How to Beat Down the Car Lot Zombies

         Choosing and buying a car is a task that requires a game plan to take on the bloodthirsty sharks that work on car lots. If you get caught up in their selling spiel, you could be impulse buying within the first twenty minutes. Trust me, when I bought a chopper motorcycle instead of car, my friends didn't understand, my parents felt shame and I crashed it on the front yard.

            You will find out very shortly that there are hundreds and hundreds of car makes and models and choosing one will send you into a slobbering fetal position. For instance, Ford Motor Company has brought back the Taurus model just when you thought they put it out to pasture along with the Mercury Sable. Now I read that Dodge has revived the Dart. The damn Dodge Dart. What inspired Dodge to bring this relic back from the dead? It was never sexy or chic to own and now Dodge is going to hawk it again to the non-sexy and non-chic people.

            I hopelessly took a car personality test thinking this might be a valid tool for my dilemma.  What you end up with in almost every quiz is, buy a SUV because it solves every situation and practical notion you may have. I don't want to be a soccer mom so I had to lie on these tests. I got it to reveal that owning a Jaguar was the car most suited to fit my debonair personality.

            After you try to sneak onto the lot, it takes less than one minute before the salesman smells the blood and walks towards you like a carnivorous zombie.  Getting to look without being escorted by this conniving scoundrel with their list of canned responses and reactions is not allowed.  It’s their job to be pressuring and irritating otherwise they wouldn't be following the code of ethics of car salesmen.

            My game plan was to bring my wife along to help me deal with the relentless sales banter. She also has the gift of gab and keeps them distracted long enough for me to wonder off and check the sticker prices and interiors. After we test drove a few different models they eventually wanted an answer from us about which one we wanted to buy. In my past experiences I would tense up, and then the weasels would start eating at my flesh. My secret weapon, my wife, automatically threw out the most ridiculous lowest price to see their reaction. Of course, their first response is to recoil and reply, “He would lose his job if it was sold it for our asking price."  She proceeds to tell them to go ask their manager. They take the long walk back to the showroom to find the guy with most expensive clothing.

            Out comes Mr. Manager with coffee infused breath leading the way with his cheesy grin. After a little small talk, he asks if we have a trade in.  “Sure, we have 2001 Mercury Sable with $150,000 miles”, we reply. This wasn’t the answer he wanted to hear because the smile left his face and it looked like he suffered from acid-reflex. On and on the banter went, with prices being thrown around like we were on the “Price is Right.”

We were prepared to walk away because they could not swallow the last thousand dollar difference. Mr. Manager even pulled out a piece of paper he called, “the invoice” for the car we wanted and tried to prove to us, his cost.  My wife’s reply was, “you didn’t pay that much, you probably paid pennies on the dollar at an auction.” We began our walk back to our car and the salesman asked for our phone number. My wife’s reply, “No, you had your chance to sell us a car, why do I want you begging me on my phone?” I had a little sympathy for him; he was trying every trick in the book.

            The saga ends with us purchasing a new car at another dealership using the same tactics. There was the same relentless chit chat but this time the manager couldn’t take the wheeling and dealing and caved to my wife’s hard ball tactics. The lesson to this story is that you have two choices. One, try your best, but if you don’t play rough you might buy a Dodge Dart. Two, show no mercy to the zombies and beat them down like in the movie “Night of the Living Dead”.