Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

(Koray ISIK/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
(Koray ISIK/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The Rant

The buying game: how I circumvented the cheesy car salesman Add to ...

My old vehicle’s days were numbered the first time I paid more than $100 to fill its tank with premium gas.

I’d like to say I did it for the environment, but really it was all about the money.

With a fuel-efficient model in mind, I visited a car dealership for a test drive. Dealerships used to be a good place to get taken for a ride, but those were the bad old days, right?

More Related to this Story

However, the salesman that latched onto me used every trick in the bad car salesman playbook.

He seemed like a nice guy – a new pal, great! Coincidentally, his family mirrored mine. And he owned the same car I was shopping for, massaging my ego on the excellent choice I was making.

I looked at a three-year-old model, trying to decide whether to buy new or used. It was a popular model – going fast, he said. The previous owner loved it so much, he bought a new one. Better act quickly or it will sell. Got it.

When I later looked at the new model, they were so popular, he claimed, he would have a hard time finding one with my trim and colour preferences – base model, black.

Next was the discussion about the gas-guzzling SUV I wanted to trade in. A mechanic took it into the garage for an inspection while I waited in the showroom with my new pal. He chit-chatted, I waited. He spouted a few false statements about sales (No. 1 selling car!), and still I waited.

He read the situation wrong.

When I called him on his “inaccuracies,” he started backpedalling. And still I waited for the trade-in assessment. Maybe the garage was busy, or maybe they were told to give the salesman time to work his magic.

Finally, he “checked with the boss” and presented a number $4,000 shy of the car’s Canadian Black Book value, and far lower than a search on Kijiji and Auto Trader indicated it was worth.

Not willing to waste another afternoon playing this game, I e-mailed all dealerships within a three-hour radius, explaining what I wanted. After a few easy negotiations, I picked the best deal. I got the car I wanted, with a fair price for my trade-in, and I didn’t see the dealership until I picked up the car.

How was your last car-buying experience? Leave your comments here.

Send your automotive questions to globedrive@globeandmail.com

Follow us on Twitter: @Globe_Drive

In the know

Most popular video »


More from The Globe and Mail

Most Popular Stories