Lake Park, FL, December 13, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- Earl Stewart’s release of his new tell-all book revealing unethical and at times illegal tactics used by car dealers to rip off their customers will probably ruin his chances of being elected president of the Florida Automotive Dealers Association anytime soon.
But that’s a shame, because Stewart feels if other car dealers across the country would follow his lead and treat their customers honestly and respectfully, car dealers could erase their ranking from near the top of the list of least respected professions – and still make a healthy profit at the same time.
In the just-published Confessions of a Recovering Car Dealer, Stewart, who owns Earl Stewart Toyota in Lake Park, FL and whose family has been in the car dealer business since 1937, provides an insider’s look at what really goes on in the car buying and service business and how consumers can avoid costly traps.
For example, in the book, Stewart advises consumers to:
· treat all automotive advertising as misleading
· use the internet to get the best price for your new car
· always get an “out the door” price, including all taxes, fees and add-ons
· refuse to pay a dealer fee or other hidden dealer profits
· never shop for a car alone
· take at least three weeks to buy a car
· research alternatives to dealer financing, which can be more expensive in the long run
· beat car dealers at their own negotiating game
· insist on excellent customer service, going over the dealer’s head to the manufacturer if needed
The book is organized into six sections and is designed as a reference guide. The sections address research, buying a vehicle, finance and insurance, used cars, leasing and service.
“For most people, the purchase of a car is second only to the purchase of a home as the most expensive thing they will ever buy, so I want to provide them with the knowledge theyneed to get the most for the money,” Stewart said.
Stewart chose the title for his book because he admits that he wasn’t always so pure in his dealings with his customers. He reveals that for decades his dealerships sold cars “the old-fashioned way” with high-pressure haggling techniques, deceptive advertising and other “tricks of the trade.” But when he wanted to attract his three sons to join his business and a bout with colon cancer forced him to face his own mortality he “came to the conclusion that customers deserve to be treated better and should have all the facts before they buy a car.”
Stewart began to evolve into a consumer advocate. He has led a statewide effort to outlaw or limit dealer fees, testifying on the topic before the Florida State Senate, gives customers his home and cell phone numbers, and has installed four red telephone “hotlines” in his dealership connecting customers instantly to his cellphone so that he can personally address their complaint or hear their compliment.
He also writes a weekly consumer column in the South Florida weekly newspaper Hometown News, publishes a weekly blog at www.earlstewartoncars.com and co-hosts an hour-long weekly call in radio show with his wife Nancy Stewart, answering consumer’s questions on how to buy and service cars. The show on Seaview Radio 960 AM - 95.9 FM -106.9 FM. is consistently the top rated show in its time slot in its market.
Stewart has received national media attention as an outspoken source on all things automotive. He is regularly quoted in Automotive News and the Wall Street Journal, by the Associated Press and has been interviewed on CNN by correspondents Susan Candiotti, John Zarrella and Kyra Phillips, on FOX Business News by Geraldo Rivera and as well as on CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News.
Stewart speaks extensively to local audiences about the topics covered in his book, but wrote the book to reach a larger segment of the car-buying public with his consumer-advocate message. All proceeds from the sale of the book, including the shipping charges, are being donated to nationally recognized charities.
His dealership is among the top 12 Toyota dealerships in the nation, establishing itself as the volume sales leader in its market and earning among the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the nation, according to the independent ratings group J.D. Power and Associates.
Confessions of a Recovering Car Dealer, published by Middle River Press, is available for sale at $19.95 per copy, at www.earlsbook.com and at his dealership at 1215 North U.S. 1, Lake Park, FL 33403. Earl Stewart is available for comment via his cell phone at 561-358-1474.