By on August 12, 2016

All-New 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

“I do see people buying Chevy trucks all the time, but I call them victims, not customers. That’s different than what I’m trying to do.” Thus spake Scott Adams, known to most of us as the creator of the “Dilbert” comic strip. As someone who has made his living as a commercial UNIX sysadmin, I’m not much of a “Dilbert” reader, for approximately the same reason that Jodie Foster probably doesn’t read The International Journal Of Pinball Table Collectors. There’s only so much trauma that anybody should be forced to relive.

I do, however, read Mr. Adams’ blog, mostly because I’m fascinated by his particular approach to understanding the current Presidential election. In a pair of recent posts, he has taken a break from discussing the “Master Persuader” strategy to complain about the process of buying a new truck from a Chevrolet (or Ford) dealership. Mr. Adams describes himself as a “certified genius,” but as you will see below, the old dealership chestnut that “buyers are liars” applies to even those of us who find the WAIS-IV to be a trivial challenge.

How Not To Buy A Chevy Truck is the title of Adams’ first blogpost on truck purchasing. I’ll excerpt the most relevant part below:

Try looking at the thousands of options for each truck. Then notice how little you know about each option. The infinite options guarantee that you will feel bad about whatever you pick. Science says people get anxious when they have too many choices. Chevy gives you infinite choices for features, and most of those choices matter, because trucks are tools. So there’s no real way to be happy about buying a truck because you’ll always think you could have done better picking options. And you would be right. No one can pick the right feature set out of a million options. So buyer’s remorse is guaranteed at step one, before you even start.

As a former truck salesman, I can say with confidence that Adams is revealing both his position on the autism spectrum and his fundamental unfamiliarity with the mindset of the average truck buyer here. He looks at an option sheet and sees the mathematical extrapolation of potential option combinations — but, I would call his and your attention to the Zen, saying, “In the mind of the beginner there are many possibilities; in the mind of the expert, there are few.” The average new-truck buyer has a very specific idea of what he (it’s almost always “he”) wants from his next truck. He has probably owned several trucks and his preferences are set based on his experiences with those trucks. When he has regrets, it’s not from the memory of a particular RPO code that he unfairly neglected six years ago, but rather it is usually the failure of a particular option or choice to perform up to his desired expectations.

A typical example of the above would be buyers who chose the 302 V8 in their 1990-1996 F-150s over the straight-six; on paper, the V8 was a better choice for not much more money, but — in practice — the 300-cubic-inch I-6 was more durable and just as fast (or slow) in city traffic. A lot of people bought the V-6 in the ’97 F-150 expecting that same durability and torquey nature, only to be sorely disappointed, sending them back to the V-8 in their ’02 F-150 purchase. What can I say; an army is always best-prepared to fight its last war.

Mr. Adams looks at a half-ton order sheet and sees combinations. The typical truck buyer looks at that same sheet and sees paths to specifying a truck that will work for certain purposes. By “the typical truck buyer,” of course, I mean the sales manager at the dealership who orders for stock. He may have particular biases — many of you will recall my stories about my sales manager who had a deep and perverse passion for Medium Willow Green — but, in general, he understands his market and what the buyers in that market want. Go look at all the F-150s for sale in a particular region, and you will see that they are all specced-out about the same way.

I would also point out there is nothing unreasonable about offering millions of option combinations. In fact, this is standard practice for most manufacturers of cars and trucks around the world, whether we’re talking about Volkswagen in Germany or Honda in Japan. Only in the United States do we have this idea that there should be a strictly limited menu of choices — and only lately has that been the case. The root cause of this choice-paucity is the fact that this country is enormous and importers from Max Hoffman on forwards tended to be very conservative people when it came to specifying and purchasing vehicles that had a chance of rusting on showroom floors. The original Honda Accord, for example, was delivered in just a few colors and trims because those were the only colors and trims that the importer was confident of being able to sell across the country to all sorts of people. I cannot overemphasize just how cautious those original foreign-car importers were. I don’t blame them. They were stuck with the product if the dealers didn’t want it.

This notion of limited choices sat very well with the coastal elites who made Honda, Subaru, et al popular, because most of them didn’t particularly like cars and they deeply distrusted the idea of having choices in those cars. If you’ve ever shopped for something complicated about which you did not care in the slightest, like a modern washer/dryer combination or a refrigerator or an HVAC system, you can sympathize. The Berkeley adjunct professors out there didn’t want to build their Accords from the ground up using a menu of a million choice combinations the way a Japanese Accord buyer could (and still can). They wanted to walk in, ask for “a Honda,” and leave half an hour later knowing that their car was in no way inferior to the Honda in their neighbors’ driveways. Naturally, the domestic manufacturers all eventually followed suit with their automotive offerings.

That attitude never transferred to trucks because truck buyers tend to be interested in trucks. When I was a car salesman, I had countless people come into the dealership and tell me, in an exhausted tone, “I just want a car.” Nobody ever told me that about a truck. Many of them came to the showroom armed with knowledge about package combinations and technical details … in 1994. I assure you that the current truck order system suits most buyers just fine. Very few of them are “victims,” to use Mr. Adams’ phrase. They might end up being victims of the F&I department, but anybody who looks at a major light-truck dealers’ lot and feels victimized by vast vehicle selection needs to get a grip on reality.

The next complaint Mr. Adams has is that he can’t get good advice from truck salespeople at the dealerships. In this, he’s at least partly correct. We now live in an era of “system sales,” where the first person you meet at a dealer is almost always a grinning idiot who is content to make $25,000/year. You have to go a couple of levels up in the system to meet anybody knowledgeable. But even when you get to the “truck guy,” you need to have a firm grip on what you want your truck to do. Most truck managers at dealerships can advise you on how to tow a boat, how to get to a remote campsite, or how to specify a truck for snowplow/utility-body/flatbed duty. What they can’t do is listen to the desires and thoughts of a “techie” and somehow distill that into a truck. Rather ironically, that was the job that I had to do when I worked at a Ford dealership. They called me “The Professor,” because I’d admitted in a moment of weakness to having taken 600-level courses, and they gave me all the fruits and nuts, so to speak. I think that if I sat down with Scott Adams for half an hour, I could get him the truck he wanted. But that, obviously, didn’t happen.

What did happen? Ford reached out to Mr. Adams and offered to help him get a truck.:

What happened next tells you we are in a bait-and-switch confusopoly economy. Keep in mind that Ford was highly motivated to help me, and they hooked me up with the best contacts in the company to make it happen, both at my local dealer (an expert truck guy) and within management. They all coordinated to satisfy me. I’m betting no customer ever had so much help buying a truck.

Sounds good so far …

So I described the truck I wanted. This is how it went.

The first truck I wanted (Raptor) isn’t made this model year, but I could wait months and get the 2017. I didn’t want to wait that long.

Did you see the key word in the second sentence? It’s RAPTOR. Scott Adams wanted a Raptor. I can’t blame him. Raptors are badass. But did you also remember that he’d been shopping for a Chevy truck previously? Does Chevrolet offer anything that is remotely like the Raptor? Anything that could be confused at a distance for a Raptor?

No, they do not.

When I read that sentence, I immediately imagined my mentor, Old Frank, stubbing out his smoke, saying, “Buyers are liars.” He didn’t always mean that buyers would lie to me, the well-intentioned salesperson. He meant that buyers would lie to themselves. Scott Adams was frustrated by his inability to get the exact Chevy that he wanted — but as soon as he switched to Ford, he chose a truck that was nothing like any particular Chevrolet product. What that tells me, as a former salesman, is that he would have been satisfied with any number of possible Chevrolet trucks, including some that were on a lot somewhere. He’d just brainwashed himself into thinking that he needed a particular Chevy truck.

