The salesman judged the couple by their age group and thought they don't have the money to buy a Ford car.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on July 14, 2023. It has since been updated.
It is true that salespersons, particularly those working at high-end stores, make assumptions about their customers far too quickly and confidently. They use their judgment to sell better, but these tactics don't work because judging customers based on preconceived opinions gets them nowhere. Something similar happened to Reddit user u/senadi1 who shared their experience and proved that one shouldn't judge a book by its cover.
The post was captioned, "Car salesman talks himself out of a sale" and gathered more than six thousand upvotes. After conducting extensive research, the man and his wife scheduled appointments with salesmen from Kia and Ford dealerships. The Kia Ceed meeting went well, so they happily went to the Ford garage, as they preferred the Ford Mondeo more over the Kia Ceed. However, the meeting with the Ford salesman didn't go as planned.
"We both had well-paying and stable jobs and, additionally, had the support of a low-interest loan from our parents to fund a purchase. We did our research extensively and decided that there were two options for us: a Ford Mondeo or a Kia Ceed with our preference for the Mondeo. We’d worked out all the financials, we could afford both (secondhand). At this point, we found our local dealerships and booked appointments with both to test drive the cars so we could make a final decision," they shared.
They explained how the car shopping went, "We liked the car and the salesperson was helpful. We happily trundled across to the Ford garage for our appointment and were met by John the salesman. John was an old white salesman who had clearly been selling cars for years and he had clearly made a snap decision about the young couple in front of him." The second meeting, on the other hand, provided some unpleasant surprises. "Old" salesman John sat them down and inquired about their budget, which they gladly shared. However, the salesperson did not appear to believe their response and insisted on knowing their salaries, as well as, other financial information.
The couple naturally refused to share their personal information and only asked to test drive the car, which the salesman refused. He even did not let the clients see the interiors of the car because they were, according to him, "not serious buyers." "We left and walked back into the Kia dealership and bought the car we test-drove earlier and were very happy with it, keeping it for the next 6 years!" the user added, sharing that this discrimination was not based on race since John and the couple were white. However, John had to learn his lesson.
The Reddit user explained how they had the last laugh. "This wasn't enough for me though! I took a picture of the Kia and sent it to the manager of the Ford branch to say that we had bought the Kia because of the actions of John. The reply from the manager was surprising. He replied that he was devastated because their margins were so tight and explained that John would receive a reprimand for losing them money. Moral of the story: Don’t judge a book by its cover!"
People in the comments section could relate to the incident very well. "Had a salesperson ignore my wife when we bought an extended cab pickup in 1993. Another focused on highlighting the mirror on the visor on the passenger side. 3rd dealer was great. Idiots at the 1st and 2nd dealers didn’t realize my wife would be the primary driver," shared u/Fast_Fee517.
"This happens to my wife and I frequently, not just with cars but any large purchases. We've both been working for 40-plus years at well-paying jobs. We are comfortable in jeans and T-shirts. We pull up in a 91 square-body GMC and salespeople run in the other direction. We laugh about it now but it took some time to figure out what was going on," u/ohmaint chimed in.