This is probably our biggest news this week. Brian, who has been wanting a truck for a while, finally got his wish. Here’s how it came about..
When we arrived back from Kansas City.. KC was a lot of fun, by the way. I neglected to write about it because school and work have both been very hectic since our return. We didn’t win any money, but we didn’t spend all the money that we had set aside for the trip either so overall I am satisfied. I won almost all of our money back and then some because we had spent almost $50 in tips to various dealers if added all together. After cashing out on Friday night, I had all but $60 of the $200 we spent in poker entry fees recovered. Then after dinner and watching a bit of TV, Brian decided he wanted to play some more so we went back down to the World Series of Poker Texas Hold’ Em table game (our favorite) and we all of the money we allotted. Overall our gambling loss was minimal. Probably $100 more or less. It would’ve been nice to win one of the poker tournaments we participated in but we weren’t so lucky this time. Most of our expenditures were food related. Each time we had lunch or dinner it cost about $60 so multiply that by five and that was the biggest chunk of our trip expenses. We also found a couple of things at Legends Mall so that added to the spending. But being the pragmatic people that we are, Brian and I didn’t go overboard. We were well within our spending budget. We actually opted to forego the breakfast room service this time because you hardly get any food for $30 and for about the same amount you get all the food you want at the buffet downstairs. In short we were very practical, probably even borderline frugal, but we had truck loads of fun.
But I digress.. Back to Sunny… When we came back Sunny barely wanted to run, not having run for almost a week. This got Brian worried. I explained to him that this is typical because it’s not run for a while. Once it starts running again, it will get back to normal. I said this so that we wouldn’t be in desperation mode and buy the first available vehicle. We both really despise buying cars because of that raped feeling you get afterwards so we want to try very hard to get a good deal.
I did call mom and ask if she knew anyone who is trying to get rid of a vehicle. She said we should’ve said something sooner because Tita Bev just got rid of her old BMW for next to nothing. It would have been a really good deal, but Brian and I were really looking for a truck so we can use it to haul stuff around once we start on our home remodel project. Missing out on that deal wasn’t really such a terrible thing. See, we optimistic people always see the silver lining out of every cloudy situation.
Anyway, I was meeting with my Finance group on Monday to finalize our second case study. Brian ran his errands and when he was done he came to hang out. He just sat and read his book. After the others were gone, I worked on making the changes to the spreadsheet that Mary suggested. I finished it the first time and forgot to save the file locally so all the changes were lost. I was frustrated and I felt so bad for Brian because he had to wait for me even longer as I started over that I just asked him to look at cars online while he waited. This made me feel less guilty about taking so long.
It was about nine in the evening by the time we left campus. Brian found four cars that met his requirement. They were all in the car dealerships along Kellogg. We decided to drive over to check them out. We figured everyone would be gone and we’d be able to browse the car lots in peace.
Our first stop was Eddy’s Toyota where we bought Bebot. Brian found a 2004 Mazda B-Series truck for 8999 on their web site. That fit our needs to a tee so we wanted to have a look-see. As we were checking it out one of their salesmen, Anthony, came by. I was amazed that he was still there considering how late it was. We talked for a bit. He invited Brian to come back and test drive it. We said we were still comparison shopping but Brian said that he might do that after his dental appointment the following day.
We moved on to the other trucks — a couple of Ford Ranges and an older B-Series truck. When we got home we looked at the prices relative to their blue book values and we decided that the truck at Eddy’s was the best bargain. Brian went to test drive it on Tuesday. He showed it to his dad who was pretty pleased with the find. I had an MIS exam exam the following day, Wednesday, but I told Brian that my exams don’t usually take more than an hour so I should be out by eight (the only exception to this is Operations Management because Barut wrote three-hour long exams or so it seemed to me). We could buy the car after my exam. I was out of class by 7:45 pm. I didn’t think I did well on the exam because I was so preoccupied with other stuff but I managed to pull a 93 — a huge surprise to me.