Once he started looking at Fords, he was free to abandon the idea to which he’d become emotionally attached — that Chevrolet didn’t have the exact option combination he needed in stock — to pick something totally different. He could have just as easily decided to want any one of 100,000 Chevy trucks in stock across the country. So the true conclusion of Mr. Adams’ two columns about truck purchases is that he, the buyer, is too fickle and difficult to work with a system that, in truth, works very well for about two million people every year. But just in case you needed confirmation about how he’d deceived himself, changed his mind, and in general failed to approach the situation with the analytical thinking for which he is justifiably well-known and well-liked, he closes the second column with this:

It took so long to find a truck that my requirements changed. I don’t think I need one now.

Scott, my friend, I’m afraid that you probably never needed one.

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144 Comments on “In Which Scott Adams Shows Us That Even the Smartest Buyers Are Liars...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I challenge Mr. Adams to register here, and provide counterpoint!

    • 0 avatar
      Pete Zaitcev

      Why would he ever do that? He has a blog platform at this disposal that provides all the reach he needs, if he ever wants to admit that he’s fickle and irrational. He only needs to post _there_, then reap the rich click harvest.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    One thing I like about Honda is the simplicity of ordering. I know a lot of people wish you could get leather without a sunroof or some other combo, which Honda won’t allow. But the pros from this simplicity are:
    – ease of manufacturing, lowering cost
    – simpler distribution system (fewer choices to try to track down)
    – ease of ordering. Pick a trim; exterior color; tan or black interior; drivetrain and whether you want the electronic driver aids. 5 decisions. That’s it.

    As a consumer, I like to know I got a good deal. Yes, I keep financial score, when I should really focus on finding a car I love. But it’s easy to figure out invoice and holdbacks on an Accord sedan LX. Much harder when you have dozens of trims, and options packages and standalone options, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      VoGo,
      Your comment, “As a consumer, I like to know I got a good deal.”

      I do believe all want to think they have the best ever deal. Once a buyer can get into his mind that some one else would of had a better deal than him, he will be happier with his purchase.

      All want to think they are buying the best ever at the best price. It’s only human to have this behaviour.

    • 0 avatar
      PenguinBoy

      With modern manufacturing techniques there is no reason not to offer any possible combination of options.

      By all means offer easy to order packages of popular options, but if a customer wants (and is willing to wait for) an Accord sedan with V6, 6MT, cloth seats, and a sunroof it should be possible to order one – and doing so should not complicate the production process or compromise quality.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        With more and more cars being leased, simplifying, or grouping, options become a necessity in order to get a decent handle on depreciation rates.

        Huge, carte blanche individual option menus simply aren’t sufficiently predictable depreciation wise, to allow for competitive leasing deals.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Penguin Boy,
        We have a unique situation in Australia where our vehicles are “bought” months prior to even making it into the showrooms. So, the people selecting vehicles must make good decisions on consumer sentiment.

        Most of our vehicles are imported.

        I do recall in the “olden days” when you could option a vehicle and it would be assembled as it moved along the production line.

        Now, we get vehicles that are very well equiped, with little in options. There are accesories like, rims and tyres, floor mats, bull bars, driving lights, winches, recovery equipment (snatch straps, tree protecters, etc).

        I do believe this is the best way to buy. As the consumer you are paying less for a vehicle with all the goodies.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      VoGo, the main advantage I see with the Honda trim packages is that I can force dealers to compete directly against each other on cars with the same cost. You can take a deal from Dealer A and ask Dealer B, C, and D beat the out the door price.

      The main disadvantage is some of the trim combinations make no sense like the base sound system in the Sport or two grey-scale paint options with manual transmission.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        The history of trim packages is interesting. It’s one of the key ways in which the Japanese auto industry started burying the Big 3 in the 1970s.

        Short version: it’s cheaper to build that way, you can sell at a higher price, and customers are happier.

        The original reason for option packages and “dealer-installed” options was because it took months to ship cars from Japan to the US, so special-ordering was out of the question. It has huge benefits on the sales and logistics front as well.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          heavy handle,
          That’s what is occurring in Australia with our vehicles.

          Pickups in particular come with all the electronic aids and LSDs/Diff locks as standard, from base models.

          As models to move up there are some changes. So, if you want a truck with more features, you just go out and buy the next model up for around two grand.

  • avatar
    Ben

    Scott Adams has some opinions on things where we don’t agree, I don’t enjoy his comic or his writing.
    However, I’m not sure if you meant your comment about his placement on the autistic spectrum as a joke or insult or ?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Neither an insult nor a joke. He’s a classic Aspie. I’ve worked with Aspies for thirty years. I’m not entirely off the spectrum myself. It’s an observation.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Jack,
        Thanks for your honesty. I knew you had some type of personality issues:)

        Oh, where my fncking “Texas Edition” badge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        I don’t give two fncks about you operating as efficiently as US Post. I have a demi-governement job and I do think I’m a little more efficient than yourself.

        This is not an AS trait. A person with AS would of tended to this by now.

    • 0 avatar
      Austin Greene

      Being an Aspie is a point of pride.

      It is not something shameful.

      Kindly leave your prejudices in the 20th century where they belong.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Austin,
        Don’t take this the incorrect way.

        But, look at how and what context the AS comment was written.

        Jack comes across as a hard ass, apathetic person, but deep down he’s a Teddy Bear.

      • 0 avatar
        Pete Zaitcev

        I’m not exactly sure just how a person may be proud about being sick. It’s not like it’s their own accomplishment, at least in this case (you can become sick by e.g. taking Meth, and then be proud of that).

        As a side note, it appears that Douglas Adams and Jack Baruth are only two people in this who know that so-called “Aspberger Syndrome” does not exist anymore. It is no longer recognized as a standalone disease, but rather an instance of autism. A point at the autism spectrum, to use the phrase from the article.

        • 0 avatar
          Austin Greene

          @PZ

          Being an Aspie is not “being sick”. Just like being gay is not “being sick”, or being a shaker, or wearing corrective lenses, or having a different skin tone than you, or not intrinsically understanding how to apply Boyle’s Law to tire pressure, or calculate the volume of a torus. Despite what you may think these are also not shameful things.

          By the standard you seem to imply, encountering someone who could speak five languages, but could not speak your English, would ‘be sick’. Someone who cannot operate a clutch and stick shift. Or someone who cannot swim.

          I fear for your children, sir, and the biases you model for them. But then again you may not be able to conceive. Something else I dare to suspect that you would also label as “being sick”.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            Those who cannot both operate and appreciate a clutch and stick, are not simply sick, but severely ill.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            “…or being a shaker, or wearing corrective lenses…”

            What?

            I resemble those remarks.

            I’ve always thought that neither Dilbert nor The Big Bang Theory are at all funny – and yet both enjoy much popularity.

            It’s possible that there are an equal number of fans laughing “with” and “at” the protagonist(s).

        • 0 avatar
          AtomB

          Douglas Adams? He died in 2001.

    • 0 avatar
      ihatetrees

      Aspies are common in brainy fields.

      A favorite blog of mine is the soft libertarian MarginalRevolution, run by economists Cowen (aspie-ish) & Tabarrok.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    “This notion of limited choices sat very well with the coastal elites who made Honda, Subaru, et al popular, because most of them didn’t particularly like cars and they deeply distrusted the idea of having choices in those cars.”

