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The Art of Scamming Oneself

Buying a car has always been an exhilarating experience for some and the worst nightmare of others.  If you’re like me, you go into any major deal thinking that the opposing party is in it to jip you every single time – an assumption that seems to come true more often than not.  This isn’t always the case though, as can be seen in 5 Insider Tips for Not Getting Screwed by Car Salesmen tip number 5, relayed by Chris Radomile, himself a car salesman. Chris opens his argument with the statement that “customers have been taught over the course of decades to assume that they’re getting screwed if they take the advertised price.”  Examining this statement without taking a step back, one might think that these consumers are making a ridiculous choice.  Before jumping to such a conclusion though, one should imagine their own reaction were they to be presented a similar flat advertised price from a salesman.  We instinctively predetermine that the first price we are given has to be one with negotiation room.  Is this always the case though?

Chris continues by saying that when he ran a no-haggle operation, “customers could not accept at face value that I was offering them a good deal.”  It’s an interesting concept to explore.  We’re so used to market clearing prices being something we have to fight for; a luxury that isn’t offered right off the bat, that when we’re offered a fair price, we bat it out of the way because of our long history of negotiation being the sole way to reach a good bargain. Chris sums it up perfectly when he says that “it’s hard to get people to stop playing games, as long as there’s still someone out there who’s sure they can ‘win.'”  It’s scary to think that even when presented with the best possible outcome, we can fight our way into a worse deal, just for the sake of an argument.  The human mind is so complex that when presented with a simple game, more often than not we can over think it and end up in a worse situation than we would were we to follow the most simple rules of game theory.

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