This post is pointless, goes nowhere and contains a completely unrelated photograph. Allow me to apologize in advance for wasting your time.

Oh, I’m sorry, were you waiting for me to say something? Forgive me. I wanted to post something sooner, but, well, you see … my life no longer involves doing the things I want to do. It has instead devolved into a series of tasks … the most time-consuming of which as of late is my continued quest for a used minivan that can do two seemingly contradictory things: 1.) Fit into our meager budget, and 2.) Be something other than an embarrassing hunk of shit that compels us to wear bags over our heads while we travel around town.

We haven’t had to buy a new vehicle in over a decade … and I’d forgotten just how unpleasant the entire experience can be. In fact, I somehow managed to delude myself into believing that I was the one who would be holding the cards this time around, and that the used-car dealers would bow to my iron will and empty wallet.

I have now been to a number of used-car dealerships, and at each one, I sat at the salesman’s desk and went through the unnecessarily long and drawn-out charade of them showing me a price, me showing them the lint in my pockets, them taking my offer of lint to the magical Wizard of Oz-like entity who apparently makes such decisions from an office on high, and then returning with a barely altered figure that resulted in my bidding them a good day.

After the third or fourth time this scenario played out, it became clear to me that a broke-ass dude looking to trade in a 15-year-old jalopy with a blown head gasket in exchange for a bargain-basement-priced-yet-practically brand-new minivan shouldn’t expect the dealer to grovel and quake when said broke-ass dude rejects said dealer’s offer and walks out.

That phone you don’t hear ringing? Yeah, that’s the dealer not calling to say he’s now eager to meet my demands.

Here’s a picture of me with a gigantic bear sculpture made out of nails:

I have no idea why I'm showing you this.

Alrighty, then. I’ll get back to you after I have this whole van thing sorted out.

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16 Comments

  1. Posted April 25, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Have you tried using a car dealer? You just tell them what you want to pay and they somehow “magically” find a car for you that fits your parameters. It is the only way I will obtain cars now. (Though mine is leased). I can give you the name of my guy, though I’m in a different state than you (and am a random commenter)….but I definitely recommend going that route.

  2. Posted April 25, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    sorry about your van situation…..loved your photo. I have one of me taken beside a life-size horse and new colt made of barbed wire. A bit rough to ride…….;D
    Rilly´s most recent blog post: Wordless Wednesday……My Profile

  3. Anna
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Are you a member of USAA? They have a car buying program that is supposed to help get a better price etc. Auto Circle. https://www.usaa.com/inet/pages/auto_event_product_main
    My husband helped get the program going. We used it to buy our minivan a few years ago and it did make the process a bit easier.

    Good luck!

  4. Posted April 25, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Don’t even get me started on the car-buying process! I have yet to meet a car salesman that I haven’t wanted to gouge his eyes out.

    Have you looked into a private/individual sale? That might be a better route to go – as long as you have a reliable mechanic look it over first.
    Gigi´s most recent blog post: Really? My knuckle "concerns" you? I could give you a whole list of other things to worry about.My Profile

  5. Posted April 25, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    I would send you my husband’s Xanax but I think I could get arrested for that. I hate doing that but my husband seems to love it. He comes home with a car and I drive it. I wish he would have taken my requests into consideration, like my need to have more than 5 seats, but at least I didn’t have to do the dealing myself.

    Good luck with that.
    Onethirdacrewoods´s most recent blog post: Jury Duty and The Cat in the HatMy Profile

  6. Posted April 25, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Perfect description of how that shit plays out…EVERY TIME.

  7. Posted April 25, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Maybe you can make a miniature bear out of nails and then charge people to get their picture made with it. Use that cash for a van! Or, rob a bank.
    the muskrat´s most recent blog post: a muskrat in maryland!My Profile

  8. Posted April 25, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Yeah…I’ve so lived that whole scene you described…countless times. The last time I had to go buy a car, I told the dealer guy that his computer was going to laugh when it finished running my credit, but he didn’t believe me. After the result came through, he just left the office…..I’m pretty sure he didn’t want me to see the smirk on his face. Luckily, my boyfriend has really good credit, so he helped out, although I’m not so sure that’d be a route you’d want to try.

    You should take your kids with you, and the neighbor’s kids…maybe even make it a considerable # of kids and let them run rampant while the dealer is talking to you, or trying to in between you yelling at the kids to chill out and them ignoring you. Maybe they’ll sell you a car just to get you to leave.
    Brandina´s most recent blog post: Earth Day Dallas 2012!!!!My Profile

  9. Posted April 25, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    If you want to make a deal, go in on the last day of the month when the salespeople are trying to make their monthly numbers and get yourself that bitchin’ family mover!
    BuenoBaby´s most recent blog post: Don’t Call My Tumor FatMy Profile

  10. Chris
    Posted April 26, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    I feel your pain. Been looking for a totally awesome, low mileage car for my oldest kid for college commuting in the fall for under $5K..bwhahahahahaha

  11. Pam
    Posted April 26, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Autobroker…. you need one. If you belong to a credit union, they will have one. Or just look it up in the yellow pages (or wait, do those exist anymore?) or the internet. As a single woman, I came to realize that was the only way I wouldn’t get screwed the minute I walked into a dealership. They work for you and have the inside scoop on cars — both new and used — and their own mechanics to check things out…. in other words they are somewhat of a deity. Like having a dad that you don’t have to send inane gifts to on Father’s Day.

  12. Melissa
    Posted April 26, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    I totally love the idea of screaming kids running around while you are trying to haggle with the dealer! Also, I’ve always had much better luck with private sellers & getting a loan through a credit union. They tend to be less stingy with loaning money out and usually have better financing rates. And a private seller will be grateful you are taking the vehicle off their hands, versus a salesguy who tends to think of you as maybe-not-the-best-sale-I’m-gonna-make-today-so-I-don’t-really-need-to-try-allthathard-to-get-you-to-buy-this-car. Craigslist or your local want ads are a good place to look for used-but-new-to-you vehicles. Good luck! And keep writing! Your blog always makes me giggle or cry. Mostly, both.

  13. Posted April 30, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    I see that previous commenters have offered a variety of solutions. There are none other than writing that best seller that’s in you and collecting the royalties.

  14. Posted May 1, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    I think the picture is really cool and am glad you showed it.

    Not sure what to tell ya on the van issue other than good luck!

  15. Posted May 4, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Oh lordy, I know the pain. A couple of years ago, my Mazda went belly-up about 80,000 miles short the 200,000 everyone had told me to expect. SO not ready to buy another car but I had no choice. You know it’s time for car shopping when the mechanic who’s kept your old car running for you comes out and somberly tells you it’ll cost you more to fix it this time than it’s worth and that, if it were his, he’d junk it.

    Damn, dude, give me a warning, let me sit down first, SOMETHING.

    I did 95% of my shopping online and ended up buying from a mom-and-pop used-car lot in the next county. I found the “name” dealers waaaay too pushy and even waaaay-er overpriced. But! It might work if you try BuenoBaby’s suggestion of shopping at the end of the month, if you have the time to wait. I’d never even though of that but it sounds like a great idea!
    Jan´s most recent blog post: honey, you’re too old to be a valley girl anymoreMy Profile

  16. Posted May 8, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Wow, if I had a dollar for every car dealership I went to and couldn’t get a used car financed I’d own a new car and drive over said person that takes lint offers and and blows them off. Oh, and the random picture, awesome.
    Smokeynall´s most recent blog post: CLEANING PIX OFF MY PHONE!!!My Profile

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