What’s it going to take?

Over the last fifteen years I’ve had a string of maybe eight used cars parked in my driveway. I always go for cars that are about seven to ten years old which run pretty well and pass the state inspection the first time. No car payment on those classics but then last month I knew I was going to have to buy new tires, new struts, new brakes and have the radiator fixed for over $2100 and that made me start thinking. I was thinking about a “new” 2003 Camry that I saw in a front yard down the street but then Sunday when I watched a number of new car commercials during the football games I definitely got the new car bug. A real new car not just one new to me.
It had been a long time since I’d stepped into a dealership but I felt I was ready. I know the game. Show the customers the flashy new car, let them get used to thinking about how sweet it’s going to be as the proud owner and then after some time for daydreaming let them know what it’s going to cost because by then they’re already thinking about it being theirs’ and they’re willing to sign on the dotted line.
They think they can suck me into their seller’s market and make me beg for the opportunity to buy their automobile? That may work on some people but hey, I’ve been around.
So, Bob, Bill, guy what do you think?” the salesman, Mike, said as he ran his hand along the fender.
“It is a nice car, I like it.”
“Then what’s it going to take to put you behind the wheel?”
I was ready for that one.
“Let me sit down for a few minutes and think about it.”
As I sat there in the customer lounge knowing what I wanted I could see the salesman and his manager in the office peaking and talking. They want me to be the one wanting this transaction but I’d turned the tables. Now they were the ones who wanted the sale and that put me in control.
After a few minutes Mike said, “Well? Can we get you on the road today?”
“I’ll tell you what I want, I want to get that monthly payment way down….”
“We can do that, we can do that. It’s “crazy deals month”, what do you think about $239 a month for a three year lease with $3999 down? How’s that sound?”
“That payment’s not going to do it. Thank you for your time” and I got up.
“Hold on there, partner, let’s just see what we can do” and back he went into the sales manager’s office for more talking and peaking until they both came out.”
“We’ve seen your type before,” said the sales manager. “You want us to give the cars away. Well, let’s just get down to it” and we sat there looking at each other for a few minutes.
Back and forth, back and forth until I finally said thank you and sat down behind the wheel of my new SUV with all the goodies. A quick tap on the horn, a wave and off I went after having driven those rookies down until they cried uncle. As I drove away I couldn’t understand why they were smiling, almost grinning. They were the ones watching their shiny blue SUV roll off. They were the ones watching the victor drive away.
A three year lease for $27 a month. I’m not kidding, $27 a month and I’m driving a brand new $35,000 automobile that won’t need any money spent on maintenance. The savings are going to be incredible.When you know the value of the cars, know how to negotiate and (and this is very important) you have your finances in order (and I do) you’ll be amazed what you can get from merchants anxious to move the goods.
Who can’t handle $27 a month? Not only am I driving a brand new car, the money I save by only paying $27 a month for my car frees up the dollars that will help me pay off the Visa card cash advance that I needed in order to put down $12,500 on the car to seal the deal. Pretty shrewd.
Jeannie’s going to love it. She’s going to be mighty proud of her little negotiator. You’ve just got to know what you’re doing.


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