Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Mike Castrucci Used Car experience

Well, we are at it again. Looking for another vehicle.  We have been through this process more times than I want to admit and I would love nothing more than to never have to do it again. But the reality is that it's just another part of life.
This time we are looking to trade JR's beautiful truck for something with a lower monthly payment. We've been talking about this for a while now and last Saturday we finally came across a car listing that interested us. Since it was late Saturday, we decided to go Sunday afternoon to look at it. I packed a few sandwiches and we headed south to Mike Castrucci Used Cars in Milford, Ohio.
This is our frustrating yet comical experience on Sunday, September 22, 2013:

We arrived at 1:30 pm and met up with salesman that we had spoken with the day before. The drive was about an hour and a half by the time we arrived and I really needed to use the facilities as soon as we got there. I got out of the truck and noticed right away that the Bengals Football game was turned up in a few of the sports cars near the door and wondered who was actually listening. I decided to ignore it and proceeded to walk into the building where the offices and bathrooms were located. As soon as I walked in, I noticed a TV on the wall with 3 salesmen glued to the TV watching the game. Hmmm. I guess that explained why no one was outside. I continued through the office and came to the bathroom door. I went to turn the handle to the women's bathroom and noticed that the door was locked. So I waited patiently for my turn. And waited. And waited.  I thought maybe I didn't turn the handle hard enough and tried again. Still locked. I then heard some water running. So I waited. Again.  I suddenly heard the door unlocking. I turn around to see one of the salesmen coming out of the women's bathroom with his shaving cream and razor in hand with the other hand rubbing his chin. (yes really) HA!  His face suddenly became red and it was all I could do to keep from busting out laughing. Not once did I think to use the men's bathroom.
As I walked out I passed by the TV again and noticed that the game was still on with about a half dozen eyeballs glaring at it . 
By the time I got outside, the salesman had pulled the vehicle around and JR was already checking it out.  The outside of the vehicle was beautiful for being 10 years old but the interior was a wreck.  We took it for a ride and it seemed to run pretty good, but I could not get over how bad the interior was.  The salesman did his job and offered to fix a short list of things "on us" and even though we were still pretty sceptical, we agreed to go in and talk numbers while someone else went to test drive our truck.
Now before we arrived, JR and I had done our research and already knew how much we wanted for trade on his truck and felt that it was reasonable. Unfortunately the salesman came back with a crazy low price for the trade right away then wanted us to sign another 5 year loan that in the end would cost much more than what they were asking for on the car. And about another hour of going back and forth with "the manager" behind the curtain, we were still not at a price that made us feel like we HAD to have the car. As it turned out, those repairs that the salesman was saying were "on us" were actually being taken out of the trade in price on JR's truck. I'm sure this happens all the time but for some reason it suddenly hit me what was happening. We finally had enough of  the wheeling, dealing and guilt trips and it was time to go. During this awful process we still watched men coming out of the men's AND women's bathroom and noticed the game still on with the rowdy salesmen even more enthralled. They were only missing the popcorn and loungers.  I also noticed that all the salesmen desks were facing the TV. Hm.  They must be rich already.........
So it was time to go. We got in our truck and started it up only to get the Bengals game blaring on our radio. The guy that tested our truck had actually turned on the radio and turned our channel to the game. (yes really)  JR and I looked at each other with our mouths wide open and began to laugh hysterically. I said "get me outta here!"  THEN.... wouldn't you know it, the salesman came out to our truck as we are ready to back out and says "If we lower the price to $$$ a month, would you consider it?"  It was a price much closer to what we wanted but a drastic difference from what they offered inside. If we could have just cut to the chase and gotten to this point an hour earlier, we wouldn't be sitting in our truck upset and ready to go. So I said "Well that is something we can actually think about but we will not be buying today." In the end we shook hands with the salesman and thanked him for his hard work but drove away empty handed and a little salty about the long drive home.   We also went home a little smarter about the used car business.

Buyer beware---make sure you do ALL your homework BEFORE you get to the dealership. The more you know going in, the better your price will be in the end

Dealerships beware-- Don't assume all buyers are uninformed. The first price you come out with sets the tone for the whole experience. Might as well start with a fair and reasonable price. Oh, and a little professionalism goes a long way.  :)

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