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car deals (was: Buyer Beware)

>From: DeWitt Harrison <de@aztek-eng.com>
>Subject: Re: Buyer Beware

>there is some evidence that, as a species, we are evolving into two
>legged slime balls.

> But for reasons
>I don't understand, car deals really raise the level of deceit and
>suspicion all around.  Everybody goes in assuming they're about
>to get screwed, maybe because they will be. It can be hard,
>I think, to be civil in such a emotionally charged atmosphere.

Car deals in particular? Perhaps, but maybe because the amount of money is
larger than most people are accustomed, or able to put at risk. And I think
that, in the words of that song in Caberet, "Money Makes the World Go
'Round", and to add another cliche'-- is truly the root of all (most) evil.
Yet I am amazed at the behavior described by Ozman (and others) whereby
many buyers will spend hours of a dealer's time and then go to competitor
on the basis of "saving" perhaps $100 on a $20K deal. When that happens
(and I believe it does) it is probable that a losing salesman has failed to
convey the notion that his dealership contributes _any_ significant added
value to the "deal" (service facilities, service dept. hours, location,
etc). Also, people are often incapable of thinking in terms of percentages.
Hmmm, $100 bucks out of $20K? Will we cut this guy's throat for 0.5% of the
selling price?

But I'm not sure how much evolution (degeneration?) is involved in the
emotion around "car deal" situations. Humankind, I believe, appears long,
long ago to have made horse-trading a business highly charged with deceit
and suspicion.

Did I use the past tense? My neighbor is an independent Audi garage owner
who also sells the occasional used Audi and VW. At this moment, his wife,
with her lawyer, is doing battle with a horse dealer who, she claims, sold
her a horse with a chronic lame condition and of age significantly older
than represented. Nothing new under the sun (my last cliche'--promise).


P.S. I think my next '91 200q is nearly at hand, just awaiting mechanic's
report. The owner has signed an agreement and at this moment is bound and
gagged--tied to a post in my basement.  More news later I hope.