Are sales commissions a good thing?

My short answer: No.

Sales Commission Check

You’re afraid of getting ripped off. I understand. One way to avoid this is to work with dealers who don’t use a commission-based pay plan.

I talked to my brother about this issue specifically, and he should know. He owns three dealerships and has worked for several. Most of them used to operate the old school way—with sales commission plans. That’s quickly becoming an outdated model because people want transparency. We don’t mind if someone makes some money, but we don’t want to be taken advantage of, right?

With sales commissions, associates have an incentive to push you toward an expensive car (or a particular one) because it will increase their salary more than other cars. A better way is to pay associates a flat rate, regardless of the vehicle you choose. Under this plan, there’s no incentive to pressure you into spending more than you’re comfortable with or to push you to buy a vehicle you don’t really want. The only interests being served are yours. This is how we pay our product specialists at Legacy, and this approach has served our customers well for years.

How will you know if the dealer pays sales commissions? If you feel pressured to buy something you’re not thrilled about, that’s a good indication. The best way to find out, however, is just to ask: “Are you compensated with sales commission?” The response you get will let you know if you’re at the right place or not.

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