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December 22, 2011

Before we start, let assure you that I’m not channeling my inner Rick Perry. In fact, I’m pretty sure I don’t have an inner Rick Perry. And that makes me happy.

But, I digress.

As part of my impending departure from Vegas, I found myself having to sell my beloved BMW. And, due to the rather quick nature of my decision to leave town, putting the car on Craigslist was not a viable option. Couple that with the fact that someone recently side-swiped me in a local parking lot, and getting my driver’s door fixed didn’t comfortably fit into my schedule, I was left with very few options.

Thankfully, I recently received the following letter:

Dear Mr. Katkin,

I sent you a letter just a few weeks ago regarding our special, invitation only Inventory Buy-Back Event scheduled to run through November 30, 2011. While we were able to successfully acquire many pre-driven vehicles, the overall demand for vehicles like yours still exists. Because of this unexpected demand, we are extending our Inventory Buy-Back Event through January 16, 2012.


So, a few days ago, I stopped in at my local dealer and asked for an appraisal. As expected, they lowballed me. However, having sold cars before, I knew there was some wiggle room in their offer, so I walked out figuring I’d come back a little later to renegotiate. Seeing as I’m leaving town on Saturday, I made my way back to the dealership this afternoon.

I walked in and was quickly approached by a salesman. When I told him I wanted to sell my car, he pulled up my information and was surprised to see that I had gotten a quote on the car just a few hundred miles earlier. The conversation went like this:

Him: We gave you a number

Me: I know. I want you to do better.

Him: What do you want?

And here’s where I apparently screwed up. Prior to walking into the dealership, I decided to try and get an extra grand out of the car. To do that, I figured I would have to ask for $2,000 more than I was originally offered so that I would have room to negotiate. For some reason, however, I wimped out at the last minute and only asked for $1,500 more than I was originally offered.

With a “Let’s see what I can do,” the salesman stepped away and spent the next 10 minutes talking with the used car manager. What happened next, however, completely surprised me. Instead of coming back with a counter-offer, as I expected, my sales guy walked back to the desk and said “You’ve got a deal.”

I’m not sure, but my jaw may have actually bounced off his desk at that point and, slightly dumb-founded, I had no option but to say “Great.”

So, the good news on the day is that I picked up an extra $1,500 just for spending 10 minutes at the dealership. The bad news is that I think left at least $500 on the table during what turned into my non-negotiation.

I guess there are worse problems to have.

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