Wednesday, November 11, 2009

For me, shopping is newsworthy.

Linda and I took a little walkabout yesterday. We didn't get very far; we checked out Minnesota Street. You'd think, having a store on the block, I would've been well acquainted with all the stores, but I'm working, working, working.

I've started giving myself all of Tuesday and half of Thursday off.

We thought we'd go buy some me some jeans and then go to a movie.

Instead, we spent most of the day negotiating for a car. Linda wanted to show me a car she wanted to buy. As we pulled in, I realized that it was dealer who I had had a dispute with years ago.

I've only purchased one used car in my life from a dealer.

When we took it in for it's first tune-up, the car died the next day. Opening the hood, I saw that someone had done a real number on the battery -- using a screwdriver on the top of the battery when it required a special tool, leaving bits of plastic everywhere and pretty much man-handling it.

We went in the next morning, and their response was "How do you know that it was us?"

I went and bought a battery from somewhere else, but the more I thought about it, the more wrong it seemed, so I went to see the owner of the lot, the man who's name is on all the signs.

"I sorry that you didn't take it to me," he said. "But now that you've bought a battery, there is nothing I can do."

Anyway, I swore I'd never go back, and here we are standing in the lot.

Linda wanted a trade-in appraisal on my 1990 Toyota. The guy was pressuring us to take a ride in the "new" car, but I put him off. "It isn't how I planned to spend my day," I said. "Besides...I'm hungry."

So we went off, had lunch at Quizno's, and then I wanted to show Linda the new Haven Home store downtown. We went in and chatted with them, looked at a nice couch, and then decided we needed to greet Joyce of the Curiosity Shop, which we did, dropped by Karen Bandy's and then visited the Home Hardware and Diane's Kitchen Complements, and Lari's Clutch, and that took up the rest of the afternoon.

We went back for the Toyota, and I consented for a test drive of the new car.

Out of curiosity, I had them check our credit scores -- and was amazed to find out how high they were; mine was 25% higher than just a few years ago, and actually about as high as it could be. Linda's was also high.

Since we had a good downpayment, I felt the car dealership would be willing to deal.

Unfortunately, I think Linda had let them know how much she wanted the car.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I felt they were jerking us around, weren't really willing to come down on price.

We ended up walking away over a 500.00 difference in price. I was a little surprised they let us walk away....

....but they probably knew Linda would be in the next morning wanting the car.

I feel a little better about the deal, because I checked up online, and decided what they offered wasn't TOO bad.

Still, if it was me, I would've walked away. Plenty of cars on the lot, you know?


Broofa said...

FWIW, my one experience going through an auto-wholesaler worked out pretty well. Got a Honda Element w/ 9K miles on it (i.e. practically new) for $16.5K, when bluebook on it was ~$20K. That was 5 years ago and I'm still happy with it.

The wholesaler I used was - they're in Alemada, CA, but we had 'em ship the Element to us for ~$600.

Anonymous said...

Whatever you do, just don't get the extended warranty or rustproofing, etc. And if it has an (ugly) $200 pinstripe on it, that's always a deal killer for me.