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Should I buy another (used) Mazda MPV?
However: I've had problems finding a good used replacement van. Prices seem to be way WAY up -- this time 'round, so many vans are not available. NO more Freestar/Windstars, no more MPVs, no more of the old style Nissan Quest. The vans that are plentiful (Odyssey, Sienna) are crazy-[non-permissible content removed] expensive.
It is very hard to find a Mazda MPV anymore with under 90,000 miles, which makes no sense for me with 103,000. BUT I miraculously just located one, about 40 miles away -- a clean looking 2006 (last year) LX with only 52,000.
PROBLEM: the dealership (Mazda, unfortunately) thinks this is worth....$15,000. This is $3000 over KBB, and $5000 over Edmunds TMV.
So I wrote them....offered $10K (Edmunds TMV) and got back a flurry of increasingly rude and abrasive dealership calls. They are grossly insulted by my offer. They "have a lot more than that IN the car" (*they bought it last month at an auto auction; unlike they paid over $7K, probably less). I will be wasting my time by test driving it if I think I can low ball them! Don't even bother to drive out!
This is typical of how my car negotiations have been going this year. (I'm no kid and I've bought a dozen cars in my life; 2011 is the WORST car buying experience I've had since I was in my mid-20s, and that was pure inexperience. Something has gone seriously cuckoo with dealers and prices; anyone who knows the secret behind this, for gods sake tell me what it is!!!!).
I'm not a "lowballer", but I know this vehicle cold. I looked at them NEW in 2002 (but bought a used Nissan Quest). I looked again in 2005 but bought a used one instead of new, despite some killer deals and financing. Then again in 2007 -- a few of the leftover 2006s were around then, at very good pricing. So I know what they sold for new -- LX model -- about $19,999. The MPV was always heavily discounted, because it was not a good seller (which is why it is no longer manufactured).
I know the down side of this, and the upside; my familiarity with it makes me want another one. One last one, lol.
But $15,000 is nuts. I've had horrible luck all summer trying to find a new (used) minivan -- they used to be the armpit of cars, something only moms and nerds drove. Suddenly dealers are acting like they are hot stuff. I used to have a choice of numerous, nice vehicles. Now I have to look daily to try and find one or two decent affordable vans online. And prices seem to have increased in a crazy way -- like 30% (at least, asking prices are up 30%).
The last Mazda I saw, a couple months back, was a 2006 LX but with 70K and too much rust and dings for me. I also wanted lower mileage, so I passed on it. But it was only $9700, which was about right for that year, and they were willing to negotiate. 18K less miles doesn't seem like it would add up to another FIVE GRAND on the same vehicle, plus this current one lacks a tow package the other had.
My question then: how to proceed? I am LOUSY, maybe the worst in the world, at negotiating these things. Yesterday, I lost a nice Kia van because offered $500 (yes, hundred) under asking price -- the dealer went ballistic on me for not accepting his full sticker price -- on a dirty car with scratches, that I could not test drive because it had not been serviced! That's how bad it is. Or how bad I MYSELF am at negotiating!
Someone, please take mercy on me and tell me A. what I am doing wrong and B. how to do it right and C. how to get a fair Edmunds TMV price on a used vehicle without making salesmen try to hit me with a tire iron.
For the record: I don't have to trade in my old car. I don't owe anything on it. I have cash for the new purchase. My credit score is over 800. I'm really a nice person! not aggressive or surly! I have purchased 10-12 cars in my life, and 4 of those were minivans. I know my stuff (research, prices, Edmunds, KBB, car reviews, etc.).
Lastly: YES I have TRIED walking out. That technique does not work, at least not in my region. Not once, in a dozen transactions, has ANYONE ever followed me or called me back, when I walked out of a negotiation that had stalled.