I sold my car to a dealer on Saturday. It’s great that we call those who sell us cars the same thing as those who chemically poison the young and susceptible in society. The actual salesman was a pretty cool guy in his mid-twenties. The “sales manager” was a dick sans box. I’m not entirely sure if this was a fabricated drama – good cop / bad cop – but it seemed genuine.
I really didn’t care about negotiating for a good trade-in value. I was only interested in my final “off-the-lot” price. If I got an additional $500 for my junker, they’d likely add a $500 charge for upholstery massage or one of the other fifty-five hundred bullshit charges they like to come up with. I think they may even have a “Bullshit Fee A Day” desk calendar that they use. If they don’t, then that’s a lucrative product line that I just invented. Patent pending. Stay back.
The negotiation went a bit like this:
Zack: [Waits for Sales Manager to get back from test drive. Feels cool breeze of Death, realizes Sales Manager has emerged from shadows.]
Sales Manager: We’ll give you $500 for your car.
Zack: Wow. I didn’t think it would be that low. How about doing $500 and six slow roasted peanuts?
Sales Manager: The AC doesn’t work.
Zack: It works. It just needs some time [Internal Dialogue: Six to Seven Hours] to get firing.
Sales Manager: $500 is all I can do.
Zack: [Internal Dialogue: At least he didn’t feel the shitty transmission] I’ll throw in the Pittsburgh Steelers and the half-burnt Carnegie Mellon University window decals. $500 and a moustache comb?
Sales Manager: [Tears the head off of a feral pig and injests its blood.]
When I closed the deal on the new car, they put this sticker on my old one:
That’s right. Back the FUCK off. There were at least twelve fervent buyers throwing sacks with dollar signs hand-embroidered to the side at us hoping to buy that 1997 top-of-the-line sedan with special Enjoy the Environment As It Is climate control and the You’ll Get Whatever Gear I Want and Like It transmission. But no, this baby is going to make the rounds on the university lecture circuit before you can even think of owning that genuine Americana.
At the end of the day, I exceeded my “out the door” limit by $1500 thanks to scummy finance charges and other miscellany. This was my first experience at buying a new car. I know for the next time to come prepared with some sort of hard armor AC 15 or better and something with which to take a hostage.