Dec 7, 2006

Please note, this should not be taken as disparaging against the Barrier family of dealerships. I've simply had a bad experience with one salesperson at one of the dealerships.

Long story short, I used to stop at Barrier to look at the pre-owned Boxsters anytime I drove past (once every couple months?). I stopped doing this and one night while out with the girlfriend, she mentioned that I hadn’t bugged her about letting me have a sports car lately. We stopped by and they had one of the exact cars I was looking for: CPO 2003+ base model, triple black, heated seats and basically no other options. Based on CPO, it should have been priced in the very high 30s to low 40s, but this one was only $36k. I decided right then and there I would go talk to a sales person first thing the next day.

I showed up and walked around the car for at least 15 minutes before anyone even addressed my presence. It was another 10 minutes before my specific salesperson came out to talk to me. He let me take a test drive, first with him and then with just the girlfriend, so of course I’m getting good vibes from him. I asked about the history of the car, RMS issues, everything that could potentially be an issue. He came back and basically said the car was perfect (aren’t they all)?

Time to talk finances. By this time, I’ve spent at least two hours with this guy and we haven’t discussed payment, credit, price or anything. He runs a credit check, finds out I’m from MS and claims we should be able to make a great deal. He prints out the initial price sheet and the quoted price is suddenly $39k. I asked if he pulled up the wrong car since this price was wrong and he gave me a befuddled look and said it was right. He even pulled up the file on his PC, showing $39k. I immediately asked him to walk outside with me and to read the sticker price on the car. $36k and here come the excuses. “Our porter must have mislabeled” “This must be from a totally different car” “We’ll fix that right away”

Maybe we can still salvage this, and I just needed to find out if I really was getting the bait and switch from an f’ing Porsche dealer. I commented that I was planning on paying no more than $34k and started negotiations. We got as low as the original sticker ($36k) and he wouldn’t budge. I told him it wasn’t going to work so he said in case I changed my mind, he wanted to introduce me to his “backup”. His backup turns out to be the general manager and of course he tried a hard close. He went so far as to say “It’s such a gorgeous day and the weekend is only going to be better.” Ah, of course, I should easily pay thousands of extra dollars on something I don’t need just because of the weather.

I went back two nights later and they still hadn’t fixed the sticker price. It was sold a week later, presumably to someone that didn’t mind or notice the price fluctuation.