“I was a car salesman, if you can believe it.”
Chris Stapleton, Musician
Pros and Cons of Working as a Car Salesperson
You think about becoming a car salesman but are not entirely sure whether this is the right job for you or not? Great! Then this article is exactly for you.
In fact, I show you all the pros and cons of being a car salesman in the following chapters.
Car Dealer Job Profile
|Job Description||Car salespersons work in car dealerships and consult people regarding what would be the best car for them.|
|Salary||$56,000 per year on average, ranging from $35,000 to $150,000 per year. How much you make as a car salesperson greatly depends on how good you are at selling since you will get a commission for each car you sold.|
|Job Security||Rather poor since car salesmen are replaceable pretty easily.|
|Job Satisfaction||Decent if you like working with people and cars.|
|Work-Life Balance||Good since you will often have standard workweeks and free weekends and holidays.|
|Physically / Mentally Demanding?||Neither physically nor mentally demanding most of the time.|
|Future Outlook||Poor since many car dealerships will have to close since middlemen will no longer be needed in the future.|
|Requirements||No special educational requirements, finishing high school will be enough in most cases.|
Advantages of Being a Car Dealer
- You can work with people
- Being a car salesperson can be a passion
- Car salesmen can make decent money
- You don’t need fancy education for becoming a car salesman
- You can avoid student loan debt
- You can start your own car dealership
- Car salesmen can work indoors
- You may get discounts on your own car
- Standard working hours as a car salesperson
- You will often have free weekends
- You will not suffer from that much time pressure
- Pretty decent work-life balance
- You always know about the latest car models
- You may be able to drive fancy cars as a car salesman
- Good job if you have a rather extroverted personality
You can work with people
One important advantage of being a car salesperson is that you will be able to work with many different people. Every day, new people will come into your car dealership and will ask you for advice.
This will not only be nice since you can help those people out regarding all questions related to cars, but you can also talk with those people about various other topics.
In turn, your work may not really feel like work but rather like a number of conversations that can be pretty fun, at least if the right people come to your place.
Being a car salesperson can be a passion
Working as a car salesman can also be great for you in case you are really passionate about cars and would spend your time even without getting paid for it. In fact, being a car salesperson is more than a job for most people. It is rather a passion with which they can also make a living.
This is the best type of job since it will not really feel like work and if you are the type of person who loves cars, time will fly and chances are that you will be really happy about what you are doing for a living.
Car salesmen can make decent money
Another upside to working as a car salesperson is that you can also make really good money. Sure, you will often not earn as much as a lawyer or a doctor. Yet, some car salesmen make a six-figure income and if you are really good at selling stuff, you can make a decent income from selling cars.
However, please note that also the opposite can be true and bad sales people will barely be able to make a living out of what they are doing. Hence, you should really ask yourself whether you are a good salesperson or not before deciding for or against a career in this field.
You don’t need fancy education for becoming a car salesman
You also don’t have to go to college or to get another fancy education for becoming a car salesperson. In most states, it will be enough to finish high school and you will be ready for the next steps. In some cases, you might not even need to finish school.
In fact, it is much more important for a good salesperson to appear trustworthy and competent since people who buy cars from you will not see your degree but they will see the person who wants to sell them something.
Thus, certain character traits are much more important for being a good car salesperson than holding a fancy degree.
You can avoid student loan debt
Since you can avoid going to college, you also can avoid falling for the student loan debt trap. In our current state of the world, it seems to be quite common to take on huge sums of student debt. While this can make your time in college easier, it also leads to serious financial problems for many people once they get out of college since they have to pay back this money somehow.
If you don’t find a well-paying job afterward, chances are that it will take you many years or even decades to pay back student debt. Consequently, while many of your friends will struggle with those things, you can earn money right after finishing school and will also be able to buy your own home and to become independent of your parents sooner.
You can start your own car dealership
You also don’t need to work as an employee forever. You can just work in a car dealership for a few years, save some money, get some experience and then open your own car dealership. In fact, many people go this career path and some people who start their own car dealerships make much more money compared to working as a normal employee.
Sure, having your own business is usually much more demanding than working in a job. Yet, if you are the entrepreneurial type of person who wants to have full control, you will be free to achieve this dream sooner or later as a car salesperson if you are willing to work hard for it.
Car salesmen can work indoors
As a car salesperson, you can also avoid working under extreme conditions outdoors. While many people still have to work outdoors during heavy rain, snow or extreme heat, you will have the privilege to work indoors in protected environments and will also have heating and air conditioning to make your time at work as comfortable as possible.
You may get discounts on your own car
Another upside to working in a car dealership is that you may also get discounts on your own car. If you love cars and always want to have the latest models, chances are that you will have to spend large sums of money on this hobby.
However, if you work as a car salesperson, you might get discounts and your boss may also be willing to sell you cars at a lower price than most people would be able to get.
Standard working hours as a car salesperson
As a car salesperson, you will also have a rather standard workweek. Quite often, you will just work 9 to 5 and will be able to get back to your home rather soon.
This can be great since you will have plenty of time to meet up with your friends after work or just to enjoy precious time with your children. You will also not work that many extra hours.
Sure, there might be busy times where you have to work more. However, compared to other jobs, you will still have plenty of leisure that you can spend on the things you love more than working.
You will often have free weekends
Not only will you have a pretty standardized workweek as a car salesman, but you will also have free weekends most of the time. This can be great since free weekends allow you to make nice weekend trips together with your family.
You can make city trips or just enjoy your time in natural environments. Either way, you can relax from your stressful daily life on weekends and this will give you a good chance to stay mentally and emotionally healthy in the long run.
You will not suffer from that much time pressure
Compared to many other jobs out there, you will also not suffer from excessive time pressure. Sure, you cannot spend too much time on each client. Yet, you will still be able to take your time to convince your customers that the respective car will be indeed the right choice for them.
You will also not have to prepare presentations that have to be finished pretty soon as in many other office jobs. Instead, you can spend your time at work in a rather relaxed manner.
Pretty decent work-life balance
In general, many car salespersons also report a pretty good work-life balance. Even though their jobs might be stressful in busy periods of the year, they often come back home on time and also have plenty of leisure to spend on the things they like.
Due to the regular workweeks and time off on weekends and holidays, car salesmen can go for many different hobbies while having a family and making decent money at the same time.
Of course, this also greatly depends on the company you work for and the stress level and the workload may be high in some companies.
Yet, there are also many other car dealerships out there that provide pretty decent working conditions and you can still switch if you have chosen a bad one for your first job sooner or later.
In fact, car dealerships exist in almost every city and you will therefore have plenty of opportunities in this regard.
You always know about the latest car models
Another advantage of working as a car salesperson is that you will always know about the latest developments in the market. In fact, car dealers will get to know the release dates of cars and other information usually much sooner than the general public.
Also if there are delays, you will be the one who knows about them sooner. This insider knowledge can be really helpful, not only for you but also for your family and friends since you can always update them and keep them informed about the latest developments in the car industry.
You may be able to drive fancy cars as a car salesman
As a car salesperson, you may even be able to drive all sorts of fancy cars. In fact, many car dealerships want you to drive a car before you actually sell it to clients since you can convince your clients much better if you know what you are talking about.
You will often also be able to sit next to a client when he or she makes a test drive. Either way, you will often be able to sit in the latest car models and this is a privilege that not many other people have.
Good job if you have a rather extroverted personality
Becoming a car salesperson can also be great for you if you are the type of extroverted person who loves to talk to people. If you are also persuasive and know what drives people, chances are that you will be able to have a nice career in car dealerships.
As you can see from the previous analysis, there are indeed many advantages of working in a car dealership. Yet, there are also many problems related to it which I show you below.
Disadvantages of Working as a Car Merchant
- You have to sell something
- Car salesmen often have to withhold the downsides of cars
- Rather questionable job security
- Your salary will depend on the number and the price of cars you sell
- Rather low social standing in society as a car salesperson
- You may become obsolete in the future
- Not a good job if you are an introverted person
- You may get bored in the long run
- Difficult to find a different job
- You always have to smile and be nice
- You will not create that much value
- Promotion opportunities will be rather limited
- You have to achieve certain benchmarks to keep your job
- Working climate may be rather poor
You have to sell something
One disadvantage of being a car salesperson is that you simply have to sell stuff to people. Selling often means that you will not be completely honest and will often try to convince people to buy cars they might not even need.
In fact, many car salesmen will not be completely honest in their assessment regarding what car will be best for a customer. Instead, they often go for the car that pays them the best commission.
Car salesmen often have to withhold the downsides of cars
Many car salespersons also get the order to withhold the downsides of cars from customers. While salespeople in car dealerships often talk about the strengths of cars, they often also neglect the weaknesses and display cars in a much more positive light than it would be done in an objective manner.
Consequently, working as a car salesman will likely not be for you if you are a rather honest person who just wants to inform customers as best as possible since you will just not sell that many cars and will therefore also not make that much money.
Rather questionable job security
Another downside to working as a car salesperson is that you will also suffer from rather questionable job security. In fact, car salesmen are easily replaceable and you might just get fired sooner or later if someone more talented or someone who works for less money comes along in the future.
Thus, being a car salesman also implies significant uncertainty regarding your financial future and you should make sure that you are able and also willing to deal with this financial pressure.
