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(Ab)Used Car

, , , , | Working | July 3, 2018

(I’m 18 and I have just been medically discharged from the military. I have nothing to fall back on. I decide that the first thing I need to do is get a car. I have enough money saved up to buy a decent used car outright. My aunt, who works HR for a car dealership, tells me to browse their website and see if I find anything I like. I manage to find a car within my price range, but it is in Las Vegas. She puts me in touch with her “best” used car salesman to see if he can help me out.)

Salesman: *on the phone* “I see you are looking at a car in Las Vegas; is that right?”

Me: “Yes, would it be possible to bring it here?”

Salesman: “Yes, we can do that, but I’m a little concerned about the car because the dealership didn’t do the mechanic report; it was done by an outside source. But I did just get a 2007 Toyota Corolla in with only 63,000 miles on it. What were you looking to spend?”

Me: “Well I’m paying cash, so $3,500-$4,000 max.”

Salesman: *mumbles something about $4,000* “…but I can work with you because of who your aunt is. We were going to replace the tires, but I can not do that to save on cost, if you prefer.”

Me: “That sounds great! I can replace the tires myself. Can I come see it this weekend?”

Salesman: “Absolutely! See you then!”

(My boyfriend and I drove from San Diego to Los Angeles to see the car, and met my aunt at the dealership. When we arrived, I did an initial inspection of the car and everything looked great, so we went inside to finalize the deal. When we sat down, the salesman showed us a quote that was around $6,400, which was WAY out of my budget. I began to believe I wasn’t going to leave with this car. My aunt was livid, tearing into the salesman, asking him if that’s how they treat all of their customers, and if so, they needed to have a serious chat. Turns out they bought the car from the previous owner for $4,000 and there were all sorts of fees they had to charge to resell it. The salesman believed he could get the young girl buying her first car to finance and make more money. His manager got involved and, to save the situation they sold it to me for the $4,000 they bought it for, plus $540 in DMV fees they couldn’t waive. They took a HUGE hit on the car, and I walked away both scared and impressed by my aunt. The kicker? The tires were fine.)

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