What It’s Like To Be OnThe Frontlines Of The Real War On Women

I am off work this week trying to throw money at car salesmen and they in turn are trying to downsell me.

Incident 1. You already heard that when I was trying to buy a car with a built-in navigator, the Hyundai salesman asked me why don’t I just use a Garmin? value: $2,700 msrp (It’s more than a navigator – it’s bluetooth for my phone and a back-up camera and a music identifier and I want what I goddamn want, ok?)


Incident 2
. I went to a different Hyundai dealership and the salesman there also tried the Garmin line PLUS asked me if I thought that I really really needed all-wheel drive. value: $1,750 msrp PLUS he told me that I would be more visible to the police if I insisted on an orange car. Hello? It’s my own little personal red hat thing, junior. (When I am an old woman, I shall wear highlights #12 and lowlights #7 with an orange car that doesn’t suit me and I shall spend my pension on gin and orchid corsages.)


Incident 3.
Today I went to verify that I love the 2013 Nissan Rogue which I got to know as a rental on two long business trips. The salesman thought I’d save a lot of money if I bought the 2012 because it as essentially unchanged. I told him no, so he went to retrieve the car I asked for so I could try out the equipment I wanted and he brought back a 2012 for me to test drive. value: undetermined I didn’t stay to hash it out because I had to leave when he referred to my fatness. (Yes he did.) ( The one absolutely unlivable thing about the Rogue is that it has crappy fabric like a  reusable grocery bag on the door handles and console cover when I was explaining that my current car has that and its a problem with hand prints and wear, he said something like  “Larger people like you and me have special problems and we need a lot of room to maneuver around.” Dude, I might be fat but I’m not so fat that I rub the fabric off of car doors.)

So there we have it. I have money (cash money) that I am just dying to throw at a car salesman and apparently I am so stupid, uninformed and/or hideous that they can’t bring themselves to take it from me.

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32 thoughts on “What It’s Like To Be OnThe Frontlines Of The Real War On Women

    • But it’s not just the navigator that I want.
      I want the radio to be interrupted for driving instructions and incoming calls.
      I want the on-screen back up camera because I have a touch of the rheumatiz in my neck so I can’t swivel around to see like I used to. I just back up on faith.
      I want luxury in what is probably the last car purchase of my lifetime.
      I want to have one thing in my life that’s top of the line.
      I want. Period.

  1. It’s so crazy the way these sales people act.They must be in some kind of crazy denial world of their own. When has it ever been easy to sell cars? I’d be jumping at every customer….especially if they are asking about a premium package.

    Quick story:

    When my grandfather went to buy his first Cadillac (way back in the 50′s), he went in with his work clothes on. (He owned a gas station and towing biz, so he was probably in grease monkey overalls.) The Cadillac salesman wouldn’t give him the time of day.

    Finally, my grandfather says, “I’ll take this one here.” The salesman was like, “yeah, right.” Then my grandfather whips out a wad of cash. Shit just got real!

    Moral of the story, if you’re in sales, you pay attention to every single customer, no matter who they are or how they’re dressed….because they just might be your one sale of the day. Sadly, a lot of people in sales don’t seem to get that.

  2. More visible to the police? WTH? It isn’t like you are getting into lots of vehicle troubles with the police, right? And that vehicle is not not made for outrunning a Dodge Charger that lots of police drive these days. Spending your pension on gin and orchid corsages sounds like a very appropriate thing.

  3. I worked for some time for a major dealership data-entering sales contracts.

    They make about $100 commission on a new vehicle. Really. The big money comes from ‘after-market’ add ons, warranty packages and of course, used vehicles. A dealership makes most of it’s money from repairs on their vehicles.
    They make MILLIONS from parts and service. Salesmen are paid minimum wage and supplement this with the sales of the used cars and the extras I mentioned.

    If you’re buying a new model vehicle, DO NOT buy the ‘extra warranty’. You don’t need it because the most likely things to go wrong are already under the manufacters warranty. If you’re buying a 5yr old used vehicle, then the warranty is a good deal, because lots of stuff could go wrong then.

    Don’t buy any extra GPS type systems unless you plan on doing a lot of travelling outside your home area, you won’t need it. We managed years ago to find our way around our city, county and mostly our home states without the special and expensive do-dads.

    Don’t pay extra for SiruisXM if you’re not a big radio listener or a music maven.
    If you only spend 15min to 30min in your vehicle, it’s a big waste of money.
    If you live where it snows/sleets/ices a lot in the winter, get the all-wheel drive; it’s a safety feature that will make driving in bad weather more secure.

    As for the color of the car; whatever floats your boat should be your choice.

  4. My hubby and I have had this problem ever since we were young immoral 20 somethings getting ready to shack up. The salesman sold us an unbound carpet remnant because that’s what all the college kids used – we were at least 2 years past college graduation at that point. We still get it for furniture, houses, cars, everything we go to buy. My last car I just waltzed in and told them exactly what I wanted – I wanted the top of the line Rav-4 – luxury to me – because I wanted the leather butt warmer seats. I did not want the navigation system, because I do love my Garmin and didn’t want to spend the money, but the Toyota does do blue tooth very nicely, now that I have a smart phone, and it has a small back up camera that shows up in the rear view mirror. I had a female sales person, and I think she was glad to order up the very car I wanted. My husband bought a Hundai the same day and it took forever as he went back and forth between that and the more expensive Subaru. They kept pushing the Hundai, because it was cheaper. I guess we don’t wear the proper designer clothes or have the most popular hair styles, but good grief, sometimes you just want to drop some bucks. Good luck on the car of your dreams. I love orange.

