One of the little known car dealer scams is what the car dealers call “Take them out of the market” or “Stop them from shopping”. The way that this scam works is that when you come in and want to buy a car, but the dealer does not have the specific color or options that you want in stock, they tell you they will get you one.
Your local car dealer may do what is commonly called a “dealer trade” or “a locate”, that means they will trade another dealer for the car you want. They will work out the price, terms, financing, payment, trade-in allowance, payoff and all the details in advance of you getting your new car. Then they will take a deposit from you and send you home with a promise to call you when they get the car, which may be a couple days to a week or two depending on the car that you agreed on. This is not one of the car dealer scams, this happens very often in the car business. Most reputable dealers take your deposit and get the car in a timely manor.
Take Them Out of the Market – Car Dealer Scams
Of all the car dealer scams, this scam does not actually take money out of your pocket. The point here is to take the customer out of the market or stop them from shopping. It is just like it sounds. The idea here is that the car buyer has left a deposit and they will not go to other dealers to find their preferred car and buy somewhere else.
Switch Cars – Car Dealer Scams
The car that you are waiting for might not even be available. The dealer will usually know what is available, but they will make a deal and take a deposit even where the car is not available. When they take you out of the market by taking a deposit they know they have a future sale without the risk of loosing you to another dealer. The time goes by and you are wondering about your new car. You do not get any calls from the dealer about the status.
You finally get a hold of the dealer and ask about your car, they start giving you a song and dance about availability and tell you about a similar car that they can have for you by tonight or tomorrow. In your frustration you decide to accept a different color or different options. Now they have sold you a different car than you really wanted. This car dealer scam allows the dealer to secure the future sale of a car and if the car is not available, they will more times than not get the car buyer to buy a different car than they wanted.
Protect Yourself from Car Dealer Scams
To protect you from this scam and all of the dealer scams get everything in writing. If a dealer is going to trade or locate a new car for you they should have the availability of the V.I.N so that a purchase contract can be written up that contains all the options, color and vehicle identification number. Make sure your purchase contract includes the amount of time needed to locate the new car and that your deposit is fully refundable if the car is not available in that time frame.