Monday, December 04, 2006

Women Buying Cars

I always felt that it was kind of silly having to bargain back and forth for a car. They should put the lowest price they would accept on it, and I would decide if I could pay it, and we’d all do our happy dance and I’d go home with a new car. All this bargaining must be a guy thing.

With that thought in mind, I went into a dealership several years ago, and announced that I intended to buy a car that day, so “give me your best offer”. The salesman gave me a price that he assured me was rock bottom, and I said no. And, good-bye. Then, I went to another dealer and told him the same thing, and drove away in a new car.

The next day, I got a call from the original salesman and he said he had been talking to his boss some more, and they thought they might be able to give me a better deal on the car I had been looking at. I said, “Do you remember that when I was talking to you yesterday, I said I intended to buy a car that day?” “Yes,” he said. “Well, I did,” I said.

And, he got mad at me. Go figure.

The time came, a few years later, when I felt I just had to part with my beloved eleven-year-old Chevrolet Cavalier. I loved that car almost as much as I loved my kids. But, it was looking pretty bad, and I had the feeling it was about to swarm on me, so I went in search of a new “previously owned vehicle”. Or, in realspeak, a used car.

Actually, I could probably have gotten a couple of years more out of the old thing, but the paint was chipping off and, frankly, it made me feel poor to drive it. It matters not that I actually WAS poor. I just didn’t like to FEEL like it.

The Dodge Neons had just been out for a little while, so I decided to at least take a look at them. Jay went with me to the dealer’s. The salesman came out as I drove up, and asked Jay if he could help him. Jay said, “Mom wants to look at a Neon.” “OK," he said, again to Jay, and led us to that part of the lot.

As he pointed out all the features, I kept asking questions, and he kept answering Jay. This little two-step went on for quite a while, and finally, I thanked him and we turned around and left.

As I peeled out of the lot, Jay told me he was proud of me. “Whatever for?” I asked. “For letting him live,” he said, laughing.

So, then, deciding I had made a mistake in taking Jay with me, I went to another lot alone to look at Oldsmobiles. I saw several cars, and they answered my questions, briefly, because I was the only one standing there. Then, I asked what they would give me for my car. They went through the usual rigmarole – the salesman had to check with his boss, who was the only one allowed to give me a price, and I said “OK, I’ll think about it,” and I left. I had already checked with the good old Blue Book, and I knew they were not offering me as much as they could, so I drove over to Fayetteville to see if I could do better.

Jay was living there at the time, so he went with me again. I thought I’d like to have another Cavalier, since I loved the one I was driving so much, so we went to the Chevrolet dealer, and a salesWOMAN came out and started talking to me. That was more like it! Then another salesman wandered over to us and put his arm around the woman’s shoulders, patted her back, and asked me if she was giving me the information I wanted. I assured him she was doing fine, and he said something else quite condescending about her, again,patting her on the shoulder, and I got distracted with the thought, “It wouldn’t take much for her to move her stiletto heel over onto his instep.” He stood there and stood there, so I left.

At next car dealership, I bought an Oldsmobile for less than the dealer in Harrison had quoted, and got more for my Cavalier than I had been offered.

Then, I cried all the way back to Jay’s apartment. And, he wonders why he doesn’t understand women!!


patsy said...

car dealers ships, gargares and parts houses are for men. i always send my son. i got the new internent thing too. i wish i had not but have learned a little. i have a hard time commented takes forever to get the comment page to come up so this morning i got to looking at tools at the top of the page and turned off pop up stopper and now i am doing ok. i also turned off the thing that checks the pages before you look at them as i go to the sites that i know are safe speed up again. when i finish with all the blogs i read i will turn that back on. live and learn.

Annie said...

Patsy is so pragmatic. She's got the game figured out and will play it when she wants to get a deed done. You, however, seemed to have decided not to play the game according to the old rules and it cost you time and energy, it challenged your peace and your sense of justice. And you ended up handing over the car you'd loved for years for a new one, maybe not quite so lovable.

A few tears seemed to be in order.

susan said...

WHY do they do that? Do they just think the "little lady" is too stupid to understand these things? I'll keep my Shaun forever because when anyone answers him instead of me, he will firmly remind them who was asking the questions and has no problems walking away.

Kudos to you for standing your ground. AND for getting good deals on your car and trade-ins.

I totally get why you cried.

Kell said...

Just driving onto a car lot makes my spine stiffen and the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I'm ready for anything but am always offended by something the salesman says. Grrrrrrr.

Joy said...

I find it amusing that some car salesmen just assume that women don't know what the heck they're doing when it comes to buying a car. We may not know all the mechanical "ins and outs" and technical lingo, but we're not totally inept. We know when we're being taken or not. We know a bargain when we see one. We may ask for council from someone, but in the end it's our decision. Any car salesman who would treat a woman customer with any less respect than a male customer would be making a very serious mistake. Did you know that the majority of married men who are looking to buy a new car almost NEVER make the final decision to buy that car? Do you know who does? Yep, their wives! So Mr. Smarty Salesman....DEAL...or NO DEAL?

Kell said...

BTW, I tagged you. You knew that I would! :-)