Clay & 'Bacca
I found three different potential Dodge Grand Caravans to look at more closely with my wife sometime this week. One is a pretty blue 2013. A second one is a nice, maroon 2011, and the third is a very nice burnt orange 2011. Hopefully, they will all be in good shape, and then I can begin the long, drawn out haggling process. I may need to have each dealership compete with each other to ensure that I get a fair price for the new beast, and also a fair trade-in value for the old beast. I have spent quite a long time with formulae over the last 36 hours and have identified the correct price point that I will aim for. I can be pretty damn stubborn when I want to be, and it is likely that one, two, or even all three salespeople will be seeing me walk out the door after they spout off their nonsense to me. I will, of course, tell them the price I am willing to pay and the price I am willing to accept for my old beast, and then it may take a day or two for the salesperson to realize I will not budge and they may then rethink their strategy of trying to gouge me for their profit.
I once read a book about cars back in the early to mid 1970s that was written by consumer advocate, Phil Edmonson. In that book, Phil wrote about the mindset of the car salespeople, and one thing especially stuck in my mind about that passage. Namely, he said that salespeople disliked seeing pipe smoking gentlemen perusing vehicles in their car lot because they were considered too hard to sell to. They tended to not get emotional about the experience, and were not as easy to take advantage of as others. When I read that passage so very long ago, I was tickled with the notion that I was similar to the description. Now-a-days, in 2012, I doubt the young salesmen have that same sort of opinion of pipe-smoking clientele. Probably more than anything, today, walking around the auto lots, pipe in hand, I will simply be viewed as eccentric.... which is *also* fine by me :) And, I will still be damn dogged determined to not be swindled.
My wife has her clay class later this evening. I hope she continues to enjoy it. Since I will be a "bachelor" this evening, perhaps I will stop at the pipe shop as well and look to see if there are any new leaf blends I would like to sample.