Never set your mind or heart to what you’re determined to get before you go shopping.
Because you will always end up screwed on either the price or the quality of your purchase. Your desire will overcome your good sense.
I do not speak in theory. I have so many examples of my whim overtaking my common sense and dragging the both of us off to “stupid land” that I wouldn’t even know where to start.
But for the sake of brevity, let me focus on one beautiful May afternoon about twenty years ago, when I decided I wanted to buy a “fancy-looking car.” I desired to appear affluent (minus the bank account).
So feeling over-confident about my negotiation skills, I headed off to a local used car dealership, perusing the lot for the auto of my choice, doing everything that is customary, short of kicking the tires.
The owner of the establishment–a tall gentleman with a bright-colored tie and a Texas drawl–came up to me and I began my wheeling and dealing before he even got a chance to speak a word.
I was not a rube, nor had I recently been on any turnip truck.
I knew the ropes.
So instead of inquiring of this fellow what the price was on a Grand Marquis I was eyeballing, I leaped in and told him what I was going to pay for it, thinking that it must be much more in asking price, and that I was setting myself up for a great deal.
I failed to notice the small smile that came across his face when he heard my numerical offer. What I noted were his eyebrows, which quickly furrowed, passing on the impression that he was in great consternation over considering my low offer for such a high premium Mercury.
He suggested that the price should be a little bit higher, and proffered a couple of numbers, but I stood firm–and in no time at all, we were in his office, signing papers.
I couldn’t help but gloat, especially after my signature was on the form and I knew the rich-looking car was mine.
It was at this point that the salesman, possessing very little actual conscience, discovered a few remnants, apparently had taken a liking to me, and so choked up one little fact about the car that may have missed my brilliant observance.
He said, “You do know that 172,000 miles on the odometer is the actual mileage, right?”
Well, I didn’t, but pretended I did, because I was in the throes of a prideful lunacy.
So long story short, his conscience did not last very long. He shook my hand and I drove exactly thirty-one miles before my car broke down.
Since it was sold “as is,” any hopes of retrieving my money…well, was.
Gone, that is.
There were a few times that this car was a blessing, but more what you might call “tin-tank prodigal son.”
Since then I’ve learned to never be too sure of what you want.
And certainly, find out the asking price before you negotiate your final deal.
Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) — J.R. Practix