Sunday, November 19, 2006
And while we're on the subject of Mobility....
We bought a car! Our very first twenty-first century car! No more limping around town in a smashed up car with doors that neither open nor shut. Hurrah!
Now we can get the adaptive hand controls installed, and Robb can begin driving again.
The last time I bought a car, I called all the used car dealers near our home in Connecticut, and told them exactly what kind of car I wanted, and how much I wanted to pay. We ended up with a fantastic car that had been perfectly maintained (and which we bought from a dealer who had the same haircut as Wolverine in the X Men).
After visiting the first dealer (which was, interestingly, the used car department of our beloved mechanic) I feel I can offer a few pointers on How To Be A Creepy Used Car Salesmen.
• Talk like you are following a script written by David Mamet. You needn't be completely sinister; the silent lurking sales guy in the gold satin shirt guy exudes enough creepiness for the entire sales staff.
• If one of the shoppers is in a wheelchair, grab onto the back and push the chair around. Your job is to provide transportation. Wheelchair users who find this intrusive or impertinent are sissies.
• Make sure that you get the shopper's driver's license. Do not give it back under any circumstance. This can be a great bargaining chip when you start in with the "What is it going to take to make you buy a car this afternoon?" spiel. Even if the wheelchair user's back is getting so tired that he has to leave the office and go lay down in his car, do not, for any reason return his partner's license. Do not let them leave your lot without buying a car.
• If buyers look unconvinced, pull out a paper and pencil, and write out some arbitrary numbers. Add some arbitrary numbers, subtract some others. Make a big show of pushing this paper across the desk with a flourish, and ask "How does this strike you?" Repeat this performance if the shoppers seem nonplussed.
• If a shopper fails to buy a car, call them repeatedly over the course of the week. A follow-up form letter is appreciated, but why not add a special touch by faking a seizure half way through your signature?
• If all this fails, use the advanced method that Robb's brother's car salesman employed. Yell at the customer when they realize they have to leave for their nephew's confirmation. Follow up with a hand written fax. Make sure you use the salutation, "Dear Jerk Off." (This method is especially powerful if the owner of your dealership used to date the shopper's eldest sister, and if the shopper's mother is not afraid to call your boss up and give him what-for.)
We bought our car from a very nice no-haggle dealer, who paid for all sorts of repairs that our beloved mechanic suggested.