Matt Harwood

A window into the life of a car dealer

Recommended Posts

Just now, Bhigdog said:

 

 

So If you non hagglers are happy I'm happy and will continue to reap life's little rewards by politely asking for a discount....................Bob

 

 

 

  For that reason I always ask restaurants for "the Veterans Discount" which is not universal but 

    some fast food places give 20% off.  Worth asking.   I spent 4 years and 3 months active in some

    terrible places and now 50 years later, I get a discount and a Thank You  (Something that was rare

    at the time)

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, JV Puleo said:

At antique shows it was common for a seller to approach him at the end of the day saying he'd take the offer.

 

Thus enabling the sellers to ask a high price, hoping for a wind fall, with the knowledge they could still make a sale at the end of the day.

 

Another bargaining anecdote.............

I was selling an antique Stickly setee. I had an antique dealer drive up from Philly to look at it. He made me a "fair" offer of $8,000. I might have got more from another dealer but maybe not. I told him I would think about it. His answer was he would pay that price at that moment. If he left he was no longer interested in the piece at any price. I helped him load it in his van....................Bob

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Paul Dobbin said:

 

 

  For that reason I always ask restaurants for "the Veterans Discount" which is not universal but 

    some fast food places give 20% off.  Worth asking.   I spent 4 years and 3 months active in some

    terrible places and now 50 years later, I get a discount and a Thank You  (Something that was rare

    at the time)

 

 

Good for you and thank you for your service..............

We rent a beach  house near camp LeJune for a week in the summer. When I rented it the first time the young girl at the office asked if I was a "military" man. I said I served but that was a long time ago. She said that was fine and I was entitled to a %15 discount and knocked about $500 off the price. When I thanked her she looked me steady in the eye and said "you deserve it"..     Still makes me feel good.................Bob

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, capngrog said:

 

I don't understand what the difference is between what you described and haggling.   The key word though, as you mentioned, is "politely"  Maybe that's the difference between "haggling" and making a "counter offer".  The term "haggling" may have a negative connotation.

 

Cheers,

Grog

 

Polite is the operative word. There was NEVER any "knocking" the item nor would my friend raise his offer. It was a pure "take it or leave it" scenario done it a polite and friendly manner. If someone was offended by that, that is their problem. In the antiques world, some sort of negotiation is pretty much expected. I do it myself though I wish I didn't have to. More often than not, if I show interest in an item the seller will offer a lower price and, if I think it is reasonable, I just say yes. I don't see that as haggling, which, as you suggest, does have a negative connotation.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I want to buy something for less than the asking price I always say " It may be what you are asking to someone, but this is what I can afford to give you" You have established what you want to pay with out insulting the sellers intelligence, and you haven't made them upset. I never knock the vehicle... It doesn't help to win your seller over.  It has worked for me SCORES of times...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of haggling, I'm curious to know how many new car dealers have adopted the "take it or leave it" philosophy that has been established by Carmax (and previously by Saturn).  

 

Personally, I like that style of selling.  If I agree with the price, I'll take it.  If I don't agree with the price, I'll keep looking.

 

A good deal is a state of mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Roger Frazee said:

Speaking of haggling, I'm curious to know how many new car dealers have adopted the "take it or leave it" philosophy that has been established by Carmax (and previously by Saturn).  

 

Personally, I like that style of selling.  If I agree with the price, I'll take it.  If I don't agree with the price, I'll keep looking.

 

A good deal is a state of mind.

This technique works fine with new cars, the prices are within a small amount of variability almost the same. Vintage cars and parts prices can be extremely variable from seller to seller. And you generally can't go across town to see what a competing dealer wants for the same item.  On a vintage part one seller might want $100.00 and a few months before or after another might want $500.00. and a year later a third seller $250.00. And all 3 might find buyers. Which one is "fair market value" ?

 

Greg in C

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

This technique works fine with new cars, the prices are within a small amount of variability almost the same. Vintage cars and parts prices can be extremely variable from seller to seller. And you generally can't go across town to see what a competing dealer wants for the same item.  On a vintage part one seller might want $100.00 and a few months before or after another might want $500.00. and a year later a third seller $250.00. And all 3 might find buyers. Which one is "fair market value" ?

 

Greg in C

Boy did I find that out quick.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't even mind rude. Just don't be stupid. Rude can be managed and overcome. Stupid is unworkable.

  • Like 3
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My perception of haggling is a dispute between buyer and seller where they bargain to an agreeable price.

 

A simple statement of fact or an understanding of the situation is not something I would call haggling.

 

A couple of decades ago I flew to California to hang out for a few days and take in the Pomona Swap Meet. I flew into the Ontario airport and stayed in Diamond Bar. Main Street in old town Pomona is lined with antique shops and I decided to buy something nice for my Wife. One shop had a large glass display case full of jewelry. There was an exquisitely made butterfly broach. It had a price tag of $160 or $180 on it and I knew she would like it. But I didn't want to spend that much. I went on to the other stores, but nothing ran the bell like the butterfly broach. I ended up back at that store.

"Can I see that butterfly broach again?"

He handed it to me and I looked it over again.