    Streamlined option packages improve reliability. Each new variation in the product creates another opportunity to screw things up.

    However, trucks have to solve for a different market problem in comparison to passenger cars because (a) they cover every price point from below-average to luxury levels and (b) some of them serve specialized users who have specific requirements. So trucks have to provide more variations for business reasons, even if those complicate the production side.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      “Streamlined option packages improve reliability. Each new variation in the product creates another opportunity to screw things up.”

      If you’re referring to the idea that a streamlined option package creates fewer chances for the dealership to mis-order a car, I agree with you.

      If you’re arguing that Honda’s policy of, say, offering a V-6 manual Accord in 3 colors in the United States as opposed to the eight colors offered in Canada improves the reliability of the American Accord… that’s different.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        If you want to know how an engineer would do business, then Honda is the perfect model. And it’s no accident that a company that is oriented around the cult of engineering efficiency would limit variety.

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Baruth

          Except that Honda offers a bewildering array of options for other markets.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Just a quick comparison of the US and UK CRV’s:

            -The UK has four trim levels, the US has five
            -The UK has nine colors, the US has ten

            They aren’t allocated identically, but it seems to be essentially the same.

            The UK gets more hot hatches and the like, but the US also gets the truck/utility vehicle/minivan troika that they don’t get.

          • 0 avatar
            yamahog

            It’s probably on a factory by factory basis.

            When they export the RLX / RL out of Ohio, they don’t offer the cars on an option by option basis to customers in Australia or wherever.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Honda offers two Accords in Japan in a total of five colors. You can order an Accord Hybrid EX, or you can order an Accord Hybrid LX. Bewildering indeed. Kind of like that time you said they were a bit player in Japan when they’re actually the number two Japanese car company after Toyota.

            http://www.honda.co.jp/ACCORD/

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        To follow up on this V-6 Accord:

        -The US has one trim level for V6 sedans, with eight exterior color choices

        -Canada has two trim levels for V6 sedans. One of those trim levels offers four colors (or I guess that I should say colours), the other has five. Of the five, four of those are the same as the other trim level.

        So in this case, the US has more unique color choices with that engine option than do the Canadians: 8 vs 5. That may not apply to manual transmission cars, but the Canadians do not have eight unique color choices to go with that engine.

        Across the lineup, the US has nine colors for the Accord, while Canada has eight. Obviously, not every color is available with every trim level, but you can’t have everything.

      • 0 avatar

        Did you get any idea from Scott’s article what actual configuration of Chevy truck he was looking for?

        Seemed to me from his remarks that he could not get anyone to explain even the most basic advantages and disadvantages of various options, such as the choice between gas and diesel. So how could he develop a specific list of traits he wanted?

        After reading his article I was curious, and perhaps you, with far more knowledge of trucks than I, might know.

        Just as he continuously hawks his book, I would think that he could read a book on trucks and get needed information that way …

        I still love his take on Trump, though …

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Note, say, MB Germany.

      MB USA has *6* different C-class options.

      MB Germany has … *23*.

      And options! SO MANY options!

      Reference: http://www.mercedes-benz.de/content/germany/mpc/mpc_germany_website/de/home_mpc/passengercars/home/new_cars/models/c-class/w205/configurator/configurator_w205.html#/p3505

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I’m pretty sure that there aren’t many Americans who are pining away for a 1.6 liter Mercedes diesel with 114 hp. Most of the options that the US does not receive are things that we don’t want.

        The C300 in Germany costs a couple of grand more (not including the tax) than the US version. Yes, that’s right – Americans pay less for German cars than do the Germans. I didn’t compare them directly, but I’m willing to bet that the US base model is better equipped, so an apples-to-apples comparison between the two would probably make the German version even more expensive.

        All of those options just provide more opportunities to get nickel-and-dimed. That’s a bug, not a feature.

        • 0 avatar
          manny_c44

          German prices include a 22% VAT tax whereas american prices exclude state sales tax.

          If you ignore taxes the prices are basically the same in like-for-like models.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Er, when I said that “The C300 in Germany costs a couple of grand more (not including the tax)”, I was not including the VAT.

            If you know where to look, then you can find price lists that exclude VAT. Which is what I did.

            And no, Americans do get better pricing than the Germans. The US market is highly competitive, so manufacturers are motivated to compete on price. The C-class situation is typical.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        The reason why Mercedes has so many options in their home market is that most German sedan sales are company cars.
        That means they are custom-ordered out of a catalog, and the options that you are allowed to have reflect your rank within your company.
        Nobody wants a 114 hp C Class, but a (relatively) junior employee might only be allowed to get that version. Or, heaven forbid, an Opel.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          Europeans are also just more accustomed to ordering their cars. Then waiting for them and pricing them up. So the whole sales process over there is more oriented towards that way of doing business. People get what they want (or at least what they thought they wanted at ordering time), but they pay more for it. And wait longer.

          The US pickup market, due to the sheer volume individual “models” sell, is a good illustration of the pros and cons of both the stereotypical Euro and US ways. You can go “Ultimate Ford”, who stocks 1000 F150s in the most popular configs for immediate delivery, and get 15% off for the asking. Or you can order, wait 6 weeks, and get about 5% “off.”

  • avatar
    JimZ

    Honestly he sounds like he’s just an a**hole.

  • avatar
    427Cobra

    Hilarious… I have to say tho, my recent truck purchase was one of the smoothest I’ve ever done. I had a 2000 Super Duty V10 4×4 supercab. My dog was rapidly outgrowing it, and there was a lot of [expensive] deferred maintenance that needed to be done. I had found a leftover 2015 Super Duty (6.2L) equipped almost exactly the way I wanted. We just couldn’t work a deal tho… $3750 under invoice wasn’t going to cut it on a truck that was soon to be two model years old. I then looked at Ram. Again, I found pretty much exactly what I wanted… crew cab, 6.4L, 4×4, 4.10 gears, & lightly optioned. Of course, when I went in to work a deal, I got pissed when they offered me $1500 for my Super Duty. Granted, it had a salvage title, but still… that’s ridiculous. So… put an ad on Craigslist, & 16 hours later it was sold (for $800 more than I paid for it 4 years ago!). Went BACK up to the dealership the following week, and worked out an even better deal ($10.6k off MSRP). Paperwork took maybe 30 minutes. Was through F&I in less than 20 minutes. No high-pressures sales tactics or up-selling on extended warranties/tru-coat/etc.

    Could I have negotiated a better deal? Possibly… but I was already $1800 below TrueCar’s “exceptional price”… and I was comfortable with that. Better deals could likely be had in the coming months, but I had to expedite the timeframe, since the Super Duty sold so fast. All in all, it was a very pleasant experience. They didn’t run the 4-square at me… they didn’t hold my trade hostage… they didn’t do the hand-off… stranding me in one office after another for hours… consider me aghast!

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    “I’m not much of a “Dilbert” reader, for approximately the same reason that Jodie Foster probably doesn’t read The International Journal Of Pinball Table Collectors. There’s only so much trauma that anybody should be forced to relive.”

    It took me a few seconds, but it was worth effort. Thanks for the laugh.

  • avatar
    FerrariLaFerrariFace

    Semantics.

    “In order to tow my boat, I need a truck.”
    “In order to earn money as a contractor, I need a truck.”

    Those people “need” a truck.

