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I've been chatting with a couple of different guys about the dealer vs. broker selling style for exotic \ collector \ unique cars, and I'm just wondering what everyone here thinks of this.

There are a couple of guys that run fairly small shops - 3 or 4 cars in inventory at any given time, maybe selling 4-5 cars a month, and a very different selling style. Their general feeling is that they can get the enthusiast \ passionate crowd easier than a dealer, and that dealers in general don't really care about the cars\community.

Would you say that you would agree with this overall? Are you generally pessimistic\skeptical about working with a car dealership? Is it different if the dealer is an independant vs. part of a chain?

This kind of spawned from something over on Ferrari chat, but also an ongoing conversation I've had with these guys for a couple of years. I've been talkin to you guys for a while, so I hope you won't candy coat it.

Hell if you have any other suggestions for things we can do to seperate ourselves, or feedback in general, I'd love to hear it.

- Mark
 

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maserati of minneapolis said:
There are a couple of guys that run fairly small shops - 3 or 4 cars in inventory at any given time, maybe selling 4-5 cars a month, and a very different selling style. Their general feeling is that they can get the enthusiast \ passionate crowd easier than a dealer, and that dealers in general don't really care about the cars\community.

Would you say that you would agree with this overall? Are you generally pessimistic\skeptical about working with a car dealership? Is it different if the dealer is an independant vs. part of a chain?
There is a good degree of truth in the above statement, but it is not an universal truth. Let me be more specific: if you go to any (or let's say most) of the independents here in the UK that feature regularly in the Maserati Club magazine (or attend events) you will find

a) People with a thorough knowledge of the marque (heritage and present) and of the community (because they are enthusiasts themselves);

b) People who are mostly unreserved about the cars they have in stock (they would openly praise their pros and highligh potential cons... the art of matching a car to a potential client);

c) People who service the cars properly, a consequence of being enthusiasts themselves (note, however, that a dealer stamp in a logbook has more market value than that of an independent... and you have the warranty issues on top, but the community is becoming more open to value used cars serviced by TRUSTED independents, as opposed to those dealt through dealers)

d) People who understand they are facing a very selective clientele, for which money is not an issue if well serviced and cared for;

e) Therefore, they would even spend considerable time in searching for the right car, if it happens not to be in their stock.

Big chains, in general, noting that they deal precisely with affluent customers tend to focus on profit, but then, affluent people are precisely those who can afford an alternative if not properly looked after.

TBH, if I ever go for a car with a higher price point than a maser Coupe or QP I would never go through a dealer. Punto. I will ONLY contact those recommended AND TRUSTED by the community (here in the UK there are a handful, so it's rather easy).

maserati of minneapolis said:
Hell if you have any other suggestions for things we can do to seperate ourselves, or feedback in general, I'd love to hear it.
Simple. If you show passion (and knowledge) for your product, you will translate that passion (and build confidence through you knowledge) into any potential buyer. And, if they become customers, care for them properly.

Ed
 

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maserati of minneapolis said:
I've been chatting with a couple of different guys about the dealer vs. broker selling style for exotic \ collector \ unique cars, and I'm just wondering what everyone here thinks of this.

There are a couple of guys that run fairly small shops - 3 or 4 cars in inventory at any given time, maybe selling 4-5 cars a month, and a very different selling style. Their general feeling is that they can get the enthusiast \ passionate crowd easier than a dealer, and that dealers in general don't really care about the cars\community.

Would you say that you would agree with this overall? Are you generally pessimistic\skeptical about working with a car dealership? Is it different if the dealer is an independant vs. part of a chain?

This kind of spawned from something over on Ferrari chat, but also an ongoing conversation I've had with these guys for a couple of years. I've been talkin to you guys for a while, so I hope you won't candy coat it.

Hell if you have any other suggestions for things we can do to seperate ourselves, or feedback in general, I'd love to hear it.

- Mark
Certainly can't argue with anything Troesma said.
However another slant says that if you segment your market I suspect that most Maserati customer's are not in the same wealth bracket as the Ferrari customers. Also more Maser's are daily drivers bringing the effective cost of ownership (one less car) down and sensitivity to service issues up.

So I think there is a price sensitivity to be addressed that perhaps a dealer can be more effective at addressing while still holding a sufficient margin. No question, we the buyers know you want to sell cars in stock and cars, cars within your allotment and cars with margin in the deal more than you want to go search for something for us. I have no problem with that.

But I think the biggest slice of the Maser buyer pie does have enough wealth and power over their lives that they need to be treated as though they are special, even when the dealer dispenses the most mundane services. We need to percieve that we are in the very elite class, even though the price of a service visit may sting. In my experiences this has been lacking. The quality of the sales people and then the service people (and the quality of the service delivered) does not make me feel special. Lexus and BMW do it better (in my limited experiences). In dealing with Maser dealers I have felt that I need to watch out for my own interests because no one at the dealer is, or is able to do so. And in service, well lets just say it hasn't been pretty on the West Coast of the U.S.

