Buying a Car, to suit up, or not to suit up (other car buying advice welcome as well)

A co-worker had developed a particular method of buying cars. He would go to the dealership, do a test drive, and get the salesman’s card. Then he would do all the negotiations over the phone. No need to go back into the dealership until the price and terms are set. He also said waiting until the end of the month/quarter was better since the dealership will be trying to hit their “numbers”.

Do you normally wear suits? If so, sure, why not. If you don’t, you’re just going to feel stuffy and think you look dumb. Wear what’s comfortable. You want to be comfortable.

What’s a “suit”?

Seriously, if you’ve done the research to know what you want and how much you’re willing to pay for it, your attire won’t matter. As long as you bathe.

It does affect how much respect people treat you with, but not the final deal. Back when i wore suits for work, I found that I was treated dramatically differently walking onto a place with a suit on than when I was dressed in jeans and a T-shirt. But the prices never changed.

Several years ago I seriously considered buying a hot tub and one Saturday, after a few hours of catch up work at the shop, I stopped at a pool and hot tub store nearby wearing my usual mechanics uniform. In 15 minutes of walking around the building and comparing everything they offered no one even acknowledged me. Looking back it’s lucky they ignored me as I would probably have bought a large tub which would now be an eyesore and in my way.

It’s funny how easily we can be impressed by a deceiving image.

University faculty don’t dress as formally as they did back in the 1960s when I started teaching. However, wearing a sport coat and tie seemed to command more respect. I made certain to always wear a sport coat and tie if I had an appointment with the Dean or someone higher. I had a colleague who referred to my coat and tie as my “Dr. Triedaq” ad building clothes.
My dress did give me a problem one day. I put on a shirt that, unfortunately, I had outgrown. I decided that if I had on my sport coat and tie, nobody would notice. Well, I was teaching a class and the room became very warm. I stripped off my coat and tie and realized that the buttons on my shirt were ready to pop. I looked down at my shirt, tugged on the sides for a minute and said, “This is Mrs. Triedaq’s fault. I kept our old washing machine going for years, but the last time it broke, Mrs. Triedaq became impatient and went out and bought a new machine of a different make. That new machine has shrunk all my clothes”. The class laughed, but one girl came up after class and said, “Professor Triedaq, if you would tell Mrs. Triedaq to use the cold rinse cycle, your clothes wouldn’t shrink”. All I could say was “Good tip, I’ll tell her that”.

Well around here with work clothes and a bit of mud,you are usually ignored or shown the door,mind you I make a point not to buy from these people.Now if you are very well off you can come pretty close to buying at cost(snobbery has no limits,you have to work for a living youcant possibly have money enough to buy a new vehicle) got completely snubbed at a GMC dealer one time and had a Nissan dealer show me the door and the next day called up to accept my offer(needless to say,I didnt buy.So appearence does matter,RadioShack refused to finance a stereo for me one time,even though I usually payoff on time or early,early on I couldnt get credit,now I’m swamped and dont buy much of anything-Kevin

I don’t know why salesmn don’t consider that EVERYONE in the showroom is a potential customer

Their loss



You’d be surprised at how many people are out for a joy ride. I was selling Fords when the 2005 Mustang came out. Initially, the more desirable GT models were in short supply, for a two weeks we had the only black on black 2005 Mustang GT in town and it got taken on test drives by people who wanted to drive it, but had no intention of buying at least 5 times a day for about a week. The GM decreed that anyone who wanted to test drive it would have to have their credit run first or put a $250 deposit on the car (this, and two Roush Mustangs on the lot were the only vehicles to have such restrictions), and after that went into effect, the number of people wanting to test drive the car went down to zero. The first person who test drove the car w/credit check ended up buying it.

I’ve also had a couple who were seemingly stoned or otherwise impaired come in and proceed to tell me that they wanted to buy two Altimas, and that they wanted to take advantage of the zero down promotion. I was 95% sure they were putting me on, but I played along because it was 9:30 at night and there was nobody else on the lot. Needless to say once I whipped out the credit form, they decided they “had to go” , giggled at each other and walked out of the showroom. My GM, who normally would be up in arms over having potential customers just get up and leave, seemed oddly unbothered by it when I told him about the experience, he said that the couple has been in the showroom at least twice before in the past three months and did the same thing to other salespeople, and they pull the same act at other dealerships in the area as well. He suspected they were just addicts that are looking for a place to stay warm for a few hours. Which turned out to be ironic because the GM at the Nissan place (where I was during this incident), ended up getting fired from his job because it turns out he was quite the cokehead.

In the end, we’re all subject to preconceived images. George Zimmer built a fortune on that fact. John Stamos has done pretty well too.

Damn, I wish I’d have been born with good looks…


I guess it takes a dope fiend to recognize a dope fiend . . .