    What you’re talking about is: “In order to survive on planet Earth, I need a truck.” or “In order to take my kids to soccer practice and maybe pick up a sheet of plywood once in the next ten years, I need a truck.” No, you don’t.

  • avatar
    Dingleberrypiez_Returns

    Wow, how pedantic can you be.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Take out the needless dig at “coastal elites” (everyone who’s not an enthusiast, not just some professors in Vermont, wanted cars in stock and a simple ordering process) and this piece is right on.

    Scott Adams comes across in his writing as a deeply unpleasant and not well informed guy, but his psychology in truck buying is just like everyone else’s about almost anything. When we get to know one set of options, we focus on the details — but then when the big picture changes we can be freed from the details, because we’re distracted by the new big picture. The key is to see that that’s happening. Say “Well, I felt OK about a Ford with Fox shocks but without the specific options I wanted in a Chevy… so I can feel OK about a Chevy configured that way too.”

    Right now I’m smack in the middle of a house search in the impossible Seattle market, where there is no inventory and there is literally a double-digit number of offers put in on any remotely desirable house. You have to be very flexible or you will go insane. When either my wife or I get frustrated with the process, it’s usually because we’ve gotten totally attached to something non-essential. Sometimes, looking at entirely different listings can jar us out of that.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “where there is no inventory and there is literally a double-digit number of offers put in on any remotely desirable house.”

      Sometimes living here in Meth-Land doesn’t seem so bad.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The fact is “Buyers are Liars” is very true in the real estate market.

      Sit down with the client and have them tell you exactly what they want, area, size of house and lot, price range ect. Then they send you a listing they “have to see” that they found either on-line or by driving by a house with flyers out front. Of course it meets none, or few, of their “must haves” requirements and has a number of their “do no wants”.

      Then with today’s hot market things get even worse when they tell you that the listing is “ideal” but “can’t go and see it until tomorrow or the next day”. Then they are unhappy when they do have time to see it and it is too late.

      Concerning the bidding wars too many people think that the initial offer is the end all to the negotiations. Fact is that is just to get the house under contract and there are often post inspection and in such a hot market post appraisal renegotiation.

      Example 1: last year I had some clients that did find that house that met few of their must haves and had a couple of their do nots, that they had found. They made an offer, bumping it up over the market price I believed to be true at the time. That did get them the win but then the appraisal came back at that market price. By this time the sellers already had it sold in their mind despite their cries of but they didn’t include the house down the block (that was significantly larger) and the but we paid $xx for all these upgrades and there is no adjustment for that ect, they relatively quickly agreed to the appraisal price. Ditto for one of my own recent purchases, I out bid the competing offer by $2500 and then pulled that back out after the inspection brought up things I knew going in.

      Now in the case of an appraisal issue we are seeing an increasing number of people willing to pay the difference “out of pocket” sometimes by switching to doing an 80/10 instead of a straight 80%LTV.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        “Ditto for one of my own recent purchases, I out bid the competing offer by $2500 and then pulled that back out after the inspection brought up things I knew going in.”

        It’s sad living in a world where this is something one would admit to.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Well that is how the game is played. Fact is that the issues were something that most buyers wouldn’t have noticed but you can bet an inspector or appraiser would have called it out. So the way I look at it I did the seller a big favor because the other bidder would have either tried to get a price reduction or just walked. Because of how the current law in my state we call inspection period the “10 day free look”. There are buyers who will try to tie up the property on day zero, and then keep looking for something better. Now that is something I consider unethical, because there are a lot of buyers who will consider the property suspect because the history shows that it went Pending Inspection and then back to active.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        One reason this is still going on is that I’m not willing to make bids that are over my view of the market price, and then rely on the appraisal to pull the seller back down to earth. Now often the market price is well above the listing price, but these bidders are crazy and go well over it.

        And sometimes they succeed. A three-bedroom house in Lake City that I had my eye on last month closed last week for $711,000. It’s in Lake City, for crying out loud. I had the market value pegged as $630k (asking price was $569k) and wouldn’t have gone over that even if I had put in an offer. I hope that seller enjoys a nice trip to a tropical island, all first class, on the excess.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Regarding that house in Lk City wow, I do love me some MCM and would love to add something similar to my portfolio but that price is beyond insane.

          With the short timeline you suggested, I suspected a cash deal which is why I had to look it up. I was right it was a cash deal. The other thing that will blow many peoples mind is the new owners are 20 somethings, one of which obviously has been pulling down some serious cash at his tech job.

          And yes the seller did some serious laughing all the way to the bank on that deal. I’d be surprised if they didn’t clear over $200K. I mean honestly they didn’t even touch the one bathroom.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      “Take out the needless dig at “coastal elites” (everyone who’s not an enthusiast, not just some professors in Vermont, wanted cars in stock and a simple ordering process) and this piece is right on.”

      “Right now I’m smack in the middle of a house search in the impossible Seattle market”

      If the shoe fits…

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Good grief. The word “need” does not imply the further words “to survive.”

  • avatar
    BigOldChryslers

    SO I read his 3 blog entries on the truck buying experience. Ugh. He is definitely NOT an example of “The Smartest Buyers”. His arguments mostly boil down to:

    1. I can’t find a ready-made truck with the options I have deemed must-haves, and I’m unwilling to wait any length of time for a factory-ordered truck, therefore there are too many options. (i.e. It is statistically unlikely a dealer will stock a truck the way I want it.)

    2. I’m not willing to do any research before going into the dealer to make a purchase, I expect/trust whomever I talk to will be intimately knowledgeable about anything I ask, and I expect everyone to give me the same advice/opinions.

    He really set himself up for failure.

    Next time Scott Adams needs a truck for something, he should try renting one from U-Haul instead. His take on the U-Haul experience would make for an interesting blog post.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      He acts as though he needs to drive a truck with the EXACT options he wants or the test drive is useless. Come on, man. All you need is a truck with the same cab, bed, engine, and choice of 4×2 or 4×4, and you’ll get all the information you need from a test drive.

    • 0 avatar
      mikedt

      Scott Adams has a net worth of $75 million dollars. Why doesn’t he just call up a broker and have them get him what he wants? If I had $75 million I don’t think I’d go anywhere near a mainstream car dealer.

  • avatar
    RideTheCliche

    Lazy recycling of flame-bait writing on the author’s part… or a really unhealthy infatuation with Jodi Foster being raped on a pinball table?

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/review-2015-hyundai-sonata-2-0t-sport-and-1-6t-eco/

    “…the Accord V6 puts the Sonata 2.0T up on the pinball table and violates it while the Camry V6 and possibly even the Malibu Turbo cheer it on.”

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/rental-review-2013-chevrolet-cruze-ltrs/

    “…under full throttle before putting the brakes up on a pinball table and giving them the ol’ Jodie Foster* in preparation for the Outer Loop.”

    Once, funny(?)
    Second time, lazy.
    Third time… dude, get some help.

    • 0 avatar
      Sloomis

      Never in a million years thought I’d be stepping up to defend Mr. Baruth, but as a fellow writer myself (adverting, marketing and business communications) I have to say it’s not at all uncommon to plagiarize favorite bits and pieces from your own past work. I do it all the time. Read any prolific author and you’ll see the same pet phrases popping up every now and then throughout their various works as well.

