Stress Free Browsing
I'm not a great decision maker. I have buyer's remorse when I leave an ice cream store. I'm terrified of making the wrong decision, especially when it comes to big purchases, and I know I'm easily influenced by sales people. Then I feel bad that I'm taking up their time and want to purchase solely out of guilt. Realtors, furniture, and car sales people get the brunt of this personality quirk. I desperately want to tell them just to leave me alone so I can look and browse without feeling like I'm wasting their time.
I've researched online, but I'm not ready to be "sold to", so I haven't made it to a dealership yet. I just want to go look at the cars in person, by myself. The only thing I could think of was to stalk parking lots and then hope no one thought I was a car thief as I peeked inside to see if that third row was up and what it looked like.
Then I came across a great idea - go to the dealerships when they're closed. Back when I was growing up, all the dealerships were closed on Sundays. Now, that isn't the case most of the time - many places are open seven days a week. I check the operating hours of my dealerships carefully and aim to get there when it's light out. I've found the best time to go is actually a little bit before the dealership opens. Obviously there are some pros and cons to this method.
The Pros: You can see the car you're considering in person - size, color, body features. You can take your time without feeling any pressure. You can narrow down your list - eliminating what you don't actually like, adding models you may not have considered from a website browse.
The Cons: You can't ask questions. You can make a list of things to ask or research, but you aren't getting immediate answers. You can't discuss how your price may be different than the sticker, so you really can't get a good sense of the budget. You won't be able to take a good look inside the car. Peering in windows just isn't the same. But if you're like me, and you stay on the websites far too long because you're afraid of sales pressure, it's a good first step!