Do you ever have to do something that you dread so much that you continually put it off, turning a bad situation even worse? A couple of years ago I recall spending a lot of effort avoiding the inevitable fact that my car was old, my wife’s car was even older and it was time for me to go car shopping.

start sending me emails, I know I am painting with a broad brush and I’m sure that your brother-in-law is both an honest car salesman and an upstanding citizen. However, I was told once that everyone is prejudiced against something, and I have a strong bias against car salesmen.

You never forget your first time. Mine was with a man named Cruise. He was much older than me and I felt so vulnerable. He was tall, with dark, slicked-back hair, a pinstripe suit with no tie and a shirt unbuttoned midway exposing an enormous gold medallion hanging from his neck that shone like a beacon in a sea of chest hair. His eyes were piercing and his voice commanding. There was no mistaking that he was in charge and I was but putty in his hands.

He was everything but gentle as he took my car-buying virginity. He pulled out all of the tricks. He played the “check with my manager” game, and he upsold me on Scotchgarding the fabric, buying clear coats and undercoats. He even charged me for the floor mats. He said “to be honest” so many times, I couldn’t help but wonder how many times he’d lied to me in our brief relationship. After that day, when I left the dealership, I never saw Cruise again. I felt so used.

So when my latest car started showing signs of age, the thought of repeating this process again opened a lot of old wounds. But, the thought of driving my old heap another mile was equally depressing. I was left with but one choice: buy a car on Ebay. At first my wife thought I was crazy to even consider purchasing a car online. She didn’t know what happened between Cruise and me, and I didn’t want to tell her; so, after my stellar sales pitch, she gave the okay to proceed.

At that point, I was savvy with straight-up purchases on the internet. However, I had never bought anything on an Ebay auction. After I found the car I wanted, I began bidding. This was like a game, and I was instantly hooked. Best of all, I didn’t have to talk to a salesman. I found the car I wanted, at a fair price, and had fun doing it. That was a handful of years ago. I’ve now purchased three cars on the internet, sight unseen. Sure, it’s a little risky. But, much less hairy.