04 June 2009

"I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, And I want it now." --Queen


Last Friday, I get the dreaded call from the mechanic. You know the one.

He reads me the laundry list* of problems and his voice gets kind of soft and implies that, given the car's advanced age and how much mileage is on it, maybe it's time to... give the car away... maybe to someone in the country... where it can run around on a farm and be happy.

It is a very sad time but I am, ultimately, a realist and I can not be without a viable car. And, by all reports, this is a great time to purchase a car.

At the first dealership, the salesman says "In a month, 50% of these cars will be gone and in two months they'll likely all be gone because we're really busy."

I take this opportunity to pointedly look around the empty showroom and take in the other salesmen who are clumped together talking about sports.

At the second dealership, I have this exchange with the manager:

Manager: What did you think of it?

Me: It's a fine car.

Manager: It is! And at a competitive price.

Me: It's more than I was planning to spend. I expect there's some flexibility in the price...

Manager:

Me:

Manager: I... might be able to come down $100.

Me:

Manager: If you're ready to sign.

Exsqueeze me? Have you read the papers? Heard about the economic downturn, by any chance? Run across some news stories about the automobile industry crisis?

$100? I spit on your $100.

At the third dealership, I find what I want and get it at a better price than even I anticipated. Because EVERYthing is negotiable. EVERY flippin' thing.



* Why is it called a "laundry list"? My laundry list would consist of whites, darks, and delicates. Not a long list at all. And, as long as we're talking about laundry, why is 90% of women's clothing labeled either "hand wash" or "dry clean"?**

** Confession: I eventually put almost every piece of clothing labeled "hand wash" in the washing machine on "delicate". You know what happens? The clothes get clean.
But I digress.

12 comments:

Narm said...

This comment is not negotiable.

Burn.

Liebchen said...

Oooh, a whole $100? Way to strike a deal, buddy.

Herb of DC said...

This is why I feel no sadness for all the auto dealers on TV making pitiful puppy faces because they are about to be closed.

Mike said...

These days they should be giving 200,000 mile warranty's.

repliderium.com said...

SCORE!!!
(I just gave up my car & an now riding the flashy Lola Gold Vintage Philips cruiser- as in bicycle-)
I miss my car.

Cyndy said...

At the end of the month they'll be desperate, DESPERATE, to sell you a car. Or at least that has been true for me in the past.

Barbara said...

That doesn't sound like the "hungry for business" I thought car dealers were supposed to be right now. Maybe you need to go to one of those dealers that's closing.

I agree with you on "hand wash". I've always thought the color sorting thing was overrated. I concluded that Woolite and COLD are good for just about everything except my dog Jake.

Alex said...

Congratulations. It's been a while since I bought a car, but I remember huge fights over things like "optional" $200 pinstripe decals and "necessary" add-on undercoating. Which is why I don't feel too bad for dealers going under, either.

Malnurtured Snay said...

The WaPo Express gave you a sex-change today! :)

urban bohemian said...

Just as the Snay said, congrats on making it into today's Express' Blog Log, but you're clearly too gender-neutral in your writing (of just this one post) for them.

"She's a man, baby!"

Kate said...

I despise buying vehicles.

lacochran's evil twin said...

Narm: Well played, my friend. Well played.

Liebchen: Yeah, he was bending over backwards. No, wait... he wanted me to bend over. That's what it was.

Herb of DC: I am offended by your comparison on behalf of puppies everywhere.

Mike: You'd think, but, no.

repliderium.com: Lola is special! I'll bet your calves are in the best shape of your life!

Cyndy: It was the end of the month, as the third dealer (that I closed with) pointed out.

Barbara: I bought a car. Hopefully, I won't be dealing with dealers soon. And I don't even bother with Woolite unless I really am washing something by hand.

Alex: Thanks! They don't push those so much any more but I was pleased to avoid paying "processing fees".

Malnurtured Snay: Thanks for the heads up and congrats to you, too! Nice to be in good company. :) This is not the first time the WaPo has implied I'm a man or the first time they've missed the point of the post. Bastards. At least you referred to it as a sex change and since you've met me, I'll take that as a compliment.

urban bohemian: Thanks! I mentioned "delicates", fergawssake! And you've met me, too, so, Austin Powers aside, if I'm coming across as a man I need to make some changes! (Nothing against men, of course. Some of my favorite people fall in that category.)

Kate: It helps to think about it as a game.