This was what I explained to Delvin….our “sales associate” at Nissan.Hondo has been looking at cars for several weeks. Having finally decided that the time had come, he narrowed his search to a Nissan or a Honda (big step down from his initial dreams of a Lexus or BMW).
On Tuesday he showed up with a dealer loaner. A shiny 2010 Nissan Maxima with all the horse power any man could wish for. He explained that it was a luxury sports car, then proceeded to show me as he drove 90 to nothing around every curvy road surrounding our house.
On Wednesday he asked me to meet him after school at the Nissan dealership to discuss available cars and prices. He also asked me to bring the Expedition, as that was the car he expected to trade in.
While Hondo has dreams of BMW’s, I had dreams of keeping the Expedition for myself, and trading in the family minivan. I know that I had hinted around…heck I even plead my case….not sure that he had taken me real serious.
His request to meet him with the Expedition lead to some interesting conversation about what car we “should” trade in… What makes more sense for a family our size…. What makes more sense considering the price of gas and insurance….What car would command the highest trade in value…What car I was more capable of driving considering the size of each car (this was by far the biggest blow to my fragile ego).
The compromise was that after discussion with the salesman regarding trade in value and final cost out of pocket for the new car, we would make our decision.
I was also given carte blanche to negotiate any deal if I thought I could make a better deal.
I immediately got on line (you can find dang near anything online) and “googled” how to negotiate buying a car.
After meeting Hondo at the Nissan dealership we drove the Altima (a huge step down from the Maxima in quality and price)…and talked about the Honda Accord (Hondo had driven it earlier that day). We decided that driving the Maxima first might have been a mistake as it had ruined us for further test drives. Hondo, who is ever the realist, pulled me off to the side to tell me that while he really really liked the Maxima, the reality was we could not afford that much car….and he was willing to settle on the more reasonable car…because it was after all only a car…and he was never really a car kinda guy….WHATEVER!
I reminded him about our deal….let me see what I could negotiate.
The conversation with Delvin went something like this…
Delvin –What is it going to take to put you in one of our cars?
Me-Well Delvin lets start with trade in.
Delvin-Here is what we are willing to offer for the van.
Me – Seriously Delvin? You are going to have to do better than that.
Delvin- What did you have in mind?
Me – $****
Delvin – No words…just laughing!
Me- Delvin, this is not a good start.
Delvin- Lets say you put down what you have listed as the down payment, trade in both the van and the Expedition…could you work a deal with that?
Me- Exactly what would you plan on me driving Delvin if we trade in both cars? Are you going to come and shuttle the tribe to dance, work, golf, cheer and band practices?
Delvin- Ummm I didn’t think that one through, did I?
Me- Delvin, this is what we have to work with….$XXXX amount down, you take the minivan for $XXXX and we get the Maxima for the Altima price…and we will pay no more than $XXX amount of money for a monthly payment. Work that deal Delvin and you have sold a car.
Delvin – Laughing again.
Delvin- Lets say you put down an extra $XXXX.
Me- Delvin let me stop you right there. You can add money to the front, you can add money to the back…any way you look at it you are adding more money. I am a Mom of 6 Delvin…I am one tough cookie. I am not driving out of here in that minivan Delvin. Delvin have you ever heard them say “If Mom ain’t happy, then no one is happy?” Delvin do you want to be unhappy?
Delvin- “No maam!”
Me- Delvin it looks like we are not going to be able to come to an agreement. We are going to take the kids for a bite to eat and discuss your offers. We will get back to you.
Hondo and I went to the car to talk to the kids. Hondo had not even put the key in the ignition and Delvin was knocking on the van window.
“You drive a hard bargain, but, I believe we can work with your offer”.
SOOOOOOOOOOOO I am the proud owner of an Expedition (even if it made no sense at all to keep it) and my man is driving the car he wanted.
I love it when a plan comes together.
It may never be easy (especially if you are Delvin) but it will always be worth it.