Car shopping, social media-style
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Some people rely entirely on prayer. I find that prayer yields better results when I augment it with social media. Here was my recent cry to the Universe (made through a friends-only social networking website):

“I need to buy a car right now and I don’t know where to start. I haven’t owned a car in three years! I want something reliable that will run forever and gets good gas mileage. I don’t want to spend a lot and I’ve never bought a car without help before. Um… crap!”

The suggestions started rolling in. Honda Civic. Toyota Corolla. Kelly Blue Book. Names of trusted mechanics. Tips on finding the right insurance agency. Info about smog checks and DVM registrations. Reminders that rush hour traffic is sometimes slower than Caltrain. Reminders that I don’t have to do anything without help, ever, if I don’t want to.

This sent me in the right direction for research, and I quickly narrowed down my focus to exactly what I wanted: a 2000-2004 manual transmission 4-door Toyota Corolla with power locks/windows and in a dark color, somewhere local. Excellent. That was easy.

But then I scoured the listings and couldn’t find one. Well, that’s not true — I did find one, but it was at a really sketchy-looking small used car dealership with a disturbingly bad website. The car went crashing off my radar when I saw the dealer’s horrible “About Us” photo. Um, no.

[This photo is a direct lift from the website. I did not reduce its quality for dramatic effect.]

I went back to my social networks to tell them my tale of woe, and they agreed that the man behind the desk was not to be trusted. Peanut gallery quotes included: “where’s his computer? this is well into the 21st century; every work desk should have a computer at it,” and “The picture looks like he’s finalizing plans to take over the world… from his computer-less desk. Haha! ‘You’re right, Skeletor, it will be as easy as taking candy from a baby! Mu-hahahaaaa!’

Meanwhile, I was decompressing on Twitter, feeling discouraged about the process and getting a lil’ bit silly in my musings. The twitterpaters cheered me up with hedonistic influence and emotional support. I remembered that I was shopping with an army behind me. They had my back.

And then, something magical happened. A friend who had been watching my prayers sent me a link to My Dream Car, being auctioned on eBay Motors from a dealership just south of San Jose. The “Buy Now” price was exactly my budget and exactly the value on Kelly Blue Book. I tried to brush it off as “too far away,” but then another friend offered to drive me there.


Frantically, I asked the Universe for tips on buying from dealers, and it filled my head with suggestions. Then I researched the vehicle history report on Carfax (completely clean) and looked up everything I could find out about the dealership. 400 people on eBay told me they were wonderful to do business with. That’s social media shopping for ya.

I showed up and walked straight to the car. The receptionist quickly tossed me the keys and let me take it for a test drive. It was just as delicious as I hoped it would be. The saleswoman showed up and asked how I was doing. I said, “I like this car. Can I buy it from you?”

She smiled and said, “Yes.”

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11 Responses to “Car shopping, social media-style”

  1. Maria Niles Says:

    “Some people rely entirely on prayer. I find that prayer yields better results when I augment it with social media”

    That’s my new motto. Congratulations!

  2. Koan Says:

    OK, so how about the important details – you haven’t mentioned the audio – does it match up in *that* department, too?

    Congratulations on a successful resolution to the Great Car Hunt of ’08!

  3. sarah Says:

    Audio is awesome. Speakers blast louder than I need them to. Even comes with an aux input for my ipod.

  4. Emma Says:

    Awesome! That’s just about exactly the car I want. But I already have an 86 camry so I am being lazy about upgrading. But eventually!

    I think of God as this kind of thing where the more avenues you have for magic to get to you, the more you’ll receive. So social networking is like creating all these pathways for it to flow into your life.

  5. Severe Says:

    So ahve been car-shoppin three times in tha last 8 years, n ahm gaein ta hafta call “Shenanigens” on you Ah think you totally cheated.

  6. Monica Says:

    I think in addition to getting your dream car, you should also offer to create a new website (or at least photo) for Skeletor the Scary Car Salesman.

    Then you can even make money from this adventure.

    (Or maybe not. It might be a good thing that people get scared by looking at the sketchy pic.)

  7. Monica Says:

    I’d also like to note that in addition to the computer-less desk, all of the papers on his desk appear to be photos or other types of pictures so ScarySketchyCarMan doesn’t have to bother himself with words.

    Maybe you just point to the one you want?

  8. Robert used cars Says:

    “Some people rely entirely on prayer. I find that prayer yields better results when I augment it with social media”

    pretty much act and God will do the rest huh? Both worked for you with that car considering it was sold in your budget.

  9. createmo Says:

    Thank you for your website :)
    I made on photoshop backgrounds for myspace or youtube and more
    my backgrounds:
    Hope you had a good day and thank you again!

  10. Mark James Says:

    Great Site, love the blog

  11. asferty Says:

    One more business, – the aristocrat has continued. – a trifle, but I want, that it has been executed.
    – What exactly? – has taken an interest ??????.
    – On this person – very unusual armour. Carried out of the task, work to removetake off them from ithim and to transfertransmit me. You can receive for it the extra charge to a payment for work.
    ????? ??????
    Mister, you offend me! I – ??????? with high reputation, and I am not engaged in marauding. I recognize, that for heroes and even knights to removetake off an armour with ???????????? the opponent, so noble and notable, – usual business. But it is possibleprobable only on a battlefield, after the open duel.