Thursday, January 27, 2005

More than one person has accused me of being crazy, and some have even called me stupid, but something just happened to me which made me ask, "Do you really think me that soft in the head?"

My parents have a Toyota Prius, first generation. I actually talked them into it, and they love it -- especially the navigation system. This past summer, now being a recently ordained priest, I decided to order a Prius for myself. Since my little Hyundai Accent is operating just fine, thus I am not in an immediate need for a car, it did not matter to me that there was more than a year's wait for the car. One of the priests I live with is friends with the sales manager of a Toyota dealership and said he could help me get the best deal possible. Of all the various options, the one I really wanted was the navigation system; which unfortunately only comes in the top option package, and at the time I ordered it, you could not add it solo. So I placed the order, with no obligation to buy, and I was told that the price (before negotiations) would be $26,400 (before taxes & tags).

Today I was shuffling the papers on my desk and noticed my Prius brochure and decide to call to see how far down the waiting list I was. While they told me that it would still be 5-6 months, the salesman asked if I would be interested in a pre-owned (I still think of it as "used") 2004. I said maybe, asking the price and whether it has the navigation system. He told me that the price was $24,000 and that while it did not have the navigation system, they are now able to add that option by itself for $3,000. OK, do the math. I can get a brand new, fully loaded Prius for $26,400 or a "pre-owned," not as loaded one for $27,000. Am I the only one who thinks this is nuts?

The good news, however, is that now I do not need to hold out for the fully loaded Prius; I can get one of the lower, middle option packages (still brand new) which is cheaper and add the navigation for $3000 and it would still be cheaper than $26,400. Even more exciting, these lower, middle option packages they get in faster -- in fact he might have two right now for me, so I could be getting a new car soon. YIPEEE!

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