To the Editor:
I enjoyed Samuel Harrison Chorches' Feb. 6 column, "Fixed-price selling: Its time has come."
I have tried many times to make one-price selling work at my dealership. The problem is that it does not work in a highly competitive marketplace. Customers say that they want one price, but they don't really mean it.
Even during the disastrous employee pricing last year, the first question from almost every customer was "Can you do a little better?" Customers want one price in effect for everyone else, but they want a little better price for themselves, and who can blame them ?
Several years ago when I tried one-price selling, I deeply discounted every car on the lot, marked the windshields and then watched as customers wrote down the prices and ran down the street to see if the dealer two miles away would beat the price.
One-price selling may work in areas where same-make dealers are 50 miles apart, but in an area where there are 10 same-make dealers in a 15-mile radius, I can assure you that one-price selling does not work.
Customers may say in surveys that they want one-price selling, but when they vote with their dollars, the result is quite different.
Interestingly, one-price selling works rather well with leasing. Almost all dealers and manufacturers are doing some version of one-price leasing, and the customers seem to accept that concept without a problem.