Car salesmen? I love them! A couple of car salesmen have met their match with me.
Years ago, I saw the car of my dreams on a second hand car forecourt on the way home from shopping. She was a beautiful Granada 4×4, sleek, kind of pink, although described as gold, and perfect for pulling our brand new caravan. So my business companion screeched to a stop at my request, and we went in to see if we could buy her. Mr Car-Salesman said, “No, sorry, she is already sold. Can I interest you in this green one?”
“No thanks,” said I. “I need a 4×4 to pull our big caravan in all weathers.”
Well, Mr Car-Salesman did his best to sell me just about every large motor he had on his site, and took my name and telephone number, in case another similar car came his way. I thought that was the last we would hear of him. He probably thought I was some frivolous female who had fallen in love with the colour of the car, and who wouldn’t accept anything else. He was right, except that I do not consider myself to be frivolous. That car was perfect. I would comb the country until I found another.
Two weeks later, I still hadn’t found a suitable car, and we were due to take our caravan up north for a week, to do some business. I was thinking we would have to hire something suitable. However, out of the blue, I received a phone call from Mr Car Salesman, to tell me that the person who had bought the car had changed his mind because he had a problem with buying his house and couldn’t afford it any more.
I was so excited. That afternoon, I got my companion to come in with me again, to talk technical things and look over the car to see if it was mechanically sound. I went armed with cheque book and a figure that I was prepared to pay for the car. When it had been on the forecourt before it had a price tag of £7,999, but I wasn’t going to pay that. I knew Mr Car-Salesman had already made his profit on the car with his poor ill-fated previous buyer. He would have lost a tidy sum selling the car back. Mr Car-Salesman could take a huge discount off that figure, and still make money on the resale. I wasn’t going to pay a penny more than £6,500.
Well, I left my companion and Mr Car-Salesman to talk technical, look over the car and take it out for a run, while I thumbed through their catalogues of new models. On their return, my companion, also a salesman, and Mr Car-Salesman had built up a rapport, and were laughing and joking together. My companion gave me the thumbs up, so I got out my cheque book. Mr Car-Salesman was rubbing his hands together with glee.
“I’ll give you £6,000, and our old van in part exchange,” I said. Now, even I knew he would be able to make £800 or so on the van. Mr Car-Salesman gulped.
“Oh no, Madam, I couldn’t sell it for less than £7,000, with the part-ex,” he said. My companion didn’t help much. He said that sounded like a good deal. But I was not to be moved. After five minutes of wrangling, I stood up.
“Oh well, if you don’t want to sell it to me for that price, then I might as well go home now, because I don’t have a penny more than £6,000,” I reiterated.
I flounced out and was almost at the van door when my companion came rushing over to me, and asked me to come back in. Mr Car-Salesman seemed to have had a change of heart.
“£6,500 and the van, and it’s yours,” he said.
“Sorry,” said I. “I thought I made myself clear. I don’t have any more than £6,000.”
Mr Car-Salesman looked at my companion and said, “She’s not going to be moved, is she?”
My companion said with a wry smile, “That is why she is my financial manager!”
“Okay then, deal!” he said, resignedly.
The car was mine. A wintry week later, my companion and I were up in the Pennines on business, with our caravan and my beautiful “Pink Pig”, as we called her. We watched while other cars struggled to move their caravans in the waterlogged field that was our camp site, then we gracefully glided off the field with no trouble at all, and I knew I had done the right thing.
I used that car every day for ten years, with hardly any real heavy repairs needed. She pulled our caravan for thousands of miles. Not a bad deal for my initial outlay which equated to £600 per year.
Ten years later, I wondered if I could do the same sort of deal again. This time I was on my own. I popped into our local car mart on the way home from work, just on the off-chance that I might find a suitable car to impress a new client. There were allegedly 1,000 cars on the site. There must be one that satisfied my criteria – a hatchback, under 30,000 miles on the clock, with aircon, big enough for my dogs to go in the back, and sleek.
Mr Car-Salesman2 rubbed his hands together with glee. I seem to have that effect on car salesmen. He made a call to someone on his site to bring me three cars to choose from. None satisfied me, so he invited me to take a walk around the site with him. Just on the way back towards the showroom, having seen absolutely nothing that appealed to me anywhere amongst the 999 cars on the site, I spied a sleek, pale green Vectra on a ramp. Coincidentally, she matched the suit I was wearing, and looked gorgeous.
By this time, it was closing time. Mr Car-Salesman2 reluctantly gave instructions to take down the Vectra from her prominent position on the ramp outside the showroom, and bring her to me for a test drive. Why hadn’t I seen her when I first went in, I wondered, then realised I had parked up on the other side of the showroom. I would have probably saved myself and poor Mr Car-Salesman2 a couple of hours if I had seen her when I went in. I was in love again.
I wondered if I could pull the same stunt again. The car was marked up at £9,999. How much was I prepared to pay? How quickly did he want to close the deal and go home? I offered him £7,500. He said he couldn’t go below £9,000. I started to walk dejectedly out of the showroom, but he called me back. Ten minutes of bartering later, I owned the car, and all I had paid was £8,000, plus a protective coating worth £250.
Car salesmen? I love them!