Yesterday I received a distressful phone call from an attorney friend of mine needing advice regarding an impulse car purchase gone wrong. I thought it would be appropriate to share this story and revisit the topic of buyer’s remorse I posted a couple years back.
The victim in this case is a co-worker of his who was having repairs of over $1500 performed on her well loved older car, a vehicle she had every intention of keeping, at least for the time being. That is until she decided to kill some time and wander down the street to a different dealership and take a peek at a model she was curious about. Long story short is that she became excited after test driving the car and before day’s end took delivery of a used one on the dealer’s lot, a low mileage 2011.
The damage done, however, was self inflicted by the victim who regrettably comitted multiple avoidable errors. Besides overpaying for the car, the next day she noticed that it also was hail damaged, something the dealer didn’t disclose. After a bitter dispute the dealer would not “unwind” the deal, and though some concessions were made, she is stuck with the car.
There are many lessons to be learned from this but the most important point I can make is worth repeating from the previous post:
“Car buying is largely an emotion driven experience for most of us whether we are aware of it or not. Unfortunately, too many people fall prey to their emotions and impulsively make poor buying decisions, falling in love at first sight with the wrong vehicles. Some careful deliberation can help you select the right vehicle and prevent regret.”
“Consider your purpose on the initial visit to any dealership as solely fact finding. Make a deliberate decision that you are not going to buy anything at this point. You are there to see and touch the vehicles, obtain information and perhaps test drive the models you may be considering. Allow plenty of time so you don’t feel rushed. Taking a one step at a time approach will help you from buying impulsively.”
The ultimate irony here is that the person this happened to know better. She was kind enough to refer me to relatives of hers who used my services twice recently with great results. She also told me her intention was to hire me before making her next purchase. Now we’re both sorry she didn’t.
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