  5. We bought a Ford Edge (no bailouts!) this year. It has the Sync system with all the goodies you want (navigation, backup camera, music sync, etc., etc.,etc). I love it. Don’t know if it comes in orange, though.

    • And I got a Ford Fusion (no bailouts for me either!) with all those goodies (except the built in nav – I have a Garmin so I can use it in rentals and my old car too) But butt warmer leather seats, Sync, back up camera, even radar on the sides to let me know something is in my blind spot. Have Sirius too and LOVE it! I love my Ford – but I don’t know if it comes in orange either.

  6. When Stu and I were still married, we went to CarMax to buy him a new car. He wanted a Mazda Speed, with a stick shift. They only had one on the lot, which was a light blue. So, we paid $500 up front to have a black one shipped up from Florida. The salesman was nice and polite, and very patient with Stu’s very annoying shopping style.

    Anyhoo… when we went to pick up the black one, our original salesman was busy, so some other guy was helping us. Stu drove the black one, just to make sure it was what he wanted. I didn’t drive it because it wasn’t going to be my car. It was totally up to him to get whatever he wanted.

    When we all got out of the car, the guy looks at me, clasps his hands together, and (in the most condescending tone imaginable) says: “Do you think you might want to learn to drive it someday?”

    Seriously, it was like he was asking a four-year-old if she was excited about going to kindergarten.

    I informed him in no uncertain terms that I ALREADY know how to drive a stick, and, indeed, have been doing so for approximately 22 years.

    He then proceeds to bluster about and say, “Oh, it’s just that most women can’t.”

    I said that all women CAN, in fact, drive a stick… just that most of them a) have never tried or b) just don’t want to.

    I then told him that we would be happy to wait for our original salesman, because I wasn’t interested in having some douche insult me while we handed him $20,000.

    He was stunned.

    sorry that was so long, but it still kind of irks me when I think about it.

  7. Wow! Love your story, Suzette, and love the replies! What a variety of OMGs we have here. What is it with salesmen/women? Maybe just the pushiness?

    Reminds me of my meeting with a surgeon to remove a tiny malignancy in my breast in 1990. Just met the dude and I told him if he had to remove the breast, I would probably do reconstruction so would appreciate it if he kept that in mind with the incision.

    Ole Doc looked at me, “Oh really?” he says, dropping his eyes to my chart, “You don’t seem to be the type of woman who would NEED THAT”….

    Almost speechless while looking at this doctor I’d seen only for two minutes, I did manage to say well, I’ve grown up with two, and would like to keep two.

    Amazing. I do like to mention this once in awhile (to other women), especially when I have a mammogram at the all-female clinic that I use that has a FEMALE surgeon.

  8. Wow. I definitely agree that these “salesmen” are fully participating on the War On Women. Good grief – you know what you want, why in the world can’t you just get it?

    By the way, I think the orange color for your new car will be fabulous. Rock on with your bad self, Suzette, Rock ON!

  9. Hmmmm. Sounds like you need to check out the Honda CRV (loved it when my dad was shopping, LOVED it) and the Ford Escape. Unless you have 40 grand for an Edge. I’d love an Edge, but man, that was some sticker shock.

  10. I used to love car shopping but have now walked out on so many salesmen it’s annoying. There is no place for condescension in sales.

    Hope you find exactly what you want… and a decent person to sell it to you!

  11. Send emails to all your local Hyundai dealers. Specify exactly what you want, ask for their best price. That’s how I got my turquoise Elantra several years ago. I had to go across town some 45 miles but got a really good deal and JUST what I wanted. Hubby did the same thing for his Element — ended up going from Colorado to Phoenix because the savings on the car offset the plane fare. (He’d had a conversation with a Honda dealer in NM who told him, “Well, good luck with your search. Honda dealers don’t do that.”)

  12. coco Great idea.
    We recently got a Sonata and I have a similar-to-Suzette’s feeling about the upholstry fabric. The seat backs are molded plastic which I also dislike.
    But, the price was right, it has blue link, and it’s not made by American union bailout labor so…we decided to lease now that we drive a lot less.
    The salesman was about 10. But he was very helpful, never made any smark women driver remarks and my daughter thought he was cute…so…win…sort of.
    It feels very skittish on a wet road and is severely underpowered. Not assets in Wyoming.

  13. Find out what you want and figure the price. Go into a store and tell them to get it if they are willing to do it for your price. I did that with my last car (a Toyota 4Runner). I was reasonable about the price based on information from Edmunds. I did want 4WD — they don’t deliver many of those to the Gulf States so we had to order the car, but there was no haggling (since I live in ranch country, they get the point that some people want 4WD).
    As an FYI — I didn’t want to pay $1500 for a navigator. My 4Runner does blue tooth on the car and interrupts the radio when I have a call. At least in Toyota’s, the blue-tooth package gives you those things without paying $1500.

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  15. I am commenting again because I’ve fallen under the sway of the 2013 MINI Countryman. It comes in a “true red” color which the dealer in Mpls describes as more orange than red. It has a “park distance control” which is an image on the console that gives you an image of how close the rear bumper is to an object and beeps when you’re too close. It’s a part of their technology package which has the nav/blue tooth/sat radio/etc. You can find dealers and build your own car online. It’s All Wheel Drive and has heated mirrors and cloth seats available. The upkeep cost on a MINI is practically nil as the dealer does most of it for free, e.g., the oil is synthetic and gets changed once a year at dealer expense as are the other scheduled maintenances. I owned a Cooper from 2008-10, so I speak from some direct experience. Well, happy travels in whatever you buy.

  16. Pingback: Birds | Cripes Suzette

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