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June 08, 2006

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The only thing you can really control is yourself. You have to wear whatever gives you an edge. Whenever I wear a suit, I feel like a kid dressed up in his dad's clothes, even though I'm 41. If I'm in my jeans, boots and hat, I feel like myself and, more importantly, feel like I can take on the world. Unless you know who you're dealing with and what will have an effect on that person, go with having an effect on yourself.

On the matter of comfort, I think the norm defines comfort. A jacket and tie is comfortable when one wears it often.

I think that as long as you show a neat and presentable appearance, the clothes aren't typically a factor. Even someone with a little sales experience knows that you can't judge a person's wallet by the clothes on their back.

But there are other factors that are critically important (I'm posting about this on my blog today, and will mention them.)

I agree with the person who enjoyed letting the car salesman relax and feel like he was in control then swooping in for the kill. I have done that more than once. I have done it dressed up and down.

I know it is aweful of me but I really enjoy buying a car and really ticking the salesman off. I think it has alot to do with the fact that a successful salesman is also pretty much a con man most of the time.

I remain polite and couteous but I refuse to be bilked more than I have to be. Knowledge is power.

The last car I bought was fun. Long story short, I found the exact car I wanted. It was a trade-in they were going to wholesale. ( it was in the back lot- but just happened to be the exact car I was looking for down to the color) I had budgeted for paying cash based on an indivual sale not a retail sale. It was also half of what I had budgeted for originally.

Normally, I let the salesman go through his song and dance while I ACT like the "average" buyer. Then when we get down to the absolute best deal they THINK they will let me have, I swoop in for the kill. Since I was only in town on business, would not be returning to this particular town any time soon and it was already 6:00pm. I decided to cut out the chase and play hardball. I offered the wholesale price contingent on the fact that is was the CASH out the door final cost. They tried to charge tax, I told them to back it into the price. They tried to charge documentation fees. I told them that the person who fills out that paperwork makes the same salary whether they fill mine out or not. I would have walked at any point they said no and they knew it. I also made it politely clear that I was aware they would not get actual wholesale book value on this car as they had to lowball to get the wholesaler to buy it.(small town) It was not a trendy car but it was very functional and great gas mileage before prices started to sky rocket.

All told, I walked out of that dealership in less than an hour with a great deal. The hour included the test drive, quick haggle, and paperwork. I banked the other half I had budgeted. Not a bad way to aquire a second car that I only wanted in order to limit the number of miles I put on my convertable. The improved gas mileage ended up paying for the car in less than a year when gas prices skyrocketed shortly after this adventure. :) I consider that a great investment.

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