Saturday, November 06, 2010

Bleepin' Salesmen

So I go to look at certified pre-owned minivans last week...

I tell the guy that my wife will have to come and look on the weekend, maybe.

That was Tuesday; since then, he's emailed me three times, someone else (secretary?) in his office also emailed, and he personally called me three freakin' times.

Meanwhile, Mrs. C-Nut has been so busy (home at 10:30pm on Wednesday and 8:30pm on Thursday) that I have barely even had time to talk about a *new car* with her.

Yet this huckster keeps badgering me, wanting to know when I might bring my wife down.

He just called now and I cut him off, and told him off. "DO NOT TO CALL OR EMAIL ME AGAIN UNTIL AFTER I CONTACT YOU!"

Most of these guys are clueless - that ain't how to sell - not to me anyway!

I'm tempted to contact his manager, call this clown out, and ask to deal with another sales rep - except that....that might not be so fair.

It's probably the sales manager who's been yelling at the guy to *follow-up* and SELL, SELL, SELL in the first place.

I did get around to discussing this with my wife a bit but we are at an impasse.

We're just not sure if we want to spend 17-18k on a used minivan (Town & Country with 30-40k miles on it, 1-3 years old).

We already have a 2006 Tahoe...

So maybe we just need an $8,000 *little* car for my wife to take to the train station and for me to use for weekend golf trips and whatnot? $5 per gallon gas will be here within 2 years - I predict.

Do any of y'all have opinions on buying a one year old car with 30,000 miles on it? These cars, this young, are all from rental car fleets. Having only EVER had clunkers (until the Tahoe semi-gift from MIL this year), we don't know cars or the first thing about buying them at all.

My question is really - does putting all that mileage on a car over a short period mean reduce the quality of it?

The sales guy said that those cars have mostly lower-impact *highway* miles on them PLUS they are meticulously maintained by the companies - at least in terms of regular oil changes and whatnot.

AND he said that they generally get them from rental companies for cheaper prices so that means they are cheaper on his lot.

After some deliberation, I've concluded that essentially everything is pretty much priced in. And all a buyer has to calculate is how much they are willing to pay, and for what.

But it's just brutal having to deal with these small time *skimmers*.


Grumpy MBA said...

never buy a used car that was a rental car. customers beat them up, companies do the minimum to maintain them so they just last long enough to unload in bulk to the skimmer.

Anne Galivan said...

Town and Country, from what I researched years ago, are not the most reliable of mini-vans. Luxurious, yes. Reliable, no. Of course, that may have changed.

If it were me I'd keep the Tahoe and get a sweet little car for the wife to drive to the train station like you suggested. We bought my 2000 Acura 3.2TL for $8000 cash 3 years ago. I LOVE this car. I have driven such crap cars that I literally used to look at the car sitting in the driveway, the first year after we bought it, and just say "thank you God for this beautiful car."

Granted, it was seven years old and had over 100,000 miles, but it had one owner and was mint. And it has lived up to all my expectations. I have driven it all over, including a trip to Virginia in May, and we have put very little into this car. I get regular oil changes and get everything checked every three months and they just keep saying, "everything's great." I expect to drive this car for another four or five years, easy.

We also have a 1987 Acura Integra that my daughter has driven for five years (yes, I said 1987). She now has a full-time job and will be buying something for herself and when she does I'm going to take the car back (it's in my name) and let my 16-year old see if he can't work on it. It will give him good experience and supposedly you can make some money on these cars if they're in good shape. recommendation is you look for a super-reliable car a few years old. Minivans and SUV's tend to be over-priced compared to sedans.

Justin Time said...

First of all, Chrysler is a terrible car company. Never mind the foreign auto makers, they cannot even compete with the other American automakers. It's no accident they were on the verge of bankruptcy before they were bailed out (again.)

If the wife just needs something to get to the train station, get her a new Hyundai. They come with a 10/100 warranty and you wont lose any sleep when it gets destroyed in the parking lot.

CaptiousNut said...


I do like the idea of a Hyundai...

I just think I'm going to get crushed to death in a golf cart like that. This is NY with all its traffic and crazy drivers. My MIL was hit just last week by another 'old coot'.

kevin m said...

If decide to buy a car off an individual go to your mechanic (or your MIL’s mechanic) and pay him $50 -$100 to look the car over. I did that two years ago and am glad I did. I almost bought a car off a guy but in the back of my mind something did not seem right. My mechanic put the car on the lift and once he & I walked under it I could see that odds were that the car was driven for more than the 30k miles listed on the odometer. Hell the clown even cleaned the dirt off the engine as far down as his arms could reach but it was packed 2 or 3 inches thick below that. If you go to a good dealer you should not have this problem but you will pay more.

west coast tom. said...

just get it over with and buy a mercedes - you'll have it forever AND it is very safe. Remind me to tell you about the time I drove mine for over 40k miles without changing the oil (or adding any) - the thing WOULD NOT die). It eventually got towed away...only to be replaced by another mercedes.

CaptiousNut said...


I've gone that route.

Had a mechanic look over the 2000 Ford Explorer we bought in Brooklyn and he said not only that it was *fine* but also that it was a *great price*.

Of course, it was a POS and he had dreams of recurring revenue dancing in his head. Man, were those NYC mechanics the biggest crooks! (Though, admittedly, no more criminal than the rest of NY, Wall Street, etc...)

West Coast Tom,

We're talking minivans here! In fact the one I looked at was BLACK.

In 15 years or so we'll move on to Mercedes', convertibles, and baldness.

kevin said...

Well I went to a mechanic my family, a large family & customer base, has been going to for over 20 years. He steered my away from 2 cars and told me another was ok but not in top shape so don't pay a top price. I'll do the same with each car purchase until he retires. Does your MIL or other in-laws have a guy they have used for years? If so piggyback off of their customer loyalty.

CaptiousNut said...

My wife went to government HS with one of the local mechanics...

He's nice but incompetent.

The best mechanics are always Polish (like me) - smart as $hit, hardworking, and too dumb/ethical to rip you off!

The mechanics in North Carolina are awesome too. They take their job very seriously - like they are auditioning for NASCAR work or something.

Don't any of y'all ever take your car to an unknown mechanic in Brooklyn; and especially don't let on that you work on Wall Street. Inspection alone will cost you $300!