Lorraine Complains: If the car dealer starts calling you a VIP, be wary
Lorraine Sommerfeld - driving.ca | September 9, 2019.

I got a note in my mailbox a couple of weeks ago from a place that sells windows. They wanted to invite me to dinner
at a very spendy restaurant so they could pitch me on replacing all my windows.

I don’t need new windows, but more importantly, why would you have to buy me a fancy dinner to consider your company?

It’s not new. Remember free weekend getaways to make you buy a timeshare nightmare? I threw away the notice.

I do the same when a car dealership sends me letters offering to buy back my three-year-old car so they can sell me a new one. If you own a new-ish car with low miles and it’s been properly serviced, you’ve probably received the same offer...

If you had zero intention of ditching your vehicle, don’t scratch an itch you don’t have. This process is called a “pull ahead,” and means just what it says: they want to pull you ahead to your next vehicle. It’s one thing if you’re in the market, but it can be an overly aggressive, even predatory, sales technique that should make you wary. They’re also called VIP Sales, and Private Sale Events...

John Wallischeck, a Toronto car dealer, is blunter. “They’re dip netting. You shouldn’t feel pressured by those notices, and you shouldn’t be flattered.” Suddenly you’re a VIP...
They want your car for the same reason you shouldn’t let them have it. The worst of the depreciation is over...

George Iny, president of the Automobile Protection Association (APA) issues this warning: “The dealership retains hired guns who pose as representatives from the automaker.”

“You get a private invitation or pass supposedly unlocking the door to special discounts. If you sign on the spot, you can get additional special dealer products and services (over-)valued at up to $500 but you have to sign on the spot.”

APA shopped several of these events in Calgary and Vancouver from 2016 to 2018. Actual transaction prices were not lower than at competing dealers not having a private sale event. 

Read the full story on the driving.ca website