Somehow, I bought a new vehicle yesterday, against my better judgement. I don’t regret the decision at all, though.
I was thinking about possibly getting a new car/SUV/minivan (yep, a minivan…). I had no intention of buying one, though. I set out to do some research for my mom. I planned on checking out different vehicles that met her needs, and while I was at it, I was going to research for my needs.
My mom’s needs were clear:
Seating for six to seven people
My needs/wants were not so clear:
- Seating for six to seven people
- Easy to get to the back row of seats
- Leather interior (I love the smell of dead cow!)
- Heated front seats (it gets cold here, and I like a warm butt when I am driving)
- 4 Wheel Drive or All Wheel Drive (I need a good snow vehicle because it snows so often and in such huge amounts here in the Denver, CO area)
- Satellite radio (This is purely so I can say I have it.)
- DVD player (I may as well catch a movie while stuck in Denver traffic)
- Navigation system (I get lost all the time and forget when to turn and often end up in Kansas – the clicking your heels two times thing doesn’t work)
- Airbags all over the freaking place (I want to survive a collision no matter what idiot hits me)
- Good warranty
I found many cars for my mom. It is just a matter of finding the best deal for the dollar for her. However, while looking at options for her, I decided to try the Chrysler Pacifica (despite Celine Dion) and the Ford Freestyle among many other non-SUVs. I test drove the Pacifica and had to admit I love the way it rides. It is really nice and smooth. I felt very comfortable and safe. It smelled really nice (did I mention I love dead cow?). However, the model I drove didn’t have the DVD and navigation stuff. I thanked the car dealer and told him to call me if they ever got one that had the bells and whistles that I wanted. He said the magic words, "Wait, I think we do have one." So, I made him go get the keys and away we went on another test drive. I loved it. The navigation unit rocks. It is right in the center panel right in the middle of the speedometer. It has a nice sexy voice, too.
So, as we get back, I tell the dealer that the Celine Dion thing really bugs me, and I will have to do some more research. He clearly doesn’t understand how much I dislike Celine. He then says the well rehearsed pitch that all salesmen say, "What would it take to get you in this car today?" I flippantly say, "Take $11,000 off the sticker price." He then says if I am serious, we can probably make something like that happen. OK, I bit, now I have to fight the fisherman.
I sit down and I figure between my nice Blazer (it has every option except the towing kit and the foot massager) and the price of the Pacifica that I would be able to get away with paying about $25,000 and would have a nice vehicle that meets all of my needs/wants (did I mention that I love the sexy voice for the navigation unit?). So, I tell the sales guy to do the pretend talk thing that they do with the sales manager and give me their best rock bottom price and the best deal they can give me on my Blazer. Ten minutes later, he gives me a pretty good number. I tell him I will be willing to give them my Blazer and write them a check for the difference, and that the check would be $22,000. He comes back with $27,000. I tell him I will go $21,000. He comes back with $26,000. I tell him I will go $20,000 (I don’t think he heard any of my prices). He comes back with $25,000. I tell him I will go $19,000, and then he finally catches up with what I have been doing. He says to hold on and he will talk to his boss about the $22,000 offer.
I wait while they talk about the weather, the latest concerts they have been to, and how much a laden swallow can really carry, and then the sales manager writes some stupid stuff on the offer paperwork that says stuff like:
- I am going to get fired for giving you such a good deal
- You are a great negotiator
- Wow, I can’t believe you are getting such a good deal
- I love your hair
- Have you lost weight?
- Your mom must be so proud of you (OK, I made up a couple of those)
His response; he would go $25,000. So, I tell them, thanks, I wasn’t really planning on buying the car anyways, so I don’t have anything invested in this other than the time they were wasting right now, and I am ready to walk away. The sales guy says, "Hold on, let me talk to him again."
More talk about who has the best price on milk, what should they order for dinner, and so on… The sales guy comes back and has a print out of some numbers and tries to convince me that my Blazer isn’t worth enough and asked me to explain what I was basing my numbers on. I told him that I had pulled the numbers out of my ass, and that I wasn’t about to explain them. I had an offer, and they could take it or leave it. He says, "Wait one sec, let me get him to talk to you directly."
Within a minute, the sales manager is there. He sits, we talk a few seconds. He again asks where I was getting my numbers. I tell him from anal extraction and that the basis of my numbers were not up for discussion. He then starts talking about the invoice and the whole sale price of my Blazer and starts yapping on about all they do there and how they know what the right prices are and so on. I stopped him and said, "Are you taking my offer or not? It really isn’t a difficult thing to say yes or no."
He looked like I slapped him upside the head. He said, "No, I can’t do $22,000." I said, "Thanks, I appreciate your time, but I am hungry and need to go." As I got up he said, "$23,000." I said, "Nope, but thanks."
He then says, "Are you really willing to walk away from this for $1,000 difference on a car that meets your needs?" To which I replied, "I really don’t have to buy anything, but for the right price, I will buy this car that you are selling." Then I asked, "Are you really willing to let $1,000 make the difference in this sale on a slow Saturday night when nobody else is even in here?" Again, he looked like I slapped him upside the head.
He then said, "OK, let’s split the $1,000, and call it a night." I agreed. Now I have a really awesome Pacifica, and I saved myself $2,500 from what I was willing to spend. I love negotiations.