VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA -- This article is pretty long and is about my whole experience, but the last paragraph is the LONG STORY SHORT.
I went shopping around online and in magazines for cars, I am really only looking for a 4 cylinder, manual transmission car just in case I get deployed overseas my dad could assume my payments and drive that instead of his gas-guzzling truck. I came across a silver Mitsubishi eclipse in the automart magazine and called tidewater to ask about the price and mileage of the car. The salesperson I talked to was very friendly and told me that the car was within my price range and he had several more just like it that I could look at on his lot. He picked me up at the gate of my base in a white Mitsubishi Lancer with loud metal music, and drove like a madman to the dealership (this didn't really affect me because I've driven in Michigan the last 4 years, but I felt I should put that out for people that are uneasy with aggressive drivers).
So we get to the dealership and he gives me some time to walk around the lot and look at their inventory, I point out the four cars I could see myself purchasing (3 eclipses and 1 Acura Integra), I went into the office with him and INSTANTLY he wants to run a credit check on me even though I'd already been approved by another bank. He wouldn't talk prices with me until I said I had been approved for $10,000 and that's when he told me the eclipses were out of my price range (the only reason I had gone up there was the eclipse because it was in my range). The only car he could sell me at that price was the integra, and he told me that even then he was taking off $3,000 of the price.
I entertained the idea of the Integra, I had no intention of purchasing a car on the spot, but I didn't want to end the day without at least one decision to consider overnight. We walked outside with the keys, it started up alright, and I asked for the metal CD that he had in the Lancer so I could hear what the stock speakers sounded like, but the CD player didn't work. I got out of the car and walked around it and looked at the undercarriage.... to say the least "a piece of work" would be an understatement, bondo in the wheel wells covering up something (more than likely rust), dents and dings galor, the carpet was in rough shape but not torn, the floor mats were garbage, the driver side seat was torn and the lock for the rear hatch was "tricky" to quote the salesmen.
At this point I was iffy about the car and about the dealership but I figured I should give it a test drive, because I've had cars that looked like total crap and had been in accidents but ran for 80,000 miles perfectly. The guy that had been my salesperson up to this point had an appointment come in and turned me over to another salesperson. The other salesperson said he would drive out of the lot because Virginia Beach Blvd was a dangerous street to pull out on out of their dealership especially in a car I hadn't driven before (it did seem to make sense at the time). He pulled over into a parking lot and we switched sides so I could do my test drive. He made me hop onto a side street that was a 25 mph speed limit for about half a mile, and then made me take the right onto VA Beach Blvd to go 50 ft and turn into the dealership. I told him that wasn't much of a test drive and his response was "its a test drive, not a test cruise".
Out of the test drive this is what I got, the clutch was extremely soft for a sport vehicle (which means its pretty much done for and needs to be replaced), the brake rotors were rubbing on the pads and needed to be replaced, and there was probably more wrong with it that I couldn't find out because I didn't go more than 30mph. I told him my concerns about the brakes and he said they just passed Virginia State auto inspection, so he was either lying about it, or the ball joint is what was really wrong (which was $400 to replace on my last vehicle).
At that point I told him I wouldn't pay more than $6,000 for the vehicle, he started to get angry with me but managed to keep his cool partially. He pulled out a piece of paper that was printed off of Microsoft word telling me it was a Kelley Blue Book retail value statement appraising the car at about $13,500 and I was getting the vehicle for a "STEAL" at $10,000 I stood firm and told him "there is no possible way this piece is $10,000 I will offer $6,000 and even then I feel as if I'm paying too much" he went inside and talked to his manager and told me that the absolute bottom line for them was $8,500 on the vehicle. I told him I wanted him to go on KBB at that moment and pull up the vehicle, he refused, and asked me what I thought about the car de-valued it down to $6,000. I walked around the car and pointed EVERYTHING out to him, his response was "that's only aesthetics and everyone knows that aesthetics have absolutely nothing to do with the cars value". That was the point where I had no more tolerance for their b.s. and was going to leave the dealership. Before I left the owner and the original salesperson I worked with offered pizza and pepsi, and apologized that we couldn't come to a deal and offered to let me hang out there any time I wanted. Then I walked to the dealership next door (which could be another VERY long entry)
LONG STORY SHORT: I had a friend pick me up and take me back to base, I hopped onto some car appraisal websites. The value of the car in the condition it was in, was $5,600 on Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds which typically have over-estimates on vehicle prices. So the dealership originally wanted me to pay almost 3 times the amount of the cars value.
I do not recommend this dealership to anyone, and I will be going through my chain of command to have the rear-admiral black list Tidewater Auto Brokers so fellow Sailors and Marines don't get ripped off.
VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA -- I found a car on Craigslist that I was interested in, clicked the link to the dealership, and was brought straight to a "credit application." In the fields provided for entering some of the information I typed "I am pre-approved [with my bank]" and "I only want prices." Since I wasn't interested in applying for credit I went to the dealer's website and found the car to see if the price was listed. All the cars in the site said "Call or Email for Price." Being at work, I emailed about the car and almost immediately got a call on my phone which I ignored, then an email which I responded to stating clearly "please give me a price on this car." The person named James who claimed he is a retired Air Force master sergeant told me he'd never sold a car over the internet and to please call or come to the lot. I didn't respond until the next day when he emailed again saying he saw that I'd responded and to please visit the site to see if there was anything I was interested in.
The emails continued and I'll paraphrase: in each email I asked for the price of the car. He wouldn't give it to me. I'd let him know I had a trade in and was pre-approved and was not interested in financing. he refused still. I told him that at the grocery store, I wouldn't take an item to the register unless I knew how much it was. He still refused. I asked if he would sell the car to a person walking in with cash and he said that "money talks, bull s walks." I said OK, how much money? How much? He refused to give me a price unless I came to the dealership. I had repeatedly told him I would not go to the dealership without a price.
It ended with me telling him to go back to the "Chair Force," if he had ever been in the service at all. I had a hard time believing he had because everyone I've met of comparable rank did their best to train their juniors to avoid places like this. I then asked him not to email me again. He emailed anyway saying "sorry you have no trust in yourself" along with a derogatory statement about my military branch, which didn't bother me as I started the whole dig on his. It still showed his true colors and the dealership lost a possible sale.
If a dealership can't even give you a price, stay away from them.
VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA -- On May 23, 2005, a friend and I was spending the morning car shopping. We went to several dealers looking for a Ford Explorer similar to the one that I was driving, all dealers were pleasant and very nice at the first few dealers that I visited. As I was driving down Virginia Beach Blvd. I spotted Tidewater Auto Brokers and decided to see what they had to offer. As I drove in I didn't see any Explorers, but as I was leaving on of the sales men drove up in a Black Ford Explorer, exactly what I was looking forward to purchasing. Soon as I seen it drive up I was extremely excited and I, with my friend decided to go look at it. Just then a sales person came out and introduced himself as Kelly, he was pleasant. I asked him if it was for sale, he replied "yes it is" , I asked the year, it was a 2002, I asked the miles and the price, which he gave me a quote of around $10,000, that was perfect, so I asked if he could give me his business card so that I could write down that information so I could possibly come back the next day and purchase after looking, because that was by far the best price I had all morning. Just as the sales person that I was working with was going in to get a card, another man came out and asked me about the price I paid for the truck that I was driving. I let the man know that $6000 probably remained on it, but that wasn't an acceptable answer to him and he went on to do something that has never ever happened to me in all my life. He went on to say to me, "You are no f--explicit buy anything", "You are f---explicit not serious", "Get the f----explicit off of my property”. And this man also claimed that I had an attitude because I didn't give him the price of the vehicle that I was driving. I have never in my life suffered verbal abuse of such from anyone in a public marketplace and it was imperative to me to make this complaint and get my story out on the abusive customer service I received at the hands of this man, who says that he was the owner.
Tidewater Auto Brokers
VIRGINIA -- We shopped for 2 weeks before we went to Tidewater Auto Brokers. We bought a car for my son and nobody could beat their prices. Excellent Service and Quality of Cars. We got our loan from Navy Fed. Thanks Navy Fed and Tidewater Auto Brokers for taking care of our military! I would recommend this Dealer to all service members!
VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA -- Hi, I am a Sgt in the United States Marine Corp and I have a word or two to say about this company Tidewater Auto Brokers. Upon visiting many different types of available dealerships in that are, I found myself at their location. Now without a doubt I was skeptical to what was in store for me (after being at so many dealers beforehand). But I have to say that I an honestly impressed with the professional, high quality salesmen I encountered. It was not a very large dealership but their friendliness and individual care, soared over even the largest places I have been. I was greeted with respect, talk to in a way that I could easily understand and presented with only the vehicles I was interested in. I spent about 3 hrs. in their dealership and at no time had they pressured, insisted or even hinted that that had to sell me a car "TODAY".
I was given all the information I needed and they shook my hand and let me walk out without a word. Well after I went home I looked on the internet at their sight and learned even more. It would seem not only did they give me a wonderful experience, ( which I didn't expect )but I looked up all the information they gave me and they were doing for better than they expressed.
I compared vehicle prices and found that they were probably the best within hundred of miles. I did go back to the dealership and purchase the vehicle. I thank Tidewater Auto Brokers for a genuine good experience that far exceeds the notion of typical car dealerships.