It was in the middle of bumfuck, CA... Manteca, which is just on the other side of I-5 from Tracy. I spotted it on cars.com, called to make sure it was a 5-speed, and then did my homework to figure out what the various bluebook prices on it were.
I was prepared to play hardball, and I did. After I test drove it, the salesdroid took me into his office and attempted to do the deal thing. I just looked at him and said, "I'll write you a check for $X right now." X was about 20% less than the listed price.
He went off to play the sales manager game, and I just waited. He came back with the paperwork that showed me what the asking price was, and then suggested 90% of the listed price. I immediately countered with 85% of the price.
"Can we split the difference? 87.5% of the price?"
"We just *did* split the difference."
He turned over the paper and wrote, "I will drive away in this vehicle for $(the 85% price)", and gave me an X to sign. I did. He came back two minutes later with a handshake.
Paperwork was signed, I wrote a check, and off I went. And I discovered that I'd made a better deal than I thought-- I was under the impression that I had to go to the DMV and pay sales tax separately, but the out-the-door price included taxes and all the associated licensing fees. So, in essence, I paid just under 80% of the asking price.