My wife, Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, wants a newer, smaller car with an automatic transmission. For the sake of our discussion, let’s call this newer car a Simca. Some of her friends drive Simcas. Although she has yet to drive one, she sat in two or three belonging to her friends and discovered that she can easily get in and out of it. There’s room in the back for her walker.

Her 1999 Rav-4 has only 277,000 miles on it, looks good and is rust free. She keeps it polished like a bottle. But you might know from experience that when there is even the smell of anything above the weekly food allowance about to be deposited into an account, there is always someone close to home who will find an excuse to spend it.

Marsha bought her car way back when, and I bought my truck before that, so we have no negotiating skills.

I turned to Facebook for help. My Facebook is infested with grizzled, retired professors, who might have met me through my radio show, and neighbors, often my relatives, who also exude wisdom. For years this unlikely coalition has publicly criticized almost everything I’ve posted. All I had to do was hint that Marsha wanted a newer car, and they pounced.

Knowing me well, their warnings were elementary. “Never buy a car that has been submerged.” “When you buy a new car, it loses a big chunk of its value the minute you drive it off the lot.”

Frank, way out in Arizona, put me in touch with Don, whose hobby is helping his Maine friends negotiate with car salesmen. He called me. I learned that buying a car involves a ballet about as complicated as the mating of wild turkeys.

Don said, “It is difficult to get a great deal on a used car like the (Simca), as they have strong demand for them. If you cannot afford a new one, then the best you can do is to attempt to minimize their profit through negotiating up to their dream asking price. As for pricing, the sites to see what folks are asking for cars are Craigslist and Autotrader, book values can be seen at NADA, Edmunds and Kelley.”

OK. You already knew all of the above, but you might not know this.

When your wife wistfully mentions that she’d like a Simca with slightly fewer miles on it than her present car has – in this case, 150,000 – this is what happens. You start by looking at 2010 Simcas, which sell for 5,000 or 6,000 dollars, but within a week she’s gradually eased you up to where you’re looking at the $15,000 2015 model that has a camera on the rear door and perhaps a back channel to the Kremlin.

And that is what we decided to get – until Nick wrote, “I just bought a new (Simca) for about 15k, warranties, 0 mileage, bells and whistles. Why would you want a used high mileage?”

Ever since we bought our last new car, in the last century, we swore that we would never buy a new car again. We would get a low-mileage model two or three years old and save that wicked initial depreciation. But now Nick is living proof that a person in the right place at the right time can get a new car for the price of one that’s two years old.

Hoping to email all the Simca dealers in Maine to find the best price, I found their Web pages and filled in all but one of the blanks. As you might suspect, it locked up and I couldn’t mail it in. Without a phone number in that phone blank, the dealers don’t want to hear from you. What they are telling their potential customers is, “No force on this green earth can make us send you our rock-bottom price by email.”

Doing so would enable customers to quickly locate the rogue dealer willing to sacrifice a large profit for turnover.

We’re not in a hurry to get a new Simca. But when we hear ’tis the season dealers are moving out old inventory, we’ll stuff our pockets with cash and visit several of them, keeping in mind the advice of my Facebook friends.

Ron says, “I just make sure my wife is with me and let her do the talking. She’s ruthless and can walk out of a dealership with a walk that says ‘I’m not coming back unless I get what I want.’ “

Peter says, “When I bought my new truck I took a buddy who had been a car salesman. Figured he’d know all their tricks. Turned out he sided with the salesman and they double teamed me!”

The humble Farmer can be heard Friday nights at 7 on WHPW (97.3 FM) and visited at his website:

www.thehumblefarmer.com/ MainePrivateRadio.html