FREE With Car Purchase – Confirmation Of Your Bad Judgement!

“There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”

So true. According to Wikipedia the origins of the phrase are unknown, but has been found in references dating back to the 1930s. Wikipedia said it, so truth speaks.

TV Tree

A little while back Jalopnick posted this article about the illusion of getting free stuff when buying a new car.  Some folks apparently think 55′ TVs come from some magical TV-spawning tree that perhaps only car dealerships have access to.

I’m not going to harp too much on the questionable judgement of buying a new car.  To sum that up, for the majority of Americans who suck at money and don’t have much saved up, a new car is a very ill-advised and frankly unwise purchase.  This is coming from a blogger (yours truly) who purchased a new vehicle 3 years ago.

But here’s the catch – I was at the 97% mark of meeting my financial independence number when I did that.  And after driving jalopies for 20 years I deserved a treat. 

Not that the jalopies were bad, they rocked in their own “I’m a frugal dork” kinda way.  And oh yeah, I fully plan on having this new-ish car until Elon Musk is building his second home on Mars and Justin Bieber is collecting Social Security benefits.  So there.

Back to the article.  Jalopnik adeptly highlights the fact that “none of this stuff is actually free.” …. and “it doesn’t take a math genius to figure out that the customer is still paying for this so-called gift”

Finds Out Big Screen TV Does Not Come From TV Tree

Ya think?

They then pick on Mitsubishi for a while.  I’ve never owned a Mitsubishi, but I did own an Eagle Talon way back in by-gone days which apparently was a Mitsubishi Eclipse with different branding.  So I guess I did.

I take no offense to them picking on folks who would buy a Mitsubishi as cars don’t occupy an important part of my ego.  So there, I win.

They sum up the article with

most dealers who use this technique of giving away free stuff to sell cars are looking for a specific type of customer. Someone who is uninformed and an easy target to get ripped off.

Keen observation.

The fact that Jalopnick felt the need to even write this article to inform people that 55 inch TV’s don’t materialize out of water vapor is pretty depressing in and of itself.  But I’m not ignorant to the fact that self-knighted Nigerian barristers still send out emails by the zillions for a reason – they sometimes work.

Here’s the deal, don’t be that uninformed person who is easy to rip off.  Don’t buy a new vehicle unless you pay cash and plan to have it for a long time, and don’t fall for this free giveaway crap.  Lunch is rarely free.

Liking Accidental FIRE? Join the multitudes who get the goodness in their email box!

21 Responses

  1. Team CF says:

    “Some folks apparently think 55′ TVs come from some magical TV-spawning tree ” wait, what?! Now you tell me 😉

  2. I hope the buyer also gets the extended warranty for that TV. Otherwise the repairs might cost more that the TV did!

  3. Joe says:

    Interesting… I’ve purchased a few new vehicles and never got anything free. BTW, I got our (new then) Mazda 5 in 2010 and paid cash. Still going strong. 🙂

    • Accidental Fire says:

      Maybe that’s because the dealerships knew about your blog and they knew they couldn’t put one past you. That Mazda should last you a long time, keep ‘er goin!

  4. DocG says:

    Always buy a car in cash. Nuff said!

  5. Kris says:

    Wow, free TV with a purchase of the car!! Never heard that before. Another way to get potential buyers in their lot. They should do some research first when car shopping and when they are ready to buy, pay it in full so no worries about making car payments with the interest on top.

    • Accidental Fire says:

      I know… I mean the internets are here to help everyone. They just have to do some clicking and reading. I find it quite easy.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Shoot. I totally thought this was way to get a new TV since ours broke a few months ago.

  7. I sometimes take a free lunch from vendors at work. But rarely. I know they wouldn’t have the money to pay for it, if it weren’t coming out of the money we ultimately pay them, which probably comes at the expense of higher wages for US. D’oh.

  8. Sign me up for the dumb purchase of buying a brand new car at 22 years old!

    I got sold on getting all these “extra” protections for things like pothole, tire, and windshield protection (which ended up costing me another 2.5k) even though my car insurance would have protected against all of that…I almost want to smack myself right now just thinking about it!

    • Accidental Fire says:

      Don’t dwell on the past – live and learn. Look at it this way, you’ll never make that mistake again and you got it out of your system early!

  9. Darn it! I just know my TV and car are going to die at the same time too.

    • Hello

      Funny article, I remember in business school a joke about a gentleman trying unsuccessfully to selling a boat and trailer together, he revises the ad to read “boat for sale, and trailer for free” and as the legend goes the boat sold.

      In the example provided it should be fairly obvious that TV is not in fact free as likely the car was market up to reflect the expense of the television.

      In a previous life I worked for an electronics company that offered “free” promotions. Many times Some of our suppliers dictated that we could not sell below MSRP, adding a value-added free item was a way to treat customers well. In these instances, the item was “free” to the customer as we were contractually prohibited from selling for less.

      Other times we offered free items or services that typical were reasonably expensive, however, may not cost us much to provide. I recall customers wanting to unbundle the package and have the cost of the remaining package be reduced by the full retail value of the eliminated item. Many were surprised to learn that even if I could unbundle the issue, the savings would be less than expected.

      It’s certainly an interesting thought experiment, and a frugal shopper should consider items true cost.

      • Accidental Fire says:

        Michael you’re right, sellers can find all sorts of sneaky ways to offer goodies and claim that you’re getting a free lunch. The whole thing about dictating that a store can’t sell below a certain price or MSRP is crap to me.

        Thanks for the comment!

    • Accidental Fire says:

      Maybe you could find a deal where you buy a TV and get a free car?


Drop Me A Comment - What's On Your Mind?

%d bloggers like this: