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Look. Do You Want To Sell A Car Or Not?

, , , , , | Working | December 2, 2021

My wife and I have been looking for a particular model of car for a while, and suddenly, a local dealership has three of them! They’re all used but made within the last couple of years, with mileage varying from 14,000 to 60,000. We go through the nonsense of testing them all and choosing one. The one we decide to buy has 40,000 miles on it and is three years old. The only problem is that the initial asking price is at or above how much it’d cost if I bought a brand new one, made this year as a custom order, from the factory. Time for negotiations.

Salesman: “So, what’ll it take to get you in this car?”

Me: “I want it, but the price is way too high. I could buy a new one online for that much.”

Salesman: “Oh, but that’s because it’s the [Model] S edition, not the [Model] X edition. The [Model] S is… [blah, blah, blah, blah].”

Me: *Pauses* “No, that’s not what I meant. This [Model] S from [three years ago] with 40,000 miles on it costs as much as a [Model] S from this year with zero miles on it. I’ll buy it if you can sell it for a fair price. Somewhere around [75% of their asking price] is much closer to the [Industry Standard Website] suggested price.”

Salesman: “Oh, you can’t trust [Industry Standard Website].”

Me: “Again, though, I could just leave and buy a brand new one for your asking price.”

Salesman: “The price is non-negotiable.”

Me: “C’mon, you know that price is nonsense for a used car. Why can’t you negotiate?” 

Salesman: “I don’t set the prices.”

The salesman suddenly makes an excuse to leave and sends in his colleague.

Colleague: “Hi there. I hear you want [vehicle]. We can get you monthly cost of—”

Me: “I don’t care about the monthly. I care about the overall cost. Are you able to negotiate the price?”

Colleague: “The prices are firm but let me get [Other Employee] in here to see about financing options—”

Me: “Are we seriously gonna do the salesman hokey pokey, where you and a couple of others jump in and out of the room to try to exhaust and confuse me into agreeing to a bad deal? I’m not here to play children’s games. I want you to sell me a vehicle that I’m ready and willing to buy, right now. How is that so hard to sell under this circumstance that you need to get three separate men and—” *checks my phone* “—two hours to negotiate? Does it take this many men to change a lightbulb around here, too?”

The colleague stutters for a second before regaining his composure.

Colleague: “Well, uh… Let me get [Salesman] back so you can talk about finances with him.”

Me: “No, thanks. I’ll just buy a brand new one online, customized how I want it to, for that same amount. Bye!”

I left the office, followed closely by [Colleague]. [Salesman] looked mad at [Colleague] but didn’t say anything about it in my presence. [Salesman] called me once a day for the next three days but I brushed him off each time. On the fourth day, he sent me an email with prices a few thousand dollars less than the non-negotiable price, begging me to come back and make a deal with them. I simply replied asking how he had the authority to change the prices now after he was so sure he couldn’t change prices before. He didn’t reply.