posted on Feb, 20 2005 @ 10:51 PM
can't believe I missed the words right there. Sheesh. And to think I was secretly smirking to myself for recognizing "cultcha" that no one else
would. Ahh, well.
I never buy new cars anymore. Generally, 10% of the car's value evaporates when you drive it off the dealer's lot. Let someone else do that, and
you get the trade in.
My rule of thumb is, on used cars, to divide the price I paid by 4. I am willing to do a quarter of the thing's value (my price or bluebook,
whichever is higher). I'm willing to pay a quarter of that amount in repairs. But that is my limit. I paid 2000 for my Le Sabre, and now the
repair guy sez it needs 500 in transmission work? No thanks, dude. I'll just avoid putting it in overdrive from now on . . . That worked for
another 50K miles.
Here's the stupidest thing. Before you sell it, detail it. I know it's stupid, but you get more money from it that way.
Advice number 2: never sell a car to a new-car dealer. You can always tell if you're getting screwed if you look in the mirror at the
dealership--that person is the one getting screwed.
Once upon a time, when we were poor, we were buying a new(!) car at a dealership. We agree on the price for the new shiny sedan, but I look down the
contract's page and see that Mr. sales Mgr is only giving me $250 for Frau Dr.'s old beat-up Lumina. Frau Dr. starts to bite her lip. But I don't
say anything I just get out my checkbook and start writing a check.
"What is that for?" asks the Sales Manager in disbelief. I say "Well, you are saying my car is only worth $250. I say it's worth more. But you
say it's not. So, I'm writing you a check for 250 bucks, and you don't even have to touch the car. I'm saving you a lot of trouble for your
"Umm, see. No. . . . You can't do that," drones the sales manager.
"Oh? Is my care worth MORE than 250, then ?" I ask, arching my eyebrows furiously.
Sales Manager scampers into the back. Various secretaries come and peak in his office, and stare at us like we are exotic life forms. He comes back
and says he cannot do that, and I have to give it in trade.
"Fine," I say to Frau Dr. "Get your things. We can go home now."
Then the President of the dealership comes out and asks the sales rep what the HELL is going on. I cut off Mr. salesmanship and explain. The Pres
looks blandly at the rep and tells him to take my check.
Meanwhile, Frau Dr. is whispering furiously in my ear that we don't HAVE $250 in the checking account right now, seeing as how we bought groceries a
week ago, and diapers and all. "IF I sell the car for more than $250, can I keep the money?" I asking, again arching my brows. "Yes" she says,
also in disbelief. I shopped around for the three days before the check cleared (this was before CHECK21), and sold it to the guy at the speedyzippy
oilchange place for $850!!!!!!!
Next year, second verse. A whole lot louder and a whole lot worse. We are selling our OTHER old car. I go through the whole check-writing ritual.
Frau Dr. again leans over and whispers that we don't HAVE $300 in our checking account, seeing as how we paid rent this month and all. So I says to
her, "IF I sell the old car and make a profit, can I keep the money?"
She pauses for a minute, and says "You can keep half."
Turns out that bargaining is contagious.