It was 9:00AM on this day and I had set out for Shepherd Road. I met the old man at the door and we said our good mornings. It was much like the other days, except much earlier. It was much like the other days, but this time we wouldn't be sticking around the farm for long. We had a mission. Armed with paperwork and pamphlets, and a copy of Consumers Report - the Grandfather and I saddled up in the '97 Ford F-150 and didn't even hesitate leaving the house. Our journey took us to the expressway, and past Midland. We didn't stop until we had arrived here, at this joint:
Grandpa and I were car shopping. As we drove around the lot, we were looking for a CR-V, black, with black leather seats. We couldn't find one, and the salesman who came to greet us said that they currently had none in stock, but could get one from a nearby dealer. We sat down at the salesman's desk and Grandpa already had his first question ready.
"What the hell are you charging me $227 in fees for?"
Salesman: "You see, when we file paperwork through the state we can legally charge you up to $250 between state fees and our own labor to file the paperwork."
Grandpa smiles and pulls out his copy of Consumers Report.
"Read this", he says to the salesman.
"Mr. Porter, we don't charge you 'Prep-fees' here, other dealers may, but we don't. We are only charging you for filing papers."
Grandpa: "Well you must not have read what I just showed you! Consumers Report says not to pay any fees you try to hit me with."
Salesman: "Mr. Porter, they say 'prep-fees', we're not charging you a prep-fee."
Grandpa: "I'm not buying then. There are ways you can take those off."
Salesman: "We can't charge other customers one rate and you another."
Grandpa: "Well I don't see why you're charging them for this either!"
Salesman: "I'll tell you what, we'll knock that $227 off the sticker price, but they still have to show up on the bill."
Grandpa: "I want a set of fog lights on there for free, too."
Salesman: "That I have to ask my sales manager about, I'll see what I can do."
At this point the salesman leaves and Grandpa looks at me and laughs and says, "I'm about to get one hell of a deal if they give me those lights and wave those fees. You see, I must have been reading what I WANTED that article to say, because he's right - it says prep-fees right here..."
The salesman returns and says, "Mr. Porter, we're going to wave the $227 dollar fee by knocking it off the sticker price, and we will pay half of the package and installation on the fog lights. They cost $430, so we pay $215 and you pay $215."
Grandpa turns and smiles at me and says "Looks like I'm just gettin' one fog light then."
The salesman can do nothing but laugh hysterically. Needless to say, this was a good enough deal for even a stubborn Porter. We then move to the financing portion. Until January 5th, Honda is doing 1.9% financing on 11 models, and one happens to be the CR-V. Now, if you know anything about a credit union, you know that money kept in there collects interest of just above 3%. That means that you're actually making more money by financing your car at 1.9% and leaving the other money in the bank.
So, tomorrow, the eldest of our family will own a 2009 CR-V EX-L, black, with black leather seats. Not to mention he's getting fog lights installed for the low, low price of -$12.