those who "choose" to purchase the product. This product on the net is always cheaper than at the dealership even if you do want to use the product. Usually it appears as a pre printed item on the buyer's order or other dealer documents.Appearance Packages - NEW AND USED CARS
Appearance packages or commonly extras utilized by the dealership to increase the sales price of the vehicle. What will happen is as follows: When vehicle’s gets to the dealership lot whether it be new or used the dealership will apply various products. Sometimes these products might be pin-striping, wheel well molding or door edge guards. Usually these items have a value at less than $50 and the dealership increases the price of the vehicle as part of an appearance package by thousands of dollars. Then the dealership uses these items as a leverage in negotiating to sell the vehicle is at a higher price. Not before these items have almost no value and the only reason that the dealer puts an addendum on the vehicle containing these extra items is to get leverage in the negotiating process.BAIT AND SWITCH - NEW AND USED CARS
Bait and switch is a common name for a tactic that a dealer might use to sell vehicles to customers. The underlying premise is and that they do whatever they have to do mostly through advertising, to get individuals to the dealership, in the door to look at a vehicle. This is the bait. They either advertise a car a set of cars a contest or other items to get the customer to the dealership. Once a customer is at the dealership they use their skills to have the customer purchasing another vehicle.Payoff Trade when you buy a car
The dealer will tell you that they are paying the trade vehicle off when they are actually packing the payoff into the new lease or purchase.Odometer Roll back and Odometer Fraud
Many cars have the odometer rolled back, either with or without the knowledge of the dealership. There are state and also federal laws that prohibit this conduct and it creates a breach of warranty, violation of the Consumer Fraud Act, Federal Odometer Law. Odometer fraud costs consumers millions of dollars. Once you learn that your vehicle has an incorrect odometer when you sell you must disclose that the odometers and correct. This term is also known as TMU or total mileage unknown. When a vehicle has total mileage unknown you usually will get a approximately half of the market value had the odometer been correct.
Important Questions: Questions for people who think they might be a victim of consumer fraud or a used car scam:CONSUMER FRAUD AND DEALERSHIP FRAUD
Purchasing a car can be hazardous to your wallet
Dealer’s sales people for the most part are trained sales experts and you need to understand this when attempting to purchase a car. You need to be very cautious when researching and purchasing a car.
- Here are some general rules you should follow when purchasing a car
- Never step on a dealer lot without having completely researched the car you want to purchase. NEVER.
- Never step on a dealer lot alone.
- Never step on the dealer lot when you are hungry or tired or with your children. You will sign anything to get out of there!!!
- Never purchase a car without having left the dealership at least one time in the negotiation process.
- Make sure you have your own financing option available when you go the the dealer if you can!
- Always have a used car inspected by your own mechanic.
- Write down questions about the car before you buy the car.
- Make sure you test drive the car for at least 1/2 hour.
- If you go to the dealer with a friend NEVER let them separate you.
- If the dealer promises something make sure it is in writing
- READ EVERY DOCUMENT EVEN IF IT TAKES HOURS AND ASK QUESTIONS
In 2006 there were 16.5 million new cars sold in the United States. The average selling price of a new car was almost $28,000, and $16,000 for a used car. In New Jersey car revenues were 23 BILLION dollars, averaging over thirty nine MILLION per dealership. Most importantly, retail car sales account for almost 22% of all retail sales.New and used car sales are BIG BUSINESS
Recently the auto industry has undergone quite a shakeup and continues on a daily basis with the impact of internet sales. The domestic auto industry has undergone a significant change due to long-term systemic problems and economic problems beyond its control. There has been a significant uptake in the used car sales industry for both micro and macro economic reasons Consumers need to be as careful as ever. Many used car dealers are hurting and they will do almost anything to sell cars, any kind of car.
The auto industry is big money, with a lot of political clout. The selling of a car is a complicated process, one in which you have no real chance to be successful. It is an art: the art of the rip-off. They distract, delay, and confuse you in many ways. After a while you just sign the papers so you can leave the dealership. Does this sound familiar? It should. It occurs hundreds of times every day in every New Jersey county. Years of litigation have revealed a host of well-rehearsed and unfortunately common practices. The selling process is a science. The entire process is set up to beat a customer down and to get a customer to buy anything, from advertising to closing a deal!
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- What is UDAP and can I sue the dealer who sold me the car
- Car Dealer Scams and Tricks
- Questions about your consumer rights and Consumer Fraud in New Jersey