Adventure’s In Car Buying, Part Two

Day One complete. I say Day One because we made little progress today. You see, it had never occurred to me before, but car dealerships seem to love it when you finance a car instead of buying it out right. I don’t know the ins and outs of the business, but I’m assuming they might even get a kickback from the finance company that’s going to rip you off with interest rates and whatnot.

We started the day off around Noon. Took time off at 5pm to have a Valentine dinner with our church group, but spend the majority of the day visiting a total of only three car dealerships. Here’s what I learned today, in a nutshell (your mileage may vary):

  1. Nissan, while no where near the top of my list, will bend over backward to make a deal with you. Admittedly, we had the same gentleman that knows and helps my in-laws by name because they are loyal Nissan owners, but Shane worked his butt off to get us the deal we finally worked out with them. Mind you, we didn’t decide on the vehicle yet, but the offer is good and stands as is until we deliver an answer in a day or so.
  2. Toyota, at least the one in our area of Murfreesboro, TN, is very proud of their inventory. They are there to make money and not deals, evidently. We actually ended up test driving one of their used vehicles, which happened to be a Nissan, as well. The gentleman assured us he could help us out and work a deal we’d be happy with. $1,000 off the asking price turned out to be his best deal on a used vehicle. To up their game, they seem to have this scam where your sales person will signal the manager when you’re about done. He will casually walk over to the exit and loiter around, and as you leave, he’ll act concerned that you didn’t get the results you wanted. Our particular manager assured us he’d take care of it and  make things right. He then proceeds to give us his version of a deal buy offering us a vehicle with double the miles, used, and located in another town … for the exact same price.
  3. Finally, after dinner, we visited the local Honda dealership. Honda is a great brand, I agree, but the sales manager that was working tonight had a loud mouth that he evidently didn’t know carried out of his office and into the small sales floor. I listened as he would make fun of and put down each customer a sales person would bring information in on for him to review. At one point, we were the subject, as our salesman took a potential deal in for him to review. We had pointed out that Nissan was also offering us a very good deal on a brand new 2015 Nissan Quest mini van. The salesman mentioned this and that we were seeking a slightly better deal on a small-sized crossover and wondered if they could beat it. He proceeded to tell the sales man we should all load up in the Mystery Machine because with a question like ours we’ve obviously already decided on the Scooby Mobile before we even came there. He then has the nerve to come out to talk to us face to face, which tickled me because first thing he asked about was our experience with the Nissan Quest. I replied, “Well, right at this very moment, yes we probably will lean toward that one because it’s so roomy we can load Scooby up and haul tail to the next mystery.” He had this mortified look on his face, and he seemed to lose that spunk he came out of the office with. The salesman, he just doubled over laughing right beside him.
  4. And finally, perhaps most importantly, I learned that my wife is a hard boiled egg that will not crack. She’s a tough cookie. I wouldn’t want to deal with her. But, perhaps she’s a little too tough because we ended this day with only one dealership willing to meet our budget, which is a considerably nice budget. And while I do agree with my wife that they can work the numbers a little more if they really wanted to, I also know that they’re in the business to make money, and if they can’t just give the cars away.

Day One, in the books. Tomorrow, we’re checking out just a few more places, then we’ll decide which vehicle we’re going with. While the Nissan Quest isn’t my personal first choice, my wife liked it for the roomy interior and 3rd row seating, as well as the smooth ride and storage space. We weren’t originally looking for something that large, but since they were able to meet our budget – taxes included and all – it is suddenly at the top of our list.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m tired and grumpy and feeling slightly defeated. I’m going to bed …

-J

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