Monday, June 23, 2008

Anatomy Of A Car Deal

Ahem. I mis-spoke. Don't hold it against me in November.

It seems that the LSUV I purchased on Saturday was not a Yukon Denali. Who knew? Not ME. To be fair, the #1 son says that HH thought the same thing. Not that it matters to us. It's not like we bought a used Le Car and thought it was a fancy Yukon Denali. After all, we had been to 7 dealers, and looked at a Cadillac Escalade, Ford Expedition, Yukon Denali, and a Chrysler Somethingreallyugly.

The #1 son took pictures today on his Happy Sunshine Garget-wannabe of an iPhone. Too bad he did not put them on my desktop as instructed. Hopefully tomorrow, there WILL be pictures. But that will have to wait until we return from our day trip to Chuck E. Cheese and Mastodon State Park.

What we REALLY bought was a black Chevy Tahoe. C'mon, peeps. It's an honest mistake. Remember how the Chevy Suburban and the GMC Yukon used to be identical? We do. We had two Suburbans before we got our Yukon. So I'm not as stupid as I seem. Here's the scoop on my scathingly brilliant car-buying experience...

This lovely 2008 Tahoe has a price tag on the window of $50,820. I will brag that I got it for considerable less than that, no thanks to HH. That's because nobody wants a Tahoe except me. Psst...they use a lot of gas, in case you're not in on the secret. But I have to have one to ford the creeks and haul me up the frozen hills in the winter. Here's the basics.

$50,820 new.

$36,995 as dealer demo with 5,700 miles
$ 4,600 offered for our trade-in of a 2001 GMC Yukon XL SLE with 99,900 miles
$32,395 was the difference. No way, no how. I had to put on my bargaining hat.

You want to know, don't you, what price I wrangled for this behemoth? Let me first tell you that I used to buy my own cars before I had an HH. In fact, the first car we bought after we were married, I went ALONE to the Toyota dealer, and bought it myself. I took a book along to read while the salesman played that 'Let me run this offer by my boss' game. I was prepared to stay all day. To get inside his little salesman head and show that his tactics didn't fool or intimidate me. So when he would have me initial an offer and say he'd be right back, I said, "That's OK. I brought a book." With that, I would open up Stephen King's The Stand. The hardcover unabridged edition. I did not go for that 'split the difference' crap, either. I only changed by about $25 at a time. The guy had to do a lot of checking. We reached a deal early in the afternoon. When I went back to pick up my Toyota, I casually asked if they would throw in a cap for my husband. HH said he always got a dealer cap when he bought a car. It's free advertising for them, you know. The Toyota folks were not quite so giving. In fact, the manager said, "With the price you got on this car, lady, you're not getting a cap." Oh well. It was HH who wanted the cap, not me.

That's just a little foreshadowing, to get your car-buying juices flowing. I am saving the lengthy tale of the actual deal until Tuesday. The deal in which I lay the smack down on the sellers.



Melani said...

so do you offer your services for buying cars? I could use some help--I rarely get a good deal. But I love me a new car.

Hillbilly Mom said...

What a scathingly brilliant idea! I can become a professional car-buyer. When I retire from teaching, I will hang out around car dealerships. "Psst...want me to get you a good deal on a car? Tell me what you want to spend, and I get to keep any extra money I save you!" Yeah. That would be fun.

1. know the value of your trade-in from Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds.

2. know the value of the car you are going to buy. I used to go looking on Sundays with no salesmen around, take notes, look up those cars, and have that info ready.

3. decide what is the absolute most you will pay for the difference between your trade-in and the new car.

4. be prepared to spend a long time dealing. Don't get antsy or flustered or beat down by the salesman's sarcasm or pleading.

5. lowball at the beginning. You can always come up toward your set amount. DO NOT automatically split the difference with the salesman. That's what he's counting on.

6. do not be afraid to walk out if you don't get your deal. There are other dealers and other cars.

7. buy a car at the end of the month when the dealer wants to raise his numbers. Go near the end of the day. Go on a rainy day, or when not many people are on the lot looking.

*Hillbilly Mom is not responsible for any bad deals that may be made using these hints.*