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    Have you ever wondered how a car salesperson's commission is structured? How are they getting paid and how much does that mean they earn? Knowing how much the car salesman is paid can help us understand the thinking behind their sales approach. This, in turn, can help you as you look to buy your car at the dealership (or over the phone or internet, if you choose those routes).

    How much does the average car salesperson earn? We posed this question to our car-buying expert, Michael Royce, and here is his response:

    Car salesmen are paid on a percentage of the profit of the sale. This percentage varies from dealership to dealership but usually runs in the 20% to 25% range. (Some dealerships use "sales teams." In this method, one salesperson will give you the test drive, do the write-up, etc. and the "team manager" will close the deal. In this case, they share the commission.) So if you buy a new car for, say, $300 over the invoice cost, the salesman may earn only a $50 to $75 commission.

    In addition to his commission, though, the salesman can earn bonuses that are available from both the dealership and the manufacturer for good sales performance. Usually bonuses - or "spiffs" - are offered to any salesman who sells, say, over 8 cars in a month. "Spiffs" may also be offered for meeting certain profit goals (for example, selling a car for $1,000 over the invoice cost), selling certain profit-making extras (such as paint or fabric protection, alarms, extended warranties, etc.), selling a particularly hard-to-sell vehicle, and so on.

    According to a recent national survey, the average commission for car salesmen is $250 per vehicle sold. The average selling price per vehicle is about $1,000 over the invoice cost. And the average number of cars sold is 8 to 10 vehicles per salesman per month.

    Read More About Car Buying:

    - Car Buyer Secrets
    - Car Buyer School
    - Car Buyer FAQs

    Michael Royce is a consumer advocate and former car salesman. For more car-buying tips and advice, visit his Beat The Car Salesman website.