On the way there Brian and I really wanted to get the truck for only $7000 with Sunny as the trade. That would require some crazy negotiation skills considering how old Sunny is and the shape she’s in. I didn’t figure they would give their car away. They originally offered $1200 for Sunny which is her exact blue book value in her exact condition. This would put the truck at about $8500 after taxes. At this point, using Sunny as their leverage, I figured we would never get them to our $7000 target price. We countered with $7800 (though, looking back, I think we should have countered $7500 because that might have given us a shot at getting it for our counter offer price). They came back with a little over $8200 and then we finally settled at exactly $8000. I really think we could have gotten the truck for less if we tried the “fine, thanks for your time, we are leaving now” tactic but I really felt guilty about using it considering that we made Anthony stay to assist us (he was on his way home when Brian called and he said he would wait for us since we told him we’d be coming for the truck).
Brian and I were tired so we gave in before they did. When it comes to negotiating for a vehicle, sometimes it’s just about wearing the other people out. We were worn out. Even though we paid $1000 more than we really wanted, Anthony was a really good guy. He didn’t make us feel bad about Sunny. He didn’t make us feel small. He treated us very nicely — didn’t rush us or anything even though we were there so late in the evening. If I had to buy a car again, I wouldn’t mind buying it from him at all (so I guess this is a recommendation). I wish we could give him more business but Brian and I are the type of people to drive our vehicles until the very end (case in point, Sunny, who was about turning 12 this year) so we probably (if things go well with Bebot and Crichton) won’t need to buy another vehicle for another 10 years. I’m hoping that someone who reads this and is thinking of buying a car will buy from Anthony at Eddy’s (tell him the Brubakers sent you; I don’t think we get anything) because some business his way is the least we can do after he was so nice to us.
We said goodbye to Sunny that night and drove home with the newest member of our family, Crichton (named after Brian’s favorite Farscape character). Amazingly enough, we didn’t feel raped this time. Crichton blue books for over $10K and the Carfax came back clean. He was originally purchased at Davis Moore Mazda here in Wichita so the truck didn’t go very far. The original owner, Mr. Edwards (I was thinking of sending him a thank you card but Brian said that would be too creepy), apparently traded up for a nice Toyota. I think we got a fair deal overall — which is all you can really ask for when buying a car. The dealer has to make money and you want to maximize your savings. I this case, I think they came out ahead but it’s all good. Anthony deserved his commission. He is probably the best car salesman I’ve ever met. I think he is the Tiger Woods of car sales.
Anyway, we stopped by mom and dad’s to show them our “new” used truck. They were pretty pleased. I think they were proudest of the fact that we were able to negotiate a lower price and perhaps amazed that we got so much for Sunny. Mom and dad are not the negotiating type. Both of their cars have been ordered through the internet and then they just picked them up at the dealership. I don’t think they’ve spent more than five minutes each time they were at Eddy’s. Recently they paid a guy $1000 to build a little deck for the door that opens to the garage. I was told that $1000 can get you a pretty good sized back deck. I hope someday I’ll have the financial freedom that mom and dad have, living hassle-free without having to worry about bargaining for every single dollar.
Mom and dad can afford to buy fancy toys too. Toys that Brian and I think of buying but can’t really justify doing so because our frugal, minimalist lifestyle. The past few weeks, particularly the weeks leading up to our KC trip, Brian had been looking at GPS devices online. I told him we didn’t need to spend the money on it because I’m usually with him on long trips and I am a pretty good navigator. He can just give me the money that he would spend on a GPS device, I would navigate on trips (instead of sleeping), and we can call it even. LOL.
While we were there, mom was raving about her new GPS and how it is just fantastic. One of the features she loves most is the bluetooth which connects to her phone so she can use the GPS device as a handsfree, speaker phone. I read up on this particular device and it’s got a plethora of features mom hasn’t even explored. It can play MP3s, audio books, has a built-in JPG picture viewer, travel alarm, and currency converter. I think mom is yet to play with all those other features. We’ll have to tell dad to show them to her. I bet she will be even more gaga over her new toy. I think it’s great that mom is finding so much enjoyment out of a GPS even though she’s isn’t a techie. This just goes to show that some tech toys transcend techiness and are really for everyone. Maybe it’s time to invest in Garmin stock. =P
Anyway, Brian was drooling over it. He really, really, really wanted a GPS. We can’t really afford everything we want right now but overall I think we are blessed. All our needs our met and we have good health, great families, and each other. Our wants can wait. He will get his GPS one day but there are other more practical things that have to come first.