Sunday, October 30, 2011

Catch up. Buying a damned car

One of the things that hasn't changed over the years is car salesmen.

The majority of them are nothing but trouble. Buying a car is a miserable event in my life and I will go to lengths to put it off.

The ride I have now was pretty much an over the phone sale and even though I didn't get a good deal I was happy because I didn't have to deal with a salesman except to write him a check and pick the rig up.

During President Obama's little cash for clunkers dealiebobber a few years back the ride I had, the Silver Bullet went belly up on the annual safety inspection because of rust issues. I was actually elated because I was aware that Toyota would give me a pretty hefty chunk of change for it through their buy back program.

I took it to the dealers and started the process to have it taken back by Toyota and was promptly descended on by one of the salesmen. Whoda thought?

I told him what I was looking for and he said he didn't have it which made sense as all they had left on the lot were the gas guzzlers that were not eligible under the so called 'cash for clunkers' program. I told him that I had no plans whatsoever buying a larger truck and he got a bit snotty with me because it looked like he might have to do some work to find me what I wanted.

It might have taken him about five whole minutes on a computer or something like that. He'd find it, send someone to pick it up and make a small commission which would put meat and potatoes on his table. Of course it wasn't going to put his kid through medical school, but last time I checked one does have to eat.

Of course, he lied to me and told me that there wasn't a four cylinder manual transmission model to be had anywhere. Having dealt with these people before I knew he was lying to me because I know a little trick to tell if a car salesman is lying. You look carefully at his lips and check them for movement. If they are moving he is telling a lie.

I asked him to check with the sales manager and overheard the words 'One. Beckley, West Virginia' come from the sales manager's mouth. He returned to me and told me none were available anywhere.

I went home and got on line and in a few minutes I located my quarry. It was a couple hours south of my place in none other than Beckley, West Virginia. I got on the horn and bought it at slightly under MSRP over the phone and gave him a VISA number to take a down payment out of.

The following day I went to the bank and drew the figure he gave me out of the bank and had someone run me down to pick it up. I drove it home.

A couple of days later I had to go back to the local dealers to pick up my check for the Silver Bullet that Toyota had offered me 1.5 times Kelly Blue Book excellent, low mileage for. While there I mentioned to the service manager that sales had tried to take me to the cleaners and that I had just bought a new rig down in Beckley. His face lit up.

"Please follow me," he asked. I got up and followed him. He took me to the parts department where he called all hands over to the front desk. He addressed the entire parts department.

"Look carefully at this man's face and remember it," he ordered. "This is Mister Piccolo. He just screwed our sales dapartment. He pays only wholesale here from now on! Got it?"

They nodded.

We returned to his office. "Thank you," I said. "What's that all about?"

Apparently there was some kind of interdepartmental fight going on and he considered me some kind of hero for beating the sales department out of a sale. While I generally don't get involved in things like that I wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth.

A few minutes later the woman from the department of whatever came by and gave me a settlement check for the Silver Bullet and I took it to the bank where I deposited it.

I think I might have been able to get about $1500 for the Silver Bullet if I had patched the rust and sold it on Craigslist, but after Toyota handed my the settlement check I some quick math and figured out that I had a brand new truck under my butt for a shade under ten grand and the Silver Bullet. I wound up getting about five times what I could have sold the Silver Bullet for from Toyota!

Not a bad deal any way you slice it.

The next truck I buy I think I am going to buy off of the internet or some other way even though it may cost me an extra couple hundred bucks or so because that way I don't have to deal with car salesmen.

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