Friday, March 18, 2005

Car Buying Spree?

Admittedly, this will be a self-serving sort of post that is counting on the goodwill and the expertise of Hereunder fans (you know who your are!). I'm venturing into the shadowy underworld of buying a car--a minivan. The Dodge Caravan we've had, alas, has been tempermental from the outset--time to trade her in! No regrets.

I'm thinking about going to carmax.com, one of those no-haggle places. (Admit it, the last place any of us wants to be is across the desk from a car salesman in a Hawaiian print shirt, who will go check with his "hard-nosed boss," just one more time for Joe Consumer, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah . . . ) --yeah, right. Is anybody really there behind the door. And if so, what do they talk about in those tete-a-tetes?)

So, if anybody out there has any sage advice or cautionary tales for this intrepid would-be car buyer (yes, even at carmax.com--I trust no car salesman) please post comment soonest!

12 Comments:

Anonymous Timothy Leary, M.D. said...

Tune in, turn on, drop out.

Ride a bike. Walk. Employ a yak.(N.B. Query: is it ever permissible to use a beast of burden?)

3/18/2005 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger Remainderman said...

Sir

Are our pages to be reduced to worse than a classified advertisement or an advise column, an inverted and twisted admixture of these?

We protest.

3/18/2005 06:59:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Clinkers said...

Where can I get a good price on a Yak?

3/19/2005 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Harry said...

Scary waters.

But your best chance of coming out alive, and with the jewels at least feeling somewhat intact, after the plunge, is to take your sweet time, and of course arm yourself with all the info you can beforehand.

A visit to two or three showrooms can actually be sadistically enjoyable, if you employ a simple tactic I learned years ago. Every time slick Willy quotes you a price, just smile back, but don't say a word. Let him sweat.

Then if he doesn't back down, or at least run to the back room to play a few more hands of poker while he tries to make you sweat, get up and leave. But if there is any wiggle-room to be had, he will return to submit a lower one, and whine a lot. Again, smile and wait.

Info, and patience, are your only allies. Using the advantage of having more time to shop than the average mouth-breathers that purchase new cars, expect Willy to call you back within a week to ten days with a “sudden discovery the manager found.”

In all honesty, no matter how good a deal you make, there will always be some amount of soreness down below the belt that you can’t help but notice, wondering who really won. That yak then might begin to sound like an even better idea.

3/19/2005 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger palinurus said...

I'm not sure where you can buy one, but if it's too expensive, you can always buy it on a himalayaway play.

3/19/2005 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger Remainderman said...

Gentle visitors, you don't know how close we came to trashing Palinurus' last comment along with the strange advertisements from "hiddenfish". In the spirit of comity we have foreborn, but we don't feel good about it.

We do have a 1996 Subaru, manual transmission, for sale. Extreme mileage. Check engine light never extinguished. Dipstick generally dry. Makes strange noises. $20,000 firm.

3/20/2005 12:16:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Clinkers said...

Thank you one and all for your advice. I've deferred on the Yak--for now anyway. Glad to say, I went in and out of a local car showroom in three hours--a personal best--and got, I believe, a great deal on a new minivan! ($1000 below what carmax.com quoted me--tax and all included. The manager even gave me the blue book price on the trade-in van--$985 over what their in-house assessment wanted.)

The irony is that I paid less for a new van in 2005 than I did in 1996! Ah, blood under the bridge, as the saying goes . . .

So if you're AAA member, use their no-haggle program for buying new car . . .

3/21/2005 01:34:00 PM  
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1/08/2006 09:24:00 AM  
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