Coming out of the holidays, I thought it was a good time to review my purchasing habits. After some self-examination, one thing is clear: I classify myself as a buyer and not a shopper.
Nothing would bore me more than spending hours around shopping malls, looking around forever without buying anything. I'm not alone in this feeling and, luckily for me, my wife falls into this category.
Christmas shopping went something like this: She bought gifts for her sisters well in advance. Then she got ideas for our daughters, their spouses and our two grandsons. Some presents were purchased online and others in one targeted buying session. I then finished in one other buying trip, picking up gifts for her, my brother and some extras I wanted to add for our grandsons.
And our methods aren't that much different when purchasing big ticket items such as cars and tires. Within the past year or so I watched our managing editor, Don Detore, and sales manager, Brent Weaver, purchase vehicles—both taking what I considered a long while.
Don, particularly, was very methodical in his approach. He did research, he visited numerous dealerships and even outlasted a salesman who left (or was fired) from one of the places he was shopping. It was important to Don that he got the vehicle he wanted for the price he wanted. The whole process took several months from start to finish. But that's what works for him.
For us, when we purchased a car for my wife, it was much more streamlined. We had decided a few years earlier that a Ford Fusion would be a vehicle to target the next time we were in the market.
I suggested on a Thursday that it was time to make the move. Luckily, a longtime friend happened to sell cars at a Ford dealership about 45 minutes away. My wife contacted her, and by Friday the friend had found her a Fusion with the features we wanted. We test drove a Fusion at a closer dealership Saturday to make sure the fit was right; the friend had the Fusion we wanted delivered to her shop on Monday; and we picked it up on Tuesday.
Of course it's a great advantage to know someone who sells cars to ensure you get a good deal, but previously when we had bought used vehicles, we always shopped at Saturn. Why? We hate bickering over price. With the Saturn system, either you liked the car and the price, or you didn't. To this day, at least five Saturns are still in use in our extended family.
I'm not sure how I came to be this way, but I think I inherited it from my mother. I still remember the day in eighth grade when she picked me up from school and told me she was taking me to the house she bought that day. She hadn't even told my dad about the move yet. Like me, a buyer, not a shopper.
Meyer is editor of Rubber & Plastics News. He can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @bmeyerRPN.