Buying a car

Posted: March 31, 2011 in Personal Whining

O.K. So I really think that car dealerships conspire against you when you step through the door.  They’ve got it all worked out.  They know the different types of buyers and what tactics to use on each type.  They know how to push off balance the most balanced buyer.  They know how to deal with someone who wants to walk out the door and consider the deal, because they know that once you leave, their chances of making a sale diminish.

So I went in to my 4th dealership armed with what I’d learned in the first three, with the serious intention of playing hardball and making a deal.  After several hours of negotiation, I finally got what I figured was a decent deal, -much better than the one the first dealership offered me.  I was in the process of sliding back the chair, saying that I would think about it overnight and return the next day when the manager suddenly stopped by.  He looked at the deal and made it even sweeter, at which point I figured I’d done about as best I could and so agreed to the deal.

What they don’t tell you is that this is when they take it away to see whether it is feasible or not.  It’s not yet a done deal.  So, of course, he returns with a slightly less sweet deal, but still pretty good, and I’m getting worn down and tired after four hours (while these guys are starting to tag-team me).  So now I think I’ve got the done deal, except of course for the rust proofing and extended warranty options, which I was expecting, so that’s OK.

Then comes the final curve ball, which I totally didn’t see coming.  After all the papers are signed, the manager shows up again, and takes me outside to show me a demo model that he’s just “found”.  “For just a little bit more, you can have this,” which was a top end, fully loaded vehicle.  You know, the one with the leather seats and the rear back up camera.  Well I admit that I caved.  The upgrades did solve a few concerns that I had with the model I’d originally purchased.  And I liked the colour better.  And I think they knew that, as I’d said I wasn’t all that excited about the colour of the other one.  And I didn’t have the energy left to haggle about the newly proposed terms.

That’s my one regret.  Being in that “finished” frame of mind, about to leave, having to make that one last decision found me totally disarmed.  Slick move on their part, and I can’t believe that it wasn’t orchestrated.  Like I said, I’m sure that these guys have all scenarios and all types scripted and polished.  We should be using their skills to help negotiate peace in Libya.

In the end, I don’t regret the purchase at all, and I’m certain that I got a pretty sweet deal.  Buying a car at the end of a month means that the dealerships are desperate to make their monthly numbers and therefor are much more willing to negotiate.  The only thing I regret was not making that one last stand at negotiation with that final offer.  I’d done so well up till that point.


OK.  Enough about the car.  Hopefully tonight or tomorrow I will be able to think of other things and come up with a more interesting post.  Right now I have to read the manual and go out to see what all the buttons are for.


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