May. 15th, 2017

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Saturday, Darwin and I continued the Great Car Hunt.  We went down to the Ford dealership on Saturday to haggle over an Escape and a new C-Max.

Always a pleasure.

Car dealerships are always busy on Saturdays, especially in spring and summer, yet they always close at 3:00.  This strikes me as foolish.  Darwin says it's to prevent you from shopping around in your excitement--you don't have time to go looking if everything closes at 3:00 instead of 5:00 or 7:00.  This may be true, but when I go car shopping, I go with the attitude that I'm going to be at the dealership for several hours.  My phone is fully charged, I have a book for backup, I eat a big meal before I go.  And if 3:00 comes and we're still talking price and stuff, I'll keep going.  No skin off MY nose.  (This happened the last time we were there--we went for a test drive at 2:30 and kept the salesman there until 3:30.  Tough titty.  When I'm dropping several thousand dollars, the dealership can do things on my time.)

Anyway, we arrived at 12:30 and "our" salesman was duly summoned.  We told him what car we'd settled on, that we wanted to trade in our current car and truck, and the numbers began to fly.

The trade-in numbers on the F-150 were initially scandalously low.  This was, the dealer assured us, because the truck had a lot of rust on it and needed new tires.  I know exactly how much rust there is, and tires are not a real factor in trade-ins.  They also ignored the upgrades and repairs I'd put into the truck since I'd bought it.  So I pushed the paper back and said they needed to do better.  The salesman did the "call the manager over" thing, and he did the little "I don't know what we can do" thing.  Darwin and I smiled and nodded and said he needed to do better.  (Darwin quoted him a number three thousand dollars higher than we expected to get.)  The manager said he could make some phone calls.  We told him to do so, and off he went.  I know he wasn't making them and he knew I knew he wasn't making any phone calls, but I suppose he had to dance the dance.

We waited a long time between spurts of number activity.  I calmly played video games on my phone or chatted with Darwin.  Meanwhile, the salesman was juggling two other sets of customers and he was growing more and more frazzled.  I did not offer to let someone else take out place at his desk.  I did not ask if we could speed things up.  Time was on my side.  Tick tick tick. Is it 2:30 already?  Oh, did that customer grow annoyed and finally leave?  What a pity.  I'm just sitting here, waiting for some favorable numbers.  I'll be happy to speed things up, but . . .

Eventually, the sales guy came back with a much higher trade-in on my truck.  Way higher than we expected.  Very good!  The truck continued to pay off for us.  (When we bought it, the credit union loan rep was shocked at how little we paid for it.  Now we're getting more on the trade in than we owe.  Ha!)

But the trade-in offer on our current C-Max was startlingly low.  It was so low, in fact, that Darwin snapped, "Absolutely not!" and snatched the paper away.  He crossed his arms and refused to discuss the matter further.  The manager was duly summoned, and he said this was the best he could do.

"Then I'll be keeping my car," Darwin said, and they lost the sale of a new C-Max.  Suddenly the salesman's commission was cut in half, despite all his work.

But we have a good deal on the Escape.

Now we're waiting for the processing of the loan paperwork.  We have to go back one more time on Monday to finalize everything and get the actual car.

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