Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Buying a new car (still looking)

It has been a week, more or less since our last update. We haven't spent all of our time looking at cars, but we sure have spent lots of time thinking about the process. (I hate buying anything and especially any big buck item.) Last week we visited two local dealers (Honda) and obtained a price from each. Both strongly encouraged me to come back, almost saying that, "our price is too high and we'll do better".

Yesterday we called a dealer in Ames, IA which was running a big ad 3 weeks ago when we were in Winterset. For starters, I had a cold feeling when the first sales agent left to see what they had and said he would call back in an hour. Well, in about two hours, another agent called. So we explained our needs and wants again. He listened politely and also left, promising to call me back (which he did).

In the course of our conversation, I sensed that he was really trying to help. At the end of the conversation, I said that we would be there to see him at 10:30 today. In the meantime, he would take my requirements to his manager and get a price. Fair enough!

So this morning, we were up early and after breakfast and our early morning surfing, we headed for Ames in the rain. We arrived on schedule only to learn that the agent we were talking with was not in and another one stepped in. When he stepped away for a moment, I told Sandy that this didn't bode well, so don't expect a deal today.

We spent about two hours with him, looked at the one unit they had in stock and also showed them our Saturn. They worked up a set of numbers, which I rejected, saying that their price on the Saturn was much too low. I get a real charge out of the sales pitch when they try to say that we are sometimes biased towards something we think of as being near and dear to us. (We were aware of what NADA said it was worth.) So they did agree to cut the difference in half, which was not enough for us.

About then the big gun (sales manager) stepped in and gave us his high pressure sales pitch. (For any of you that have listened to a Coast to Coast membership park sales pitch, it was similar.) We listened to his pitch for about 5 minutes and then we decided that we had spent enough time. We agreed that we'd talk with them again before we do anything.

Back at the farm, Sandy and I then again went online to a site that provides current market car prices, even on new vehicles. We reviewed the prices they used and concluded that their numbers were not reasonable. So tomorrow we wait for their call, or I'll call them. Negotiating for a purchase of this size for me is not fun.

To relax this evening, I am lucky to be able to watch a program on Public TV about Winston Churchill's life. We'll resolve the car issue tomorrow, or maybe the next day.


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