Thursday, May 11, 2017

"Tricky" Ad Brings Car And Truck Buyers To Walmart Tent Sale

LABELLE, FL. -- Walmart in LaBelle is hosting a six-day automobile tent sale event in their parking lot this week. Local residents received a card in the mail this week which induced many car and truck shoppers to visit Walmart in hopes of getting a deal on a used car, or at the least winning one of the "prizes" promised by the mailing if the card's lucky number matches prizes ranging from thousands of dollars down to a $5 Walmart gift card.

Maus Nissan of Crystal River garnered permission from the LaBelle city council to hold a week long used car sale in the Walmart parking lot this week and shoppers visiting the car sale found lots of used cars without posted prices, hovering salesmen, and a visible lack of notification about who is selling the cars. One salesman wasn't entirely clear in explaining who was running the sale, saying the company was out of Crystal River and they had dealerships all over Florida.

The city says Maus Nissan was the dealer given permission to sell cars this week at Walmart, although several names were given to the city during the application for the special event permission. David Maus owns Maus Nissan and several dealerships, including stores in Crystal River, Sanford, and New Port Richey.

The mailing to local residents turned out to be misleading unless you took time to read the fine print which disclaimed any realistically good chance of winning a big prize or getting great deal on a car. The numbers printed on each card may lead some to believe they've already won a big prize, but the only way of knowing what you've won is to match the number with those at the tent sale, which in virtually all cases will be a $5 gift card win.

So, be prepared to only get a $5 gift card if you visit for your prize. And if you want to buy a vehicle, be prepared for an $899 additional dealer fee above the price of the vehicle which is not posted. None of the hundreds of cars had prices posted on them, so be prepared for some negotiation on the car and any trade in.

The so-called "Cash For Clunkers" event alleges to give customers a $2,752.41 "down payment assistance" check as well as "guaranteed 100% Credit Approval!" All this is actually meaningless because prices are negotiable when buying as well as trading in. If you have bad credit and want "guaranteed" credit approval, you'll be expected to place a significant down payment or get a co-signer with good credit, and sometimes be switched to a vehicle where they can get a lender to approve a loan for that particular car. 

The sales person I talked to did not have a business card and although evasive about who was the dealership selling cars, let me go in a few minutes after I told him I bought a car a few months ago and wasn't interested in another one at this time.

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