Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Do I still count as a shrewd negotiator if I whined, "But we're newlyweds, we have no money!"

I'm going to continue our recent theme of "Oh my God, I'm old!" with a description of the activity the Pretend Husband and I engaged in the other day (no, not that one!... although that was fun too)

We bought a car. All on our own. With no grown-ups helping us. And I think it went OK.

This has been an on-going process for a few weeks now with the PH researching new and used cars and trying to talk me into getting them. He went to a couple of dealers on his own and came back with reports for me. Last week, we spent the evening at a used car super store kind of place, but had no luck. That place was doomed from the start because of the terrible service. It was like the IKEA of car shopping, with a lot of young, uneducated employees who were more interested in flirting with the receptionist than selling us a car.

Seriously, we waited for 20 minutes while four employees stood in the corner telling jokes and the guy who eventually helped us leaned over the front counter and batted his eyelashes at the receptionist. The receptionist who told us we'd have to be put on the "waiting list" when we walked in then pulled out a blank sheet of paper and wrote our name on it. But, despite having helped no one in the time we were waiting and despite the fact that we sat three feet from her while we waited, she looked at me with a blank look when I approached after 20 minutes to ask about the wait and said, "What are you here for?" Then she checked the list, which was still completely blank except for our names. Argh!

Anyway, we spent our day off Monday on the Internet, arguing about makes and models of vehicle and finally test driving a car. We liked it... and that's where the fun began. I've never been involved in a car negotiation, but have watched enough movies that I knew what to expect. They started the negotiation ridiculously high and made us work for it to be lowered. We finally said, "hey, let's split the difference. We'll come up $25 in what we want to pay in monthly payments and you come down $25," which worked out fine until they came back with an offer than had us come up $29 while they came down $21. The salesman actually said to us, "Are you going to pass up this deal for $4 a month? That's a cup of coffee." I was so proud of the PH when he responded, "Are YOU going to pass up this deal for $4 a month?"

With a lot of struggling, we came to a deal three hours after we had first walked into the dealership. What astounded me was how much they tried to get away with. We found more than $500 in charges we didn't need and, after we signed an agreement, the PH mentioned he needed a new license plate. It turns out that cost had already been figured in-- even when they didn't think he would need them!

In any case, we bought a car. It's shiny. And fast. And something we accomplished together. And, despite my complaints about feeling old, we're not so old we couldn't high-five a little after closing the deal.


Curtis Sports Imaging said...

PH is a bad ass on the lot! He should change jobs and be a customer representative for car sales.

S said...

Buying a car is such a pain in the a$$. I'm usually the primary negotiator when it comes to those things (I've negotiated for 3 of our cars and 1 tractor.) And three hours is good. Usually takes me longer! And a few months ago I walked out of a popular dealership in Avon because they wouldn't drop their price another $200 (throw in the floor mats and you've got a deal kind of thing.) Good job to the PH for sticking up for those $4!!