Don’t Let ‘Em Devalue You
I have worked in the automotive industry for close to 10 years. And I have studied many of the common practices used in the industry and applied them to my everyday life. There is a common practice called “Devaluing the Trade.”
This practice involves the technique of devaluing every vehicle that is brought in to be used as a trade-in. The trade-in has real money value. Often used as a total down payment for a new or newer vehicle, customers bring their vehicle to a dealership to have it appraised to use its money value towards their car/truck deal.
No matter how much you believed your vehicle was worth when you left home, the job of the dealership is to “buy” your vehicle from you (trade-in) for as little as possible, while selling its vehicle to you for as much as possible. And how they are able to pay so little for your vehicle is by devaluing it!
The word “devalue” is a verb that means to “reduce or underestimate the worth or importance of.” Other words with similar meanings include belittle, depreciate, make light of, discredit, underrate, undervalue, underestimate, deflate, diminish, trivialize, run-down, defame, knock, slam, bad-mouth, sell short, put down, pick holes in, and look down one’s nose at.”
So, if I am your salesman for the new car, my job is to devalue your trade-in (in your presence) to soften the blow of the low-ball number we are willing to offer you. How do I do this? I’ll walk you around your vehicle, with pen and paper in my hand. Without saying a word, I will then proceed to find and touch every scratch, every dent, every chip, and every blemish that I can find. I’ll put my hand on the tires to demonstrate an issue with the depth of the treads. I also either write or pretend I’m writing detailed notes, to project “strikes” against your vehicle. This is all done to devalue your vehicle in your mind. To challenge your expectations of a high trade-in value. This is all done so that I can pay a small amount for your vehicle and turn around and sell the same vehicle for a much higher price to the next person! In this case, the dealership feels it has to devalue your vehicle enough in your eyes, so you’ll accept their embarrassingly low offer – all to make a profit.
In life, things aren’t that different. We all have people in our lives that try to devalue us. There are people in the marketplace, people on the job, insecure people that we’re in a relationship with, people who oppose us, people after our position, etc., that are constantly trying to devalue us – for their profit!
One person will find it necessary to devalue their spouse to make themselves look or feel more valuable. A competitor will try to devalue your work to bring unearned value to their own work. Even buyers will try to devalue the product they came to you to buy to justify their crazy low offer! What’s the remedy to falling prey to this tactic? Know your own value ahead of time and don’t waver. Do your research. Get neutral people in your life to help you make honest appraisals. Find and use available tools to assess your value. Take an honest appraisal of yourself. Know what your strengths and weaknesses are. Build upon your strengths. Practice your craft. Keep learning. Keep growing. Never sell yourself short. Don’t compromise. Never sell out! Know at all times what you have to contribute. Know what you bring to the table. And most of all…Never let ‘em devalue you! Get all your money!