Leaning forward with my elbows on the countertop, I pointed to the door and the street beyond. "See that maroon Buick out there?"

He nodded.

"That's my rental car and I am on my way to turn it in at the airport. My flight leaves in two hours. And I won't be back. Will you take $90 for this?"

"You will pay the tax, won't you?"

"Sure"

My Wife still loves that pin. And I haven't been back.

No haggle, just a synchronization.

Bernie

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Bhigdog said:

 

Thus enabling the sellers to ask a high price, hoping for a wind fall, with the knowledge they could still make a sale at the end of the day.

 

Another bargaining anecdote.............

I was selling an antique Stickly setee. I had an antique dealer drive up from Philly to look at it. He made me a "fair" offer of $8,000. I might have got more from another dealer but maybe not. I told him I would think about it. His answer was he would pay that price at that moment. If he left he was no longer interested in the piece at any price. I helped him load it in his van....................Bob

 

 

Stickley ....now there is a blast from the past. My first wife's family were the oldest Stickley dealers in the country when they retired in '96. They knew the Stickley family and would visit them in NY every few years. Ex Mom-in-law (still a great friend) just moved into assisted living and had to leave behind her 1932 Stickley dining room suite. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I bought a 77 Continental Town Car last October.  It's a fixer upper.  I drove 5 hours each way to just look at it.

 

When I got there, it was in a barn, covered in dust where his father parked it in 2002.  Four flat tires (two of which were original to the car).  I spent about an hour looking it over with my wife.  Put a battery in it and the engine turned over and got to try a lot of the accessories.  I pointed it out a couple areas of concern to him but was overall very complimentary to the car.  I knew I wanted it, and knew others were interested in it, so I asked if he could give me until the next day to make an offer on it after I did some homework.  He agreed.

 

So I called him the next day and explained my situation and that I only had "x" available to pay for it.  He told me that his father had just died in March of the same year and that he was liquidating some of the estate.  My offer was significantly less than his asking price and I was very polite about it, but I wanted to preserve the car and promised that when I had it on the road, I would come up and take him for a drive in it.  He accepted my offer and said that everyone else interested in it was looking to demolition derby it.  As it turned out, my offer was higher than the lowest he was willing to go on it.  The car is now home in my garage.

 

The day after I got it home, I washed it up and sent him pics of it all cleaned up and then a video of it running briefly.  He said it gave him shivers as it was the first time he saw the car clean and running since 2002 and was glad he sold it to me.

 

As it turns out, my father died a week and a half later so I know the emotions he felt seeing his father's car go to the right home.  I now have my father's farm tractor in my garage and you'll have to pry it from my cold dead hands.

 

So, sometimes negotiating a lower price isn't a bad thing - I got a car I've wanted for a long time, he saw it go to a good home, and the lower price wasn't done in malice or by me trying to be a jerk.  It was all I could afford, but at the end of the day, we both won.

20171028_141234.jpg

Edited by danleblanc (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Restorer32 said:

Stickley ....now there is a blast from the past. My first wife's family were the oldest Stickley dealers in the country when they retired in '96. They knew the Stickley family and would visit them in NY every few years. Ex Mom-in-law (still a great friend) just moved into assisted living and had to leave behind her 1932 Stickley dining room suite. 

 

The older Gustav Stickley pieces were really hot 20 or so years ago. The market has really cooled in the last few years. The one I had was literally a barn find left behind by the previous owners of my Dad's farm. It sat in a corner of the barn for 30 years until I inherited it. The mice did a spectacular job of cleaning the springs. Not a trace of the leather covering or stuffing was left. Probably made about a gazillion mouse nests. Thankfully they never touched the wood. The dealer never asked about the history. Just looked it over, pronounced it a "strong piece" and said "8,000"............Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Bhigdog said:

His answer was he would pay that price at that moment.

 

That worked for me once, when I was buying my first Pierce Arrow.  The fellow was asking 8000, and I literally had 7000 on me.  The bad thing was that another serious buyer had shown up about 5 minutes after I did, and he was coming back if I didn't make a deal.

 

Sitting at the guy's apartment dining room table, I told him I had $7000, that's as high as I could go.  He asked how long is that offer good for?  I told him when I stand up and walk out that door, the offer expires, you may get a better offer, but then again, you may not.

 

He took the 7000......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In 1979 or so I took a 1920 Overland Touring to Hershey to sell. I put a sign on it "Will not take more than $1695 so please do not offer more". Sure drew a lot of lookers and I sold the car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's an example of reverse haggling.

 

Some years ago, my dad had a fairly rare Farmall tractor. A friend came over, looked it all over and offered him 3500. Dad said,  "No, it's not worth that, let's just make it 3000 even." The man was flabbergasted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/4/2018 at 9:58 PM, plymouthcranbrook said:

I do think that they are great looking cars.  i should go find my Standard Handbook for Chrysler and see if the production is broken out for Belvederes.  Like you I haven't seen very many at all. 

Finally remembered at the same time I was near the book. According to the Handbook in 1951 and 1952 total there were 51,266 2 dr HT Cpe 6P made. The years do not have a Separate breakout as they were lumped together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now