An Idiots Guide to Buying and Selling Cars.

Recently I went to a big car dealer in town to see about a car advertised for sale on the internet. That car had mysteriously “just sold” due to the “rare” nature of the cars low mileage, while still being relatively new and inexpensive. I stood on the lot for a few moments looking around for the car when a guy named Antone (not his real name) walked up. He walked with the gait of someone that regularly goes to church, not for deep religious or spiritual reasons, but because they don’t have anything else to do on Sunday morning. That stuffed butt kind of walk where the person’s shoulders do not move at all, their arms pressed firmly against their sides down to their elbows, leaving the rest of the arms to dangle like useless prostheses.

He stumbled towards me in this way with a look on his face like plastic wrap over an empty jar. Then he told me of the other cars they had and how they were just great. Manual transmission being a high priority for me he didn’t have much to offer, but walked me over to the main building and inquired about some of the other vehicles. His superiors were jolly and weathered men. Men whose faces held real lines from fake smiles. Their hands had big gold rings and their mouths had big white teeth. When Antone said he didn’t know of too many cars with manual transmission one of them rattled off 3 or 4 cars that were close to or exactly what I’d asked about and then said, “You got a lot of cars to work with over there…” This made me feel a little bad for Anotone. He’s no Ricky Roma, he’s more George Aaronow.

I test drove one. Then Antone began to speak in the sales double speak and the point counter-point that good sales people disguise as favors they are doing for you, or pleasant conversation. Antone just seemed combative and defensive. When I said “This is the first car I’ve looked at, so I’m not going to buy one today… that would be ridiculous.” He countered with “Well… maybe not.” Sounding like a teenager saying “Whatever…”

At some point during the bank checking my credit and waiting for over an hour I tweeted, and posted on my facebook that “Car shopping feels like an STD screening.” Meaning that even if you have a good outcome you had to go through it and that’s pretty un-fun.

I left when they wanted more for the car than I was willing to pay. Walked across the street to my car and had dialed my dad on the phone and was talking to him and about to drive away when Antone literally ran up to my car waving a paper in his hand saying they could do the deal if I provided proof of income (I’m self employed). I said thanks and then went to the store. By the time I got home I had an email from him and voicemail, both of which I ignored. Over the next week or so I got several voicemails and emails. None of which I read till this past Saturday when I opened one just out of curiosity.

The email said “I have a 2004 Subaru Forester that is nice andway cheaper then the Outback. So its less money and a much lower payment. Since you’ve already talked to the bank things will be much soother this time and it won’t “feel like a STD screening”. : ) Thanks again!” Now. I don’t know about you, but that was upsetting. I am sure that it’s not that hard to find me on the internet and read what I’m up to, or to have just read what I was typing while I’m sitting in the cubicle you call an office, but on what fucking planet would this make me feel like you’re someone I want to trust? Or someone that I would want to make a purchase from that will affect me financially for the next 5-7 years. Why would I ever in a million years read that, having written it expressly with the intent of you NEVER SEEING IT, and think, “You know, he’s right. It will be more fun. I’m going down there right now to buy whatever they think is the best.”

It was right after this that I realized that Antone was a blessing. I am a terrible car shopper. I am terrible at buying cars, or looking at them. It’s usually like a game of pin the tail on the donkey for me. I close my eyes, and hope for the best. Usually I get fucked. A salesperson of almost any quality could have talked me into that car the day I was in that office, for more money that I wanted to pay. Thankfully, Antone was not a salesperson of any quality.

“A guy don’t walk on your lot lest he wants to buy…”
David Mamet.

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2 Responses to “An Idiots Guide to Buying and Selling Cars.”


  1. 1 abigail April 12, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    “real lines from fake smiles” I love.

  2. 2 Daddio April 14, 2010 at 7:56 am

    When you shake hands with a car salesman look to make sure you still have all your fingers.


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