A friend of mine calls me and says, “I want to buy a convertible. You know cars. Can you help me?” This friend, we will call Gerald cause that’s his real name, knows nothing about cars and I mean absolutely nothing. He had this Mazda that started smoking and he kept driving it because, “What else am I supposed to do?” I ask him what kind of car is he thinking about and he said a Toyota Solara or Chrysler convertible. A WHUH, A WHO??? He chose them because he rented them at one time or another and they rode nice.
Gerald is 6’2 and 170 lb., at the most. He is married with one teenage man/boy and he is an IT guy that works from home and chills most of the day. How do I know this? He said,” I work from home and I chill most of the day.” Most importantly Gerald is a Que Dog and a Solara is so…..NOT A QUE DOG car!!! For those of you who are not Greek oriented a Que is a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity, one of the most popular frats that some brothers want to belong to. Some people you would know that are Que are Michael Jordan, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Bill Cosby (may not be a good example right now). I don’t think any of them drove a Chrysler or Toyota convertible. EVER! So I quickly shut that down for a couple of reasons. One, Gerald sucks at car maintenance (remember the smoking car) and two, what man purposely buys a Chrysler or Toyota convertible for himself?
I ask G his budget and he says, “Over the last three months I’ve saved $12k building mobile aps.” Dude thanks for telling me how easy you have it sitting on your ass all day. I let him know we need to look at cars that are bullet proof, cheap to repair (did I tell you he is beyond cheap, smoking car again) and looks cool. I suggest the Mustang GT, cool car, super reliable, parts aplenty, cheap repairs. He agrees and I start my search. I quickly find three that fit the criteria immediately but they are outside of the price range which is no problem. I am a skilled negotiator.
I call this guy who has this convertible black GT, with peanut butter guts and agree to meet him. I tell G, “Let me do all of the talking. Don’t say a word.” We pull up and the GT is sitting in the shade but it is gleaming and it looks really nice. We walk up to the car and the owner comes out to meet us. I ask “Kip” a few simple questions, accidents, mileage, engine issues etc. and Kip tells me he has had the car since new. It’s well maintained, automatic (yeah no manual) and he has all of the service records from the local dealership. Kip is telling me everything I want to hear but I still need to check the car out. I don’t see any dents or dings. The paint looks straight, panel gaps are correct. There are no tears in the top. I pop the hood and trunk, no obvious repair work. I don’t see any fluid leaks. The car seems to be a good car.
I ask Kip if we can test drive the car and he agrees. I tell G to drive after all he needs to know if he will like the car. Kip is in the passenger seat telling us about the features and turns on the stereo. I’m in the back seat cramped up like a freakin pretzel telling him to turn it off. I want to hear the car and any abnormal sounds. I look at G and he is grinning from ear to ear. Oh man does he like this car. After about 15 minutes we return back to the owner’s apartment. I blow the brains off to test the mechanics of the vert top and it drops seamlessly. Everything is in perfect order. The guy then does something that I absolutely love in a negotiation. He tells me WHY he is selling the car. This is totally unsolicited information.
Kip tells me he paid cash for the car new, that he is getting married to “Buffy” this year. He and his fiancé bought a house and it needs work. They need the money to do the repairs and pay for the wedding. The look in his eyes is of sheer panic. This is BEFORE we make an offer. I am deducting money from the initial planned offer every time the owner opens his mouth. He continues on with the story to the point I decide to make a ridiculous offer. “I’ll give you $10,000 for the car, subject to a car inspection by my mechanic.” Kip looks at me with that WTF side eye. G looks at me with the screw face and Kip responds, “C’mon man. That’s too low an offer. I can get $16k easily.” I respond with, “True but I have cash and from the looks of how long the ads been up you haven’t had any offers. I’ll give you $10k cash, subject to a car inspection by my mechanic.” Kip looks defeated and says, “Can you do any better than that. I can’t let the car go for $10k.” I told him to excuse me and my client so we could discuss the offer.
G says, Dude I like the car. I don’t want to lose it.” I tell him there are plenty of GT’s on the market but this one is a slush box and no one wants it. The guy is desperate to sell and I can get it for the low low. What’s the most you can come up with if we need to go higher?” He tells me he can pull another $3k from his credit cards so I tell him I will make a final offer. We walk back and I tell Kip, “Ok. Our final offer is $12k and not a penny more subject to a car inspection by my mechanic.” Kip looks at me, sighs, agrees and shakes my hand. Keep in mind, no money has exchanged between us and no paperwork has been signed. We agree to meet at the mechanics the next day for a thorough inspection. G and I get in my car, drive away and Gerald starts yelling, “DUDE YOU STOLE THAT CAR FROM HIM!!!!” I laughed and told him that is the art of negotiation. We high five and laugh all the way back to his house.
The next day I get a call from G. He is PISSED to the highest level of pisstosstity. It seems Kip had change of heart and called him in an attempt to renegotiate. He told G that the selling price was too low and wanted to put the car back on the market if we didn’t agree to pay more. I tell G to call Kip and conference me in. “Put your phone on silent. Don’t say a word. Just listen.” Kip answers the phone and I say, “Hey Kip. Gerald told me you were having reservations about selling us the car. What’s the problem?” Kip says, “After you left I thought about it and I felt the sales price was too low. I believe I can get more so I want to keep it on the website.”
“That’s fair but here’s the deal. We agreed to a price, shook hands and in the State of Georgia that is a legal binding agreement. If you renege I will have to sue you and recoup our losses. This will force you to hold on to the car while the courts decide what’s right. If they agree with us we get the car anyway plus court costs and you will be out more money. Also, you could put it back on the market but if you get no offers and come back to me to buy it I am going to deduct $100 for every mile that was “test driven” since we left. Honestly, I don’t want to do that and I don’t want to go to court. I would rather buy your car and move on. What do you want to do?” Kip says, “I think I want to sell you my car.” I hang up the phone. Gerald is HOLLERING laughing. “I can’t believe you did that!!!!” He meets the guy at the mechanic and that afternoon he transfers $12k to the seller’s bank account and that’s how we got a $16k Mustang GT for $12k.
You have to admit an Omega Man looks cooler standing next to a Mustang than a Sebring. LOL