Don't get sucked in by a luxurious showroom!

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A piece (subscription required) in today's Wall Street Journal discusses the latest tactic that luxury-car dealers are using to lure in customers. No, not better deals and cooler cars. They're pulling out all the stops and offering porcelain tile, maple veneer, complimentary espresso, cappuccino and a selection of pastries prepared by a chef trained in Rome, putting greens, free shoeshines and manicures, massage chairs, etc. -- all in the showroom.

If this kind of thing didn't succeed, they wouldn't do it. But savvy shoppers shouldn't be impressed. Creating a nice shopping environment raises cost which often, in turn, leads to higher prices.

Wal-Mart's bare bones stores are one of the reasons it's able to offer such great deals -- The same thing goes for Costco.

So yeah -- putting greens and fresh pastries are lovely. But if your goal is to get a great deal, consider a more modest setting like the one in the picture. And head over to the luxurious dealers to play golf and sip espresso.

Photo from Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/15566770@N00/160201256/
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