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An Open Letter To Car Dealers, Please Price Your Inventory.

You may remember the blog I wrote like a week ago about my Wife’s car being in an accident. I swore that car had a curse on it, and I think I made a good argument for it. I

Andrea McMaster

was hoping beyond hope that the insurance company would just total the car and give us a check to get a replacement. They did.

So there we were with a check for about $10,000 and a very short time to find a comparable vehicle. I had no idea it would be the pain in the *^& that it was. So, in light of that recent search I address this to all the many many car dealerships we visited , even when they didn’t know we did.While there are many suggestions I could make from the experiences I had, I have narrowed it down to what I think the was the biggest factor in eventually buying the car that we did, where we bought it.

Scott Olson, Getty Images

Clearly, mark the price of the car in the lot. That’s it. It isn’t brain surgery, and it isn’t that much work. Now, I know we can still dicker and we know there is wiggle room in the price but please, give me a jumping off point. Your clear price tells me immediately if your in the business to sell cars or in the business to give me the business. I can’t speak for everyone in the world but I know I have no time or use for playing the dickering game.By clearly marking your price on the car, I can get an idea that you are in the realm or reality with your expectations and I can know right away if I would be wasting yours and my time by staying in the lot.

Another factor is time. We had a small window to visit many lots to try to find something that would work, at a price that would work. I knew there were not going to be more than 2 or 3 cars on any given lot that was even going to be a potential and in most cases none. I can’t tell you for sure because many of them we drove through after hours, or slowly drove through so as not to be assaulted by a salesperson. Not that I have anything against sales people, I just knew that once the “conversation” began I was stuck in that lot for at least a half hour. There may have been cars that were reasonably priced or at least close enough to our budget that we could play with numbers or dicker a little to make it work, but if I didn’t see a price , I didn’t inquire.

Take it for what you want, I just thought I’d throw it out there and see if anyone agrees. I love cars, I love buying them but I refuse to play games with a purchase that is that important to me. Could you imagine house hunting without a starting point on price? Crazy.

PS. The place we wound up buying the car was Mangino Mitsubishi in Clifton Park. Was it the best deal for the best car? I don’t know but it was clearly marked, well priced and I wound up going lower than the asking cash price. And I didn’t  feel like I needed to shower after I left the lot. God Bless.

 

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