So offer the advantages of a dealership but carve out the niche of a boutique shop really focused on me, let me have a quality experience every time I deal with you and I will stick with dealers.

This board may give you a skewed view because by the very fact that we hang out here means we have an elevated interest and awareness and might be predisposed to a level of personalization and service that dealers cannot meet.

I'm pleased to see that you ask these questions. Shows you are thinking about what we want.

Ken
 

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I've bought many new cars, and regardless of price bracket, I do prefer the "passive" sales style which always leaves the customer in control, and the dealer being there to serve the customer (imagine that) rather than make their monthly sales target.

I just went to test drive a Toyota FJ and a Jeep and my phone hasn't stopped ringing since with "its your lucky day, end of the month, 0% financing" and all kinds of claptrap.

Very simple model: I want to go to the dealer. I want you to answer my questions in a straightforward manner. I will test drive a car, or maybe several. Sometime later I may come back to buy when I am ready, we will discuss price; if I like the deal, I will pay cash, and then I will pick up the car.

Why should it be any harder than that?

You can either "sell cars" or "help customers buy cars".
 

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kbrookings said:
No question, we the buyers know you want to sell cars in stock and cars, cars within your allotment and cars with margin in the deal more than you want to go search for something for us. I have no problem with that.
Agree with all else you posted, but this was a big issue for me. I wanted a vintage pack, I wanted a dark metallic exterior, etc. etc. Local dealer would not search nor swap/buy from another dealer (this seems harder with low volume marques?) so I bought out of state, got exactly what I wanted and drove it home, and local dealer has still been very supportive and helpful with service, parts etc.
 

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regardless whether it be a boutique or a dealership customers are always like to be treated, well, like customers instead of numbers. i guess the geographical location where i am in certainly isn't to my advantage. both the boutique and the dealership employee some of the most superficial sales rep in the world. do they honestly believe in their heart that simply for the reason they work for ferrari means they are better person than you are? i believe what really matters is how the car is being sold than where.

Mark-

I will defintely get that 08 coupe from you :)
 

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O couldn;'t agree more with what has been posted. When I bought my QP last April I went to a dealer in the southernmost part of Florida (I won't mention any names) and was treated very poorly. If you are in the market for a Maserati you generally have the means to shop around and you are fulfilling a desire for yourself, so it is not that you must have this car. Needless to say I left very disappointed in that particular dealership, which specializes in high end marques. Their showroom and facilities are top notch - their sales approach is very poor. I went to another dealer a little further north (South Florida is nice since you have lots of options in high end car dealerships) and was treated nice. The sales floor and facilities are not as elaborate but the people make the difference! The sales experience was one of the best I had so far. (Purchased MB, BMW, Jag, Porsche, Cadillac, Hummer, Corvette and others before from dealers with various degree of satisfaction).

Therefor, for me, the way I am treated is very important and does make or break the deal! I have a business myself selling to the public and always treat people the way I would like to be treated - that seems to be a good approach.

I felt at ease purchasing a Maserati from a Maserati dealer. I checked out some independents and was not made feel comfortable with their knowledge of the vehicles or their sales approach. It is comforting for me to know that I bought from a factory authorized dealer, who will stand behind the product and has the resources through Maserati NA and Maserati Italy to do so. So far I am very happy with my decision. I think a factory authorized dealership has all the advantages to make people feel comfortable with their purchase. Like every business the most imnportant thing is customer service and integrity.

Just my 2 c.
 

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I've only bought and plan on buying from AUTHORIZED Maserati Dealers.

The exception being I might buy a car from a customer who wants to sell it at a good deal and I know he has taken care of it. Otherwise I try to support the dealers.
 

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haha said:
regardless whether it be a boutique or a dealership customers are always like to be treated, well, like customers instead of numbers. i guess the geographical location where i am in certainly isn't to my advantage. both the boutique and the dealership employee some of the most superficial sales rep in the world. do they honestly believe in their heart that simply for the reason they work for ferrari means they are better person than you are? i believe what really matters is how the car is being sold than where.

Mark-

I will defintely get that 08 coupe from you :)
I couldn't agree more with this statement. You are right on spot about some of the dealers' employees in the SF area thinking they are better and it really gets under my skin.

The worst offender of this ever was one of the sales guys at the Aston Martin dealer in Marin. The dealer had a booth at the IRL event last year at Sears Point. I went up to the booth looked at the cars for five minutes asked a few questions and the guy would not talk with me.
 
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