Buying a car this time around was eerily similar to my experience in 2005. In ten years the cars have changed quite a bit (so many bells and whistles these days!), but the way I went about purchasing one was about the same. First I went online and requested quotes from car dealers for two different Honda CR-V models (the EX-L and Touring). Then I was almost immediately inundated with emails and phone calls from local dealers who all wanted my business. As much as I liked the enthusiastic salesman at the dealer in Pasadena, it just wasn’t practical for me to go all the way back there to buy a car. And since they didn’t have one that I wanted in stock it saved me the trouble of seriously considering it. In both 2005 and 2015 the only dealer I had more than brief contact with was Honda World in Westminster. I’d like to say I went back there for my second CR-V because I had such a positive experience the first time, but that’s not it at all. Truthfully, buying cars there was pretty lousy both times, but their close proximity to Seal Beach was the biggest selling point.
Back in 2005 an online sales representative at Honda World contacted me to say that they had the exact CR-V I wanted (model and color) in stock and gave me a great price quote via email. So I drove down there after work, but the salesman I had been in touch with wasn’t there that evening. The guy I did talk to informed me that they had already sold the CR-V I wanted, but they had the more expensive model available. Of course. I was reluctant, but I test drove it and went through the first stage of price negotiation, but in the end I decided that I just didn’t want that particular car so I walked away. The next day I got a call from the online sales representative saying that they actually did still have the original CR-V I wanted in stock, and he even scolded me for not talking to him at the dealer. He wasn’t even there! Sheesh. Based on this ridiculous behavior on everyone’s part I should have given them a piece of my mind and then gone elsewhere. But I was a little desperate so I told the sales rep that I would be there that afternoon to buy the car and that it had better be there. It was, so I drove home that day in my first CR-V.
Fast forward to 2015 and things weren’t much different. The day I requested online quotes I got a call from Honda World. It was one of the few phone calls I answered that day since I preferred to get the car negotiations done over email instead. Believe it or not, the same online sales representative that sold me my first CR-V was on the other end of the line. I told him exactly what I was looking for and he assured me that not only did Honda World not have one in stock, but that no other dealer in Southern California did either. First of all, I had email proof that other dealers did indeed have the car I was looking for. Second, isn’t a salesman supposed to make a sale? Luckily he couldn’t see me roll my eyes over the phone. I told him, “Thank you very much. I’ll let you know if I change my mind.” Not ten minutes later he called me back saying that he had found a CR-V for me. I think his strategy needs some work. However, it ultimately did make a sale. I needed a car, and Honda World was having one delivered from Ventura for me. It all worked out. So on April 24th I was the proud owner of a 2015 Honda CR-V. And so far I couldn’t be happier!