Friday, April 04, 2008

One Good Thing about Peak Oil...

Peak Oil is a particular concern of mine, but today it occurred to me that there is an upside: car dealers will, sooner or later, be a thing of the past. I cannot adequately describe the bitterness with which I hate car dealers.

I'm in the market for a used car - I'd really like a Toyota Corolla, '03 or newer (any Bay Area readers want to sell me their car?) so I go into the local Toyota dealership, motivated to buy and ready to bargain.

A sales associate named Jimmy, maybe 20 years old, shows me a Corolla I'm interested in: 2003, LE model, previously owned by a non-smoker, good condition. I say, "let's go sit and talk." and we go sit at the table in the showroom where little old ladies get fleeced. "Looks interesting. What do you want for it?" I ask.

"$11,500, but we'll entertain any reasonable offer," sales associate tells me.

I look at him like, nice try, and tell him, "Go tell your boss I'll give him $8,500 for the car, cash."

So, Young Hungry Sales Associate goes and gets his boss, who turns out to be an extremely oily guy with silver hair dressed like he's just come off the golf links at the country club.

He sits down at the table, looks at me, and with an "I'm going to confide in you" tone of voice says, "Jimmy here tells me you've offered $8,500 for the car."


"Well, I should let you know, we paid $10,500 for that car, and we can't just give- "

Well, as I said, I just hate car dealers with a special, festering rage reserved just for them; I basically think they're all a bunch of crooks, so that just set me off.

"Hey, Golf-Shirt-Guy," I interrupted. "You paid ten-five for that car? Really?! I hear you say that, and know for an absolute certainty that one of two things is true: either you're a moron and paid $3,500 more than the Kelly trade-in value for the car, in which case Jimmy here needs to polish his resume, because you're gonna be out of business in a month or two; or, you're lying to me. Which is it?"

He changed to a try-to-understand-my-position tone, and said, "Well, you have to understand - It costs money to keeps the lights on, plus rent for a location like-"

"Yeah, whatever, dude -- whine about it to your accountant. Here's the thing: you paid...ok, I'll be generous and assume some idiot sales associate signed the papers before you could check...$7200, tops, for that car. Since I'm paying cash, I figure the paperwork to sell me this car will take about 15 minutes. Do you want to make $1500 for 15 minutes of work? That's $100 per minute: Hell, I'd take that. Take it or leave it."

He went away for a few minutes, and came back with a sales paper that had $9500 as the price. I threw it in his lap, recommended that he perform an anatomically impossible act, and walked out in the middle of his sentence. I noticed Jimmy had turned his back, and was laughing his ass off.

I so, SO hate car dealers.

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