Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The importance of principle

I worked out an awesome deal on the car front Saturday when my hubby and I went to the dealership. Their initial offer surprised me; it was $600 ($300/each car) lower than what I wanted. That never happens!

Sunday the dealership was closed so we checked out the Toyotas. I wrote about that in another post. Long story short, my husband cannot fit in the cars and I barely can.

Monday I took my mother to the dealership so she could drive the car that would be hers. She was okay with it. There were a few things she didn't like. As we talked, however, we both admitted that things like the headrests would feel weird. We've both driven our cars for 10 years now. That's a serious case of "being used to" our current cars!

We sat down. I had a check in my pocket for the deposit. It was unlikely we'd get the cars that night since my mom hadn't gotten her Capital One packet in the mail and we weren't sure what financing the dealer could offer. So the check was part "hey, we're serious--don't sell these cars" and part down-payment.

Then the salesguy started talking about the cars we had just driven. My mom had driven the one that we had talked about; I had not. I was very confused. We had been talking about mileage under 10k and rims; I had even joked that if he'd seen my car he'd know they weren't a huge selling point for me. I had written down the exact mileage. Well, if we wanted the lower mileage car he'd get us the best price possible.

We went home instead of putting down a deposit. I was confused but I had an appointment. The rest of the afternoon was spent on the phone with the salesguy trying to get him to understand that we wanted the cars we had talked about for the price we had talked about. We got some hemming and hawing about the stock numbers and I told him straight out that it would be a matter of principle with my husband. Even if it's, "only $700 difference for 10,000 miles--what a deal!" the fact is that we were quoted the price on the lower-mileage car.

He didn't get it. He supposedly talked to his manager and the big boss. Sorry, couldn't do it. But for his money, he knows what he'd do.

We went in later to have them appraise our cars. I figured maybe since he'd backed himself into a corner about the price of the cars he'd be able to offer us more for the trade-ins.

Nope. $800 trade-in value on two cars. (I didn't expect much; they both have close to 100k on them and they are in "fair" condition.) $200 was for my hubby's, $600 was for mom's. I know I could sell either car for over a grand. (Guess which we'll be doing?)

Yesterday we didn't talk with them at all. The store manager called and left a message with mom--he wanted to thank us for coming in and see if he could do anything for us. Hubby and I spent a long time talking strategy about what he should say and how.

We also called my best friend Brian. He's the son of the mechanic that works at the dealership and one of the reasons why we were given a damn good price to begin with. I asked if we were being crazy for standing on one part of principle. But, like he said. It's not the $700. It's not the 10k miles. It's the fact that it's not what we originally agreed to.

So hubby will call today and we'll find out what's going on.

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