Friday, April 30, 2010

A Great Car Buying Experience in Oneonta

Last weekend I had a great car buying experience. There was no “red face”, there was no slimy salesman, there was no inflated bill of sale with a “600” dollar bank fee.

Yeah, Bay Ridge Nissan screwed me with in 2005 after I signed all the paperwork and then re-examined it at home. I even called the bank that was financing my car to ask them about this “fee” and they said there was no such thing. I remember I was so pissed I even called the owner of those “Bay Ridge” franchises to complain, and he said it was the “cost of doing business”. The "cost of doing business" means "screw the customer" to me. I’m never going to buy a car at Bay Ridge Nissan as long as I live because they screwed me once. Just once, that’s all it takes and you will lose my business forever, yes forever.

And your damn right I always made a point to tell others interested in a Nissan not to take their business to Bay Ridge Nissan, because of this “bank fee” that was total BULLSHIT.

So you see Bay Ridge Nissan your "600 dollar profit" that was total "Bull", lost you thousands of dollars of my future business and maybe others as well.

Now that's bad business, and it will hurt
you more than help you in the long run.

So fast forward to 2010 and Bay Ridge Toyota…

Now I was going to be given a “deal” because my best friend Peter’s brother-in-law is the manager of this particular dealership. You know, that whole “you’re just like family” stuff so we’re not really going to “screw” you that much.

So I was told to see “So-in-So” when I walked in and tell him that I’m “So-in-So’s” brother-in-law’s best friend. Already the use of too many hyphens was making me leary about this whole “deal” I was going to be given.

“So mister Lopez I understand that you’re a friend of the family, so we’re not going to bullshit you here. We’re going to offer you the best deal possible, you’re going to get our employee pricing on this car.”

“I’m also going to get my best man to help you
with the vehicle and explain everything to you”

Why do they use the word "vehicle" and not "car" anymore?

So off we went, and after spending about an hour with the salesman
who did everything he had to do to try to sell us this car. I was sent
to the “Manager” to talk about this ‘Great” deal I was going to be offered.

So what’s a “great” deal in my mind? Well a great deal is usually
dealer invoice or below. And in the case of this particular car it
would have been about 21, 250 dollars. So that’s the number
I had in my head.

“Well mister Lopez we got you a price
and it’s our employee price of 23,800 dollars”.

“I’m sorry I was thinking more of a price
around 21,000, you know dealer invoice.

Already I could feel the blood rushing to my face and I was starting
to feel flush all over. That usually happens when I’m starting to get
annoyed with someone of worse yet get into a fight.

‘Well we have people and rent to pay
here, and it's just the "cost of doing business"
you know.

The old "cost of doing business" line.
Now where did I hear that before?

“OK, thanks, I’ll let you know”

I just got up and walked out of the dealership and met my wife
and daughter in a diner on 65th street just a few blocks away
from the dealer.

“Ronnie, your face is so red, did you get into a fight or something”

“No, I just hate dealing with these jerks, that’s all”.

It took a while for the redness to go away in my face and I somehow
managed to have a nice lunch with my family that Sunday morning.

Is there something wrong with me?
I can loose a hundred thousand dollars in my 401K and not care.
I can loose 90 thousand dollars in the value of my house and not care.
I can spend thousands and thousands of dollars in car repairs over
the years and just say “oh well” and still not care.

But try to screw me over a couple of thousand in a car dealership
and my face turns the most beet red you have ever seen and I feel
like killing someone who wears gold chains.

Yeah, maybe there’s just something wrong with me, I don’t know.

So now let me tell you about a "Great Deal" and a Great Dealership where you have good honest people and rock bottom prices on some “just as new” cars. The name of the place is Empire Toyota and they are up in Oneonta New York. They offer these great deals on what they call their TRAC cars. These are very low mileage Toyotas that are basically dealer loaner cars that people rent for a few bucks when their car is being repaired. We found a 2010 Prius with only 1800 miles on it for a little over 21,000 dollars. The model Prius we bought brand new would have been well over 24,000 dollars with all the options it has. And let me tell you I did my research on the price of what these cars should be even with the “low miles” and still they were a bargain no matter how you sliced it.

Try to find a 2010 used Prius here in Brooklyn with 1800 miles for that price. You will not, I guarantee you that. And they also have 2009’s and even a few 2008’s with just a few thousand miles on them. And all for a great deal I kid you not.

And what made me feel good about my car and it’s price was the fact that Rob the salesman I spoke to made it clear that these were their lowest prices on these cars and there was really no room to budge. But because I checked all my data I was ok with that and that’s why I knew I wasn’t getting screwed by these guys.

Now you all know I really never plug anyone on this blog, but I thought this was important enough to tell you. Because these guys didn’t pressure me, these guys were honest, and these guys didn’t try to pad the bill in any way. I don’t know, maybe it’s a “country” thing, but there was just not the “bullshit”, “screw you” environment that exists so much here in Brooklyn when you walk into a new car dealer.

No folks, my face didn't get red at all when I was talking to Rob the salesman. And maybe they can sell the cars so cheap because they park them near the edge of a cornfield rather than the middle of Brooklyn surrounded by million dollar homes.

Now don’t be afraid Oneonta’s not that far away form NYC and even if you have to rent a car for a day you will still come ahead of any “deal” in Brooklyn.

And once again, I’m not getting anything out of this folks, no, this is just my experience and I feel it’s important to share it with you.

So if you’re looking for a great deal on a low mileage Prius for a price well below anything here in Brooklyn. Check out Empire Toyota up in Oneonta New York.
Ask for Rob Schott.
6281 St Hwy 23
Oneonta, NY 13820
(607) 433-0045

And no, they didn’t pay me to tell you this, and
yes the car really does get 51 mpg in Brooklyn!

Ron Lopez

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