There is one thing that I hate more than car salesmen, and that is the little plastic badge or Mylar decal that the Dealership decides that they have EVERY right in the world to put on my new car or truck. I did not purchase this option, and no, I don't consider it to be a standard practice. I'm buying a car, not a billboard.  I hate those little Dealership decals and badges. Do you know what those badges are? Do you really know?

They are FREE advertising.

That's right. Think about it.  Remember the bad showroom coffee you had to drink, remember all the salesmanship and dull, worn out sayings that you had to sit through. Remember having to shake the salesman's hand while another salesman took a picture of you both, forever saved on film as a "Kodak Moment"? Remember playing the game of "Good Salesman, Bad Salesman?" It's all pathetic, kind of like going to kindergarten where all the toddlers have the keys to your car and you have to talk baby-talk to get them back.

Remember the cheap calendar, or the other 'promotion' that you received for giving away your hard earned money? Remember how you were paraded around the sales office like a piece of meat ("Hey, this is Chuck! He's the head of service, if you ever need anything, just call him! Chuck, this is Christopher, he's fixing to buy a new Grand Prix GTP!" to which Chuck would start to sing your endless praises...)

Yes, you had to endure all of it. The good handshake, the tired lines taken directly out of the circa 1920 Guide To Salesmanship:

"I think this car is *you*!"

"I've got another couple interested in this model, but they haven't put any money down on it. If we could get a down payment today, I can guarantee that this car will be yours..."

"We can get you any color you want, but if it was me, I'd look at this Tundra Green and Neon Flashing Pink model here. We've had a *lot* of interest in this car! It's been our best seller!"

Then why is it still here on the lot? Hmmm? Think about what the dealer is telling you.

Now, there is no reason why the Dealer should get something for nothing. I mean, you're paying a huge car note now each month for that brand new WS-6 Ram Air Pontiac Trans-Am, that 32valve Northstar System Cadillac Eldorado, your new GMC Yukon SUV, or whatever you are buying, and the Dealer is laughing his butt off behind your back.


Because he's pulled the oldest trick in the Car Dealer Handbook. He's getting you to work for him! And you know what? You're doing it for FREE! That's right. Just by driving around in your new car with the Dealership label or badge on the rear, you are the unwitting advertising minion for the Dealer. You are out there, pounding the pavement, people are seeing your bright new shiny car, and they see the Dealership badge, and the gears in their mind start spinning.

"Hey! I really like that new car that person is driving! Where did he get that!?"

Their eyes will search your car for some Dealership indicator, and chances are, the Dealer will make at least one car sale more off of you. Did you know that?

Do you get a percentage of this deal?


Do you get paid by the hour, the day, the week, or the month for advertising for the Dealer?


What do you get out of this deal?


Someone has just made money off of you, you've just worked for someone, and you did it all for free.

I believe that word of mouth is the best type of advertising. If I'm happy with the car or truck that I buy, and someone asks me where I got the best deal, I'll tell them. And I won't say "Go look on my bumper for my answer."

Think advertising is free? Go try to put your message on a billboard for free. Go try to put your message on a parkbench for free. See how much a taxi cab charges for the little advertising space on their doors and roofs. How much does it take to advertise in your favorite magazine or newspaper?

It's not free, you can bet on that.

So, here is my answer to Dealerships when I buy a new or used vehicle. If the Dealership wants to advertise their Dealership on my new vehicle, they must fill out, submit, and agree to the following advertising agreement. Print this out and take it to your Dealership when you buy a new car or truck. It's worth a few laughs just to see what the salesman will look like when he or she reads it.

BTW, I charge $100 a month per square inch of advertising space on my vehicle. I also round up to the next higher whole number, so if it's 1.23 square inches, I charge them for two square inches. Hey, they exceeded one square inch, if they don't want to use the other .77 square inches for something meaningful, then that's their problem!


Advertising Agreement and Contract

This advertising contract is entered into jointly by ___________________ (the Buyer) and ____________________ (the Dealership), hereafter referred to simply as the Buyer and the Dealership.

The purchaser of this new or used vehicle agrees to allow the Dealership to place on the new or used vehicle an advertising device (emblem, badge, or decal) indicating the name and / or location of the Dealership where this vehicle has been purchased. This advertising device will be installed at the expense of the Dealership with all expenses (advertising unit cost, labor cost, and any damage incurred during installation) payable by the Dealership. The Dealership shall also reimburse the Buyer for any time or pay lost during the installation process, if said process takes an excessive amount of time. This to include the use of a loaner vehicle or reimbursement for a rental vehicle while the Buyer's vehicle is being modified.

The cost to the Dealership for this advertising shall be $_______ paid to the Buyer on a ___________basis. The first payment shall begin on ___________________ and each following payment is due on the ________________________.

This payment is subject to a 30% late charge if payment is late by more than 5 business days from due date. Collection fees in the amount of $_____ plus any expenses incurred (mileage, meals, overnight travel and lodging, etc.) shall be applied to the sum of this debt.

Said advertising device may be no bigger than __________ (inches / cm) wide and ________________ (inches / cm) tall. It may protrude from the exterior of the Buyer's vehicle by no more than __________________ (inches /cm).

A brief description of the advertising device shall now be indicated here.





This advertising device must be placed exactly and correctly in such a way as not to damage the finish of the vehicle nor to take away from the looks or appearance of said vehicle. Any damage to the finish or exterior of the vehicle incurred by installation or removal of this advertising device shall be repaired at the expense of the Dealership mentioned above, which shall compensate the Buyer for any expenses incurred during the repair process, including time missed from work, lost pay, etc.

