The deliberately constructed adversarial relationship causes way more pain and trouble than it should
Buying a car in the US is just too damn much of a pain-in-the-ass. The entire system is set up as an adversarial system of you vs the dealership where the cost of a mistake can be thousands of dollars.
I do not begrudge the dealership attempting to make money - they are providing a service and deserve compensation - but the system is set up so they only make money by screwing the customer... the more they screw... the more they make. And the customer knows it, so they go in expecting trouble which creates a needlessly confrontational system.
And it is also too complicated.
In a normal situation
Shopkeeper: "The price printed on this book indicates it will be $7.99. That will be $7.99 plus tax.."
Me: <hands shopkeeper $7.99 plus tax>
Shopkeeper: <hands me the book>
end of transaction
Contrast to dealing with buying a car
Dealer: "Hello! Can I ask you if you have children? Will you be using your car to commute or just drive around town?"
Me: "Neither of those questions is important, I would like to buy a 2015 Snot Green AutoKar II Model QQL."
Dealer: "I only asked because we have a great deal on the MegaTruk, a very popular vehicle!"
Me: "I am not interested in the MegaTruk, I want an AutoKar."
Dealer: "Of course you do! Let me tell you about the different models."
Me: "I know about the different models."
Dealer: <ignores statement and spends 15 minutes explaining the difference between the L1, PP7 and the QQL model variations of the car>
Me: "I would like the model QQL in Snot Green."
Dealer: "Well looking at the price printed on the sticker on the car, it says $17,000! So that will be $23,000 after taxes, tags, processing, delivery, accessories, freight, cleaning charge, new car charge and holding fees."
Me: "Wait, what accessories? I did not ask for accessories?"
Dealer: "That is $2,000 in special accessories we install on all of our cars we sell."
Me: "But I do not want those accessories, I just want the 2015 Snot Green AutoKar II Model QQL with no accessories."
Dealer: "We can remove them for a $50 no accessory fee."
Dealer: "Wait! I just spoke to my new car manager and he says we can sell you the car for $15,500! So your final price will be only $19,550!!!"
Me: "So the earlier price was just a lie?"
Dealer: "No one pays the price on the sticker!"
Me: "Then why put a price on the sticker??"
Dealer: "So everyone knows the price!"
I do not want to talk to people. I do not want to negotiate the price or go around about what options to get. I want to buy a 2015 Snot Green AutoKar II Model QQL, sell me a 2015 Snot Green AutoKar II Model QQL!!!!!
It is a stooped system and I feel dirty for having been through it over the past week...