Rubber And Metal

Each Sunday afternoon I’ve been making an effort to drive a few cars. Mr. G. and I both need new cars and it’s easiest to do all the shopping at once. Given the traffic on our freeways it also makes the most sense to do the test drives on Sundays. I’d like to see the car go from zero to sixty, not sixteen.

I found a couple of cars I really liked, but sadly the dealership will only service my cars, not sell them to me. The sales manager wanted to get my husband in, “for a few hours.” His face dropped as I explained to him that my husband would, “come in for twenty minutes, drive a car and pick the options. I’ll be the one to give you the grind while we talk about money factors, residual values and add ons.”

Before I was married I sold cars. I never went a day without selling a car, even in the pouring rain, even if it was just a mini*. I was consistently delighting the owner because I talked to everyone like they mattered, and everyone liked me. I didn’t even care for the cars I sold, they were just rubber and metal to me.

I don’t like the man I met yesterday.

*you sell a car for the minimum and make $500 just to keep the volume up

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  1. I’m guessing your money would be better spent elsewhere if that was his attitude. How did you hold it together? I would have been pissed.

  2. sam

    Really? Not just that he assumed your man was going to come in to do the man’s work but that he assmed it would take a few hours. Does this person not get internets on his computer? Does he not get that we can know more about the cars than he does before we ever set foot on his lot?

  3. I can’t tell you how many time’s I’ve heard this from car salesmen. Whenever they ask if I’ll bring my husband in, the deal is over.

  4. It would be funny if these attitudes weren’t still so common. So. Incredibly. Aggravating. I remember getting the same kind of treatment when I tried to buy a car stereo once. A much smaller item, even. Argh!

  5. Jen

    I love it!! Good for you!

  6. I say it’s time for you to open up a new business. Maybe you could buy the one that wouldn’t sell you a car.

  7. when i was 22, my grandmother was going to buy me a car. she told me my limit and sent me on my way. i decided that my best bang for the buck was a honda civic. i loved that car. anyways…i went to a few different dealerships before i settled on the one where i was treated like the person who was going to buy the car. i had a woman car dealer treat me like absolute crap, which shocked me. then, she called me a couple days later to see if i was coming back and i told her that i bought it from someone else for the same price that she quoted me only…he treated me like a queen and she treated me like pond scum.

  8. Oh, how I hate car shopping for all the reasons you’ve all cited. My best strategy: have a crying baby with you and get up and leave when they think you’ll cave — they once followed me out to the parking lot to make the deal quickly. Or next best: I’ll loan you my kids. They once talked so much while a salesman was trying to do the hard sell crap he couldn’t get a word in edgewise. It was a beautiful thing.

  9. Firstly, I agree 100% with Sam, who commented above. I feel your frustration at the car salesmen you encountered. How ridiculous!

    In my family, I’m the negotiator. When we last bought a car, I test drove a few cars, researched the automobile that we wanted to buy, how much we should pay, and the features that we wanted. Then, I picked up the phone. I called on October 29th, near the end of the month. I asked to speak to salesmen (and women!) I told each one: “I will give you a $500 deposit over the phone for this specific car and features, any color, that you have on the lot today, if you will sell it to me for this specific price.” One salesman agreed. When I came in to buy the car, I told him it was the easier car buying experience I ever had.

    Do it on your terms.

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