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Being on this board is like having...(19 posts)

Being on this board is like having...Kristin_CLS
Dec 31, 2001 8:42 AM
...15 older brothers. I wanted to say a huge thanks for the help on car buying. I feared annoying you all. I'm tremendously thankful. During this time and situation in life, I find myself very much on my own in the world. I could not have made a wise choice without the help I've found in friends. As it stands, I don't think I'll ever be intimidated by a dealership again. Negotiating was kinda fun too. Read further only if you want the extended saga! :-)

'begin Saga

I worked out what I thought was a sweet deal on the 2001 Sentra. They were hellbent on having me leave with the car on Saturday. I'm glad I walked out. Always walk out! They had told me their invoice was $14994 and they almost hooked me on this lie. I bet its a standard trick they use. The dealer had installed 6CD changer in the Sentra. A very visible part of the "luxury" package. The $14.9K invoice is accurate w/that package. However, the only part of the luxury package this car possessed was the CD changer. Repriced, the actual invoice was $14094. Busted. In the end, I believe I would have walked away with the car for $10,900 after trade-in <1100> and <1250> rebate. Worked out a 5.99% 60 month load as well.

However, I have decided to keep the Buick for now. I was paniced because several mechanics (2 of whom broker on the side), told me that a Quad4 should be sold immediatly. After 2 sleepless nights I realized that I was making an uniformed choice about disposing of the Buick. If I was going to take a $4000+ loss, I needed more info. I called two mechanics out of town who I trust, and posted on several forums. The answer was unannamous--might as well keep the Buick. I own it outright and there is no evidence that it will go toes up tomorrow or the next day. I've already invested $2000 in wearable replacement repairs. I have another $600 to go. I'll earmark the $250/mo budgeted payment amount for repairing the Buick. Whatever's left over will become a down payment for my next car.

In the end, the cost of buying the Sentra or keeping the Buick is comparable (assuming no big surprises). Since I don't have any emergency savings, I've decided not to pit my only (er...other?) form of transportation against a struggling job market. As a result, I think I will sleep well tonight.

The knowledge I gained from this is invaluable and my next round will be much easier. I learned a lot. Thanks again.

good job Kristinlonefrontranger
Dec 31, 2001 9:11 AM
I agree on what you said about the board.

My SO and I are currently facing a major overhaul on our van ('96 Grand Caravan with 130K miles). The engine is starting to go, which we know from 2 mechanics. It's not imminent, which gives us a month or so to shop. I've been following your car exploits and all the good advice from the board as well.

We really got bent over on the loan for the van 4 years ago when we bought it, because my old car blew up, we were set to go on a long trip to New York the next weekend, and we weren't real smart - bought the first thing we agreed on, and got screwed on a compounded-rate interest deal. Bottom line is we've got a year of steep payments left on a vehicle that's probably going to detonate in the next few thousand miles.

We are in a different situation - both in good jobs and can afford to finance a new vehicle. We will buy an '02 Grand Caravan - there's no reason to switch, since we abused the heck out of the old one, drove it literally to death, and up till now it's been very reliable.

OK, OK, I know a Grand Caravan is about the most soul-less vehicle on the planet. Try fitting a half-dozen wet, tired, muddy bike racers with attendant gear into a BMW, then driving 4 hours.
Sorry to hearKristin_CLS
Dec 31, 2001 10:55 AM
that your van is dying. I really hope my Skylark stays afloat til 150,000 miles. That's what I'm banking on. Best of luck on a good deal. Don't let em fool ya! They're sneaking little... The Nissan dealer even offered to show me the invoice (the one that was $1000 too high). They must have a fake one that they show customers.

Get the dealership to make a photo copy their offer, then take it home and get the Kelly & Edmunds invoice values for only what the car has installed. What helped me tremendously, was to put their figures aside and work just from the online values I'd found.

They said:
Invoice ........$14994
profit ...........+200 Whatever! Profit? On a car they drove!?!
Cash Incentive ..-1250
Trade-in ........-1100

I said:
Invoice ........$14094
Deduction ........-600 (2.4K milage adjustment)
Depreciation .....-300 (a bargain in their favor)
Incentive .......-1250
trade-in ........-1100
Dec 31, 2001 9:45 AM
brothers -- we'll stick up for you to the death, but every once in a while we'll have to hold you down and fart on you... :-)

So I get the full benefit - Joy! :-) (nm)Kristin_CLS
Dec 31, 2001 10:57 AM
don't worry, most of us are older than that :)nm
Dec 31, 2001 2:11 PM
and we all like beating up our little brother for things just like that, or for anything, come to think of about it !
beaters rule!gtx
Dec 31, 2001 10:26 AM
Glad you kept your old car. Granted, I don't depend on my car quite as much as you, but my feeling is, if starts and it's safe, that's good enough. Also, you save on insurance (don't pay for collision insurance--they'll total your car out in a fender bender anyway) and your car isn't depreciating. So it's just maintenance, and it sounds like you've bought yourself some time with that $2000. Just make sure to keep your AAA card handy!

Happy new year!
Congratulations....Len J
Dec 31, 2001 10:50 AM
sounds like a good decision.

Don't underestimate that the reason you have 15 brothers on this board is because you are secure enough to recognize when you don't know something & are able to ask for help. There are many people that are unable to do this.

