Monday, March 7, 2011

Don't do this when buying a car

This weekend we pulled the trigger on a new automobile. It is a big deal because it is generally the second largest purchase a person makes, right behind a home. This is my second go-around on car purchasing so I went into the dealerships with a bit of a swagger and a plan.  I went to two dealerships that I know compete with each other, Hyundai and Kia.  As far as I know, Kia and Hyundai are owned by the same corporation.  They have similar models and generally similar warranties etc, but the cars are slightly different from a purely aesthetic perspective.

I "accidentally" let it slip that we were price shopping between the two of them.  The way I figured, one of the two would start dropping their prices. Whichever one needed the business the most would start the bidding and slide downward from there.  Kia broke first.  They had an SUV that started at 289/month and by the end they were offering it up for 230.

Then the plan went to hell.

A little lady, who might be smarter than me but is also ten times more excitable, test drove the Kia Forte.   I nonchalantly asked her what she thought as the salesman, she, and myself walked back towards the dealership.

She said, and I am not making this up, "I really, really, really liked it.  I want this car and I want to buy it from him (pointing at the salesman a foot from me) because he is so nice I want to give him my money."

My eyes went wide and I felt my heart beat increase in a near panic.  I thought for just a second that perhaps he did not hear her, that the plan could be preserved.  I knew where she was coming from, the Hyundai dealers were assholes.  They tried to pressure her into deciding on a car she had never even seen before, and asked her to write a check they would hold in order to reserve the crappy car she had never seen before.  But the Kia guys didn't know this.  Maybe, just maybe, they didn't hear her.

Mike, the salesman, turned around and in that Irish Boston accent of his said, "Thank ya very much, that's nice of you t' say".

Inside, I hung my head.  Outside I fumbled for an excuse, tried to cover it up, and then just admitted that we were not pleased at Hyundai. 

In the end, it didn't even matter.  We got the car we wanted at the price we wanted and it all worked out.   Plus I learned a very valuable lesson.  Always pull the wife aside and ask her for her comments.  It is not like I am unaware that she gets excited. It is a large part of the reason I enjoy so much.  Now though, I will just make sure to ask her feelings far out of earshot of the guys I mean to haggle with.

1 comment:

  1. That's adorable! And so is your wife. Good work.