Friday, January 4, 2013

What I Learned while Buying a Car

by Miki Kashtan

Last night I bought my first new car ever - a Fiat 500. I want to share some things I learned about how we approach buying and selling, and about human connection in general. 

I went to one dealership (at right) to see if what I had in mind in terms of budget would actually get me a new car. I encountered an almost overly friendly car salesman. I was only mildly taken aback, virgin to the world of car sales. His numbers were higher than I could comfortably stretch into. Thankfully, I remembered a lesson I’ve been working on for so long – that I really never want to make decisions on my own; I want the support of others in my extended circle, always. I am so exhausted by the level of individual responsibility, I yearn for more and more recognition of and reliance on our human interconnectedness. So he gave me two days to consider: so far so good. 

I wish I had brought a friend with me when I returned, because this time things didn’t go so well. Whereas before I clearly understood that there was lots of room for negotiation, suddenly there wasn’t, and he said I hadn’t heard him right previously. The whole interaction was back and forth with a manager I never got to engage with directly, the salesman taking long chunks of time where I just sat and waited while he talked with the manager, only to come back and say that I was being unreasonable and offering me essentially no wiggle room from the original offer.