Monday, July 30, 2012
Weekend edition: Car Dealers
I have developed no negotiating skill - if I don't like the quote I just walk away. If the quote is way too high I short sell it. If it is low I buy.
But mostly I just walk away. It is not rude to walk away. The person on the other side of the trade does not even know who you are. It is not personal. Simply: if the quote is not right I do not want to deal.
If I have to negotiate I will generally leave it to my wife who has more patience whilst people muck around on price. People who want to waste half an hour negotiating to an end point that could be got to in 2 minutes are a waste of time and space.
Further - mostly I short-sell frauds. I find people who are lying (and I am very good at determining when someone is lying). Whey they lie I short-sell their securities. The slogan (mostly true) is once a scumbag always a scumbag. Shortselling scumbags in moderation (always in moderation) is generally a profitable strategy.
And so I come with a general hatred of buying a car.
These days buying a car is a fairly transparent business. They give you a quote off something that looks like a supplier provided list price. You ask them if they can do a better deal and depending on how ambitious they are and how much room to move they have they offer you a "deal".
Then you go home, look up the internet chat boards, see what people have negotiated elsewhere and come back with a price.
We did that - and the price we came back with was about 5 percent below where I figured they were prepared to deal. I told them I had looked at the chat boards and told them that price was lower than I expected and that they should just come back with something realistic.
The told me that they would be losing $4000 at the price I suggested.
I knew that was a lie. They knew I knew it was a lie. I said so and said that I will not deal if they will not be straight with me. They bristled.
I walked out. I don't have the patience to deal with scumbags and liars.
If this were senior management/promoters of a listed security I know what I would do. I would turn around and short-sell them. Liars then are nice because they are profitable for me.
But dealing with scumbag car-dealers makes me feel strangely powerless and angry.
And it leaves me despising car dealers and the companies they represent. I am not even going to mention the brand because I suspect it could be any car brand.
[Still for the rest of my life XXX Brand will be associated with scumbag people and no amount of advertising will fix the image-association.]
Why are people like this?
Here is a question that has puzzled me for a while. I short sell stocks promoted by slime-bag individuals. People who may be rich but you would be horrified if they married your daughter.
There are a surprisingly large number of such people around.
My question was were those people born that way or did 10 years of exposure to other scum-bags on Wall Street turn them into the gebbeths they have become? Understanding the development and career path of scumbag stock promoters will make my job easier. Finding these little piles of pus and short-selling their wares is one of my main career tasks.
But it is hard to track stock promoters. They are a shadowy lot and saying out loud that they are slime doesn't get me very far.
But it is easy to track car dealers - and their sliminess is readily apparent to all. It is not even controversial.
So how did car dealers get this way? Do car dealers actively go out of their way to recruit more scumbags? Or does being a car dealer turn you into a scumbag?
If it is the former how do they find these scumbags so effectively? (As someone who short-sells I want to copy that method!)
If it is the latter how long does it take as a car dealer before the basics of human decency have been stripped from you? How hard is it to corrupt people - to take away their soul?
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