Happy & Healthy New Year to you too. May 2002 be the year when your life path becomes clear.

re: Being on this board is like having...4bykn
Dec 31, 2001 1:10 PM
I may be a bit old to be your bro', but as your uncle I say good luck with ol' red(the Buick). If you're in the same vehicle next October, save some miles and leave it here on the way to Indiana.
And what's with the new screen name?
You like my new initials?Kristin_CLS
Dec 31, 2001 1:36 PM
When one works in the IT world, it is much desired to get letters after your name. I acheived my first certification on Friday. Certified Lotus Specialist. Not an amazingly coveted title, but its mine. Bummer that it didn't come with a raise.
If you're a Lotus Specialist, why all the car questions? ;-)mickey-mac
Dec 31, 2001 3:48 PM
It's a bad attempt at humor, but it is the end of the year.
No, she must be talking about yoga. NMMike P
Jan 1, 2002 6:16 PM
Lotus is a flower. She's a horticulturist! NMBrooks
Jan 2, 2002 8:55 AM
You like my new initials?mr_spin
Jan 2, 2002 1:33 PM
As a former employee of Lotus, I wonder why anyone would choose to specialize in it! But that's just me, an old, bitter, disillusioned man with a crushed soul. Wait, is 37 old?

Congratulations, though!
I have to work for someone...I need a carKristin_CLS
Jan 2, 2002 2:46 PM
I did not intend to specialize in Lotus...or anything network related for that matter. I was planning to return to school to become an artist or designer or something that has zero earning potential. Last week, I busted open my "back to school" piggybank to create a realistic transportation budget. $600/year for repairs was barely keeping me in oil & tires.

So I've resigned that I will be stuck in the IT industry forever. A right brained girl in a left brained world... Sigh... There is a silver lining though. Bill Gates appears to have tired of his Novell pursuit--lets face it, that mouse bled out a while ago--and his gaze is shifting to Boston. If someone is willing to certify my as a CLP & an MSCE, I should be in a good position when the Notes to Microsloth exodus begins. If my plan works, I'll retire at 55, buy a winter home in Manhatten Beach, as summer home in Boulder and spend my days riding and shooting. Amen!
I have to work for someone...I need a carmr_spin
Jan 2, 2002 4:05 PM
Hey, it's not so bad. IT is the place to be right now. It's the fastest growing part of the computer industry. But it's definitely not for me. I don't have the patience for dealing with idiots all the time. I did Tech Support for a year, and after a while, everyone you deal with becomes an idiot. People who simply shouldn't have computers. Smart people who can't figure out really simple, basic stuff unless you walk them through it. It's mind numbing, but they might get a break. The worst are the smart people who are incredibly lazy and refuse to figure out really simple, basic stuff on their own because they know they can call you. RTFM! That's why I can never do IT. Knowing that some of my friends and most of my co-workers were these very same idiots would leave me a very sad and lonely man.

Luckily, I got into the other side of the business. I get to create some of the problems you have to deal with. Not on purpose, of course. We blame it on sales/marketing for giving us poor requirements and promising too much too soon, which is often the case. It doesn't matter. In the end, it all ends up in your lap, right?
You had smart users?Kristin_CLS
Jan 2, 2002 10:09 PM
You lucky dog! My users are mostly promoted custodians and wrench monkeys. I'm lucky when I find one who can use Windows & a mouse.

I wasn't gonna go there, but I'm guessing you were at Iris. I'll trust that you weren't responsible for the user interface. You seem too smart for that. :-) Lotus should have farmed out there user interface long ago. Its the cement in their shoes (personal opinion). Though I just saw the iNotes interface--there may be light at the end of the tunnel. Then again, it was a demo.

In all honesty. I think Domino is a fine back-end. But 8 out of 10 people hate the client. And I have to laugh over magical state of re-appearing bugs. We were elated to learn that the N&A lookup bug was finally addressed in 5.09. Wooho...oh wait...we can't load it cuz of the new bug. By 5.10, they'll have broken the name & address lookup feature again. Ah, but I find comfort in the reliability of Lotus' bugs. Lotus bugs are very dependable. And some quite durable to boot.

No offense intended...its all in good fun. Honestly, I couldn't write code to save my life.
You had smart users?mr_spin
Jan 3, 2002 8:26 AM
I did have smart users back at my Tech Support job. About half knew what they were doing but went too far, or were smart enough to admit that they screwed up and needed help. One of our regular callers was LSD guru Timothy Leary! The other half of the callers were beyond stupid. This was at a company in Santa Monica that did disk utilities, so you can imagine the damage people could do! After a year I got out of support and into Engineering, which saved my sanity and gave me a career. Those were the days.

Thankfully, I never worked on Notes. I did have to deal with some of their source code and it was awful, unreadable stuff. I worked on cc:Mail, which was the poor stepchild in the Lotus family, even though it was the #1 Email system in the world and made tons of money for years. There was a big rivalry between Notes and cc:Mail, especially because the Notes people were really, really, seriously arrogant. But then everyone at Lotus was pretty arrogant, especially back in Cambridge. Then the reality hit that 1-2-3 wasn't selling anymore! But IBM swooped in and saved the day, making no secret that all they wanted was Notes, which swelled the heads and wallets of the Notes people to unimaginable size. That was my cue to get out.
I have to work for someone...I need a carmorey
Jan 3, 2002 11:43 AM
IT is similar to being a Physician and have idiots that have the temerity to eat shit, get fat, get sick etc. Maybe, we should go into the computer business where everyone is so smart!