Buying a Car While Female

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Post by eselle28 on Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:58 pm

Due to some unpleasant events this morning, I found myself unexpectedly in the search for a new vehicle. This really shouldn't have been so hard: I went in search of a new car of the same make and model I currently drive, at the dealership where I bought that car. I've never sold cars for a living, but I'd imagined I'd be an easy customer. After all, I know exactly what I want, and they already know my financial details and that I make my payments on time.

Sigh. Instead, I was informed that the model I requested is not currently in production (it most certainly is, and it's one of the most popular vehicles in the country) and ushered over to Upsalesville to look at more expensive vehicles. I realize this may just be the usual sales tactics, but given how I've generally been treated when dealing with car-related matters, I think the fact that I'm a woman who came in without any guy present at least played into the assumption I wouldn't know what car models are available and didn't even merit the usual upsale tactics.
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Post by UristMcBunny on Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:05 pm

Ew, that sounds like an unpleasant interaction. "No honey, you don't want the car you know you want and like because you've driven the blood thing, you want one of these shiny cars! Shiny shiny! Look at the pretty colours!"

Is there more than one salesperson at that place? It might be mean, but my go-to tactic when someone is that condescending to me is to outright ask them to assign a different salesperson to me. I don't want someone who talks down to me and treats me like an idiot to make commission on any purchases I choose to make in spite of their behaviour.

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Post by nearly_takuan on Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:12 pm

Ergh, yeah, this is definitely a Thing. I'm good with tools but I don't have enough actual interest in DIY to learn the language. Doesn't matter; I can walk into Home Depot and say "um I need to adjust the screw-like things on my bike. My basket here has the exact same screws on it, so..." And they'll walk me straight to where the necessary tool is and let me pick the brand I want because the only thing that matters is that it fits. Meanwhile my mom is actually into crafts and she sometimes has to describe her project to the last detail before they'll believe her that she wants precisely the thing she says she wants.
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Post by reboot on Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:15 pm

This is why I only buy cars from Carmax. I pick what I want, know the price, get it shipped to my area and do not have to deal with salespeople
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Post by Wondering on Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:28 pm

Yeah, it's A Thing. When I was single, I just gave up and took a guy with me (my dad, my male friend, my boyfriend) whenever I did car maintenance or buying. I always did all the talking, but it made a difference. (And then there was that one time I went to get my oil changed alone and the guy at the counter tried to hit on me while I was checking out and he still had my keys. silent)

I've had the same sort of problem in electronics stores like what nearly_tauken describes at Home Depot.

I suggest going to a different dealership instead of just getting a different sales person. But that might not be an option for you.


Reboot, how does that work for test driving?

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Post by eselle28 on Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:38 pm

UristMcBunny wrote:Ew, that sounds like an unpleasant interaction.  "No honey, you don't want the car you know you want and like because you've driven the blood thing, you want one of these shiny cars!  Shiny shiny!  Look at the pretty colours!"

Is there more than one salesperson at that place?  It might be mean, but my go-to tactic when someone is that condescending to me is to outright ask them to assign a different salesperson to me.  I don't want someone who talks down to me and treats me like an idiot to make commission on any purchases I choose to make in spite of their behaviour.

Yes, it's just that frustration, and he did in fact push the cosmetic stuff when he showed me his suggested alternative. The irritation is doubled by the fact that I've done other sorts of sales and have some practice reading customer cues, and I suspect that someone who actually bothered to think about me and my professions of love toward a very common, non-glamorous vehicle would have figured out that pitching something like fuel economy would have gotten a lot farther with me.

They do! And, once I very specifically said that I was quite sure the model was still on the market and requested that my salesman look into ordering one from the factory, I got shown to a manager-type person who was very nice and treated me like the not-looking-for-anything-new, let's-get-this-over-with customer that I am, so it wasn't an entirely awful experience. I'm going in tomorrow to see a vehicle they've brought over from elsewhere, and if I get the other guy back again, I'll specifically ask for the manager or someone else.

nearly_takuan wrote:Meanwhile my mom is actually into crafts and she sometimes has to describe her project to the last detail before they'll believe her that she wants precisely the thing she says she wants.

Oh, I'm sorry your mom has to deal with that! I have friends who've had similar experiences, and it's particularly been crafters rather than women going to hardware stores for home repair items. You think at some point, stores would figure out that there are whole chains of stores that support themselves on the business of crafting, and that they should cultivate these customers (especially since some of them are willing to spend loads on their hobby) rather than condescend to them.

reboot wrote:This is why I only buy cars from Carmax. I pick what I want, know the price, get it shipped to my area and do not have to deal with salespeople

That sounds absolutely wonderful. This time, I unfortunately think the dealership is the best way of handling the need to sell my car, get my insurance settlement, and obtain a new car, but I definitely want to try that out if I'm ever in a less-pressured situation!

Wondering wrote:Yeah, it's A Thing. When I was single, I just gave up and took a guy with me (my dad, my male friend, my boyfriend) whenever I did car maintenance or buying. I always did all the talking, but it made a difference. (And then there was that one time I went to get my oil changed alone and the guy at the counter tried to hit on me while I was checking out and he still had my keys. silent)

I've had the same sort of problem in electronics stores like what nearly_tauken describes at Home Depot.

I suggest going to a different dealership instead of just getting a different sales person. But that might not be an option for you.

Ugh, creepy! And, yeah, I've had that happen to me when buying electronics as well. Snobby electronics salesmen were one of the reasons I switched to buying that sort of thing online.

Different dealership isn't an option, unfortunately. There's only one in town!
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Post by reboot on Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:54 pm

Honestly you can do that with Carmax. They can buy your current car and sell you the new one on the same day. They do the assessment right there and give you a price that you can roll into the new car. I did this with my current car and the whole thing took an hour. I was even able to register it there.

It is nice because there is no commission involved. The prices come between traditional dealership (low end) and private sales (high end) for selling your car. And there is no haggling, upsales, or any of that BS.
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Post by eselle28 on Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:56 pm

reboot wrote:Honestly you can do that with Carmax. They can buy your current car and sell you the new one on the same day. They do the assessment right there and give you a price that you can roll into the new car. I did this with my current car and the whole thing took an hour. I was even able to register it there.

It is nice because there is no commission involved. The prices come between traditional dealership (low end) and private sales (high end) for selling your car. And there is no haggling, upsales, or any of that BS.

Oh. Really. I had known about them, but hadn't realized they were so full service. I don't have any commitments to buy at the dealership, so I'm going to head over to their site right about now. Seems like they're perfect for me, given that I know what I'd like to buy. Thank you for the recommendation, reboot! (Nerd Loungers have some good tips!)
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Post by reboot on Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:59 pm

Hope it works out! It is seriously so much easier than the whole dealership scene, or at least always has been for me and all my friends/family (who now all use it too)
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Post by waxingjaney on Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:09 pm

Carmax is one way to go, but if you already know exactly what you want, another option is to conduct the entire negotiation via email with the Internet sales manager. "I want X, I will pay $Y for it." and go from there. Only time you have to set foot on the lot is to pick up the car and pay for it.
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