      The ugly sexism, well, that’s just his schtick, the whole Hunter S. Thompson/Howard Stern of automotive journalism persona he’s going for.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I don’t want to be the guy to tell you this, but there’s an E7#9 chord in at least two Steely Dan songs, too.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      RideTheCliche,
      I think the worst of the plagiarism are the brand fans, think BTSR or some of the Ford freaks.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Because someone, such as myself, points out that your endless and pointless rants on full size trucks are just that does not qualify them as a freak. At least, not in a bad way. Call me a fact freak. Call me a “gonna call you on your BS” freak. Call me a brand freak if you want, but don’t forget, when you’re pointing your finger at someone, there are four more fingers pointed back at you.

        If you don’t want to be called out, stop with all the mess about the Raptor is not a true off-roader because it’s wider than a Ranger. Or, a regular F-150/full size 1/2 ton truck can only tow a pop-up camper. Or, your unfounded percentages of who uses their truck (the way you deem) properly. One need not be a Ford freak (or Chevy or whatever) to see your far-fetched arguments as exactly what they are.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @BAFO – I don’t know of any “Ford freaks” here, except you’re often handed reality based, facts/links included ‘counterpoints’ when you go on attack against Ford or more specifically, the *Aluminum* F-150.

        That hardly makes them “Ford freaks”. They may even own Ford pickups, but if they’re like me, it was just simply the truck that came closest to my specific needs/wants at the time of purchase.

        Yes I know it’s just your “opinions”, even when you come up with *facts* based on nothing but pure opinion and speculation. Some would call it nonsense, to be kind, but at some point, most likely before you ever showed up at TTAC, YOU decided we are way better off with 15 or so, midsize diesel pickup “choices” from all over, including crappy, gross polluting and unsafe stuff from China, Turkey and India, instead of 3 or 4, US *Chicken Tax* “protected” midsize pickup choices in the US, and 3 fullsize pickup brands. According to you.

        It’s clear you’re just here to disrupt the site, and I can’t really see the point of your rage against the F-150, Ford, and the US auto industry in general, nor do I care about its source, but maybe we do enjoy our fullsize and sometimes midsize pickup choices, a bit too much for outsiders, watching from the sidelines, overseas, to tolerate, while guessing the US government has it wired that way. But either way, enjoy the show.

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      Oh man you brought the receipts. This is great. Please keep annotating Jack’s reviews.

      Also, I didn’t get the pinball reference the first, second, or third time so thanks for illuminating me.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I love individual options. Unfortunately they only really seem to exist these days for trucks (and they are quickly decreasing), BMW-owned products, and $100K+ stuff.

    In my dream world every automobile could be fully custom ordered.

    • 0 avatar
      Kendahl

      Porsche still has a long (and expensive) option list. You would have to check most of the boxes to get a Cayman or a Boxster up to $100k.

    • 0 avatar
      ihatetrees

      When I (someday) relocate to a warmer clime, I wanna be that financially irrational guy who buys a custom 3 series. Assuming a stick is still an option by then…

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Lexus still does pretty well with the individual options game. Yes, there are “packages,” but there are a lot of them and they don’t contain that many options. And there are individual options on top as well.

      Finding a used Lexus that’s truly “fully” loaded is an art form. I gave up and bought a LS460 with every option except radar cruise.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    We all lie to ourselves often… (no one excluded)

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Yup. I agree.

      Just read some of the justifications on TTAC for certain vehicle purchases, ie, pickups is a major one with people trying to justify to the world their purchase is not an overkill. They just need to be honest and state “I bought a pickup because I can”, not the usual, “I might need to tow 80 000lbs up through the Rockies one day and my grandkids might drop in so I need a vehicle with seating for five”.

      Or a Canadian classic, “My six foot four, five year old is to big to fit into an Impala or Camry”. Yes, I’ve heard that one for the justification to owning a dual cab F-150. It off course has a 5 litre V8.

      I’d say most cars and the features people buy with them are wants and not needs.

      If you can afford it, why not?

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        BAFO – classic you. Passive aggressive whining like a little girl who did not get his favourite flavour of icecream er diesel small truck.

        You tr0ll because you actually don’t have any factual relevance to North America.

        In some respects you are the fellow in Jack’s story. You pine away for what doesn’t exist in North America and somehow you turn that into some sort of evil thing.

        I have a choice between various trucks and as Jack has pointed out, truck guys know what they want to fit their needs.

        My needs are different than yours and somehow you turn that into a bad thing.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          What?

          I was responding to Principal Dan.

          Lou, why do you insist on antagonising me nearly every submission I make on these sites?

          What is wrong with you? Boy, get a life man!

          Spend some time with your kids or annoy the wife.

          • 0 avatar
            MK

            Honestly man Lou’s right.

            I know you wont believe this and I’m a little sorry to break it to you (AUS is such a fun country when I’ve visited) but in the comments section you really just come off as a more bitter and less interesting version of BTSR but with a huge chip on your shoulder about US trucks.

            I don’t even really give a damn but at least be self-aware about it.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            MK,
            Sorry to hear about that.

            I do believe I tone match those who continually make those unnecessary comments at me.

            If you really study the comments you’ll see where I’m coming from.

            Irrespective of my comments Lou has to add his commentary. So, I do believe I have every right to question him on “why?”.

            As for your input, well, what so what’s your beef? I don’t know who the fnck you are, mate.

            MK? I don’t see many of your comments as well.

            Enjoy the site and toughen the fnck up, and don’t become embroiled in someone else issues.

          • 0 avatar
            formula m

            Go blow a dingo Fat Al

        • 0 avatar
          yamahog

          I think he has a point – we lie to ourselves.

          Heck, my dad traded in his Tundra because (according to him) my brother and I were too big for it.

          Never mind the fact that my mom’s SUV was big enough for the entire family of four (and another family of 4) and my dad was looking for an excuse to get into a bigger truck.

          My neighbor sold his Nissan Titan for a diesel F250 so he ‘can tow the horses’. Nevermind the fact I’ve seen a horse trailer on the F250 exactly once in the last 3 years.

          Maybe it’s because they have wives or some attitude about it, but you don’t really hear people say things like, “I bought it because I liked it” or whatever.

          But I’m on the fence for a Scion FR-S right now and I’m honest about it, “yeah it’s a fucking waste to cast aside a car that works and has been paid off for a few years, and I know I told myself I was going to keep it until 2022 but I have the money and self driving cars are going to take over eventually so may as well burn some rubber before I rent boxes to sleep in while I go to work”

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I’ve bought just about every vehicle I have ever bought simply because I liked and wanted it. Need has never really been a factor. I “need” a good used Corolla, I own a garage full of BMWs and Land Rovers because I “can”.

        • 0 avatar
          mtmmo

          Lou_BC You nailed it.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          @ Lou. When I get to Washington state some time before the end of this year, you’re going to have to venture down and let me buy you a beer, my friend. Spot on.

          I’ll actually be just off I-5, about halfway between Seattle and the Canadian border.
          Rant: 9/11 ruined it. I miss being able to freely visit Canada without a passport. In the past, I’ve spent time in BC, Ontario and Quebec.

          (This assumes “BC” is British Columbia, and I’m 99.9% sure that’s what it means in your username.)

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Mt Vernon??

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Johnny and Lou,
            Wow, what a coincidence!

            I’ll be moving to Washington State early next year, work related ………… for a long while!!!!!!!!!

            Yeah, we can “Get Together”, even Vancouver, even Victoria!!

            I’ll try some of those Canuckistanian Chips with gravy and beers.

            How about it, guys?

            Two Ford guys having beer and myself, an interesting evening it would be.

            Oh, I own a Ford, a pickup. We can talk pickups. I’ll roll up in a Nissan Titan XD.

            To those who think this is a troll. It is not. I’m really moving to WA.

