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Last updated: 7-28-11


Think Before
By Doris Dobkins

This afternoon, I spent an unexpected 4 hours at the car service dealer. My vehicle had been overheating for the past few days so I thought I'd take it in for a service check. There was a leak in the water pump so I let them replace it. Not having any other form of transportation at the moment, I decided to "hang out" in a comfortable chair on the sales floor.

It was an extraordinary sales day at the dealer with plenty of activity taking place. All afternoon, I watched young and old, single and married, men and women come into the show room to discuss purchasing a vehicle.

Here's just a small sample of what I witnessed:

First Client: A single man entered the building and said he had $15,000 cash to buy a car. Did they have one? After about 10 minutes of quiet conversation with the sales agent, he must have become frustrated and the next thing I knew, he was yelling across the table: "Do you or don't you have a car for $15,000?" After receiving his response of most likely no, he got up and left.

Next Client: Two young ladies in their late teens walked in with their sales person. The girls were giggly because one of them was getting a new car. As they sat at the table, they agreed to the price, interest rate, upgrades, extras, insurance, warranty and financing package that was offered to them. I was horrified as I heard them just giggle and laugh at everything the salesman said. Once though, when they hesitated at something he said, they were told that this special deal was very limited and there was only one spot left. The next person walking in the door wouldn't get this great deal if they accepted just now. Their
response was, "Too bad for him, we're taking it."

The third Client: A couple with a small boy. They had done some research before they came in and made an offer on a car. Then the finance manager and the business manager and the floor manger came over to discuss the offer. After about 10 minutes of neither party making any progress, they were told the price wasn't possible. The young couple got up and left.

There were many more scenarios that afternoon but these three are enough to make my point. It was obvious which individuals were prepared and which ones weren't. Those who weren't prepared to purchase a car walked in and ended up with more car, a higher payment, a higher interest rate, a longer payment term and more accessories. About 75% of the buyers on this particular fternoon appeared to fall into this category.

On the other hand, those who were prepared either got the deal they were looking for (with patience) or they left to look for something within the guidelines they had previously set.

I learned a BIG lesson today during my four hours of observation on a car dealer sales floor. When you are going to make a major purchase, do your research and be prepared. Decide what you want ahead of time. Write it down. Determine your price range and STICK to it.

As our quote states: "Think before you act" "Think" includes research, study, discussion, and being informed. Once you have done this, then you can act decisively. Do not lose your focus and do not stray from your objective. No one has your best financial interest in mind more than you!

==== ** ==== ** ==== ** ==== ** ====
By Doris Dobkins, Money Saving Expert
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