Friday, July 24, 2009

Car Wars II: The Buyer Strikes Back

Those of you who've been following the drama via Facebook or Twitter know how the story ends: I got the "galaxy gray" Mazda3 from Gainesville Mazda. After they snatched it from under the Ocala dealership's nose and charged me a bit more. But it was still under invoice and I'm very happy with it.

So - pictures!

This is in my work parking lot.

The dealership slipped a "Gainesville Chevrolet" tag frame on (they're a Chevy/somethingelse/Mazda dealership). They also slapped on a "Palm Mazda" sticker (crooked!) on the trunk door. Those will both be going.

Isn't she pretty? And it has extras. While the salespeople tried to impress me with the spoiler and 6-CD changer, the only thing that made me do a little happy dance in my head was the moonroof. I have always (and I mean, always - for years now) wanted a moonroof.

Interested in the dirty little details? Read on.


So I was all set to buy a 2009 Mazda3 s Touring 4-door sedan in white from Palm Mazda in Gainesville, when a salesperson from Jenkins Mazda in Ocala called.

I told her the only way they could steal me away was if they found the exact car in a darker color.

They had. Specifically, they had found a "galaxy gray" 2009 Mazda3 s Touring 4-door sedan. Same exact car - except it also had a moon roof and a 6-cd changer.

It was practically the same car I already knew I loved - but in a darker color - plus it had my "dream car" addition of a moon roof! But I had already put a deposit down on the white one.

I tell her that I love the car, the price is fair, but there's this $500 deposit thing. She suggests I call the Gainesville dealership back, tell them I had found the car somewhere else and simply ask for my deposit.

This was a mistake on her part, turns out.

I call the Gainesville dealership back, and tell him all this. After a significant pause, he asks, "What if we could get you the car?"

Hmm. "Well, sure - I've actually dealt with you, met with you, and I've only talked on the phone with the Ocala people. I'd love to give you my business - but I really like the gray one better."

He says he's going to look into it and call me back.

"Great news! I can get the gray Mazda3 for you!" Then he tells me the price. It's a little more than what Ocala's asking. I tell him this, he argues that the extras . . . I tell him Ocala's cutting me a deal on the moon roof/etc. because I don't really care about them. He argues that he has to pay a driver to get the car . .. I tell him so did Ocala, and they're willing to pay for it. He doesn't sound pleased. He says he'll call me back.

I feel pretty good - either way, I'm getting the car I want, in the color I want, at a fair price. I've never had businesses fight for me - it's nice!

He calls back-only to say, "Sorry - that's the best I can do."

What?! Well, pshaw on that! I call back the Ocala dealership and say, "I'm buying from you." For the first time in all this, she sounds vague. Says she'll have to call me back.

I can't believe I didn't think of this. She calls back and says, "Look, as soon as you told the Gainesville dealership that we had found you this car, they immediately went and found it themselves. While we were waiting for a confirmation from you before going and getting it, they just went and got it."

So THAT'S why he "couldn't" go down on the price! There was only one gray 2009 Mazda3 with manual transmission in the s Touring trim - I gave him all the details, and he went and found it, just like Ocala had. So Ocala can't sell me the car - they don't have it.

I'm pissed. This is unethical, right?

But I really want that car...

I talk it over with Kyle and decide that a couple hundred dollars isn't enough to keep fighting over this. I want something very specific, and they had it. So I bought it.


Hips Unhinged Ltd said...

I just really, really hope that the third part of this story isn't Car Wars III: Revenge Of The Palm Mazda.

I'm intrigued, though: what's a moonroof? Is it the same thing as what we in the UK call a sunroof?

Jen said...

Yes, they are the same. In fact, we used to call them sunroofs as well. I'm not sure if there's a difference or not. But it looks like a sunroof to me. . . anyone who knows different, please share!

erin said...

car dealerships suck--but i'm glad you got what you wanted after all!

i always heard that a moonroof was just a window in the roof, and a sunroof actually opened and closed. (i have no basis for claiming that, other than my brain. i'm too lazy to google it.) :)

Hips Unhinged Ltd said...

Sunroofs definitely open and close over here. I don't know why we bother, really; it's far too optimistic in a country that is raining half the time and overcast the other half.

Kim said...

Congrats on the new car!

Just to weigh in on the debate, I've always been told that both sunroofs and moonroofs open -- the difference is that sunroofs are opaque (e.g., roof + headliner) while moonroofs have an opaque part that slides back to reveal glass that you can see (the moon) through.

Wikipedia confirms it: