Incompetent managers ruin what could be a good work environment
This place used to be a great place to work, very easy work and good people. I’ll speak mostly on the operations side of things & Inventory as those are where I have the most experience here. The last few years it has rapidly gone down hill and good managers fled, new ones came in and remaining bad ones got promoted.
The level of incompetence on a management level is honestly hard to comprehend. I myself wouldn’t believe it if I wasn’t there to witness it first hand. I’ll try and give a brief overview of the managers you’ll unfortunately have to deal with if you decide to work here.
Starting with the LGM, in my brief experience with her but shared with many other; she’ll tell you everything you want to hear to your face but ultimately do nothing she’s promised. Now this is where it starts to get hard to believe but this is all truth(who could make this up anyways?)
The operations manger is a gambling addict with a drinking problem(you can check his criminal records). He has on numerous occasions been at work smelling of alcohol. He has literally been seen drinking in the associate parking lot in his carmax demo car, as well as passed out in this car. These incidents have been reported by multiple people on several occasions but as you’ll learn if you work here the managers look out for each other meaning nothing was done. The way they look out for each other is like a little cult of stupidity. This operation manager is also rarely even at work, we guessed he maybe works
ProsNone anymore outside of the decent benefits
ConsIncompetent managers, don’t have correct tools for the job, consistently set up for failure, no flexibility in schedule, short or no notice in schedule change, unnotified pay cuts, targeting, lied to...etc
CarMax: Great place to buy a used vehicle - HORRIBLE place to work!!
I can say that, as a very well-seasoned and successful salesperson, that Carmax provides excellent training and a very thoroughly tested and refined process for the discovery, progression and closing aspects of a customer interaction, throughout the sales process.
Unfortunately, where they fall on their face is just about everywhere else! To be fair, I am referring specifically to Naples and SWFL stores, so things may be a little different in other locations, due, in large part, to the very seasonal nature of our market.
Having said that, I firmly believe that Carmax's approach to "Commission-Only" compensation is categorically anemic, unfair, underwhelming, and is misrepresented at the very interview, when hired. It will take a long time (years) to earn a decent salary and not have to work every day -- all day! This compensation is structure is also completely and utterly at odds with it's highly touted "culture of integrity" that it promotes with all of it's associates, especially those in sales. This is because it foments the frustrations and motivations-by-desperation of an otherwise successful salesperson (earning commision-only) having to depend on all of the other apathetic departments, staffed by lackluster associates. Moreover, these associates, who are supposed to move the product (a used car) though the process and out the door, have absolutely no sense of urgency or performance initiative, other than just to get through the day and earn their own mini
ProsGood Sales-Training, Product and Process. Customers are generally happy by the end.
ConsHorrible compensation and work/life balance. WAY too much micro-management. A Corporate Minefield
I have former colleagues and friends who are employed with Carmax and they have always talked about how great the culture is. How the company does things for them and their families. How understanding the company is across the board and willing to help their associates not only in a time of need but give them the tools and resources they need to succeed and grow. While I can’t speak for the store locations I will say the CarMax CEC is not that. While the center is very much a part of Carmax the way business is operated is absolutely appalling. The majority of the management team were transferred from the stores and still have the mentality that they are at the store when it comes to conflict resolution with customers. When there is an issue they take the side of the stores over trying to right the wrongs done by sneaky store associates and reassure the CXC they have on staff. The HR rep is a complete waste of HR, in this case, it should stand for hardly reliable as she will listen to your concerns and tell everyone your business or refer you to the company website for guidance with your concerns instead of offering to help search and see what’s available to you as an employee. There is a female senior manager that is wildly unprofessional in that she uses profanity openly and makes inappropriate advances and comments towards associates making them completely uncomfortable. Another male senior manager is only concerned about one thing and that is Carmax. There are over 300 emp
Initially Sales Consultants were allotted 3 hours in "e-office" where consultants would accept "random" leads from potential car buyers. Afterwards we would work the floor and assist walking customers for another 6 hours. You were allowed 45mins for lunch but you are not urged to take a lunch. They rather you work 9hours straight which we would consequently have to do in order to have a chance at making a reasonable amount of commission.
The position is commission based with subsidy for Full-Time associates. Consultants are not paid a percentage of the vehicle price only a flat unit rate of $160.00 per unit. There is opportunity to reach a higher tear maxing at $200 per unit but it is comprehensive and you can easily fall back to the first tier.
For example, if a consultant is not able to make any commission during a 2 week period they would receive a check based on the average of hours they worked that pay period at a rate of 7.25. This averages to about $500. The catch is once you make commissions the following pay period you have to pay the $500 back from the pay period before. So essentially its legalized share cropping.
To add to that, if a customer ever decides to return a car within the 7day return policy, your commission is taken away no matter the reason (I just didn't like it or... it drives funny at 60mph) for return and without regard to what commissions you accumulated afterwards. Managers would make some effort to inform you of a return but many times
ProsAccess to wholesale vehicle purchased from walking customers before they leave for auction
I worked for CarMax for nearly 4 years. My time there was split pretty evenly between working in Sales and working in Purchasing. I held positions as a Sales Consultant, Appraisal Specialist, and Vehicle Condition Assessor. As such I can speak knowledably about the customer facing and non customer facing sides of the business. I hope that this review is of some help to prospective and current employees down the road.
In terms of pros for being an employee I would say the benefits are the biggest. CarMax does a 6% 401k match after 90 days of employment. After a year as an employee your eligible for the employee stock purchase plan where you can buy company stock at a 15% discount. The medical, vision and dental insurance are all decent as well. They offer multiple medical providers to choose from including Kaiser for California employees. They also offer tuition assistance up to $5250 a year for full-time employees if your interested in going to school. I would also add as pro that it was by far the most diverse workplace I've ever worked at. CarMax is very open to people of different professional backgrounds, races, religions, gender identities, etc.
In terms of cons I would say the biggest are pay, career advancement, training, and work life balance. Carmax's business model is based around buying and selling large volumes of vehicles. They make much less than a traditional dealer does per vehicle (generally around $2k). But they make up for this with staggering amounts of
When I first started Carmax in 2004 I was very impressed with how well the company was run and felt good about the company's value and integrity. I thoroughly believed in the product and felt good about what I was doing. In recent years, Carmax has changed the quality standards on the cars and is not better than any other used car lot, may be even worse in some cases. It has become so corporate that their policies are getting in the way of selling cars and offering a quality product. Service after the sale is horrible and a lot of times it reflects on you. You are at the mercy of people that get paid by the hour and do not care if you are losing money because of them and do not treat the customer with the same importance that you do. As a Sales Associate, you are 100% commission but you are not the only person controlling your paycheck. There will be times when you have to either lose half a deal or come in on your day off because someone else didn't do their job correctly. I was also at a store where the women are treated like second class citizens and not looked at as leaders, which goes against Carmax's culture. If a woman speaks up or acts as an equal, they are looked at as if they are doing something wrong. I was constantly harassed by a sales manager there for 6-7 years because his idea of "respect" is to cower to him. He was constantly trying to get me fired after he asked me to be his boyfriend and I ignored him. The store is also very cliquish and if you a
ProsBenefits, good intentions from corporate
Consthere can be great variations of leadership from store to store
Keep your head down at CarMax... reality is harsh.
This company is very confusing. They claim to be about the employees and have a culture of communication and respect. I found this to be true - if you're a manager. Typically an average employee is better seen - working very had to appear busy even when it's a slow day, rather than heard. The company won't listen to any input that isn't from upper/senior management and treats you like another cog in the used-car profit making machine. Which is fine except they act like this job is a blessing and will make you rich and successful if you just put your heart and soul into it. I've seen people do just that, which just earns them extra stress, MAYBE a pat on the back, but definitely no pay raise.
Turnover is extremely high for both my department and the technicians. This was during a time of economic downturn folks, when people are desperate for work mind you. The management is so abusive and the work environment so demeaning that employees will do anything they can to get out. The management can be heard trash talking employees from every department when they meet in their office at all hours and pretend to have a "meeting". I have seen and heard this.
The company will spend thousands of dollars on sending in they're so called "experts" that tell us inefficient and downright WRONG ways to perform our job, yet try their best to hold back on promotions and benefits despite the used car sector experiencing growth and record profits. Literally all the experts do is babysit us, maki
Proslearning useful skills, can be interesting at times, every feetiw months we get a "free" lunch, perks of the job like test driving cars and fairly decent benefits
Consvery production driven, run top-down, management is out for themselves, typical corporate company, expected to put up with abuse regularly, holding out on (earned) promotions to make the store seem more profitable
A workday would typically start with checking on CCM to see if there is any customers to follow up with before hitting the UPs list.
Some Sales Consultants would frequent the UPs list and some would try and stay away from it. Job has too many rules and requirements of Consultants that it becomes stressful really, really fast.
You may see a Consultant one day, and they're gone the next.
Most of them were inexperienced as Managers and seemed to be either overwhelmed or on edge all of the time. Blames Consultants when sales numbers aren't being met, but takes credit when they are. Talks about Consultants behind their backs which creates a weird tension between management and consultants. If your numbers are a bit low, even if the traffic is down for that time you are blamed for it and threatened to be put on a ridiculous program that is just their way of scaring you and preparing you to possibly be let go at some point.
They claim people don't get fired often, but at least 5 Consultants were fired in the few months I was there. The training program is ludicrous and takes 30 days before you go "live" watching other consultants sell things like an extended service plan(which they track your sales vigorously on). They claim that they don't want you to be a pushy car salesman, but that is a ruse. They absolutely do, and when they think you may have a potential sale, they will make you pull out all of the stops on the customer which is in fact, pushy.
CarMax is a great company to work for. The values and culture are the foundation of what CarMax has become : The largest auto retailer in the nation. Employees used to be their main asset. A lot has changed lately.
There are a LOT of meetings that you don't get paid for. Attending a meeting on your day of is not mandatory, but is "appreciated". In other words, you are expected to show up.
Every morning and Sunday, there is a training that IS mandatory. You do not get paid for this time. Most of this training is endless repetition, up to the point where every one will feel like a little kid. Overkill is an understatement.
If you don't like role plays, CarMax is not for you.
Advancement to management ( is promised over and over again to all that are interested ) is sheer impossible. It is easier to enter management from outside the company than from within. Before you are eligible to a promotion, management will give you unrealistic goals to achieve and re-adjust those goals even if you have reached them.
Work / Life balance : If you want to sell a lot of cars, you better be there 7 days a week. Customers will call you on your time off and you better answer these calls if you want to keep the sale. You can make a reasonable living working 5 days a week, but usually only during summer time. Work weeks of 55 hours are no exception.
Not every CarMax store is the same. A lot depends on daily management. They pretend to be people managers, but in the end it is just about meetin
Not a cutthroat environment like you would find at most dealerships.
I was with the company for over 20 years and watched dramatic changes take place over the years. When I first started there were fewer than 10 stores in the company and it was a very close knit organization. Corporate management was able to visit the stores on a regular basis and knew most of the associates by name and were aware of what was happening in the stores. The changes that they would put in place due to these store visits were beneficial to the customers, the business and the employees. Today there are over 200 stores and there’s no way that the corporate office can keep their “finger on the pulse” of the business so they require management to do massive amounts of reporting. As a result, managers are graded on how well they pencil whip their reports and reviews and not on how well they manage the employees and the floor so most of the time when you need a manager to help you close a sale or gather documents for financing they are too busy on their computers to be able to help. It’s a shame, but Carmax has gotten too big to be as effective as it once was.
Also, apparently the company has decided that they have grown the business enough and are now looking for ways to squeeze every penny out of it that they can. As an example they recently built huge call centers. When a customer calls in with a question, they can’t speak to a store directly - their call is routed to the call center instead. Consequently; they don’t speak with an experienced Sales Consultant they sp
ProsNice camaraderie amongst the sale consultants.
ConsCorporate is a “good old boy network” and totally out of touch with what’s happening in the stores.
Questions And Answers about CarMax
What is the best part of working at CarMax?
Asked Nov 28, 2019
Answered May 13, 2022
The flexibility of hours
Answered May 12, 2022
If you were in charge, what would you do to make CarMax a better place to work?
Asked Apr 13, 2017
Takes forever to get promoted. They want you to take the step to ask them *I feel likes it's begging* to move up however when you do, there is apparently a waiting list.
Remove all that and self promote more internal to the hard working associates that show the potential of adding and creating something beneficial to the company. Proper pay in departments and especially to their tendered associates that have been there for over 10 years. It's hard to find great individuals now and these days
Answered May 2, 2021
I would try to find a way to get rid of the "Good ole boys club" they have at Carmax. If you work at the Richmond Virginia, Short Pump store, you had better be in the club or you will be treated like garbage!! Carmax is a horrible company to work for. They are very dishonest people.
Answered Mar 6, 2020
What is the interview process like at CarMax?
Asked Jan 24, 2017
This is going to be a long story. I applied for the customer specialist position and received a text message from one of the "senior specialists" a few days later for a phone interview. Phone interview lasted about 10-15 mins. He just asked about my experience and a few other questions. Next step was he offered an in person interview at the store, I came in and was interviewed by two individuals, one was the sales manager and the other was the store manager. They asked me situational questions from my past jobs and I needed answer the questions using the STAR method. That took about 30-45 minutes (depending how long it takes for you to answer the questions). After if they want to move forward with you, they'll have you watch a video and do an easy sales exercise. They look more for the quality of the conversation rather then the sale. Finally they asked me to come back to interview with the GM. I came back a few days later and the GM asked me situational questions, once again use STAR method. She asked me 10 questions and asked why do I choose carmax, then she finally offered me the job and I did a drug oral swab test. We further discussed my start date.
Answered Jan 13, 2022
Brief phone interview then an in person on site interview, once you start it is about 30 minutes for the questions. Following this you will do the sales exercise which is only about 10-15 minutes. If you do well they will have you wait and the GM will come grab you ask you a couple more questions and offer the job. From the time of my scheduled interview time it took about 1 hour and 45 minutes. I spent a good amount of time just talking to the GM though so it probably would’ve taken closer to and hour and 15-20 minutes total. Once you get the offer the drug screening and training video takes about 15-20 additional minutes.
Answered Feb 4, 2021
How flexible are your working hours at CarMax?
Asked Mar 19, 2020
Reasonable if you are president club but starting out you’ll be working a lot of nights and weekends
Answered Nov 28, 2020
You have them the hours you could work and with appropriate paperwork they would accommodate.
Answered Nov 7, 2020
What is the most stressful part about working at CarMax?