November 10th, 2002

planet

the car i'm driving... I bought it!

I bought a car yesterday! Yes, my first car that I own myself... this represents a lot. Like, I now have absolutely no financial ties to my parents, I am free, I can tell them to totally shove off if I want to. I won't, but the idea is that I could.

I'm going to go to topeka next weekend to visit my sister and I'll have dave drive the probe up. She'll be thrilled, she'll finally have a car. And the probe is nice. Got me through college and summer jobs and moving down here.

So anyway, I am the proud official owner of a Ford Focus! I'd report the year and color and all that, but I don't really want you stalkers knowing what I drive, so let's just leave it there. It's a nice car, roomy, and has power everything! Let me remind you all that the probe had power nothing. So for the first time, I have a CD player in my car! Power windows! Keyless entry! A trunk that stays up without a stick to hold it in place! No gigantic dent in the side where my little sister ran it into a tree when she was 15! CRUISE CONTROL! And it's just as fuel efficient as my old car.

I feel like I got a good deal. It's a couple years old and was moderately stickered but we found another focus across town that had less miles on it and the dealer tried to give us an offer we couldn't refuse on that one (dave was with me) so when I went back to the dealership with the car I wanted I already had a price in mind that I was going to pay. Came in and told our dealer (Josh! As in... "Hey Josh. This is my friend, Seymore.") what my price was and was all giggly and excited because I was getting the car! Then Josh went to "talk to his manager" and came back with an offer that was my price with like $1,100 tacked on. Then I wasn't giggly anymore, I was pissed.

It's easy and fun to negotiate when you're pissed. Personally, I'm a little upset that Dave and I didn't come at him with a totally low-ball number to start with, I don't think we counted on a whole lot of negotiation, didn't think they'd be that tough to get down. Oh, and I'm certain now that Dave talks too much. He kept trying to put numbers on what the car was worth, and that doesn't really help me as a buyer. I matters what the car is worth to me and my feelings (I played the girl there), not what it's worth on paper, I can't walk out on the deal because of paper. I can walk out because of my feelings, that's what I tried harder to convey to get a better deal. But Dave knows so much about cars I can't hold that against him, he was really good to have around. Anyway I threatened to walk out like five times, and really was going to walk out, it's not like it's hard to find a ford focus when you know that's what you want, and I'm in no hurry to buy a car so I was just like, "Stick it, Josh. I'm in no mood for your CRAP!" We were there forever. Got there at five, had a ten minute test drive, came back and sat in the office and were there until almost 9:00 when it was all said and done.

In the end, we ended up paying $200 more than our initial asking price, that's how I know it was too high. Dad always taught me that, in negotiation, if the person on the opposite end meets your request (and they almost did), you didn't start low enough. Well, next time. Really, I want to go car shopping again, I think I'd be awesome at it. And hey... I paid like $3800 less than that stupid sticker price! Go me!

We had some asshole salesmen throughout the day. The guy who shook Dave's hand and not mine, even though I'm the one buying the damn car. The kid who showed us the eclipse, then proceeded to try to close the sale ("Our finance department will make you an amazing deal! We will do whatever it takes to get you in this car today!") even though I didn't like the car. Dealers tend to ignore that little fact. I started looking for every detail I didn't like just to get away, in the end Dave and I almost ran out of there. Oh, and this freakizoid with an olds alero who lured us in to the offices so he could give us his card, then turned some hardball ahole manager on us who asked that same stupid clishe about "What will it take to get you in this car today?"

Dudes. If I don't like the car, your amazing deal won't get me into it. I think Dave told that guy to just hand us the keys, then we'd drive it away. We wouldn't pay for it. He kinda laughed and we walked out.

I did call my parents three times during the negotiation process, that wasn't very mature, but they've bought lots of cars and know their stuff and I wanted to keep them updated. They'll love the focus. It's american, it's big, it's clean. Still a two-door, but I know mom will approve, so that's nice.

Today we've got to fix the window on the probe, the door handle on the probe, the tail light on the probe. That car is so gone.