The Rest of the Story

In case you hadn’t figured out, my plan was to lease a Nissan Altima.  I had a 2006 Altima that I loved, and the 2008 model even smells the same!  I just wanted something that I knew I would love, and that I knew wouldn’t break down on the side of the road.  I test-drove one at what we will call Nissan Dealership A on Monday afternoon, and I planned to go back at some point and seal the deal.  But I wanted to know my options, and I was also considering pre-owned cars, if the car was great and the deal was right.

So on Wednesday night Mike and I went to another Nissan dealership, which we will affectionately refer to as Nissan Dealership B.  I mostly wanted to see if another dealership would be different, if I could have something to go back to Dealership A and negotiate with.  You know, “Dealership B said I could have this deal for such amount of money, can you top that?”  Well, as with every dealership, I mentioned that I was interested in either leasing an Altima, or perhaps exploring my options with pre-owned vehicles.  At Dealership B, he sent me straight to pre-owned without telling me anything about the leasing options, and connected me with a “used car expert” we’ll simply call T.  I test-drove several vehicles, and the last one T showed us was a 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix.  The thing is loaded, and in excellent condition.  However, it has 57,000 miles on it, and that’s not what I intended to spend my car money on.  But I was distracted by all the cool shiny distractions, and I made an offer.  Immediately an awful feeling came over me, but I felt like I had made an offer, it was too late, I can’t take it back after I offer it.  My thought was, just sabatoge the deal, whatever he comes back with, it’s not good enough, and then I’m done.  However, after a lot of back-and-forth, the car was mine.

The next morning, I was still stressed.  It was the right amount of money for my budget, and the car is worth every penny.  But my priorities weren’t where I meant to put them!  I paid for all the features, when I planned to buy low miles.  So I decided to pursue the option of undoing it.  I had heard that, by law, you have 72 hours to back out of a contract to buy a car, but by the way, that’s untrue!  It’s up to the dealership, whether or not they have that policy.  And Nissan Dealership B does not.  But the general manager made an appointment with me to bring in the car and, it was my understanding, to trade it in for the amount I paid for it, and get an Altima anyway.  That also turned out not to be true, as they wanted me to take a $4000 loss, which would make my monthly payment on an Altima a LOT more than either the Grand Prix, or if I had bought an Altima in the first place.  So I said no thanks, and kept the Grand Prix.

Now, I take full responsibility for this situation.  It was my job to stop myself when I realized what I was doing.  It is my job to be a grown-up, and do these things wisely.  However, I think Nissan Dealership B made a big mistake.  They’ve lost my business.  I will never buy a car from them again.  I think part of T’s job as a good salesman is to read people, to not pressure them into something they are so uncomfortable with.  If I’m trying my hardest to say no, accept my no and let me go.  Because I felt so much pressure from him, because he made me feel like I should be in a hurry, I never want to see him again.  Brett at Nissan Dealership A was so patient, and caring, and willing to let me take my time and not take another step until I was comfortable with it.  I realize that all that was because he wanted to make a sale, and I realize that T’s strategy worked, because he did, in fact, make the sale.  But I still say, T made a big mistake.  He didn’t help me make a purchase that I was comfortable with, therefore, he won’t be helping me make any more purchases.  Brett was actually the guy who sold me my first Altima, and I returned to him, because he helped me make a purchase that I felt good about.  He may not have gotten my business this time, thanks to T, but he very well might the next time.

An analogy that Sarah and I came up with: Buying a car is like having sex.  Don’t be uncomfortable, hang with me a minute.  Brett wanted to sell me a car, so he was wooing me.  He was making me feel comfortable with him, he was respecting my boundaries every step of the way.  And after he sold me a car, I wanted to go back and do it again.  With him.  T, on the other hand, forced himself upon me.  He pressured me, confused me, made me feel like I had no choice but to buy the car.  And when it was over, I didn’t want to do it again, with anyone.  And I never wanted to see him again.

But, it’s done.  I’ve made my peace with the situation.  In fact, I’ve decided to be completely excited about this car!  I’ve decided not to give T another thought.  I’ve decided not to concern myself with the 57,000 miles.  I love it.  It has a sunroof, leather, heated seats, and a pretty awesome driving experience.  In fact, I think Mike and I might be arguing over who gets to drive it when we go places!  And I may never get to ride in Mike’s car again…


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