I’m in the market for a late-model used car or pickup truck. Many trucks these days are very car-like, so I could go either way. I’ve decided that more people would buy cars and trucks if they didn’t have to go to car dealers to get them. It’s certainly a major reason I don’t buy them very often. I hate haggling with car dealers.
Let’s face it. Enough of them are scum that it taints the whole market segment. Let’s face it too, enough customers walk away feeling swindled that most consumers have no scruples when it comes to deceiving the car dealer. Plus, it’s one of the biggest purchases we’ll ever make and I don’t think many people go back to the same salesman at the same dealership over and over again. There isn’t a lot of repeat business. Car dealers aren’t generally looking for a win-win situation. They haggle over cars several times a day. I do it once every ten years or so. Who has more experience? Who’s more likely to win?
I want a different vehicle, but I don’t need one, so despite the best efforts of car salesmen, I will not be rushed into a purchase. I won’t spend that much money on impulse either. I found a pickup. It looks clean, doesn’t seem to have much mileage on it, has part of the new-car warranty still in effect and seems not to be priced too much over what I want to pay. The color isn’t obnoxious either.
The ad said, Must close today. No I mustn’t. The salesman asked me, “If I offered it to you for $5,000, would you buy it today?” Sure! I could make over 100 percent on that deal. But because I could make over 100 percent on that deal, the car dealer won’t sell it to me for that price and we both know it. I took it for a ride. I still liked it, so I went to do some research.
I would have to pay for a Carfax report, but I found the AutoCheck report on the dealers website and that looked clean. Both my mechanic and Consumer Reports think this make and model is more reliable than average. The blue book value is okay and maybe I could talk them down a little.
I talked it over with my wife. She looked exasperated and said, ”Do what you want.” Every married man knows what that means! And, did I mention that the car dealer has an F rating from the Better Business Bureau? I know, a lot of them do, but it’s still a concern. So I wandered around to other dealers with better ratings and discovered that a lot of car dealers advertise trucks (cars too I suppose) they don’t have, hoping to reel you in and switch you to something else.
Then, yesterday, I decided to enter into negotiations. I called the dealer. They sold it. There will be others; I know that, but still. . . .
Maybe next time I’ll ask the car salesman what I have to do to get them to sell me the car today, other than offering to buy it for twice what it’s worth, of course.