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    1 - 20 of 296 Comments
    Chromo0048 Mar 26, 2011 2:15 PM
    Lol, who would ever buy a Sunfire.
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    maggiezute1 Nov 28, 2010 1:44 PM
    I decided to leave a career, if I can call that after 10 years doing it as a designer and a "furniture" top sales professional. I am more of a designer but I managed to be a million dollars top sales person for so long. It is no longer the case. My life went upside down the past 2 years. I am a single mother and supporting two children totally on my own. I am in trouble financially for the lake of income. I applied for so many different jobs but you get "you are overqualified" thing, all the time. I did go to school for design and I am very good at it. I love my client and I treat them the way I want to be treated. In return they trust me and they look for me. The Internet shopping took the benefit away from us, and you work so hard to please your client, you to their homes, you do floor plans and you work for hours and hours to present then with what would be best for them, guess what, they turn around and buy on line, or go to NC. I decided to change my career totally and enter the men's world. Care are beautiful to me, but I don't know much about them. I hate it if I run out of gas or if I get a flat. I would not know what to do. It is the truth, but I am willing to learn for my children sake. It is going to be hard to be out in the cold and fight the sharks on sale's floor but that's the way they do it in care selling business. I am about to be kicked out of my home, I have not paid any of my bills and I have nothing. I am so afraid and please do not tell me to look for something else, I did. I hit rock bottom. Any advice or tips would be so appreciated. I am not that young any more of all this and I am not that old so I am willing to try but I am not working till mid December and I don't know what will happen to us till then. Am I making a mistake here. Please help...
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    qo00000010083297 Mar 24, 2010 10:26 AM
    I sold cars at a Ford Dealership, both new and used. I made more money in selling the used cars! Even though we got spins on some of the new cars,plus the mini, we also got spiffs and bonuses to move the old ones.
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    navigator9000 Nov 07, 2009 10:36 PM
    I just got a job as a salesman for a Ford dealership. I never sold a car in my life, never was a salesman before this job either. I retired early from my previous job and collect my pension, I was bored doing nothing and decided to look for a job. Well with the economy the way it is with few jobs available I decided to give car sales a try. I mean what do i have to lose but my time and since I collect my pension I am under no pressure to sell immediatly. I figured I would learn on the job and take it from there. Well today I started, I got thrown into the fire immediatly. I signed in at 9am, sold my FIRST car at 11:30, took me 2 1/2 hours for my first sale. I made $300 for this sale so I am happy about that. The guy who bought this vehicle was a easy sale, he was a payment buyer, he didnt care much about anything other than his monthly payment. So easy with that type of a guy, now he has his payment in his range that he wated but at SEVEN YEARS!!!! Now if any of you read this, do not buy a car based on monthly payments because if a dealership could put that payment for 10 years they would. You will get your payment you want but at a extended time period, YEARS AND YEARS!! When its time to get rid of that car you may have paid for it 2 times, if you want to trade it in before that 7 year time frame you will be upside down on the trade. You will owe more than what the car is actually worth. Look at the prices on the internet, look for the manufacturers rebates, look at the kelly blue book or edmunds for invoice price and do your home work because if you come to me unprepared I will take your wallet as well as your first born kid!!! I will do this with a smile and a hand shake and not think twice about it.
    Report This
    navigator9000 Nov 07, 2009 10:36 PM
    I just got a job as a salesman for a Ford dealership. I never sold a car in my life, never was a salesman before this job either. I retired early from my previous job and collect my pension, I was bored doing nothing and decided to look for a job. Well with the economy the way it is with few jobs available I decided to give car sales a try. I mean what do i have to lose but my time and since I collect my pension I am under no pressure to sell immediatly. I figured I would learn on the job and take it from there. Well today I started, I got thrown into the fire immediatly. I signed in at 9am, sold my FIRST car at 11:30, took me 2 1/2 hours for my first sale. I made $300 for this sale so I am happy about that. The guy who bought this vehicle was a easy sale, he was a payment buyer, he didnt care much about anything other than his monthly payment. So easy with that type of a guy, now he has his payment in his range that he wated but at SEVEN YEARS!!!! Now if any of you read this, do not buy a car based on monthly payments because if a dealership could put that payment for 10 years they would. You will get your payment you want but at a extended time period, YEARS AND YEARS!! When its time to get rid of that car you may have paid for it 2 times, if you want to trade it in before that 7 year time frame you will be upside down on the trade. You will owe more than what the car is actually worth. Look at the prices on the internet, look for the manufacturers rebates, look at the kelly blue book or edmunds for invoice price and do your home work because if you come to me unprepared I will take your wallet as well as your first born kid!!! I will do this with a smile and a hand shake and not think twice about it.
    Report This
    steveroof911 Sep 10, 2009 5:47 PM
    Preowned sales consultants make more money per sale . Agood used car sales personscronin can still make in excess of 75k per year. scronin
    Report This
    jprpfan58 Sep 10, 2009 5:36 PM
    I'd worry more about how the government is screwing us if I were you...
    Report This
    jmorton525 Sep 10, 2009 3:40 PM
    The writer is correct on a few points, however being an Automotive Sales Consultant (not a euphanism, I'll explain after) myself, I can complete this article. First, the title is not grammatically correct. Plural for salesman is salesmen. Could be a typo. Anyway, the correct term is Sales Consultant. There is probably a higher percentage of women in congress than in auto sales, but this is changing. Consultant, as I mentioned is not a euphanism. Salesmen, or better yet salespeople work in many places, such as department or outlet stores. Sales Consultants work in more specialized fields, such as automobiles, airplanes, and electronics, to name just a few. Agents work in fields such as travel and real estate. Representatives, agents and regular sales people mainly present a product or service, and most of those positions do require a certain amount of training. Sales Consultants on the other hand, require a great deal more training. Selling products with an average price tag of $20k to $40k is quite similiar to what real estate agents are doing, except that there is a lot more specialized knowledge necessary to properly sell an automobile than a house. Some would disagree with that comment, especially those in real estate sales with several sets of letters after their name. Does that mean that all auto sales consultants are doing the job correctly? Unfortunately no. Neither is every doctor, lawyer, police officer, college professor, etc,. Yet today, the person you buy an automobile from is likely to be far, far removed from the ones you have seen in the movies, like Cadillac Man or The Goods. So why is there still a stigma? I believe it is because you aren't required to have a selling license in order to sell vehicles. That should change. In the meantime, if you go out to shop for a vehicle and find the sales consultant to not listen to your needs, then ask for another sales consultant or go to another dealership. If however, you find a sales consultant who listens to your wants and needs, treats you right, and finds you a vehicle that fits your wants and needs then don't worry about what they are getting paid to do it. A professional sales consultant in any field has no interest in how much money you earn, our interest is in how we can consult you with our expertise to best fulfill your wants and needs in our product or service. Our ability to do that will determine our income.
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    rodo111 Sep 10, 2009 2:56 PM
    I guess car salesmen should just work for free?? Its obvious they dont deserve to get paid for the service they provide, right? This is absolutely crazy. People complain when they dont get good service, but yet they dont want to pay for it. Now go pay full price for your next couch or diamond ring....because furniture salespeople and jewelry salepeople deserve to make tons of money of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    wls11882 Sep 10, 2009 2:36 PM
    I find it absolutely hilarious that some shmuck has a forum called beatthecarsalesman.com. What a joke. Thats like saying "beat the bum". These guys bust there tails day in and day out, just like the rest of us, to make what is, nowadays, a very meager living. There are a lot bigger scumbags out there, that take our money in a much more deceptive manner, that none of us even pay attention to. For god's sake, give these guys a break. And get a life!!
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    nyvissa Aug 04, 2009 5:15 PM
    Pull Over Now: Immediate Acquisition Citations (sorry i'm sometimes a horrible speller^^)
    Report This
    nyvissa Aug 04, 2009 5:12 PM
    and before you ask what citations are.. they're also a lawyer word for "tickets" as in Speeding or parking. ^.~
    Report This
    nyvissa Aug 04, 2009 5:10 PM
    Accuisition a fancy word for Aquire or to "obtain" or Possess. :-)
    Report This
    behndgrniz Aug 04, 2009 4:41 PM
    I am still trying to figure out what a :accuisition is?
    Report This
    nyvissa Aug 04, 2009 4:37 PM
    tho mine seems to work also :-D
    Report This
    nyvissa Aug 04, 2009 4:36 PM
    LOL cute.
    Report This
    nyvissa Aug 04, 2009 4:36 PM
    prolly stands for, Pull Over Now The Imediate Accuisition Citations!
    Report This
    nyvissa Aug 04, 2009 4:36 PM
    prolly stands for, Pull Over Now The Imediate Accuisition Citations!
    Report This
    behndgrniz Aug 04, 2009 4:34 PM
    OK... you asked for it......... Poor Old Nazi Thinks Its A Caddy!
    Report This
    nyvissa Aug 04, 2009 4:33 PM
    Oh please i need a laugh.. especially after the Sun-Fire (damn engine went, good thing the damn thing didn't catch fire)
    Report This
    1 - 20 of 296 Comments
     
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    How are a car salesperson's commissions structured? How much does the average car salesperson earn?
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