"This is how car buying should be. "
- Michael A
I am very rarely shocked, but I certainly was on Saturday.
I drove to Watertown at about 930 am. I was prepared for an annoying day, as it's about 45 minutes away and I had already stopped a another, closer dealer and the car I wanted to see was already sold, but still on their site. Typical.
I pulled into the Valenti lot and parked, and poked around for bit, looking for 2 specific cars I came to see. I can't stand being approached by sales people within 10 seconds of setting foot on the property, and was pleasantly surprised that it didn't happen. I found the cars, looked them over, checked the lot for anything that may have been there that wasn't on the site yet, then went into the showroom. It's probably 10:45 at this point.
Mike Devine asked me if I needed help within 2 or 3 minutes of me looking at one of the cars in there. I told him I'd like to drive some of their CPO cars and he took some info and grabbed the keys. Maybe 5 minutes and we're off and driving.
I test drove the 2 cars and Mike told me everything he knew, what he liked about the models, and didn't BS anything he didn't know. One of the cars, the one I ultimately bought (RS5), isn't really something they sell a lot of, so it was nice to see him actually look up info I was asking, or just say he didn't know. 99% of Audis in CT are sold to obnoxious soccer moms, so dealing with an enthusiast is a lot different.
Anyway, I new what I wanted. We sat down, he gave me his best prices and I decided to add in a trade. Again, no BS (pricing is very straight forward), and it just didn't seem that we could come to the same number. We looked at a few other things available and compared some more numbers, and they ultimately got me closer to what I wanted for the trade and also to where I wanted to be on the buy. Ultimately, I wouldn't say I stole it, but all things considered, I doubt I'd have gotten a better number elsewhere.
So now we have a deal, but there are still hurdles to get over trying to do this on a Saturday. I have a trade, DMV, financing etc. They got it all done. Took maybe another hour once the actual deal was agreed on.
I don't get dealers. It's not magic. Mike honestly tried to earn a customer and he did. He could've taken an early lunch. Instead he looked around and made some calls to get more pricing on my trade, as I was insistent that it was worth more. Just that effort, as opposed to expecting that "people have to buy cars so they can deal with the experience or F off" normally found at dealer/with car salesman goes such a long way.
Even after it was settled and we were filling out paperwork, he just didn't do the obnoxious sales BS that they always tend to do. It was just price+doc+tax. That's it. Even VIN etching, the annoying already-on-the-form $200...he actually asked me "Would you like VIN etching." I've never been asked. Wasn't a sale...wasn't expected. He just asked. Now he had no way of knowing it's a pet peeve of mine and I can be particularly irate when I have to argue about it. It was just normal for him not to expect that the customer was just going to take it; or worse, not mention it and see if they miss it. As a small business owner, it's noticeable.
So basically TL;DR: Walked in on a Saturday, test drove two cars, made deal, negotiated traded and took delivery in less than an afternoon. Zero hassle. Zero stress. It was actually fun. Sure, I was buying a sports car and had nothing better to do. I wasn't buying a family car with screaming kids at home and 900 errands to run. But car guys with nothing better to do can be particularly difficult and jaded customers to please, and Mike did just that and will definitely be my first call when it's time for a replacement vehicle. Also, because of my sales experience with Mike, I'll be giving Valenti's service center a shot as well, even though there's an Audi dealer within a mile of my home.
"Certified Audi A4"
I am very happy to have gone to Watertown to buy the car. Everyone I dealt with was extremely helpful and accommodating. Absolutely NO PRESSURE when I test drove it. The best!!
They tried to steal our trade from us! Told us it had a salvage title and only wanted to give us 1000! bank said the title was clean and value is 4000