We all know many dealers still make money the old fashioned way, in spite of themselves. If we want to attract top notch professionals to our industry we need to be able to quickly identify attributes of the poorly managed and not employee focused stores.   Lets put together our Top Ten (or 20) Ways to know you work for a bad dealership. 

Keep responses down to two brief sentences. 


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When the incompetent service director who got fired 4 years earlier is brought back to fix what his successor messed up, is making a mess himself paving the way for the previously mentioned successor to take over again.

Thanks for the reply and keeping this discussion going for 3 years.   Clearly we sometimes have memory loss when it comes to our operations.


I can write a book from experiences that have happened to me as well as many others that I know.  Here goes:

1) The dealership has been through 6 Internet/BDC Managers in 18 months.

2) Your opinions matter on the job interview but after you are hired you are unimportant and irrelevant.

3) You go to meet with the owner to discuss reporting and what is going on with the BDC but the owner does not find time to talk to you.  You then get let go because you are supposedly just not doing it for the store.

4) Sales managers do not come off the desk to go TO customers.

5) The dealership changes the pay plan every month.

6) The dealership does not buy lunch on Saturdays.

7) GM works Monday - Friday from morning until around 6PM.  All they do is joke around but when a problem arises they flip out, yell and lose control of themselves.

8) You work a customer. They come in as a "be back" asking for you but it is your day off.  Someone takes them and sells them and you do not get half of the deal.

9) You are not allowed to take an "UP" until you put an appointment in the CRM.

10) The dealership either has no CRM or has 3 CRM systems in place and all 3 are jacked up.

11) Sales Managers are not properly controlled by GM or ownership and try to boss the Internet / BDC Manager around. (Middle Management Politics)

12. There is no training at all.  Sales Managers are not coaching their people but rather abusing them disrespectfully.

13. F&I does not work well with sales people.  This is usually because F&I does not care to come out of the office and work with the sales people to get everyone on the same page.

14. Your GM can only deal with things by yelling and flipping out because they are so incapable of actually performing their own job properly.

15. Everyone thinks they know everything and look at training as a complete joke.

16. When the owner has no clue that they are spending $35k per month on a digital marketing company yet the website is a basic wordpress that is duplicated by 10 other dealers (with different OEM brands), social media updates are rare and irrelevant, YouTube videos have no back links / keywords / contact information, PPC is never found anywhere on google searches.  But everything sounds good and smoke is being blown.

17. Owner or GM keep having little meetings every 5 minutes and making drastic changes without really thinking about it.  For example: Let's fire this BDC rep because they are not performing. 2 days later we have no receptionist coverage so let's call the person we just fired and bring them back as a receptionist.  More examples: Let's hire a 2nd BDC Manager with big experience and knowledge so that the first BDC Manager can try to learn really quick and steal their content.  After 11 days let's get rid of the newly hired manager even though you told them you were about to launch the other manager.

18. Dealers do not want to send managers to conferences and training workshops.

19. Owner hires new GM. New GM fires everyone and brings in their buddies and politics into the store.

20. The owners are rarely at the dealership letting an incompetent and political GM run the store.  The store does not grow anymore and there are behind the scenes politics.

21) Owner hires you and after 30-60 days decides that they have no idea what they are trying to accomplish so they let you go.

Stan, that's one of the best lists I've ever seen.  Unfortunately, I've seen so many of those over the years.   And it's no laughing matter... LOL!  Ooops!

LOL, great list.

When you open the file cabinet and find over $65,000 in unpaid service contracts, have a staffed event where the lead man carries oxycontin in a baggy and falsifies credit when you tell the dealer he says that's none of his business.

          Although the responses are humorous, I find it very sad that any employee would be exposed to these business practices and behavior! To keep things in perspective, there are plenty of other businesses that treat their staff the same way.

Mark, thanks for your comment. You are right many comments are humorous, but sad as most are true.  And as for saying it happens in other businesses, doesn't make folks in the car business feel any better.  I think you would be hard pressed to show me any other business (outside of migrant workers in the field) where many employees are treated with a lack of respect, little mentoring from managers, and work under some other poor conditions. 

When your top salespeople are coke heads.

If the desk man answers questions about price and cost that are irrelevant at the moment, and will put you in a position to need to lie in order to do your job, the desk man in that dealership does not understand the business.

If you don't get timely pay vouchers on each sold deal, and if the deals are consistently reduced when they go into F and I, especially when they are large, you work for a bad dealership.  It is about the managers more than anything else.

"No  experience PREFERRED - we train our way" 

When your first day as the new F&I manager begins with having to fire the person your replacing and ends with being told you didn't sign for 10 sheets of paper due to budget cuts. True story! The only thing faster than their new Corvette was me leaving their employment. 


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