Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Retail and Dad

My recent misadventures in retail reminded me of a few quirks my dad had when it came to his relationships with retailers.  Dad was loyal to a fault if a retailer treated him right.  He'd drive far out of his way and pay extra if he'd get good service from somebody who treated him like an individual.  I guess that was why he got so angry the first time our local department store Younkers asked for his ID to write a check.

Dad also hated credit cards and as far as I know never carried a balance on one in his life.  He paid every bill practically the minute it arrived and prided himself on his spotless credit record.  I was with him more than once when he filled out a request for credit to purchase a car or some kind of large appliance like a refrigerator and most times they would barely transmit his information and the approval would come rocketing back.  A loan officer at the local bank once told him they'd never seen a credit report that impeccable.

He had a couple of pet tricks he would pull though.  I was with him once when he bought a car and after he had negotiated the price down as low as he felt he could he off-handedly said to the salesman, "Oh...and I don't want the name of your dealership plastered on the back of my car." The dealer replied, "But, Mr. Temple, we put it on all of the cars we sell."  To which dad replied, "Well if you want to knock another $2,000 off the price of the car for the advertising I'm going to give you for the next several years, then go ahead and put it on there...otherwise leave it off."

When we went to pick up the car lo and behold the dealership's name was on the back of the car.  This was back in the old days when they didn't just slap a sticker on your car, but actually stuck a metal insignia on the trunk that was punched through the sheet metal.  Dad just shook his head and said to the salesman, " can either write me that check for $2,000 or sell this one to somebody else.  I'll take another one with the same options in the same color without holes in the trunk lid."

The two times in my life I bought a car brand new from the dealer I forgot to do this.  If I ever buy a brand new car again (which isn't likely because I'd much rather buy the car after it's depreciated a little) I hope I remember.


  1. My last two cars I bought had around 20,000 miles on them and I saved a bundle! I'm not sure why more people don't do that.

  2. Honestly I don't think I'll ever buy a brand new car. I never have up to this point and I don't see any reason to.

    A lot of people buy a new car every year and trade in the one they have to get the newest model. Those are my people because I want to go after the car that someone else used through the big depreciation. A 1 or 2 year old car is what I want when I head into a dealership.

  3. I tend to keep my cars forever. Buying a new car is probably the worst experience one can have.

    Your dad sounds like a crack up. Mine was, too.

    1. Dad definitely had a sense of humor. He liked messing with salespeople for some reason.