The car salesman who lived up to his reputation

Darling husband David is looking for a truck. Understand that when I say “looking” I really mean obsessing about a truck.

We’ve talked about him buying  a new vehicle for a few months. Our original plan was, after the first of the year, to trade in the Xterra and either my car or the dogmobile, but the truth is I love the dogmobile and Cassie needed a car, and neither the car or Jeep ended up being worth as much as we thought they would be. So I keep the dogmobile and we gave Cassie the car.

Not that we can afford a car payment. But then again, who really can afford a car payment in this economy. But his Xterra isn’t serving his hunting needs well anymore and he wants a truck.

He really wants a truck.

So after more than a month with every spare  moment spent looking online and visiting dealers, he found one at a dealership in Webster that seems like a great deal. (Should I say the name?  Probably not, because it was a horrible experience.)

The truck is a 2007 Dodge Ram with low mileage, all the bells and whistles you can think of. Darling husband has been to the dealer several times already, and asked me to go with him last night to talk to the salesman because it seems like they might have been able to work out a deal and he might be buying a truck.

And David really wants this truck.

Going in last night, David had an offer from the salesman for $18,995 for the truck and $2500 for his trade in. David countered with $17,995 for the truck with the $2500 trade in. They left it a few days ago that they couldn’t do that deal. But the salesman called David yesterday and said he thought they could work something out.

So we skipped dinner and went out in the frigid cold for the dog and pony show that is car buying.

Mike the salesman started the negotiating with $18,995 for the truck and $1,000 for the trade. Wait, that’s not the deal David thought he was being offered two days earlier. Somehow, we went backwards.

All we wanted to know was if he could take another $1000 off the figures he’d given David a few days ago; if so, we’d have a deal and we’d buy the truck.  If not, we totally understood and would keep looking.

But that’s too easy. Instead, the salesman has to move numbers around and pretend like he’s making a new deal. Less for the trade, more off the truck, less off the truck, more for the trade.

And on and on, for an hour. All the time, he’s making it seem like he’s making some great sacrifices, when really he’s just playing with numbers.

And then the salesman came to the offer of $18995 for the truck and $2500 for the trade – the original offer he’d made to David two days earlier. And no, he wasn’t going to budge on the price of the truck, considering that he’d made all of those sacrifices already.

You get what’s happening here, right?

When we said, Thanks but it just isn’t going to work, then Mike the salesman decided that since we were only $1000 apart we could split the difference – $18,495 for the truck, $2500 for the trade in. We needed to play this game for an hour? He could have started with that, we would have agreed, and we would have bought the truck. Done and over in 10 minutes and signing the papers.

But after an hour of the baloney and manipulation to come to the same place we started two days ago, neither David or I felt comfortable with the salesman anymore. After the line of bull he’d been spewing, I wouldn’t trust him to buy a pack of gum.

We said we’d have to think about it and got up to leave, and he gave us the “Well, if you’re not willing to work with me …” speech.

At which point I just wanted out of there. Even if he’d given David the deal of the century, I wouldn’t feel right giving them my business. The guy was totally untrustworthy and lived up to every stereotype of the used car salesman you can think of.

Fortunately, David has other options – his cousin Mike Clemons is a salesman at Doan and we love our salesman Mike Holbein at Hoselton. All honest, reliable, completely not the stereotypical car salespeople. It’s just that no one has the perfect truck on the lot right now. But they’re looking. David’s also connected with the guy who buys the vehicles at auction for our mechanic, and he also just found out his other cousin’s husband, Tim Wearkley, is sales manager at Wentworth.

Truth be told, David is so picky about what he wants it will have to be a miracle truck and deal for it all to work.  But with so many other options from reliable salespeople, chances are he’ll find exactly what he wants. It just might take some time.

As for me, I’m staying out of it. I don’t care what kind of truck he buys or  how much he pays for it. As long as I don’t have to be there when the deal is made.


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