I'd been thinking it was time to replace my beloved car since it is eleven years old and beginning to show its age. I wanted a preowned vehicle, so I looked at the website for the dealer I wanted to patronize and found what looked like the right car for me listed for $23,995. I did my homework, worked out the Blue Book value for that car and for my present car and had settled on what I was willing to pay for the new one.
I drove 40 minutes to the dealership and went into the show room. A salesman welcomed me and when I told him I had come to see that particular car, he told me, "Oh, that has been sold." I pointed out that I had seen it on the website this morning. He was evasive and said he had another vehicle that might interest me. He spent some time looking around for the key and we headed out to the lot where he showed me a very cute, very spiffy vehicle in gorgeous condition listed at $31,000. When he wanted me to get inside, I told him that I wasn't going to get into a car that was that expensive. He said he could do better on the price and I said I doubted he could get down to $7000 as an opening bicker point. And that was that. He didn't offer to show me anything in the $24,000 price range but pressed me for my phone number and email, which I declined. He said, "I'd be MORE than happy to contact you if another car like that comes in." I said, "I'm sure you would, but no." He then went on to say that I was angry with the dealership. I told him that I wasn't angry, but I was certainly disappointed and felt misled -- I'd taken 1-1/2 hours out of my day to go look at a car that had been advertised but wasn't for sale, and when I'd left home, I thought I'd be driving a new-to-me car home. I had the clear, unpleasant feeling, that someone who wasn't interested in a $31,000 vehicle wasn't worth his time or he would have offered to show me something in my price range.
Another car will come along, I'm sure, and there is no urgency. And I have his card, so I'll be certain to see a different salesman if I go back there.
But here's the really strange thing: I went to a meeting tonight. When I came back to the car after the meeting, someone had hit it knocking the fender loose, part of the undercarriage hanging down, and one of the lights bulging out and hanging by a thread. No note, of course.
I'm aggravated that I'm going to have to call the insurance company, utilize our collision insurance, make arrangements with the repair shop, and leave it for a couple of days. A hassle.
But what if I HAD driven that new-to-me car home and to that meeting? Ye gods . . . .