How to Buy a Car, Using Game Theory

So let me lay out how to buy a car.  It’s very easy.  Decide exactly what car you want to buy, make, color if it matters to you, options and so forth.  Then do not go to a dealership.  Let your fingers do the walking.  Telephone all of the dealers who sell the vehicle you’re interested in who are, say, within a 50 mile radius, a 25 mile radius, 75, however far you’re willing to go.  To each of them make the same statement:  “Hi, my name is so and so.  I plan to buy such and such a car today at 5pm.  I’m going to buy it from the dealer who gives me the best price.  What is your best price?”  The dealer may say—the person on the phone may say: “Well sir or madam you can’t buy a car on the telephone.  Come in.  We’ll give you the best price.”  The response to that is:  “I know I can buy a car this way because I know many cars have been purchased this way, so if you don’t quote a price to me I understand that you’re telling me you know you don’t have the best price.  I appreciate you’re saving my time.”  Now they will either say thank you good bye or they will quote a price or they will say yes, but when I tell you a price you’ll call the next dealer and that person will quote a price that is $50 lower than mine and then you’ll go buy their car to which the response is:  “That’s right, so if you can go $50 lower this is your opportunity because I will buy from whoever gives me the lowest price and I need the full total price, taxes, everything.  I don’t want you to charge me $450 dealer prep to wash the car.  I want a full end price.  I will not discuss the price when I come in.  I will come in with a check made out to whoever gave me the lowest price.  If they renege I will walk out.  I will have the second best price check in my pocket.  I will go buy it from them.  What is your best price?”  

I have now bought 10 or 11 cars this way.  I just got an email from a Marine officer who teaches an intelligence course.  One of his students, another Marine read The Predictioneer’s Game, went out, bought a book, had written down what his dream price was for the car.  He beat the dream price by $2,000.  I just bought a car for about $6,000 less than one would have expected.  I have a student who just bought a car for several thousand dollars below invoice.  An Irish Times reporter bought a used car this way.  He said this can’t work, it’s ridiculous.  He telephoned.  He wrote an article.  He said in ten minutes I bought a car for two and a half thousand Euros less than the highest price I was quoted, which was what I expected to pay.  It actually works.  So there is a good example of a simple problem just a little bit of logic.  All the information flows from the dealers to you.  You never ask the question what will it take to get me in this car today other than to say you’re having the lowest price.
 
Directed / Produced by
Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd
 

 

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, author of The Predictioneer's Game, shares his foolproof method for getting your next car for the lowest price possible.

There never was a male fertility crisis

A new study suggests that reports of the impending infertility of the human male are greatly exaggerated.

Sex & Relationships
  • A new review of a famous study on declining sperm counts finds several flaws.
  • The old report makes unfounded assumptions, has faulty data, and tends toward panic.
  • The new report does not rule out that sperm counts are going down, only that this could be quite normal.
Keep reading Show less

Over 40% of workers are considering quitting their jobs

A year of disruptions to work has contributed to mass burnout.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Junior members of the workforce, including Generation Z, are facing digital burnout.
  • 41 percent of workers globally are thinking about handing in their notice, according to a new Microsoft survey.
  • A hybrid blend of in-person and remote work could help maintain a sense of balance – but bosses need to do more.
Keep reading Show less

These 1,000 hexagons show how global wealth is distributed

A cartogram makes it easy to compare regional and national GDPs at a glance.

Credit: BerryBlue_BlueBerry, reproduced with kind permission
Strange Maps
  • On these maps, each hexagon represents one-thousandth of the world's economy.
  • That makes it easy to compare the GDP of regions and nations across the globe.
  • There are versions for nominal GDP and GDP adjusted for purchasing power.
Keep reading Show less

Modular construction: Using Lego-like blocks to build structures of the future

Buildings don't have to be permanent — modular construction can make them modifiable and relocatable.

Freethink
Technology & Innovation
  • Modular construction involves building the components of a habitable structure in a factory, and then assembling those components on-site.
  • The history of modular construction stretches back centuries, and it became briefly popular in the U.S. after World War II, but it's never quite caught on.
  • Construction firms like iMod Structures, which constructs buildings that can be modified and relocated, may soon change that.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast