I had a supercool experience the other day.
We've decided to get rid of my Volkswagen. It has just been so unreliable, needing some major repair every time I take it in for routine checks or oil changes. Plus, being European, it requires the expensive oil, the expensive gas, everything. The two middle Tennessee dealerships are way at the far north and south ends of the Nashville area, so they weren't all that convenient even when we did live in Nashville, and now that we don't... Anyway, good riddance to the Passat.
After work the other day, I began our car quest at a Toyota dealership in Nashville. My family has always had very good experiences with Toyota--they're reliable, have dealerships everywhere, etc. I test drove the 2009 Corolla. It was great! The salesguy was a little annoying--a loudtalker, didn't know left from right, kept stating the obvious, but I enjoyed the car and it was fun.
Once we got to the negotiating stage, they made me an offer that was about $4500 higher than I hoped to pay. My salesguy asked what price it would take for me to walk out of there with the car right then. I told him, and he went to talk to somebody, who I kind of think of as The Banker (like on Deal or No Deal, which Matt and I watched for a few months, but that phase passed). A higher-ranking guy (as evidenced by his tie and graying hair) came out and played the "are you kidding? You're robbing me blind!" game. He didn't use those words, but that's the basic idea. We bartered down to $2000 higher than my hoped-for price--$2500 below their original offer.
At that point, I said "I need to call my husband." My dad had suggested I play the good-cop-bad-cop thing, putting the blame for not taking the deal on Matt so they'd give me a better deal. Matt and I powwowed and decided to keep looking (after all, it was the first place we'd looked). So, I got up and headed for the door, at which point they stopped me and offered just $1000 over my ideal price.
That would be an awesome deal. But, I was feeling powerful and determined to hold off, so I left. I felt so cool. I love learning a new skill, knowing I can do something on my own. Especially with all the stereotypes about how car dealers talk down to women and prefer to deal with the man, I was proud that I handled the dealing so well.
Toyota called a couple times yesterday, but we still wanted to look at the Hyundai Elantra, about which Consumer Reports had really great things to say. More on that later...