Dec. 26 May Not Be Best Sales Day, but End of Month Surely Is

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Here we go again, its coming up on the end of a month; there are two holidays coming up in the next two week, and people are running around beating the bushes with Buy Now signs whizzing on and off on their neckties. (I always wanted to wear one of those to work, but my wife said it looked tacky and I had to agree, but were getting away from the point).

Buy Now! Buy Now! The lights keep going on and off. And these same folks are willing to tick off a least five reasons you should buy now:

1.The 2009 models are about to become a year older and that makes them harder to sell that theyre still new cars never seems to enter this sales gambit
2.Theres a holiday involved and the day after the holiday no ones interested in  buying cars, so you can get a great deal
3.Theres a holiday marking the new year next week, so you can get a great deal
4.Dealers have to move their 09 inventory to make room for 2010 models
5.Its the end of the month and dealers are facing pressure to meet their quotas

Of all the reasons listed, the most valid reason we have found after spending some years selling cars, the fifth reason is the most truthful. (Full disclosure time: I worked for a major Boston auto group for nearly six years in Internet and online sales as well as in retail sales work so I do have a fairly good idea of how the industry works.)

You see, dealers have certain sales goals to make every month. If they dont make those goals them may find their inventory is cut back or they are given a mix of inventory that wouldnt sell if monkeys were buying it and the preferred case was bananas (and, the dealers were handing them the bananas).

So, given the fact that dealers want to make their sales goals, they will start getting aggressive in the last week of ANY month not just the week between Christmas and New Years or not on New Years (I remember working some New Years holidays in the last 10 years where we just sat around and watched football). Plus, the deal must be paid for and on the dealerships sold books as a SOLD so a dealer has to come up with ways of making this happen.

This means that you'll be pressured to get the deal done as soon as possible, maybe even before you are ready, especially if you want to contact your own credit union or bank to check out the load rates available to you. You might be able to save a point of two using your own banking resources, something that dealers don't tell you for the simple reason that they want to make that extra point or two which, over  the life of a 72-month loan could add a bit to the dealership's bottom line.

Still, as they say, waiting a moment too long could cost you something because dealerships actually do their best dealing in the last three or four days of the month. And, while we don't necessarily agree with his reasoning, Jay Rosenthal, sales manager of Long Island's Rallye Acura, indicated that Dec. 26 is the day to be at the dealership. He told AOL Autos yesterday that:
People arent always aware of the not-always-advertised deal occurring late in the year in showrooms, Rosenthal said. You have manufacturers as well as dealers who are looking to hit their objectives before January, and it can get a little crazy. The manufacturers compete against each other, and thats definitely to the consumers advantage.

What he failed to point out is that this goes on pretty much 12 months a year as dealers receive their sales positions within their sales districts and who then resolve to move up a notch or two. This means aggressive marketing and competition every month of the year.

An interesting feature about the day after Christmas is that it us usually an all-hands-on-deck day. In other words, there are no days off and everyone works bell to bell (in some dealerships that can now be as late as 11 or midnight), while waiting for a planned sales onslaught that never seems to come. The reason this doesn't happen is quite simple, the day after Christmas people are at the Mall returning gifts they don't want or need or which might be the wrong size for something they can use.

Cars are the last items on their minds. They usually get around to car-buying around the 28th and then the week, for some reason, becomes on of the best in the year. Indeed, in our own dealership, we found that the day after Christmas was slow, but the days following that day, until Dec.31 were invariably very busy. Much of the business coming in because of he reason Rosenthal noted.

On a deal-for-day basis, Rosenthal is right because, while it is tough to get customers into  the door right around and just after Christmas maybe it's because it is buying season that customers will take advantage of any deals offered, although, as we have noted, they tend to wait until after the holiday to make their dealership visits.

Indeed, quoting TrueCar.Com, AOL noted, the best sales days are the Dec. 24th, 26th, 27th and 28th. The last dates make the most sense and it when dealerships will likely do their best business. Still, you can't count out the Christmas Eve because dealers will do just about anything to keep customers in house and will try to get them into new cars.

Factories usually help out with special incentive programs, but these will go away quickly, as will specially discounted prices, so while buyers do wait, they mustn't wait too long or they could lose the deal they are looking for.


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