Things You Shouldn’t Say to a Car Salesman

A white SUV is shown from the rear covered in quotes after leaving one of the Albany car dealers.

There’s a group of old men who eat breakfast every morning at the local diner. Clad in plaid shirts, blue jeans, and Dr. Scholl’s, their conversations are scattered with relationship drama that would make Hugh Hefner blush. Of course, there’s also plenty of sass about the world’s problems and their “back in my day” solutions. As expected, recent events are a staple of conversation, especially the sky-high prices of vehicles and the chip shortages. After Max realized there wasn’t a Dorito shortage, he settled down and ate his grits. The group hadn’t seen him that fired up since his wife bought a push-up bra for her saggy baggies.

You see, I’m a regular at the same diner, and by no coincidence, I’ve made it a habit to eat breakfast there because the eavesdropping is just too good. The group knows me by name, and I’m sure they know my game, but they oblige and let me listen, ignoring my smirks and sometimes talking a bit louder than necessary to get a reaction. That’s what prompted this bit on car dealers and what not to say to a car salesman, courtesy of the breakfast club and Earl, a retired car salesman who swears he can still get you the best deal in town. It doesn’t matter that he can’t read the window sticker or hear worth a damn. I’ve learned sometimes you just have to nod and smile.

So, according to Earl and his former days as a fast-talking car salesman, here are a few things you shouldn’t say to a car salesman that, in fact, he experienced firsthand. Or so he says. Again, just nod and smile.

The Family Man

“I’m looking for a family vehicle with that new car smell. My wife just gave birth to our son, and we can’t get the smell out. We’ve tried everything, but I think her lady parts leaked before the firemen got there and caught little Dodger.”

–First-time dad, lifetime idiot who apparently didn’t learn the valuable lesson and later welcomed a daughter named Lexus.

The Self-Proclaimed Millionaire

“Money is no object.”

–It turns out that money was an object for this stockbroker, who acted shocked when Earl had to deny him a loan because his credit score was 400.

The Bargain-Basement Shopper

“How big is the trunk? Do you think it could fit a casket or two?”

–Funeral director looking to pinch a few pennies so he could pad his pockets from his clients’ dirt naps. Earl made a mental note to make sure his family and friends knew not to make funeral arrangements with that particular funeral home.

The Boomer

“Is there an age requirement to buy a Buick? I don’t have my AARP card yet? Also, how dark can we tint the windows? I don’t want anyone to see I’m driving a geezer car.”

–He unknowingly paid extra for the Buick just because Earl took offense. That was a great sales week for Earl and just might be what prompted his wife to buy that new lingerie. I didn’t feel the need to ask any follow-up questions on that matter.

The Happy Police

“Do you mind if I bring in the rest of my team to see if they have enough room in the backseat?”

–Earl didn’t mind until a parade of clowns climbed out of a Minicoop. It’s the only time he walked away from a sale because clowns were his limit. If we’re being honest, they still are, and that’s surprising considering his wife’s bottle-dyed red hair and bright red lips. Remember, though, just smile and nod.

The Skeptical Mechanic

“I’m just gonna get my tools and look under the hood before I say ‘yes.’ I don’t really trust anybody but myself to know a good car when I see one.”

–A 2.5-star mechanic who hid the fuel pump hose in his pants and stormed off when Earl asked if anyone else smelled gas. When he tried to light a cigarette, they had to escort him off the property.

The Hoarder

“That’s my car out front. I need to use your dumpster before you take a look and make me an offer. Oh, and don’t mind the smell. It ain’t bad with the windows rolled down.”

–Believe it or not, one dumpster wasn’t enough, and the smell was so bad that Earl is still triggered by the stench of fish and hard-boiled eggs.

The Runaway

“Do I have to use my real name on the paperwork?”

–The fugitive looking to disappear. Earl almost got caught in a real pickle, but his time in the Marines was used for more than eating crayons, so he eventually caught on to the scam.

The Romancer

“Do you have anything with a reclining rear seat? I really wanna show my girl a good time.”

–A high school graduate looking to woo his sweetheart in the summer of ’69. Coincidentally, the backseat wasn’t a dealbreaker, and they welcomed a surprise baby boy a few months later. As Earl says, “If the Chevy’s rocking, don’t go knockin.”

The Hunk Moving Junk

“Why won’t you take the truck back? You told me there was a three-day guarantee, and it’s only been two days.”

–This young college grad bought a truck from Earl on a Friday and brought it back Monday with scratches in the bed. Apparently, he needed a truck to move apartments but wasn’t smart enough to hide the evidence. It would’ve been cheaper just to rent a U-Haul but, as Earl says, “Sometimes, you can’t fix stupid.”

The Angry Ex-Wife

“Do you think these wheels are big enough to go ex-running?”

–When the woman asked Earl this, he thought she meant trail-running. But that didn’t make sense in the context of the rest of the conversation, especially when she asked if it was hard to get blood stains out of the floor mats. Earl later found out she ran over her ex, backed up, and hit him again a week later. He still has the letter she wrote to him from prison thanking him for selling her the off-road truck with the mud tires.


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