12-09-09 - Possessions

I take very good care of my possessions. I used to be quite destructive of things because I don't like constraints, but I quickly learned that if you're not careful, your shit is in bad shape all the time and doesn't work as well. There's often actually a very big difference between the function of something that's cared for and something that's not. So I make sure my chef's knives never go in the dishwasher or touch other metal or ceramic, I clean and dry my camelback and water bottles every time after use so they never gets funky flavors, I never let any clothing or sponge or towel sit and be wet because that odor never washes out, I rotate my tires and get my oil changes. I lube and clean my bikes and never leave them out in the rain. The amount of labor time and love put into these items far exceeds their value in most cases.

That's all well and good, but someone external can come along and nullify years of work in an instant. It could be an old lady smashing up your well maintained car, or it could be a friend who comes over and chops on a plate with your knife. I enjoy taking care of my things, but it does put me in a bit of a quandary with guests. I find that almost everyone else in the world is so ignorant and/or careless about treating things well that I certainly can't trust them to not mess things up. So I can either be a dick and forbid them use, or I can be a dick and give them a bunch of instructions for how to use it right, or I can be a dick and not say anything but hover over them and wince. This always causes a lot of problems in my relationships.

Anyway it looks like the Prelude might be "totalled" which would be the best possible outcome I guess. I've started glancing at new cars again. I thought maybe I could get a 370Z used now for a decent price. WTF, people are listing the used cars for more than I know I could get a new car for. (for those that don't know, Nissan has standardized "VPP" (vehicle purchase program) pricing that's very low, about $2000 below MSRP, with no negotiation bullshit). I'm seeing used cars for 2000 - 5000 miles listed at right around MSRP. That's *used* for MSRP. WTF, does anybody pay these prices!?


Aaron said...

We got that Odyssey for 18k in a January clearance sale. Used 2006 Odysseys still list for more than that (though I dunno what they ultimately sell for). Clearance sales can be a serious win. Of course, you're a month early and floating for a month sans car may be difficult.

Aaron said...

Oh and no only suckers pay MSRP. There is tons of internet advice on car buying. One linked off of BoingBoing: http://www.boingboing.net/2008/08/13/how-to-buy-a-new-car.html

Aaron said...

A pretty good site linked from the comments of the above video: http://www.carbuyingtips.com/carintro.html

cbloom said...

I didn't mean to imply that I thought MSRP was a reasonable price to pay, I think invoice is a better price to start with. I was shocked that they are listing used cars for MSRP because MSPR is *way more* than you should pay for a *new* car, and that's what they want for their used car.

I am curious if those internet car buying sites are any good. My guess is no. The CostCo service is okay, you can certainly beat it but it saves you time.

Aaron said...

Re MSRP: Ah I see.

Yeah, anything that lets you not have to deal with skeevy car dealers is a plus. Not sure if the Costco thing is a good deal or not, and I have no idea about the online ones.

Unfortunately, I think you have to get near skeevy car dealers even if you buy online or use Costco, though in theory you can just say 'i had an internet thing and you're messing with me' and walk away. There seems to be very little info out there on buying online.. that's kinda scary. I certainly wouldn't attempt it without some pretty complete online how-to guides.

Unfortunately, the 3rd step in the costco auto program's website is a field where you enter your contact info and DEALERS will call you back. They don't even tell you the price you might pay first (or even an estimate). That's just jacked. Why do salespeople even exist? Seems like you could open a car dealership that fully publishes all the info (dealer cost, with documentation), and charge people 5% over that and you'd put all the other deals out of business. There must be some collusion between car dealers and auto-makers to prevent that from happening.

old rants