          • 0 avatar
            redmondjp

            Well I’ll join you guys for a pint then – I’m in a suburb east of Seattle, and I’ve got a 1990 F350 4×4 crew cab with a 460 and a 5-speed manual. Gas is cheap enough right now that I could even drive that to the meetup! I’m brand-agnostic, so I can talk all makes and models on their merits.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    I think it’s more that “the buyer is confused”.

    Mr. Adams plainly had *no idea at all* what truck he actually wanted, ex-nihilo; I don’t think he was lying to himself about the Chevy options, just completely ignorant about what he wanted other than “a truck of some kind”.

    Thus his inability to make any decisions as to a Chevy, and picking the one oddball Ford (God only knows what a Ram dealer would have gotten).

    (I can configure a Ford, a Chevy, or a Ram to be something I’d be pretty happy with, though I confess being happier with Ford’s online tools, for mostly pure UX reasons.

    “No, I don’t want random incompatibilities that aren’t obvious to make me re-pick ten things, nor do I want opaque and stupid package codes in my way.”)

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      (And to clarify, none of the above should be taken as an insult to Mr. Adams, like Jack says.

      It’s common and normal to be confused by vast options in a problem space *you’ve never explored*.)

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Exactly, he sounds like me trying to sound knowledgeable on the subject of American football: totally and hopelessly lost. I know what a touchdown is. I know where the end zone is. That’s. About. It.

        Of course, I don’t blog about football to embarrass myself the way he did with this issue. This isn’t a dig at the man himself, its a dig at his clear misunderstanding of this subject, yet deciding to blog about it as though he were an expert, telling the real experts how wrong they are.

        • 0 avatar
          WEGIV

          I used to read SA’s blog. I’ve stopped, because it started becoming clear that while I find his observations in-comic amusing and relevant given my line of work, I find the man and his views on most other matters unpleasant at best. Like his comic, he seems to be satirizing a certain part of technology life: the Silicon Valley techbro mentality that confuses success with expertise, and arrogance with confidence, and generally has a horrible user interface, the worst of which comes out when they don’t get exactly what they want, when they want it, how they want it. People excuse the behavior because “you can’t argue with such good results…” Anything that is frustrating to him is automatically someone else’s fault – a poor design, laziness, dishonesty, etc. He believes that the problem and its solution is obvious, and people are willfully ignorant about fixing it. Some of that is accurate, but the delivery needs work.

          Look at his twitter feed, and I think you’ll find that it reinforces the “he’s actually just an [insecure] a**hole” assertion JimZ made above. It’s equal parts trolling, “defending himself” against anonymous haters, and a sprinkle of MRA misogyny. He dismisses people who disagree with him or find his statements inappropriate as thin-skinned and quick to outrage, which may well be true, but doesn’t invalidate their point in the way that he thinks it does. And I think it’ll also demonstrate that while he may have a valid point about car buying, he also does deserve to be laughed at for his method of complaint. Example: He’s convinced himself that “If experience is necessary for being president, name a political topic I can’t master in one hour under the tutelage of top experts.”
          Put another way:
          Independent of how smart he is or is not, Scott Adams has convinced himself that Scott Adams is the smartest guy Scott Adams has ever met, and he acts accordingly. Hence blogging as though he were an expert, despite exactly the opposite being true. He would do well to remember that “if you’re the smartest guy in the room, chances are you’re in the wrong room.”

  • avatar
    dwford

    It’s so true that customers get fixated on wanting one exact thing and won’t budge on it in the slightest, but when it is unavailable, they don’t buy the closest option combination to what they wanted, they go off and buy a totally unrelated vehicle to what they were just demanding.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I really find it hard to believe people have problems buying a vehicle.

    As has been highlighted to me several times (or more) on this site many invest in pickups that have way more capability than they would ever use. I don’t see pickups as a major issue to most. Pickups are mainly daily drivers.

    I find even Ford in the US packages options is quite a novelety. From what I can gather Ford sells a 4×4 pickup, then it has a 4×4 option package. WTF?

    I do believe the vehicle manufacturers and customers are as much to blame as each other in vehicle purchases.

    The customer should do as much research as necessary prior to buying any vehicle. This not only offers the customer the best possible vehicle to suit his needs and wants, but also protects the customer from up selling unnecessary sh!t by the car dealer (manufacturer).

    If don’t don’t know what you expect from a vehicle, hold off your purchase.

    How hard is it to buy a vehicle? I have “X” amount I can afford and I want these capabilities and features.

    Determine the vehicles that will suit you.

    Select the best vehicle.

    Then spend what you’ve allowed for.

    If your neighbour has a Raptor, does it make you less a person if you end up only needing and wanting a TRD Taco or a even a Power Wagoon.

    Who gives a fnck what the neighbour is driving.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      The FX4 Package includes:

      • 3.31 Electronic-locking rear axle with 5.0L V8 engine or 3.5L V6 EcoBoost® Engine
      • 3.55 Electronic-locking rear axle with 2.7L V6 EcoBoost® (axle is changed to 3.73 Electronic-locking differential if ordered with 2.7L V6 EcoBoost® Payload Pkg)
      • Hill Descent Control™ – when activated, applies brake pressure as needed to descend grades at a controlled speed
      • Off-road tuned shock absorbers
      • Skid plates to protect the fuel tank, transfer case and front differential
      • 4×4 “FX4 Off-Road” decal

      What is the problem with that being offered in addition to the regular F150 4×4?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Adam,
        This is all standard equipment for a 4×4. We don’t have a choice in diff ratios. But the vehicle will do what it is advertised to do in payload and tow.

        I can understand going to greater depths when ordering a “real” truck and it’s intended uses, ie, Cement mixer vs interstate delivery vs dump truck.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Oh, MAYBE because some people buy a 4wd truck to be able to drive in the snow or down a muddy road/driveway/grassy field (on a farm, for example).

          They don’t do true “off-roading” (trails, rocks, off the beaten path), therefore they don’t really need the specific gear ratios intended for such (which, I’m assuming, would adversely affect mpg and/or towing/payload capacity, and/or acceleration/on-highway performance), or hill-decent control, or off-road shocks, or skid plates, do they? So, why should they buy a truck with all that?

          Because people should *only* buy and use a truck how *you* think they should use it, eh?

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        But…but… The Aussies have more choices, you know one engine “choice”, one gear ratio “choice”, one payload “choice”…

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Scoutdude,
          But…but… The Aussies have choices. We do.

          Fourteen manufacturers, just for pickups, including US full size.

          Thanks. As for gear choices. We have mid sizers with 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 speed boxes.

          As for diff ratios, you buy the brand that suits. Or is you need a truck, a real truck you buy one.

          But, as I’ve stated 75% of pickups in the US are SUVs and car alternatives. How many of these people would understand diff ratios. Let alone work out engine torque and transmission ratios to have an idea on what final drive is needed?

          This doesn’t even count the 25% who use a pickup for actual work. How many of these guys would have a clue about gearing?

          The salesman knows? Doubt it.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – We don’t have 14 “choices”, except when you rule out what’s absolute junk or $140K pickups on the other end, what’s left in Oz? Less choices than what we’ve got in the US, and only one class. 4 choices from GM alone in the US and Canada.

            The default gear ratio is about 3.50 for fullsize, higher (numerically) for midsize, unless you specify for max towing, or for max fuel economy. That’s not hard to figure out.

            But you still can’t quantify that “…75% of pickups are used as SUV/car alternatives…” Hint: it’s not even close. That’s 75% of “Trucks”, including minivans, SUVs, crossovers, etc, getting used privately and non commercially.

