Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hard Stuff Ahead

I hate haggling.

I like for the price listed on something to be a fair price. I hate having to decide whether I should try to convince someone to sell me something cheaper, or feeling like a rube when I pay full-price for something. When people try to get me to haggle, I automatically feel like they are cheating me.

I'm trying to buy a car.

That was the impetus for that mini-rant about haggling. I'm thinking about getting a used car, and that means I'm probably going to have to haggle. I'm not a total newbie, I have purchased a car before. But, I've long felt like the salesman got over on me, and I've been both dreading and looking forward to the day when I can redeem myself.

See, I have this problem with being lazy.

I've gotten better, but it's still a problem. That laziness manifests itself in an unwillingness to properly prepare for or research things. When I bought my last car, I didn't research what different cars sold for. I just went into the dealership, told them how much I wanted to spend, and tried to find a car that worked. Obviously, that wasn't a smart move.

This time around I've been looking online, figuring out how much the car I like typically costs and then trying to locate one near my house. I've also been steeling myself to properly haggle with salesman. My pops offered to accompany me to the dealership, he loves to haggle, but I want to do this alone.

Do y'all ever feel that way?

Even though I dread the idea of bargaining, part of me wants to buy this car all by myself so I can prove I have what it takes. Sure, it's uncomfortable and difficult, but there is a part of me that relishes that experience. It reminds me of what I told my wife when she saw I had purchased a big bag of sunflower seeds recently. She was confused at my purchase because she already had a bag of shelled sunflower seeds at the house. She asked why would I want to go through the hassle of shelling my own seeds, when I could just eat hers.

I simply said "Sometimes I like to do difficult things."

I'm not saying that I'm contrary enough to look for ways to make my life harder. In fact, the opposite is true most of the time. But, every so often, I get a hankering to find out what I still have left in the tank.

That might mean playing one-on-one basketball against my far superior next-door-neighbor. It might mean reading some incredibly dense book because I know the knowledge within its pages is important. Sometimes it's as simple as wanting to shell my own sunflower seeds.

It's kind of like I need to prove to myself I'm still the man I thought I was, or I need to show myself that I can be more than I previously believed. Buying a car on my own and only paying the amount I want to pay would prove that to me. It would show me what I'm capable of, just like the first time I ran three miles. It's amazing what we can do when we prepare ourselves and put in the work. I want to get that high that comes from a well-earned accomplishment.

Even if it's hard.



Darth Whitey said...

BM, I highly suggest you pick a different battle to prove yourself, one that won't cost you thousands of dollars. Bring your pops and play good cop bad cop and have the old dude play the race card. "I bet this car would cost less if we were WHITE!" If your salesman is black, get a white one, otherwise he'll think you'll give him a good sale out of helping a brutha out.

Deacon Blue said...

I understand what you're talking about Big Man. For me, it manifests itself mostly at home. Big old house, needs lots of work...and I'm not handy. Yet I'm the son of a Union electrician who has tons of tools and has done much of his own home improvement (way beyond just electrical). And sometimes, I feel less a man because I never picked up those skills/interests. Doesn't matter that I seem to be a good husband and father. Doesn't matter that I'm willing to sacrifice for my family.

I still feel like a putz.

And so there are those times when I feel like I have to "prove" myself.

On the other hand, I try to make sure I pick my battles right and prove myself on somethning where I have a fighting chance. ;-)

The car haggling may or may not be your battle to pick; you have the best chance of figuring that out. But again, I completely feel the underlying drive that's movtivating you.

Big Man said...


Won't your pops teach you his trade?

The car thing is intimidating, but I think it's one of those things I just have to do.

Lolo said...

There are some seriously good deals to be had in the used car market right now, especially if you can put some decent cash towards the purchase. Also, advice ~ do buy the extended 100K mile warranty, bumper to bumper. We had to replace two cars this past year, ouch, but I will NEVER buy brand new again.

We're friendly with a guy who has resells and goes to the big auctions. We researched the heck out of it, then paid him a transaction fee of several hundred dollars per car and ended up with good used cars at "wholesale" price.

I'll tell you, it was actually less hassle and headache than going to a retail dealer and I don't have that vague feeling of paying tens of thousands of dollars to be chumped.

Deacon Blue said...

Big Man...the problem is that when I was younger, I didn't have much interest, beyond using a few of his tools for some really minor workworking.

Now, as an adult homeowner, it's kind of hard to learn what he knows, being separated by almost an entire country.

Plus, it's really hard to find the time with the freelancing and the three-year-old around...plus I need more tools to do any real work.

Combination of continued laziness...the trials of daily life...and limitations on money.

Lisa J said...

Good luck on that car purchase. It can be tough. I'm sure your research will pay off and he won't take advantage of you.

Big Man said...


email me about how you all got involved in the auction game.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hey there!

Can I just chuckle...really loudly??




Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear someone say they will never by a brand new car again. That is one of the worst investments a human can make considering how much it depreciates two inches off the lot.

Big, I'm pulling for you, and hoping you get the satisfaction you're looking for. You said it right: That's one of the best feelings a man can have.

Raving Black Lunatic