Update by user Aug 16, 2012
Over hiring: So last year when Darren was in charge, he thought it would be a great idea to have 100 sales consultants. Well in the last year there have been 92 sales consultants, with there being about 50 left. Turnover went from 12%, to 52%. CarMax continues to say they are hiring to make investors feel like we are doing that good. Reality check, your company spends around $6-8,000 training each sales person, and when you over staff and then realize it later, and start mass firing, morale drops and people quit. Money well spent carmax.
Funny thing too, Carmax did its survey where 47% of all associates stated they will not stay more then a year from that date, due to morale and management. So two managers took initiative to try and fix it. Well both managers were forced to.transfer to other stores and another manager was told to let it go.
There was also a manager who kept stealing gas, and kept brining cars.back in horrible condition so they kept having to be re detailed. When an associated reported him, the associate got fired.
Lee is the best though. He lost the.company over $3,000 in one transaction, and his best friend of 20 years, and boss, defended him and burried it.
There have been numerous sexual harrasement complaints against the store, on the ops manager and a sales manager and to date, nothing has been done. Sadly 12 of the associates who complained have.now been fired.
More to come!!
Original review posted by user Aug 08, 2012
I am currently an employee of CarMax. I have been working at the CarMax in Duarte now for about 5 years. I have sould hundreds of cars, have been in Presidents Club, and know the ropes. Now it's time for people to know the new CarMax, and decide for themselves if it's worth buying. Enjoy this read, it's stuff no one will tell you, but I've had about enough.
First of all, CarMax has been ranked Top 100 companies to work for now for 8 years straight. Guess what guys? CarMax donates hundreds of thousands of dollars to the company that ranks them. Suprised? You shouldn't be. As the working environment at Carmax keeps getting worse and worse. When the new CEO took over, it went from customer centric, to profit and sharehold oriented. We were all about the customer, and I believe we really were the Top 100 companies to work for before. I also believed in our slogan, "The Way Car Buying Should Be." A great motto to follow. We always talked about our equaties, our statement. "To provide our customers great quality cars at great prices with exceptional customer service."
Oh, those were the days. I miss those days. We used to sell tons of cars, and were very relaxed. Our customers LOVED shopping with us, every customer, from appraisal only customers, to customers doing the entire process of buying a car as well. Our associates were happy, overall, the best company I have worked for. Our store is in shambles right now. Our morale is the lowest it has been ever. Our management is a joke. We used to have managers who cared about us, asked us how we were, and actually listened. Now we have micromanagers stressing if they are going to lose the job, which in turn causes pressure to roll to the sales consultants, who hate their jobs.
When I was first hired, I was told our turnover rate, which means the rate at which employees join the company and leave, was at a low 9%. Almost unheard of in retail, but it was amazing. Right now we are over 50%. No one wants to work here once they start. The lies that are told to get great people hooked are just horrible. Management promising new sales consultants 6 figures, consultants finding out they probably won't even hit $30,000. I feel bad. In the last year, I have seen about 12 people drop out of Presidents Club. President Club is where you sell over 15 cars a month on average for 6 months, (now changed,) they get into this club, and get paid more. ($25/car)
Commission: Most customers come in thinking we are out to get them. Guess what, we are NOW. We used to be the best, never pressured custoemrs, never lied or over promissed. Now we do, we have to, we don't want to lose our jobs. We have a requirement in our region, sell 10 cars a month or you're fired. Guess what, in Feb, only 8 people made it, March? 12. April? 11. Out of 65 sales consultants. Oh and our commission? It's $164 per car, so stop asking for discounts and thinking we say no because we want our commission. You buy a $8,000 car or $99,000 car, we make $2,000 or $15,000 on the car, I get paid $164. If I sell a warranty, another $164. And it's actually worth it, and I will tell you why later!
Human Resources: What a joke. Open-Door policy at CarMax truly means, the door is left open, so other managers and associates can hear. Anything that is reported to Store HR, District HR, or Regional HR, gets sent back to the store management, which means easy retaliation. I have now seen multiple associates terminated after they reported a manager for breaking laws. Yes, for BREAKING LAWS. CarMax HR should be hired by the military, HR can do a better cover up of things. Need people to forget about Area 51? Call Karen, Regional HR, she can do it!
