What a l-o-n-g day. We, which in this story is; Regina, Alexander, Ethan, Tom, Shelly, Lane and me all went car shopping today. Tom and I thought we could get a better deal if we told the dealers we were both buying.
First stop Dublin Toyota. Dublin was a two hour waste of time. The first salesman we ran across was a two day noob. He was friendly, courteous and helpful but had no clue about deals. He passed us off to the Internet fleet manager once I mentioned, “I’m a Costco member.”
The fleet manager was no nonsense. At first I was thinking that was good because we could get straight to the brass tax. Turns out his definition of brass tax was throwing out his final number on the first pitch. Tom and I huddled, thought the number was just about close but wanted to check with our wives (yes they were holding our balls in their purses). Plus they are much better negotiators.
Shelly and Regina went in and ten minutes later came out. They told us to pack up and leave and not look back. We did just that. Walking towards our mini-van I asked Regina what happened. She said the guy did not budge at all. Later we also found that the dealer lied about the availability in the bay area of the car options we wanted. Thus it is probably a good thing he did not get our business.
Next stop Walnut Creek. We were all going to go for ice cream and call it a day but Tom called me on the cell phone and asked if I was up to one more stop. It was still early afternoon so I thought sure. We gunned it for Walnut Creek Toyota. The Walnut Creek Toyota dealership was small and had maybe four Prius’s on the lot. They didn’t have our color and package options. The sales lady was nice but we were not interested in waiting around to see if she could get the cars delivered. I called Oakland and Tom called Hayward. Oakland had three models meeting our criteria and Hayward had one but could have the other in an hour (probably from Oakland). Thus we learned Dublin lied about the availability of the cars. Kids back in the mini-van and off to Oakland.
Next Stop Oakland: Oakland Toyota was equally small but they hid all of their cars in a garage above the building and on other lots a block or so away. The sale-guy was nice, friendly, quick and knew how to bargain. He sold us in under 45 minutes. The rest of the time was paper work, paper work and general waiting for this and that. We got a great deal. Well below MSRP.