“It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.” Eleanor Roosevelt
In late October, the original YogaBug-mobile engine blew after 285,000 miles and 19 years of service. It took me a couple of weeks of mourning or procrastinating, before I reluctantly set out on my car-buying voyage with research tools and negotiating tactics in hand.
Years ago, I wrote a pamphlet for my buyers called “A Buyers Winning Game”- a guide on how to be a winner in a seller’s market. The essence of it is: Be Prepared, Realistic, Educated and Patient. Let’s just say I would have been wise to read my own pamphlet before stepping into any car and opening my mouth.
Do your research and get your funds in order. Make a list of must-haves, would-like-to-haves and absolutely-not BEFORE YOU GO OUT AND LOOK AT HOMES!!
My list in my head looked something like this: Must last a LONG time with very little maintenance! Must have quiet, smooth ride and flat seats so Bhakti will get in it. Preferably white. 2-3 years old. Hopefully bigger so we can camp in it if we want.
I had NO Idea how much cars cost these days so sticker-shock set in immediately. I drove and researched and narrowed it down day by day. My ideal car was a white 2017 Honda Pilot Touring model with low mileage. STEP 1 accomplished!
Words like deadlines, compromise, a wide range of emotions and expect to pay list price or more are in this section of the pamphlet.
Eventually I located a 2017 Honda Pilot Touring Model with 14,000 miles on it in Salem that according to CarFax was priced REALLY well. The only problem: it was red. We drove to check it out and came home without a car. Maybe I would find one that was white if I just kept looking and was patient.
A perfect home is one that has 80% of what you want. (Hmmm.)
I couldn’t get that car out of my head. I called the salesperson and asked his best price. We drove to Salem and sat down to “do the deal” and I told him that I didn’t want to do a bunch of back and forth. Since he said the price was firm, then throw in car mats and an extended warranty and we have a deal. To my surprise he came back with nothing. NOTHING!!! Back and forth we went two more times and ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! At this point, I was pissed. My feathers were up and after a few choice words, to his surprise and ours we walked.
It felt SO good to walk. Bruce and I felt light and calm on the way home. A rainbow lit up the sky after what had been a dreary day. The whole thing just didn’t feel right. I didn’t want to do business with someone like that. There would be another car. “BE REALISTIC” was alluding me.
I went home and searched every car in OR, WA, CA, NV, TX and even VA and couldn’t find a better price.
I was reminded that the reason I was willing to bend on the color was because of the price. If the car is really that good of a deal, then it might be unrealistic to expect any negotiating. I texted the salesperson at 7am the next morning and said I would be there at 8:30am to buy the car. Please have it ready to go.
Well in my case, it was be patient with myself, my process and those around me. I swallowed my pride and got my car which is incredible!!! Better than I could have imagined.
I am so grateful for this humble reminder of how stressful, time-consuming, scary, and sometimes irritating making a big purchase can be. I hope to move forward with an extra dose of kindness and empathy for all of my brave, brave clients.
(Thanks Dad for all the car-buying advise and your patience!!!)
Cheers to new beginnings!!! Happy Winter Solstice!!!