The Buyer is the final determiner of the correct position on the vehicle of the Advertising Device and also the final determiner of the acceptability of the installation of said Advertising Device.

This agreement may be terminated by either party giving a __________ advance notice of intention. The agreement is null and void should the Buyer remove the advertising device from their vehicle. If the Advertising Device should ever become damaged, the Advertising Device shall be replaced in full at expense by the Dealership. No refund is required of the Buyer to the Dealership for partial use of the device during a specified period. If a damaged Advertising Device is replaced with a larger unit, the increased costs will be absorbed by the Dealership and monthly rates will be changed accordingly.

If the purchaser of this new vehicle does not wish to enter into this advertising agreement, the Dealership must remove, at their expense, any emblems, decals, or other form of advertising bearing the Dealership name and / or location. Any damage incurred in the removal of this advertising piece shall be repaired, in whole, and to the Buyers satisfaction, at the Dealership's expense.
A copy of this agreement shall be kept by both the Buyer and the Dealership.


_________________________ (Buyer)
_________________________ (Dealership)
_________________________ (Witness)
_________________________ (Date)



I guarantee it's worth taking to the dealership. In a world where people can sue McDonald's because they burned their mouth on hot coffee (uh duh!), then I think you'll have every right in the world to sue for non-payment and unintentional use of your vehicle to the Dealership's personal and financial gain.

Hey, you're paying top price for their merchandise, why not get some help each month on your car note. If the Dealership wants you to advertise for them, then charge them for it! Heck, nothing in this world is free, why should this be any different? That $450 a month car note is greatly helped out by the $200 a month advertising expense paid by the Dealership, brings your payment down to $250 a month!

Not bad!

Go figure. Go prepared. And get some of the Dealership's money for a change. If he wants to advertise on your vehicle, do like the cab companies do. Charge him for the space!


The Dealership and that annoying Dealer Environmental Protection Package

Let's talk about two other 'little' things that the dealer tries to sneak past you ....

The first is "rust proofing".

If you read carefully, your car should come with a warranty against rust through for 3 years or 36,000 miles from the factory, maybe 5 years, 100,000 miles, maybe even longer! If *anything* goes wrong with your car body, rust, corrosion, etc. during this time, the factory must fix it, under warranty. Why, then, should you pay for the dealer to 'rust proof' your car at the dealership?!?!?

That always kills me. Like I was born yesterday...

If you look there on the window sticker, you'll find some little 'extra' pocket money for the dealer tacked on as "Dealer Environmental Package" or something like that. What? Has the dealer made your car more environmentally friendly? Has he sprayed on some magic mist that will reduce your emissions? Does your car cause flowers to blossom, hippies to break into guitar strumming Kum-Bah-Yah fits, and trees to grow along the sides of the highway when it passes?


Dealer Environmental Package. Ha!  This is simply a way for the dealer to make more money out of you, free money, and he's holding out his hand, you are giving him the money, and he's not even working for it! I mean, remember the bully at school that beat you up for your milk money? Remember how you wanted to see him get run over by a cement truck? And now, you don't have any ill feelings toward this dealer and he's taking hundreds of times more money from you than that bully ever did! Five simple words of advice:


This is simply the dealer tacking on extra money for nothing and the dealer is hoping that you'll be stupid enough to buy into this scam. They haven't rust proofed your car! That was done at the factory and is included in the price of your car, you don't have to pay extra for it! If you pay for it, don't expect the dealer to take your car around back, jack it up on a rack, and rust proof it! He won't. He'll tell you he did, but he won't. You see, he doesn't have to! It was already done at the factory!

And Scotchguard? You can do it yourself for about $10 and an hour of your time. Find out how much the dealer will charge you for this! If you pay more than $10 for this, then all I have to say is hahahahahahahahaha! Sucker!

Floor mats. They cost $20 at Walmart or Autozone for a great set with long wear capacity and this is for a complete set of front and rear mats. How much is the dealer charging you for your floor mats? $50? $100? Check it out! The money you save on floor mats could be enough to buy some extra rust proofing and Scotchguard!

Pin striping? The dealer will charge you $100 or more dollars for a simple pin-stripe down the side of your car! You can do this yourself, with a little patience, for about, oh, $5. Get the pin-striping material at your local auto parts store.

The bottom line when you go to buy your new car is this: Don't pay extra for the little things! Look over your invoice, make sure that what you are paying for is what you want to pay for. Sure, the dealer has to feed his kids and family, but any smart person will realize that you don't screw the customer. The customer is there for you to serve, not vice versa. I am not going to take care of some dealer and his family. I'll buy a car from him, but it's going to be on my terms. If he wants to sell, fine. If not, fine. There are too many dealers out there who want my business.

Don't ever pay more than $500 over DEALER cost for a vehicle. $500 is the limit, let the Dealer take advantage of some stupid person, not you. If someone wants to contribute to the Dealer Never Went To College Fund, fine. Not me. $500 over factory invoice. And I better get a free tank of gas with that as well. If not, like I said, there are plenty of dealers out there who would jump at the chance to do business with me.

And there is poetic justice. If you have to drive 90 miles away to buy your car, it'll be under warranty, and the local dealership, who didn't want to sell you the same car that you bought, will have to do the warranty work for free!

Good things happen to nice people, that's my motto.

Be smart.

Be shrewd.

Get your money's worth.

And don't drink the showroom coffee...