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Dude, where's my car?


Last updated 8/10/2022 at 10:02am | View PDF

The process of buying a car-new or used-is mostly fun, and can actually be exciting, and when completed, leaves one with a sense of accomplishment. At least it can - sometimes.

For months, I've been searching the internet, newspapers, and "shopper" magazines for a good deal on a car, specifically a used, late-model Genesis G80 or G90.

As many readers know, used vehicle pricing has gone up from 10-20 percent over the past two years for several reasons, the primary one being a shortage of computer chips necessary to build the vehicles. As with any shortage of popular goods, that old economic law of "supply and demand" kicks in, and prices rise, sometimes outrageously.

So, my heart pounded with excitement Thursday evening when I found a 2018 Genesis G80, with 9 months original warranty left, with 32,000 miles on it, for only $28,000. Carfax said the price at the Echo Park Thornton car store was $5,601 under normal retail. I've bought enough cars in my life to know a really good price when I see one. Not too many bargain out there these days, right?

My wife and I test-drove the car for almost an hour and agreed that, YES! We want to buy it. We found a real good DEAL! So, we went back to the dealership, filled out credit apps, answered questions, discussed all the details.

The salesman told us it would take about an hour, and two hours later, we wondered why it was taking so long.

Finally, a manager-type came out and started to talk about the history of buying cars online. We both later told each other that we thought he was going to say the price was accidentally mis-listed on the internet. How they're sorry, but it's going to be an extra "x-amount of dollars."

Then, looking very unhappy, he told us that someone had bought the car online earlier in the day, and that he was sorry, but the car was not for sale. He explained that there was a breakdown in their system, which was supposed to automatically remove any spoken-for car from being offered. It was bought by someone in Georgia - the one in America, not the one in Eastern Europe. We were stunned. I had talked with the salesman and another rep three times Thursday night and set up an appointment for Friday.

Our 8-hour excursion to buy a new-to-us car was wasted. At least they did fill up our gas tank to make up for the 250+ mile trip. They were happy we didn't cause a scene in front of the other customers, I'm sure.

During the conversations we had with the salesman (who was great) and the manager-type, they both said how much their company was trying to fashion itself after Carmax. We have bought four cars from Carmax in the past six years, and everything has been stress-free and upfront from them. All enjoyable transactions.

Yeah, I would like to tell Echo Park that they are at least a little like Carmax-it's called an echo. You know, something lesser than the original.


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