Your salary will depend on the number and the price of cars you sell
Not every car salesperson makes the same amount of money. In fact, how much you will make as a car salesman greatly depends on the number and the price of the cars you sell. You will get a commission for every vehicle you sell to customers and this commission will often be a fraction of the price of the car.
Hence, while you can make really good money if you work in a fancy car dealership with high-priced cars, you will often not make that much money in average car dealerships.
Moreover, your income will also greatly depend on your skills as a salesperson. If you are really bad at convincing people, chances are that you will be barely able to make a living out of what you are doing.
Rather low social standing in society as a car salesperson
You will also have rather low social status in society as a car salesperson. Many people just don’t respect sales people since they have made bad experiences with them in the past and some of them may even insult you.
Even your own family and friends might not understand why you want to become a car salesman and may try to get you on a different career path.
Thus, make sure that those comments will also not bother you that much and that you really want to become a car salesperson, no matter what other people say about you.
You may become obsolete in the future
Another disadvantage of working as a car salesman is that you might simply become obsolete in the near future. Many car dealerships closed over the past years and chances are that this trend will continue.
Sales people are just the middlemen between car manufacturers and customers and these middlemen will often become obsolete since many people will just buy directly from manufacturers in the future.
This also means that you will have no job security at all in the future and that you may just get fired from one day to the other and may also have a hard time finding a new job.
Not a good job if you are an introverted person
Whether working as a car salesman can be considered a good job or not also greatly depends on your personality type. While it can be great if you are an extroverted and outgoing person who loves to talk to people, the opposite will be true if you are a rather introverted person who just wants to work without too much contact with clients.
Consequently, you should probably go for a different career path if you belong to the second group of people.
You may get bored in the long run
Many car dealers also get really bored with what they are doing in the long run. Selling cars is just not that exciting once you have sold many of them anymore and many people in this industry also urgently want to quit their jobs due to that but often don’t find other alternatives.
Difficult to find a different job
As a car salesperson, it will also not be that easy to find a job in a different industry. Especially if you haven’t learned any other skills, chances are that an industry switch will be almost impossible and that you will be stuck in your current position forever.
You always have to smile and be nice
Sooner or later, you will also have to deal with pretty difficult people who just want to bring you down, no matter what. While you might just be quite annoyed, you still have to smile and be nice to those people and this may cause an inner emotional conflict which can lead to serious mental issues in the long run, at least for rather sensitive people who don’t know how to handle those situations in a proper manner.
You will not create that much value
Another problem with working as a car dealer is that you will also not create that much value. Sure, you will consult customers regarding whether a car will be suitable for them or not.
Yet, you will not produce anything and may also often feel like wasting your time at your job while you could do so much more with your life.
Promotion opportunities will be rather limited
As a car dealer, you will just sell cars. This is what you are meant for and even though you might be pretty good at what you are doing, chances for promotions are rather small and you will often work as a normal salesman for many years or even decades.
You have to achieve certain benchmarks to keep your job
Many car merchants even get fired since they just don’t achieve certain sales benchmarks. For instance, your boss might tell you that you have to sell a number of x cars if you want to keep your job in the long run.
If you don’t sell those x cars, you will simply have no future in this car dealership and this can cause constant pressure for car salesmen who have to meet those ambitious goals.
Working climate may be rather poor
Due to the high level of job insecurity in car dealerships, the working climate will often be rather poor and you might not have a good time with your colleagues since everyone will try to keep his or her job as best as possible and there will not be that much room to be nice to each other.
Top 10 Being a Car Salesman Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Being a Car Salesman Pros||Being a Car Salesman Cons|
|Car salesmen can make decent money||Salary depends on your selling skills|
|You can work with people||Being a car salesman can be boring|
|You can combine your passion with work||Working climate may be rather poor|
|You will have insider knowledge||Poor job security|
|Being a car salesman is not that stressful||Unpleasant future job prospects|
|You will have standard workweeks||You will have to sell stuff|
|Most car salespersons have free weekends||You may have to meet ambitious goals|
|You don’t have to work outdoors||Difficult to get out of this industry|
|You will learn a lot about cars||You have to deal with difficult clients|
|You may be able to drive latest models||Rather low social standing|
Should You Become A Car Salesperson?
Whether you should become a car salesperson or not depends on your character traits, your preferences and your individual circumstances.
You should definitely take some time to evaluate all the advantages and disadvantages of being a car salesman in this article so that you can make a profound decision regarding your future career path.
If you are still interested in a car dealer career, also make sure to have a look at the salary, prospects, working hours, job satisfaction and educational requirements of car dealers.
Also make sure to check out the following articles:
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.
This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.
Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.
I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.
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