    • 0 avatar
      ihatetrees

      >>Who gives a fnck what the neighbour is driving.<<

      Sadly, many people care way too much.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Customer research is key. 2 years ago I bought a GMC Sierra. My buddy bought one, and I just basically got the exact same truck. 95% of the Sierras on the dealer lots had the Z71 off road package. This is kind of a beginner package, as GMC will sell a much more expensive off road package as well. I kind of assumed I needed that – not that I ever was planning on going off road, unless you count my yard. It wasn’t until I had a Sierra without the Z71 package that I realized that the regular Sierra is a MUCH better riding truck than the Z71. I wish I had realized that before hand.

  • avatar
    s_a_p

    I dont know that I would call him a liar. I preface that by saying Im not hear to defend nor deride him. I *can* see the perspective though, that perhaps he liked a chevy truck and just figured he wanted it configured a certain way and had a tough time accomplishing that. However when the possibility opened up that he could get a ford, he followed that path down the road to raptor. If he liked the chevy, he knows that there is no chance of a raptor, so he was just trying to find what he liked. But in switching his choice of truck, he realized that he had the opportunity to get a raptor. Honestly, I just started car shopping again, and I’ve considered everything from a challenger to a Q7 to a Raptor, and a million things in between. I am not dead set on any one vehicle type, I just want something I like. So far, Im still looking.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Jack is right on about truck buyers. They’re a fussy bunch and absolutely LOVE standalone options. One customer believes he MUST have the 3.92:1 axle ratio while the next is set on the 3.21:1. Both will likely meet their needs but they are dead set on their perception of what that option means to them.

    It’s clear that Mr. Adams is not in fact a truck customer. He liked the idea of a truck, but then soon found out that truck ownership is not for him after stepping into that world. An Accord would probably suit him just fine.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      If I’m dropping $40K+ on a new truck, I would definitely be very demanding about what axle ratio I’m getting. Although it is very likely I’d request a custom order.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Limited slip or locking would be my 2nd checks on the options list after ratio.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          PrincipalDan,
          My comment above made a statement to the effect of options similar to you wanting a LSD or locker.

          Why don’t pickup truck manufacturers just make them a standard feature. This is a given.

          I don’t know of any 4×4 pickups here that don’t have a limited slip diff or locker as standard, even base models, even most 2WD. It’s a standard feature.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            Because people use F150s and Silverados as commuter vehicles and don’t necessarily need that.

            You can add some of the things in the FX4 package on the F150 without selecting the package.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Adam,
            Why add?

            To me it seems an easy way for the manufacturers to improve profits.

            The cost of these items will reduce if fitted during production as it would cost less to just run a single standard vehicle.

            This would greatly reduce options.

            We just don’t have the options available you guys have as it appears our vehicles are better appointed for their intended function.

            Why sell a 4×4 without a locker or LSD, as I stated this is a given.

            Even the BT50 XT comes with all the electronic traction, braking, trailer sway, stability, Elocker, etc as the GT version. The only difference is the level of bling.

            To me offering basic vehicle dynamic enhancements other than a manual or auto is just laughable.

            It’s all about the manufacturers screwing the consumer out of cash, not much to do with what is really needed.

            Especially a pickup with a light assend and the power and torque they develop nowadays.

            Even as far back as the 80s my King Cab Navara had a limited slip diff as standard.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            Yes, Al, Ford, Ram and GM just need to build trucks only how *you* would order them. Because everyone is exactly the same with the same needs, requirements, desires and issues. Choice should be eliminated, everyone should buy a truck exactly how they buy a Camry: color, wheels that are either steel or aluminum, leather or cloth, base engine or not. That’s it.

            This explains why American full size trucks sell so damned poorly, and why every compeditor who has challenged them has totally destroyed what very little they had going for them by offering fewer choices and configurations. For shame. When will they ever learn?

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Most truck buyers want that. What was the last car where you saw a standalone axle ratio selection?

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      You know, I am going to go out on a limb and say that Mr Adams might be just the consumer that Honda built the Ridgeline for. Someone who just likes a truck but isn’t a truck-guy.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        DevilsRotary86,
        I think you’ve just described 60% of all “truck guys”.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Another [email protected]$$ percentage based on…nothing but your (ill-founded) perception.

          If you don’t understand American trucks (or the millions who buy them every year), why comment on them? You won’t see me making comment after comment on an article about a new Ferrari, or an editorial on custom ordering a Rolls Royce. These are not my strong suits, so I have the decency to leave it to those who know.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Adams’ net worth is $75 million and he created Ratbert (wild fungi & pencil erasers strip!).

    Baruth has bunches of guitars and hair almost as long as his hissy screeds.

    I’m going with Baruth as my role model.

  • avatar
    Firestorm 500

    Most “buyers” will hound one dealer to death for hours to configure and price just the perfect truck.

    Then they will go down the road and buy something cheaper after spending 10 minutes looking at the inventory.

  • avatar
    pragmatist

    One of my first jobs as a teenager was at a camera counter of a department store. Being a photo buff, I was in heaven but wasn’t so hot at selling.

    My boss at the time set me straight. Listen to what the customer seemed to want than pull down three cameras (no more). If you give them too many options, they become overwhelmed and walk. That was one of the best bits of selling advice I ever got.

    That rule still applies now. I never pitch more than three optional proposals to management, indeed one of them is usually intentionally a non-starter for them to throw away. Otherwise we get bogged down in further meetings, committee discussions and delay.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    I’m going to defend truck/car buyers in general here. It is near impossible to be buy the exact car or truck you ‘want’ or even ‘need’ (I’d claim ‘need’ is a lot easier though, as then you will have certain specific parameters to go by) in a predetermined amount of time, if you have a life outside buying cars.
    There are (in my mind partly retarded) ways to make shopping easier though, like being a ‘one brand man’, or hating specific things like diesels, automatics, used cars or certain in car entertainment systems, but still, the amount of options out there are mind-blowing if you take into account all the cars that are available at a given time.
    No one can ever test drive or even look at, all cars that are available, with all options that are available. We have been told numerous times here on TTAC (and it has been proven elsewhere) that you really can’t trust car reviews, and car journalists, even if they knew enough about all cars in the first place, could possible test all cars and give an objective comparison of all possible uses for each car.
    And noe, even in this article, you do to a point out a few instances where being an ‘experienced’ truck buyer can fool you into getting the lesser truck when buying new, so you can ‘never’ be completely sure that there is no other car out there at the price you paid, that could do the job as good as, or better, than the one you just bought.
    Getting into the ‘wants’ is a lot harder, unless you have really really specific ‘wants’ that rule out possible negative aspects of the car- Examples; – ‘I don’t care what a ’69 Charger drives like or how much fuel it uses, when that lottery ticket hits home, I’m getting a bright orange one’, or repeat in silver for a DB5.
    TBH, I sometimes miss my younger years where I had a very very low specific amount of money to spend on a car, cause that made the choices a lot easier.
    And partly because I refused to ever get into anything regarding computers or engineering early on, and because I may share one or two mental ‘disorders’ with both Adams and Baruth,(and one of my favourite colleagues at work IS ‘Wally’) I do love reading Dilbert.

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    Why deconstruct Scott Adams?
    Deconstruct Ruggles.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Literally opened this website with Scott Adams on my mind, he’s an extremely based Californian that writes a lot of interesting articles.