Management: Even bigger joke. Our old store manager, Darren, was promoted after they kept reporting him. This guy cheated on his wife at a Presidents Club dinner, and expected no one to find out. Really?? And the Operations Manager, Ben, cheated on his wife with an ASSOCIATE! He has also had a ton of sexual harrasement claims brought against him, but for some reason the people who do that end up unemployed. Lee, Darrens best friend, is here harrasing people until they quit or he can try and fire them. Micromanage much CarMax? Oh and Steve, the new GM, he loves telling the managers who were reported against who actually submited the report. Retaliation is the game, don't report anything, enjoy being treated like a dog!
Appraisals: Oh you guys will love this! Before, we used to be really good on buying cars, but CarMax got smart! You see, when you go get an appraisal, a Buyer will look at the car, and how much they are buying/selling for. They usually mark the car down $1-2k below what we pay at auction. Now here's the kicker, the system where they enter a price actually marks a car down AGAIN. Yup. It's called ACR, or, appraisal cost recovery. The system marks cars down an additional $250-3,000. So for example, if a buyer searches for a Mercedes C300, and the exact car is selling on our lot for $29,000, and selling at auction for $25,000, the appraisor will drop the price to about $23-24,000. Now the system will also add some money, so for a car like this, maybe an additional $2,000. So a Mercedes we will sell for $29,000, we will offer you about $22-23,000. Yup, $6-7k markup. Ready for the next kicker? They say they need to mark it up that much because of reconditioning. Well, for example, on this car, they will detail it, which will cost about $60, and that will probably be it. Don't get me wrong, we are pretty good on appraisals. But honestly, a lot of people are now competing with us an offer more. START with CarMax, like their commercial says, but shop around. Anyone and everyone will jump at the chance to beat our offer. EVERYONE.
Reconditioning and repair: So once we buy a car in, we put it through an inspection. Guess what, most cars fail a techs standards, but pass managements. For example, tires and brakes. Management HATES replacing them. Brakes cost $30 for Carmax on most vehicles, but if it meets our standards, which is about the line of where the car starts squeeking because it hit the wear pad indicator, they don't care. Tires? Managers won't properly measure them so most the time they are below standards. Now if your car is under $17,000, they don't care if the tires match. So you can have bridgestone on the front and michellin on the back. But don't worry, they won't be expensive tires like that. We are cheap. I remember an associate went to go pick up a car from Ontario and all 4 tires blew out on the way to our store. Now if a part is bad on a car that will go retail, we have a huge wholesale lot, which are auction cars, to take parts from. Yup, those high mileage, or cars that don't meet our standards, which are low now, will have parts taken from them and put into your Carmax car. Enjoy!
High Output stores: Our store is a regular reconditioning store, and it's bad. Cars look horrible. What do you expect? CarMax is pushing the higehr profit valuemax cars. But there are stores that are high output stores, which means they spend less time on them, which makes them look worse and have MORE mechanical problems. Ontario is one. Avoid cars from this store unless you love waiting in the service lane.
Gas: This one stumps me. I know Carmax is cutting cost to make more profit to make their investors, and only their investors happy, but this is a low. CarMax hires people to go to the wholesale cars, and take the gas out, and put them in our tanks. That means cars with 87, 89, and 91 octane are mixed together and put in your car. That will be the thumping you hear from your engine. It's not normal. Even in expensive $70-100k BMW, Porches, Mercedes, they will get that ***. Tell them not to fill it, or enjoy! Up to you.
Financing: CarMax financing SUCKS. It's not competitive. If you get a Caf (carmax auto finance) approval, take it to your bank. Your bank will destory our offer. I've seen customers get 16% and go to their bank and get 3%. It happens daily!
Warranty: Please please please buy this if you buy a CarMax car. I've seen people with it saves thousands of dollars, because it's used so often. Our comeback rate, which is the rate at which cars are brought back within the 30 day warranty, has sky rocketed. It went from one of the lowest in the industry, around 18%, to it's amazing rate of around 30%. Almost 1/3 of cars are coming back for repairs within 30 days. 30 days! Our warranty is probably the only thing CarMax offers that isn't a total rip off.
Pressure: CarMax used to be against pressuring customers to buy cars. Now if we don't do it, we get in trouble. We have Professional selling princaples that tell us exactly how to overcome your objection, if not we have a micro manager around who will do it for us and scare our customers.
So to wrap this up, you, as a customer, don't matter anymore. It's all about the investor, and our profits. Profits, profits, profits, *** you customer, you DON'T MATTER. Thank you Tom Folliard for pointing that out. Now, when should we take down our signs that say "The Way Car Buying Should Be?" You tell me? My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions ask. It might take a while, I'm hiding my IP so carmax doesn't fire me.