What should we get the car salesman as a sign of gratitude?
December 20, 2006 9:28 AM   Subscribe

We got a great deal from a car dealership. What should we get the salesperson as a sign of gratitude?

I've dealt with many car salesmen, and most of them are ahem, not such nice people and were looking to cheat us every step of the way. This guy however, gave us a great deal and was very nice the whole time (even though I wasn't as nice myself, in the beginning treating him like all other dealers).

So what should we get him as a sign of gratitude? I was thinking of a fruit basket, but I don't know how appropriate that is.
posted by zavulon to Grab Bag (19 answers total)
If you really want to give something meaningful, send him a nice note that formally offers yourself as a reference to whom he can refer people...that would be a real gift. A salesman's reputation is one of his primary assets, and if you can enhance that, you're giving something of real value.
posted by Pliskie at 9:33 AM on December 20, 2006

As a salesperson myself (not cars though!) I concur with Pliskie. A note of appreciation, copied to his boss, the dealership owner, etc - would be perfect. Even better, do it the old fashioned way - on letterhead and delivered via the postal service. That way he can frame it and hang it up in his cube as a testimonial other customers will read when they are hanging around negotiating a deal.
posted by COD at 9:39 AM on December 20, 2006

Agreed with all of the above. What you had was a business deal, and he made his commission off of it. A note, and an offer to be a referral is more than enough.

Damn, this guy MUST be a good salesman.
posted by griffey at 9:42 AM on December 20, 2006 [2 favorites]

Definitely a formal, written letter of gratitude, mailed to him and CCed to his boss. If you're feeling really generous, sure, send him a fruit basket, but the letter will please him the most because it will benefit him professionally.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:44 AM on December 20, 2006

I definitely fifth the suggestion.
posted by fvox13 at 9:48 AM on December 20, 2006

I nth the referral suggestion, and since it is that time of year, you might also send along a tasteful holiday greeting card. It's nothing too over-the-top, but it should be enough to let him know you truly appreciated his work.
posted by sarahsynonymous at 9:56 AM on December 20, 2006

Seventhing, and if you feel you want to include a gifty type thing, how about a fruit basket/chocolate box that can be shared with the dealership office as "from a happy customer?" This way his awesomeness can be quietly recognized by his colleagues.
posted by lalex at 9:59 AM on December 20, 2006

Yeah, I totally agree: the best thing you can send him is more customers, whatever way you can manage it. It's the gift that keeps on giving.
posted by kindall at 10:01 AM on December 20, 2006

It's a poor indication of the quality of our salespeople these days that having one treat you well and give you a "good deal" is sufficient to warrant a gift. He made money on the deal, you were happy with the price you paid, and you treated each other respectfully -- how did that become the exception instead of the rule?

also: get off my lawn, you kids!
posted by davejay at 10:05 AM on December 20, 2006

The best gift to give this salesperson is... referrals! Talk him/her up among your pals. You're probably already doing that though...
posted by Mister_A at 10:14 AM on December 20, 2006

Davejay makes a great point. Its very unfortunate that we don't have more salespeople (especially CAR sales) making this kind of an impression.

Can you go into a little detail on WHAT about him and this transaction made you so appreciative?
posted by Thrillhouse at 11:11 AM on December 20, 2006

Would you find it helpful to know if the hive agrees with your assessment that you got a great deal? Would you mind posting the details of the deal, including any extras (warranties, financing, dealer installed accessories, etc.)?
posted by found missing at 11:12 AM on December 20, 2006

I think s/he wants to give the salesperson something because of the original attitude s/he displayed, assuming there would be some attempted scamming.

I nth the referral letter idea, and if you really want a gift, this car cookie basket is cute.
posted by jesirose at 11:23 AM on December 20, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks all for suggestions. I think I definitely want to go with a official-looking thank you letter.

As far as why I want express gratitute, it's a combination of the attitude - it was always great, even when I was giving him a hard time (which I'm not proud of, I was doing that based on my previous experiences with other salespeople, which is completely unfair), and price, which was significantly below invoce (not even talking about MSRP)

Thank you!
posted by zavulon at 11:28 AM on December 20, 2006

I do think that great salespeople are able to make you feel great even after a deal that isn't so great. Anyway, you might get a phone call survey asking you about the dealership and the salesperson. In some cases those surveys are critical for the salesperson's bonuses. You can rate him/her the highest on all categories. In addition, let him/her know that you will be referring your friends and neighbors. That is all that is necessary. A fruit basket would be fruity.
posted by found missing at 11:35 AM on December 20, 2006

Am I the only one who finds this question bizarre? Your salesperson and you were involved in a negotiation, and you apparently feel pretty good about how you did. But at the same time, the salesperson would NOT have agreed the deal if he and the dealer were losing money on it.

He should be sending YOU a gift as a thanks for the sale, not the other way around. If he made you think you were friends during the negotiations and that you were getting a really special deal, that just means he is a very effective at his job, and good for him. But buying a gift for the person who made money off of the deal is definitely not necessary.

To be honest, the fact that you're the kind of person who is considering buying a gift for the salesmen makes me think you might be a little naive and maybe didn't get as great a deal as you thought you did.
posted by GregW at 12:23 PM on December 20, 2006 [1 favorite]

I can second for Found Missing. When I bought a car it ended up being very messy. I got one of those 'rate us' postcards from Chrysler a few weeks later and sent it back with a lot of negative marks.
The next time I called the dealer they recognized my name from the card and they were clearly unhappy. The guy took it VERY personally. Their service sucked and they deserved what they got. He didn't even try to make things better, he just wanted to be angry at me.
posted by Thrillhouse at 12:24 PM on December 20, 2006

If you feel it was a good deal and you were fairly and respectfully treated, I add my support to the "send a letter" chorus. If you can find a way to do it on letterhead and provide details of why such treatment was particularly important to you, so much the better.

But I'm with GregW as well. My wife bought a car a month or so ago, and though the salesperson was very good, very fair, very nice to deal with, met every deadline, phoned several times to keep us apprised of the status of the deal - and even more, 20 years ago he knew a good friend of mine...

He still bought us the fruit basket to thank us for doing business there. And to bribe us for giving him 5/5 on all the post-sale questions from his parent company...

So don't worry. The dealer made money, the salesperson made his commission, everything went perfectly, it seems, for them, where perfect = closing the deal. A letter they can post in their waiting area or something is probably as good as you could do for them.
posted by mikel at 1:40 PM on December 20, 2006

It is too bad that being treated fairly and warmly in a business transaction is so remarkable, but it doesn't happen as often as it should and I think it needs to be encouraged.
The commission probably depends on how much you paid for the car and then there is often a bonus for the salesperson who can suck the most out of the customers. I say send the letters and even the fruit or some homemade cookies if you like.
posted by BoscosMom at 7:31 PM on December 20, 2006

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