  • avatar

    I’m annoyed that only Dodge, errr, Ram offer orange and yellow as colors for their full size truck. Although you can evidently get a Colorado in orange.

    I miss having a bright yellow truck. Although I don’t miss getting pulled over.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      It’s no fair that the DOTs get all the yellow and orange trucks.

      Though a PennDOT yellow truck with an orange light stuck on the roof would probably get you arrested by State Troopers.

    • 0 avatar
      Austin Greene

      The big Nissan with the diesel is available in a really nice yellow.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Ford only offered yellow on its full-sizers as a one-year-only color. Blazing Yellow F-150s were 2004-only, Amber Gold Metallics were 2009-only, and somewhere in there (2007, I think?) they had the Amarillo Edition Super Duty.

  • avatar
    Mathias

    Jack,
    Rarely has one comma been so deadly:
    “I would call his and your attention to the Zen, saying,[..]”

    That’s not what “the Zen” is saying at all.
    It is, however, a “Zen saying.”

    We needs EDITORS on TTAC.
    cheers -m

  • avatar
    deanst

    Scott Adams is one of the more interesting guys out there, and I suspect he has genius level IQ. That being said, I would guess that his truck buying problem says more about his personality than anything else.

    What more can you say about a guy who spends an hour almost every day periscoping with a few hundred strangers/fans? Last week he was vacationing in Hawaii, and still made it a priority to periscope daily – talk about your riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I always liked how Ford offered the 300 I6 in the F250 as well as the F150. Made it feel less like a base “poverty engine” and more like an engine you’d actually want. Knew a guy with a 4×4 300 powered 89 F250 and that thing had no trouble with any day to day terrain.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      It was also the base engine in the F-350 for fleet/chassis cab models. And the practice as a whole was a holdover from the days when truck engines were I6s almost as often as V8s.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    When I bought my 2000 Sierra, and then my 2003 Ram, after the Sierra was wrecked and just “not right” again, I had no problem finding exactly the truck I wanted, option wise, and in an acceptable color. Due to severe leg injuries, I had to go to a car, a truck, especially a 4×4, is too tall for me to get into safely. When I look at cars online, and “build” my own, I can honestly say that the car I build, which doesn’t seem all that strange, is almost impossible to find within 200 miles of here, Toledo, in an acceptable color. If it’s the right color, it has a deal killer, usually a sunroof, which I neither want, or will accept. If it’s equipped perfectly, it’s an awful/boring color, or it has a stick. I found one, just one perfect match recently. One. I went on the Ram and F150 build sites and found endless matches of the truck I would buy if a truck was possible for me. There might be an option or two I don’t really want, but all the stuff I want/need is there, with multiple color choices. My 2000 Sierra was a perfect match for me, it was exactly, to the option, what I wanted, except it was black. Black is an acceptable color for me, the white twin sitting next to it wasn’t, neither was the silver one. I wanted red as my first pick, but the only red truck optioned the way I wanted it had some really awful looking steps and bed bars crudely screwed onto it. They would have had to pay me to take that crap.

    I would really like to know what Adams’ option list was.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Can’t follow Jack’s logic on this one – he rejects Adam’s issues with truck buying due to the fact that adam’s wants a raptor, a type of truck that Chevy does not offer. Huh? Somehow Jack expects a non-truck guy to realize that not only does Chevy not offer what he wants, but a competitor has the ideal model? This is perhaps the reason why Adams was so frustrated – Chevy simply didn’t offer the combination of options that he wanted.

    • 0 avatar
      King of Eldorado

      I had a similar reaction. Since for reasons Adams doesn’t explain he had previously limited his truck shopping to Chevy, he might have simply been unaware of the Raptor’s existence. Also, as for the Raptor being nothing like anything Chevy sells, that’s not how many shoppers would see it. Based on the two Adams blog posts linked above, it’s not clear how much of a truck guy he is or what specific options his ideal Chevy would have had, but to the extent that a Raptor is a big-tired, wide, powerful, mean-looking version of a regular 4wd Ford pickup, it’s definitely possible (except for the wide-body part and minus the model-specific badging) to option a Chevy to an extent that it is “remotely like a Raptor.”

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        I don’t think Chevy offers anywhere near 13″ of suspension travel on any Silverado. There are aftermarket baja kits available though that provide comparable suspension performance and widening of the track. They also offer kits to increase the Raptor to 16″ if he wants to get serious about his high speed off-roading.

        http://www.bajakits.com/product-category/suspension-systems/chevrolet/silverado/2014-current-silverado/

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      I think you’re misreading it. I went and read the original blog postings. Mr. Adams’ complaints center around three topics:

      1. There are too many truck options
      2. He wants an uncommon option pairing that no inventory manager in their right mind would ever order
      3. When they tried to offer him an 85-90% match, he refused.

      He didn’t broach the topic of a custom order with Chevy. When Ford reached out to him with the possibility of a custom order, he found out he would have been a victim of model year production changeover, and would have to wait (Gasp!) for his ideal truck to be built. He didn’t want to do that either.

      The Raptor and lack of a Chevy analogue was a non-sequitur, except to point out his unfamiliarity trucks in general.

      What it all really points to is an entitlement attitude, that probably partly comes from being wealthy enough that he generally *can* buy whatever he wants when he wants it. Right now he’s a victim of inventory availability, and he’s all butt-hurt about it. For someone who writes comics about life in an office, he has a fundamental misunderstanding of how businesses actually work on the customer-facing side.

  • avatar
    Dan

    I don’t know what esoteric combination Scott was looking for but the stocked option sets here absolutely sucked when I was truck shopping in 2014-15.

    My two absolute requirements were the full sized gas tank along with the short rear end, two options which are only optional at all to please the EPA and I can’t imagine any buyer who gives a damn not wanting. That ruled out upwards of 80 percent of the trucks on the lot right there. Add my strongly-wants of the bench seat, an actual color that wasn’t red, and no dubs and I was down to like six trucks in the entire state and most of those had something else I strongly didn’t want like a sunroof or two toned paint.

    On top of this, the manufacturer inventory search tools gave me no way to search by option so finding this out meant going through a list of dozens of trucks by hand, one window sticker at a time. I’d finally find a window sticker that looked good, look it up the dealership website, and then discover that they’d installed a 4″ lift and bro wheels with a $7,500 DIO markup.

    Aspie or not they don’t make it easy.

  • avatar
    mdensch

    Paralysis by analysis, that’s what golfers call it. I took the bait when Adams solicited advice from his readers regarding buying this truck. I suggested that he was over-analyzing it, that there were probably only 3 or so features that were actually critical to his purchase and use of the truck and that any given dealer would probably have several that would meets those needs. He could then just decide on a color and call it a day. Apparently he had already decided he didn’t need a truck after all.

  • avatar
    NN

    Thanks, Jack. Articles like this are what has kept me coming back to this site for 10 years. Brilliant links and analysis, and I also really like Adams’ blogs on the presidential race. Fascinating indeed.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    Almost a week late to this party, and didn’t go through all the comments first, but a few observations, and apologies if these points have been addressed:

    1. I like the comic strip, but have never gotten into it or followed it closely, since as a county Systems Analyst, I can see the strip play out in real life on a daily basis!
    2. If it wasn’t for the “four trim levels, take ’em or leave ’em” model, you could have an Accord Sport with a decent stereo! (Duh!)
    3. Being in IT, I know all about requirements change, scope creep, and all the other indecisiveness, along with the “eyes on the prize” mentality where the little things are missed in pursuit of the brass ring. Goes with the territory!

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