How many cars do we buy in our lives? 6, 8? Maybe add a few more if you’re buying for a friend or your kids. And people either love it – love the negotiating, haggling, and back and forth techniques – or hate it. Hence the advent of “no-haggle” brands and dealers for those that hate it.
I just helped a friend buy a used car for her daughter. It was agony. “Just a few minutes…” said the salesman, finance manager, store manager. Famous last words. I know this. Yet why do I keep falling for it? WALK OUT THE DOOR next time. Go for lunch, take a break, get a better deal. Don’t let them hold us hostage!
What didn’t I fall for? Not standing up for what was right – if this is certified, show me that the proper maintenance was done. If you can’t figure out the tax we need to pay in our county, talk to someone who does. After buying a used car previously and realizing that I gave away too much to the dealer, I decided to respond more effectively and ensure that we got what was right.
But the dealers – don’t they ever learn? Don’t they want people to be fans? No, it’s all transactional. If it’s going to take 4-5 hours, get some sandwiches, some food, something. Make people feel appreciated, not beaten and worn out. Don’t leave people hanging while you try to sell them every warrantly imagineable for a car you’ve just said is perfect and doesn’t need anything!
Learning. If we don’t learn we make the same mistakes. But when you don’t buy a car frequently, it’s tough to remember. Prepare yourself, do what you know you need, and hope that if any car dealers read this, they will take better care to get repeat customers and develop lifelong customer relationships, not transactions. Shame on them, and shame on us for letting them get away with it.