Wednesday, March 11, 2009

So. That Was Not Fun.

Hormonally speaking, March 10 was not a good day for me to make a big-purchase decision.
Never-the-less, I made a deadline and deadlines must be adhered to.

So with stomach cramps and surging emotions, I drove towards White Rock and the 2007 Escape that I'd found on the internet. I called my mom on the way there, sharing with her how I hoped I wouldn't cry during the negotiations. Because crying would be a normal response for me, given my lack of experience in these matters and the degree of overwhelm-tion that I was feeling.

I got to the car lot, asked for Blair the salesman, took a look at the low-mileaged, very-clean, not-fully-loaded, 4x4-ish Escape and declined the test drive. He said, "let's get this done then", and we went to the showroom to talk numbers. First some resident Dodge expert had to take my clunky, squeaky (his words, not mine) Durango for a test drive to determine it's trade-in value. (Which came in $500 less than I was hoping for.)

Then he took the internet advertised sticker price for the Escape, ADDED $400 to it (a standard fee, apparently) deducted the trade-in value of my truck, added two taxes and VOILA! A big number emerged. Bigger than the advertised sticker price.

He asked me how I'd like to pay for it.
I said this had come out higher than I expected it to. I had assumed there was wiggle room in the pricing for some negotiating. He asked me what I was thinking. I told him. He suggested I talk to their finance people to get additional financing for the difference between my ceiling offer and their rock-bottom price (which was the internet advertised sticker price. Plus $400.).

I said no thanks.
As I got ready to leave, he said, "Just a minute, let me talk to my manager."

Jim the manager came out and asked me if I had any questions. I said no. I had a limit to what I was going to spend, and if this truck wasn't available to me for that price, I'd keep looking.

He thanked me for coming in.
I left.
And drove away flaburgasted that they did not budge an inch. Or a cent. Advertised price = selling price? Who knew?

I got to BCAA at 5:57 pm and re-insured my Durango. While I was still paying, they turned off the lights and locked the front door. (I know I can cancel or transfer the insurance to a new vehicle, and I know it's not a big deal. It's just that unless I make a deadline sometimes things just don't get done. I manufacture urgency where there isn't any just to add tension to my life.)

I held it all together until I saw that commercial on TV. A deliquent-appearing teenaged boy is graffittizing buildings then slinks home to a disapproving-looking mother. He enters a bedroom and we see a very sick (maybe cancer-ridden) young girl, clearly his sister. He pulls back the curtains on her window and her view? They must live in a low-income part of the city, because out there? Old high rise brick buildings. Covered in huge, bright, cheerful, spray-painted gerber daisies with words, "Be Brave".


I will resume the hunt for a new truck on another day.

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. That there are creative folk out there who produce such touching commercials. Yes. You read that right. I'm thankful for a COMMERCIAL.

2. My clunky, squeaky truck is so clean inside. And it still drives me to and from work.

3. It's Mandi's 20th Birthday today! Happy birthday niece. Love you.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was a great post. I loved the line about manufacturing urgency...put that in your book one day. And the graffiti commercial? It would have made me cry too!

I hate negotiating prices with salespeople; it feels like confrontation to me so I pay the sticker price rather than risk hearing, "Uh, no, it costs what it costs" because THAT WOULD BE TERRIBLE, so I'm glad that you just proved that on a vehicle no less, the price actually was the price.
I'm glad because after applying what you learned today to all my past non-negotiated large purchases, I suddenly less disappointed about not haggling.

Thanks for coming out.