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Many dealerships employ an Internet department or at least an Internet manager to handle Internet shoppers. These salespeople differ slightly than salespeople "on the floor," or those who help customers who visit the dealer's lot. An Internet salesperson handles customers and pricing through email. Depending on the size of the dealership and success of its Internet department, salespeople may earn the same income as office staff or as much as management.
Some dealers treat Internet salespeople as office staff; some may employ one person as management and others as regular commissioned salespeople. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the hourly earnings for these three different positions as $33.73 for management, $18.91 for retail salespeople and $11.64 for general office staff. The report is based on 2006 average earnings and was reported in 2008. The amount an Internet salesperson earns depends on his title, location and dealership.
Salary or Hourly Wages
Some Internet salespeople are paid only an hourly wage or some by salary. Office staff employees who handle Internet sales do not often handle customers once they arrive at the dealership. While the hourly or salaried salesperson is required to handle Internet inquiries, the customer is transferred to an actual commissioned salesperson to complete the purchase transaction or to test drive a vehicle once they arrive at the store. Internet salespeople may receive a salary in addition to dealer commission plans.
Commissioned-Based Internet Sales
Even though the Internet salesperson is usually paid a small salary in their position, he will also receive commission either equal to or greater than other dealer sales staff. Dealer commission pay can differ, but many salespeople are paid 20 to 30 percent of vehicle profit. Even office staff commonly receives a small commission for arranging an appointment with an Internet customer, although this amount may prove as low as 2 percent of vehicle profit.
Like regular "floor" salespeople, commissioned Internet sales staff often has the opportunity to make bonuses. Bonus amounts and scales differ by dealer, but may start once the salesperson sells eight cars for the month or more. Bonuses are paid in addition to commission and are commonly paid in $250 to $500 increments for every several cars sold over the bonus amount. For example, a salesperson can make a $500 bonus when he sells 15 cars, but will receive $1,000 if he reaches 20 car sales for the month.
Shanan Miller covers automotive and insurance topics for various websites, blogs and dealerships. She has extensive automotive experience, including auction, insurance, finance, service and management positions. Miller has worked for dealer sales events around the United States and now stays local as a sales and leasing consultant for a dealership.