Dealer’s Choice: Learning to sell the lemons
Last updated on April 26, 2011 at 08:24 AM

Dealer's Choice is a 1972 Parker Brothers game recommended for 3-5 players, ages 10-adult. Players are used car salesmen, competing for the most money.

The picture on the box shows a sleazy used car salesman trying to swindle a little old lady in a cape and pillbox hat. The game board shows that same little old lady as she barrels through the used car lot test-driving a brightly colored convertible, burning rubber and causing the salesman to hang on for dear life.

In the game, players have competing used car lots. Each car on your lot has a list price- the price all the other dealers can see.

But each dealer has a secret Blue Book that contains the actual value of each car. Here’s the catch- each Blue Book lists a different price for each car.

That jaguar that’s priceless to you could be scrap metal to the guy next to you. And that Model A that’s just taking up space on your lot might be solid gold to someone else.

Cars are auctioned, traded, sold and bought, so it’s your job- whether honestly or crookedly- to get the most valuable cars and to convince all those little old ladies to buy your “lemons.”

If no amount of convincing works, the game also allows you to sabotage your opponents’ lots.

Theft, arson and collisions can wipe out an opponent’s most valuable car. However, it’s possible that the car you sabotage, though it’s valuable to you, might have no use to the other player. Your opponent will be gloating, but no matter what, watch out. Retaliation is likely.

Excluding junk cars, vehicles are valued between $500 and $12,000.

We love this game in my family. My dad jokes that my uncle- a used car dealer- learned everything he knows by playing Dealer’s Choice. My uncle always protests that the game gives used car salesmen a bad reputation.

But somehow, he always wins.

Avatar for seegull737
Bio: Simpson College's How-to guru, Zombie administrator and opera librettist recently became a grownup writing for The Telegraph Herald

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