Blog for November 20, 2016
Its beginning to look like Christmas……
It has been (actually, it still is) a pet peeve of mine that businesses and people should not begin to decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving, the U.S. one that is. I thought launching the Christmas season was bad in the U.S. but some Canadians began decorating for Christmas after Canadian Thanksgiving, which is celebrated on the first Monday in November. While some businesses started before Halloween, we are seeing more and more outside lights and decorations of homes and churches. Christmas music is playing in many stores. Today at Church I was surprised to see how many of the men were already wearing Christmas ties. The pictures above and below are pictures taken this evening.
This has been a busy week of showing cars. This is in addition to my other usual car related activities. Pressure is on for moving cars; my instructions are that those cars that don’t sell this week are to be driven to the car auction north of Calgary at Airdrie.
Car sales take up a lot of time. I have a large list of people who have called over the past few months to inquire when we would have cars for sale, and now that we do, the word is out that and I get several calls a day. Most want to have their names and email address added to the list to be kept informed about what cars we have and when they will be ready for sale. The list is now over 40 names long. Many on the list are people who have bought mission cars before so they know every so often the cars get replaced. I also advertise the cars on Kijiji, which is Canada’s version of Craig’s List.
People naturally want to save time by calling with questions but they do this rather than coming to see the cars. When they call they want me to describe each car to them in detail and this takes so much time. The questions:
- What color is the car? Me: “It’s blue.” Them: “What shade of blue?” Me: “The color is listed as Sapphire Blue Metallic.” Them: “Well, is it dark blue, light blue, or what shade of blue is it?”
- How many miles? (Yes, they actually ask for the “mileage”, but in Canada they really want to know, how many kilometers?) Me: “82,258 kilometers.” Them: “Oh, is that the actual mileage or has there been a problem with the car’s odometer?” Me: “No, those are actual miles. We sell the cars soon after they have 80,000 km on them.”
- Was the car new when you got it? Well, yah; they were all new at some point, but what they want to know is if the mission has had it since it was new. This is a good question for those responding to the Kijiji ads, but Church members should know better, especially those who have bought a mission car previously.
- What is the model? Me: “It is an SE.” Them: “What does that mean?” I wonder why they ask the question if in the end they don’t know one model from the other. I have learned to say, “It doesn’t have leather or a sun roof.” If I say, “It is the base model” then they want you to explain what, then, is not on the car.
- What’s the condition? (What am I supposed to say, “It’s a dog, it has bald tires, the doors are falling off, and it looks terrible?”) Me: “Any problems that it had have been fixed. It has been detailed and it looks really good” (because it does look good). Them: “Well, what problems did it have?” Me: “Nothing serious; you are welcome to drive it and look at the complete file if you have any concerns.”
- Does it have good tires? Me: “Yes, it does.” Them: “Are they new?” Me: No, not new but we replace them with new if they are old or bad or have a problem. “ Them: “Are they snow tires?” Me: “No, but they are all-season tires.”
- What is the price? Me: “The price is the same as on the email you received.” Or, “It is the same price as listed in the Kijiji ad.” Them: “Well, is that your best price?” Me: “Yup, I don’t set the price; the Church does, and no, it is not negotiable.”
And after all of that, -Them: “Well, I’ll think about it.”
Actually, this was somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but the point is that answering so many questions takes so much time. I have learned to anticipate some questions and try to provide short answers. The best thing to say to the person is, “You really do need to come and see the car(s) for yourself.” They aren’t going to remember my answers to the questions anyway unless they were interested in just one of the cars. This isn’t usually the case, however, so when they finally come to see the car, the questions begin all over again, - while we stand, out in the cold…….teeth chattering……toes numb……and the questions get patiently answered, often for the umteenth time. Then, “Okay, so I’ll think about it.” Would I want to be a used car salesman? Nope!
Then there is the person in Lethbridge who has not seen any of the cars. He says, “Just bring me one of the Cruzes; you decide which one. I’ll have the bank draft ready.” (We have three 2013 Chevy Cruzes, all silver, all the same price. Ordinarily we don’t drive cars to the person buying it but next week is transfer week and so we are going to Lethbridge anyway. We can accommodate the buyer this once. He just wants a mission car. It is his third.
Actually we have four of the new RAV 4s going south on Thursday, and for each new car going south an older car comes back to Calgary, and the process begins again, - inspect the car, get it repaired where necessary, get the oil changed, get it detailed, and get it sold.
See you next week, blog fans. Have a spectacular week.