Oprah giving a car to everyone in the audience

Not you Tonya! No car for you!

Last week I wrote about the kind of car I was looking for. I knew exactly what I wanted and I was focused.

On Wednesday evening I found it; a 2012 Kia Forte 5 for sale at $8,995.00 at a local dealership. I called and asked the sales representative if he would throw in some winter tires. After an affirmative response I booked an early Thursday morning appointment.

I was filled with anticipation and excitement. Both my parents and a sister drive Kias, and my husband drives a silver Kia Fort 5. I couldn’t help myself – how cute would it look to have identical cars in the driveway?

I saw the car. The outside was in pristine condition, and the inside was equally clean. I felt right. Everything worked – the heated seats, the air conditioning, the radio. So far so good!

I took it for a test drive; first down some side streets then on the highway. Everything was great – why was I feeling uncomfortable?

The tinted windows, especially the rear window made it difficult to see clearly. Okay I thought. I can get past this.

Back in the office I suggested that I would not be paying full price for the car. Edmunds, the Kelly Blue Book, the Canadian Black Book, a variety of different resources about how to buy a used car – I had conducted a lot of research. I also knew it was reasonable to ask for winter tires – especially in our exceptionally wintery climate.

The sales representative did not want to entertain any type of negotiation at that point and just waved it off.

I arranged to bring my car into my mechanic (huge shout out to Jeremy at Midas on Bank Street). I was nervous. If this inspection went well, there would be nothing stopping me.

I mean nothing but my husband’s opinion of the car.

The Inspection

On the way to see Jeremy I stopped at Gary’s office. I relinquished the driver’s seat and assumed my normal place in the passenger seat. I was used to that spot.

What I wasn’t used to was Gary driving fast and taking the corners even faster. After an exhilarating test drive, I dropped it off with Jeremy.

After a thorough inspection and some helpful information, the verdict was in. It’s a good car.

Sure there were issues – the rotors needed fixing, the oil needed changing…pretty basic things that would be needed to be addressed in the safety.

Excited, I drove back to the car dealership. Feeling a lack of confidence in my ability to negotiate, I called Gary to ask if he would join me. He said he would.

Suddenly, I found myself negotiating with my salesman who told me that if I expected to offer $7,000.00 he would shake my hand and say goodbye.

Okay. I was ready for this. I had decided that I would offer $8,000.00, then go up to $8,250.00 and finally walk away at $8,500.00.

Game on

He played the “I have to ask my manager” card.

The manager told me because I was asking for winter tires, he would not be able to move on the price. Truth be told, the winter tires were already on the car. I just needed a set of all seasons, which I believe would be less expensive than the top quality winter tires already on the car.

Besides, the sales rep told me he has a tire guy; he could do this for me.

After I was told no (if they gave me what I wanted they would be out of business), I countered with $8,250.00. The manager did not budge.

I gathered my stuff while my sales guy told me he would call me. I politely said good bye to the staff at the dealership, confident that he would be calling me.

He didn’t call.

I thought that when I got married I was finished with waiting for the phone to ring.

Turns out I was wrong.

Dating or buying a car, “I’ll call you” means pretty much the same thing – silence.

The Lessons

1)     Don’t take the car to the mechanic (and pay the $72.30) until you have negotiated a price. Kind of like buying a house which you buy on condition that it passes the home inspection.

2)     Negotiate up front. If they are not willing to move, walk away.

3)     I can do it. I amped up my confidence and now feel more prepared than before to get through this.

4)     It’s not quick or fast or easy.

5)     Don’t give up – keep going. Keep looking.

Same as in life – don’t give up. Keep going. Play on. You know where you want to go; do whatever is needed to get there.

White Kia Forte 5 Ex 2012

Apparently not the car for me.

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