Sunday, November 21, 2010

I've Spent More Time Deciding on Shoes.

I've been whining a little lately about how we need to buy a new/used/whatever car. You know, just something to get around in. My husband, bless him, has been researching his little butt off; which is great because I couldn't be more bored by the whole thing if I tried.

So, research performed, there is a short list of cars that seem like they would do the trick. Time to go look at them. Have you ever been to a car dealership? We managed to get someone to watch the girls yesterday so that we could go have a look; it was so weird.

The experience was quite surreal. The lighting was too bright, the music was too loud, the people were too... friendly isn't quite the word. Are sharks considered friendly? Killer bees? Other things that swarm at the smell of blood?

So, there we were, looking at a car, when one of the salespeople sidled up to us. "Would you like to have a test drive?" Sure. Why not? So we went out and drove the car around the block. Just once. As soon as we got back to the dealership, he took us over to his desk and sat us down and said, "so, are you planning on buying the car today?"

We looked at each other, a little horrified. Uhm.. no. Not really, we thought we'd talk numbers first. "What would make you happy?" Write down a number that would make you happy and I'll go talk to my manager. Write down your happy number."

Right. So we wrote down a number (based on the research you see). He took our number away somewhere and left us sitting there looking at each other; a little bemused. And wary. The manager came back to us and said, "what can we do to earn your business today?"

I still have no idea what they were looking for there. I mean... to earn my business, you can give me a good deal on a car with the least amount of bullshit you can manage. That would be great. So we told them that we really were not going to buy a car that very moment, sorry. So the manager left. The salesperson looked at us and said, "what can we do to earn your business today?" Is that on a big poster in the back somewhere?

I said, "well, you haven't given us any numbers to work with. What we'd really like is something to take home with us and think about." Apparently, this is not the way things work. When buying a car at this (I don't know if it's like this everywhere) dealership, you need to commit to buying a car -- today -- before anyone will work up any financing numbers for you. Because why waste their time trying to get you to drop $20,000?

My feeling on it is that I'd like you to get off your ass and do some work if you want me to spend $20,000. I've had people be more helpful selling me a toaster. Is this really the way it works? Am I just incredibly naive to want to be able to make a careful decision when it concerns this kind of money?

I guess it goes without saying that we still don't have a car yet?