|Image borrowed from Ai-Dealer.com|
A car dealership is no place for children... which is exactly why Hubby and I took our angels with us car shopping yesterday.
If you have ever been on a car lot, then you know that one of a salesperson's best tactics is to make nice with your kids (if you are crazy enough to bring your kids). You see said salesperson
Okay, now I should probably give a little background info. Before we had kids, my husband and I developed a pretty effective plan for car shopping and buying. First of all, we always do our homework about the vehicle we are interested in. At home. On the internet. Without salesmen. We know the MSRPs, the add-on package prices for the features we want, which features are a must for the vehicle we like, how long the vehicle we are looking at has been on the dealer's lot, what to expect as a trade-in value for our current vehicle, and the absolute highest price we are willing to pay for the vehicle-- and we know this before we ever speak to a salesperson. By doing this, we make sure that the new car smell and the shiny chrome and the vented seats and the slick-talking salesperson are unable to affect our decision-making ability at the dealership. Once we get to the lot, we tag team the sales team. Typically, my husband plays the easy-going, reasonable but informed customer. I play his demanding, obstinate, nit-picky, over-informed wife. (Neither of us feel too terribly far out of our comfort zones in these "roles", as I am sure you could guess.) Hubby then enumerates the positives of the vehicle, while I interject complaints, dislikes, worries, and demands for what the vehicle would have to have for me to consider owning it. Somewhere along the way, the salesman begins to feel such intense pity for my husband, and such an overwhelming desire to be done with me, that he strikes a (pretty damn good) deal with us. I have to admit, though, the kids make the process much easier. I find I am no longer acting when I am demanding, obstinate, nit-picky, and over-informed-- I am just being Mom.
|We can't wait to go toy shopping!!!|
I'm glad Mr. Salesman didn't join us. He would have pestered the crap out of us after listening to Birdie swoon over the "individual ventilation controls and heated second row seats." Princess was also excited by the ride because it has a "built in seat in the door for her stuffy", which to me looked an awful lot like an extra cup holder, but whatever. Either way, their gushing would have left homeboy feeling like he had a slam dunk on his hands, and we couldn't have that.
When we returned from the test drive 20 minutes later, Hubby went to talk to Mr. Salesman while I corralled Princess and Birdie in a different part of the sales office. While the girls and I waited through the first round of negotiations, we sat at an abandoned sales desk near a window looking out at the parking lot. The girls' loud voices and general grumpiness kept the other employees in the office from trying to make nice with us. If those weren't good enough reasons to leave us alone, the tongue lashing Princess gave her reflection in the mirror (for copying her, wearing the same clothes as her, carrying the same stuffy as her, and for pointing rudely at her-- yeah, that last one is awesome if you think it through) sealed the deal.
When Hubby came to talk things over with me after Round 1 of negotiations concluded, Mr. Salesman stayed a safe distance away. The sales manager offered exactly what I told Hubby-- in private, I assumed-- I felt was acceptable for our trade-in. I swear car dealerships are bugged! He also agreed to all our requests (which I am willing to bet Hubby said were mostly my demands), like new tires, an oil change, new wiper blades, and a tow hitch. I suspect this agreeableness was, in part, because he didn't want all four of us packed into that tiny little room, haggling over $1000 bucks worth of gimmes that I "couldn't live without".
Round 2 of negotiations-- the round you spend talking to the bank-- was even longer than the first. By this time, the girls had migrated to the middle of the showroom floor, and were demonstrating their dance moves to an office full of people that wished it was time to go home. Seeing how the girls dance moves in no way reflected the twangy country music playing over the PA, some of the "audience" seemed a bit perplexed by the show. The performance was very much like a train wreck-- you didn't want to watch, but you just couldn't look away. It was-- well, I have no words to describe it, which speaks volumes as to its uniqueness.
By the time the
As the paperwork was being finalized, I briefly distracted the girls by taking them outside. We looked for four-leaf clovers in the patch of grass by the front door of the dealership. After finding several "lucky charms", the girls felt the need to distribute the luck to all the employs. Fortunately for the sales staff, that was just long enough for me to sign the final papers and help Hubby clean out the old car.