Car Salespeople Jargon

The Fed

Old Guys Rule
Men's Health

Car Salespeople Refer to Some Buyers as 'Strokers' Behind Their Backs

Tony Quiroga - Friday​

Like many professionals, car salesmen have their own patois. Here are a few terms they throw around in the showroom.

1. Up

Any potential buyer.

2. Laydown

A customer who offers little resistance and purchases a car at the list price or more. Also known as an “ace.”

3. Paperboy

A buyer who comes in with an advertisement or printouts from the internet. Also known as a “nerd.”

4. Stroker

A shopper who acts interested but has no means or intention of buying a car.

5. Be-back

A shopper who claims he’ll come back, but may or may not return.

6. F.D.R.S.

These initials stand for “filthy disease-ridden swine.” Used to describe a buyer with horrible credit. Often used as inter-salesmen code to name the type of loan, as in, “You qualify for our F.D.R.S. loan!” Such a customer is also referred to as a “roach.”

7. Third baseman or third-base coach

The “expert” a buyer brings along to provide advice on the deal. Also known as a “lawyer.”

8. Gold balls

A customer with excellent credit. The opposite of an F.D.R.S.

9. Slasher

A temporary salesperson brought in for his high-pressure sales acumen during a short-term or weekend sale.

10. $500 Sandwich

Sales lost to a lunch break.

11. F&I

It stands for “finance and insurance,” the dealership department to which customers are handed after the sale, and where “back-end” products such as financing, extended warranties, and other soft add-ons get pushed on the buyer. Often the place where dealerships rake in the most profit.

12. Lot lizard

A salesperson who stalks customers as they pull into the dealer’s lot.

13. 040, 149, etc.

When salesmen want to indicate a customer’s race to another employee, they use the brand’s paint codes.

14. Home run

A salesman’s extremely profitable deal that includes a car sold at full list price or more. It may include a lucrative financing kickback and a trade-in purchased for less than its value.

15. De-horsing

Taking the keys and driving away the trade-in “to assess its value.” This leaves the buyer with no means of leaving the dealership.

16. A key and a heater

A car with no options but an enticing price. Also known as a “stripper,” “teaser,” or “loss leader.”

17. Mop and Glow

An extra-cost paint sealant or fabric protector of dubious value.

18. Spiff

Any bonus or incentive paid by the factory to the salesman or the dealership for moving a slow-selling car. Generally not disclosed to the buyer.

19. Whack ’em

When the F&I department successfully loads the buyer down with window waxing, paint sealant, nitrogen-inflated tires, dentless paint-removal package, etc.


Autocross Newbie
$500 Sandwich is my favorite! 😆


Autocross Champion
nice try PPNT
Revolving Door
nothing beats slapping the roof of the car


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