A few years ago I walked into an auto dealership to test drive a new vehicle intending to lease. I was met by a gentleman who took me for the drive. When we got back to the dealership he spoke with me for a short time and when he realized we weren’t close on price he excused himself and within a few minutes an attractive young lady, (I’m being kind), approached me. She was wearing a short skin-tight dress that was cut much too low in the front. My guess is, she was the greaser. For the next few minutes she smiled, leaned over and explained to me the benefits of the vehicle I was thinking about leasing. When I didn’t move on the price, she excused herself and out came her sales manger, a rather slick-looking gentleman who was obviously in love with himself and wanted me to feel the same way. At this point I was somewhere between amused and feeling like I needed a shower. He tried to educate me on the car buying experience; what I should expect, how the money factor works, how little dealerships make on each car and how much I’m going to enjoy having my car serviced there because they’re all one big happy family.
The dealership was five minutes from my home. I ended up traveling forty minutes to get the car from another dealership because I didn’t want to feel like I was entering a brothel every time I walked in there to get my car serviced.
The process of buying or leasing a car is draining. Even when I try to have fun with it and smile at the sales people and their obvious attempts of insulting your intelligence, it’s usually a train wreck.
So last week I walked into a dealership to lease. I gave them my specs and they gave me a price but I usually shop around so I contacted an internet sales person at another dealership who gave me a price that was less. The next day I went in expecting the bait and switch routine, however I underestimated their ranking on the sleazy meter. When they presented the price to me it was 165.00 a month more than what they quoted on the phone. I Just looked at them and asked if they were kidding. After only a two or three minutes of shaking my head and telling them how unprofessional I thought they were, the sales manager “recalculated” the numbers and dropped the price 120.00.
In just a few minutes.
How can I possibly take this place seriously?
I walked out, responded to a followup note the car salesman sent me and told them what I thought. It wasn’t pretty.
Why does buying or leasing a car have to be some damn difficult? I learned a long time ago in business negotiation that you should never be the one to take the last dollar off the table. The best deals are when everyone wins and walks away happy. But car buying seems to fly in the face of that logic.
Some years ago Saturn decided that there would be no haggling over price. They developed a one price policy for their line of cars. When you walked in to the showroom, you knew what you were going to pay. I didn’t like the styling of Saturn’s but for those who did, it seemed like a great idea.
Then they went out of business.
Don’t even say what you’re thinking.