Concept and Execution

April 25, 2004

We have been fashing ourselves about the car purchase ever since the evening of the first day.

It is not that we regret the decision to buy new not used: we ran the numbers and decided it was a good decision.

It is not that we regret the choice of vehicle: we are very happy with the intrinsic qualities of the mobile red barn.

What bothers us is that we goofed the negotiations, actually paying more than we had dickered for at two other dealerships. We goofed, and goofed several hundred dollars worth - at least $600 and as much as $1,000.

So, we are cranky with ourselves, by implication we are cranky with the vehicle. I keep telling myself not to get cranky at the dealership, just as one would not blame a shark who bit off your leg when you offered it to him. Instead I will blame the adversarial process of car shopping. I will also blame fatigue.

We bargained hard for all the used vehicles we turned down, and for the one of the two new vehicles. The other was an internet quote for $500 UNDER invoice from a place we don't like driving to. We should have driven there.

And, as a result, the cost-benefit analysis we ran deciding whether new or used made more sense for our driving patterns and the vehicles available got garbled. At the price we paid, the new vehicle is not such a good deal compared to the used cars.

So, I took the dealer's name off the car. They did nothing wrong; I will not slam them in this forum, but I am also not going to give them free advertising.

This banal little example reminds me of the larger questions about the Iraq war. It is possible to have a very good idea that, because you garble the execution, becomes a not very good idea.

Posted by Red Ted at April 25, 2004 01:01 AM | TrackBack