Last week Sara and I went to buy our first new car. We have lucked out that the cars our parents graciously bought us long ago have lasted but we decided it was time to get a new one. We did a lot of research about buying a car from a dealer as well as what we felt would be a good price for the car, as well as what we could carry each month for a payment. We had a number in our heads that we wanted to pay, as well as a number we would settle on paying. Turns out we were able to do better than we thought we would. It must have been a perfect storm for car buying: an hour before close on the second to last day of the second to last month of the year. Plus I was kind of a jerk when it came to negotiating about the price, but, despite what you may have heard elsewhere, business is not personal. Sara was there for some silent moral support (which may have been interpreted as brooding) which greatly helped out. A few choice lines from the negotiations:
Dealer: So you want me to sell you this car for below invoice, meaning we don’t make a profit.
Taylor: I guess so.
Dealer: Let me ask you this. Say you bought calculators for $1. Would you try to sell them for $0.90?
Dealer: So how can you ask us to do that?
Taylor: Well I don’t think that’s what is really going on here.
Dealer (holding paper with offer on it but we can’t see it): How much is this car worth to you?
Taylor: I don’t know. You tell me, you’re the one who owns it.
Dealer: Listen, I’ve sold 4 times as many cars as anyone else in the Metroplex.
Dealer (after giving us the offer we wanted): Okay here it is. Just sign here.
Taylor: Can you give me a minute to talk it over with my wife?
Dealer: Are you kidding me?
Taylor: (pointing at all the extra crap that “comes” with the car): So let’s start here. I don’t want to pay for any of this.
Dealer: Well, it costs something. Help us out here with the cost and labor. What would you value all of this at?
Taylor: Well, I don’t want any of it, so I guess $0.