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"the salesman presented her with a contract, to be signed BEFORE she took the car for a drive, and told her they would just tear it up if she decided she didn't want the car after driving it."

It's just one of a million ruses used car salesmen, (and yes, new car dealers too) use against customers. The most common is to ask a buyer to give a check for a downpayment, so the salesman can "show the manager that you're serious". This puts the buyer in the awkward position of having to ask for his check back (or, in your friend's case, the signed contract) if for any reason the buyer decides against making the purchase, and that's when the hard pressure and intimidation comes in. This is when the buyer finds out that the manager who has the check/contract/whetever is gone to lunch, gone to a funeral, gone for the week, etc. You just have to have as thick a skin as they do, and let it roll off you. It's an extremely filthy business.

Q: How do you know if a car salesman is lying?

A: His lips are moving.

~aj
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