When I was young and dumb and purchased my first used car (1971 Chevy Malibu 307 CID in 1975), I did not know what to expect dealing with car dealers. I still remember making an offer several hundred bucks below the asking price. I do NOT remember the real numbers, so the numbers used here will be just for an example.

Say the asking price then was $4,000.00. I counter offer $3,300.00. After a lot of their typical nonsense, the sales guy says he has to talk to the manager. The manger comes back and tells me the very lowest possible price they can accept is $3,693.72. They make it look like they have a lowest price possible figured to the penny and I was then dumb enough to fall for it.

Now, I want to tell you how we handled buying the RV. Tom did all the talking (he is MUCH better at this than I am). They ask $21,000. Tom says we will pay $17,000.00 and not a cent more. As usual, the sales guy complains but says he will check with the manager. As expected, the saleman comes back with the manager with a blue book in hand. Before the manager can open his mouth, Tom yells at him "I DON'T CARE ABOUT THE SEEING THE BLUE BOOK, I WON'T EVEN LOOK AT IT AND PLEASE DON'T TELL ME! I WON'T PAY MORE THAN $17,000.00 REGARDLESS!!!

Then the manager says he cannot accept the $17,000 we offered. But he can accept $18,000.00. Tom still says no deal. Then the manager tried $17,500.00. Still no deal. When we were ready to leave, we got it for the $17,000.00 (these are the real prices here, because I can still remember two days back!).

When Tom bought our 2002 Ford Mustang, it sure looked like there was no deal. They did not call us back until Tom & I got in our car and started the engine to go home! There, we really thought we had no deal! I didn't expect them to come running out to us then!

I hate trying to negotiate a price. But Tom loves it. That's the way it used to be done just about everywhere in Hong Kong in the 1960's and before (but not any more).

I really think in both of these cases we really got the lowest price we could get away with. But we decided the price, not them.
-Don- (Reno, NV)