March 28, 2008
dumbfounded
I went with my mother to buy her a car last night. We went to a luxury car dealership in the Northern Virginia, where everything was shiny and all the people were smiley and for a few moments I was shiny and smiley too. A stubborn, stubborn woman, I am not good at negotiation, but I am good at research. I was armed with numbers and quotes and a brain.

Let the record show that I do not fare condescension well, and I am not a woman who likes to be manipulated, save in situations of mutual adult consent. Within minutes, I wanted to stab the sales guy in the eye with a white hot poker. If not a white hot poker, maybe a pair of those tweezers used in the Operation game. A pair that were whittled in the Stone Age, passed down by generations of females, used with such frequency to remove the genitalia of arrogant men that they were little more than blunt stubs.

I stated that we did not want a car with the extras the floor model had.

“There are no extras on that car. Tell me which ones are extras,” he challenged. “Show me.”

Surely he couldn’t be serious. They were printed on the dealer sticker we just reviewed. I was completely caught off guard.

“Oh, that’s the only way that model is made,” he stated.

Really? Seriously. Because the web site for your brand mothership begs to differ. And I’m pretty sure they call certain features “options” because they don’t come standard. As in THEY ARE OPTIONAL.

He told us they did make the cars we wanted in other far off lands, places like Whoville and Double Crossia, “but that’s the only way that model is made for this area. Those are the only cars the manufacturer sends us.” And we’d have to wait ‘til the new millennium to get a car built without those options, because those special vehicles are made by students at Hogwarts, and, as you well know, sometimes making cars takes a backseat to making beetle dung levitate.

Well if that’s the case, I said, then you can take off the accoutrements like those Ginsu knives and the Maxim subscription and the trunk mat and cargo net, because we don’t want them.

“Tell me why you don’t want them.”

I’m sorry? I need to tell YOU why we don’t want a fucking ferret hammock in the trunk?

He proceeded to open the trunk of the floor model to extol the virtues of the mat and cargo net. “If you spill anything it will get on the mat and not the trunk floor.” Genius, I tell you. “And the cargo net holds things,” he said, actually putting his hand in the netting to simulate it holding stuff and objects and materials. “It keeps things from rolling around in your trunk.”

Really? Like groceries and stuff our working businessman husband brings home for us to cook? That’s funny, because I always assumed they were for holding our newborns as we carpooled to Tupperware parties.

At one point during our floor model inspection he actually put his arm around me and said something about how I clearly tell my mom how to make her decisions. I wanted so badly to hurl him over my head like one of Charlie’s Angels might do, to the applause of all the shiny and smiley car saleswomen in the dealership. And I would have done it if I had any upper body strength and any clue as to how one hurls another over her head.

Finally, we tried to negotiate on price, armed with aforementioned market values and Edmunds info galore, and at one point he chuckled at me. “Tell me where you got this information,” he said as if I had just gotten my multiplication tables wrong. “There seems to be some misunderstanding about your research.” My mother placed her hand on my leg, the button that tells me she knows I want to impale him on his own knowledge erection, but that prison pinstripes do nothing for a Likey woman’s figure.

We didn’t buy the car.

Thank God Opening Day is Sunday. Maybe someone can explain to me that baseballs are hit with bats.


44 Comments:

Blogger Kathryn said...

wow - the guy that tried to sell me my television must have moved on to selling cars in Northern Virginia

Blogger Beth said...

Here's my nifty method for buying a car:

1) I decide what I want, specifically: make, model, options.

2) I walk into a dealership and say: "This is what I want. I'm going to three dealerships. If you give me the lowest price, you get the sale."

Works like a damn dream.

That said, the last guy I bought a car from was Mr. SuperCharming. But he knows my dad, so I figure he was sucking up for that reason, not just because I lack a penis.

Blogger Mamma said...

Oh I love those guys because it's so fun to feel bad for them about their small penises (penii?).

I'll see you tonight, right?

Blogger Skyzi said...

I just bought my car two months ago, by myself. I went to three dealerships and finally got the point: 99.9% of car salesmen couldn't sell beer at a baseball game! I then went back to the two closest dealerships asked to speak with the manager and asked to speak to their highest grossing salesman. I came away with two real quotes and a good feeling.

Blogger Nic said...

What a douchebag.

There's really no other term to describe car salesmen. I had the same issues when looking to buy a car two years ago.

Blogger YCCM'S' said...

If I had a pit, say one similar to the one in Silence of the Lambs. I would keep car salesmen, politicians, and lawyers there. I would lower moisturizer down to them daily and say, calmly and without the slightest hint of malice, 'It puts the lotion on its skin, or else it gets the hose again'. Unoriginal, maybe. Still a nice thought, in it's own way.

Ew, what a sleazebucket. SO glad you did not get the car from him. Guys like that should never be rewarded for their small-dick-compensation antics.

Blogger HKW said...

Ferret hammock is one of the funniest images ever.

My parents bought a new car with no extras, not even floormats. To this day I don't know how they did it.

Blogger Melliferous Pants said...

A few years ago when I was car shopping I had some douche tell me he wouldn't give me a price on a car until he ran my credit report. Um, yeah, riiiiight.

Blogger YCCM'S' said...

Correction...SOME politicians, lawyers, and car salesmen. Lest I use too broad a brush and paint the good along with the bad.

Blogger Erin and Liann said...

I've never read your blog before today, but your post completely and totally made my day.

-Erin

Blogger Mia said...

“It keeps things from rolling around in your trunk.”

Too freakin' funny :) and that phrase could be interpreted in SOoooo many ways. hey, it's friday.. what can i say ::laughing::

Blogger Wendy said...

This is why I only buy cars at CarMax. The price is the price, and I always get a good deal. I would have had a very hard time resisting the urge to tell the guy to go piss up a rope and then hang himself with it.

Blogger Average Jane said...

Okay first of all, NO TOUCHING ME, creepy saleguy!

This is why I keep all my cars until they're *this* close to disintegrating into a pile of rust in my driveway.

Blogger Hillary said...

I haven't read your blog before but oh my hell, you had me laughing. "Knowledge erection" - love it! I bought a car last week and the douchebag salesman wouldn't stop talking to me about the vanity mirror lights and the sunglasses holder. Like those are reasons to buy the damn car. If I didn't need the car THAT AFTERNOON I would have gone somewhere else. Gah.

Blogger Paige Jennifer said...

Ooh, but did he show you the cup holder? They always fucking show me the goddamn cup holder. Kris, you've met me. Do I foam at the mouth on a regular basis?

Blogger kris said...

Yes. But only when you saw me in my pjs.

Blogger MereCat said...

Good lord. It never fails that just when you think you've seen stupid, stupid is reinvented. Again. And Again. I like the part where he showed you what the cargo net actually does. WTF????

Blogger JoJo said...

You must have gone to the same dealership I went to back in July. This is why I only buy cars when there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY to repair my old one. I figure I'm good for at least another decade.

Blogger WildbillthePirate said...

You wondered what happened to all the sleazy weasels from high school went? Look no further...

Blogger Chantel said...

All car dealerships have a website. I usually sort of "order" my car on the site. Then I walk in and tell them that I'm here sign or I walk. I don't understand why car sales and Mfg. haven't caught on that this is the worst possible way to keep business. You would think that they would get it by now.

Idiots

Blogger Ashley said...

I really had no idea that there were actually car salesmen like this - I had always assumed it was just a stereotype.

You should have asked him to get in the truck to demonstrate how it "holds things"

Blogger Ashley said...

make that trunk.

Blogger pmd said...

Ug! I predict this man will not be employed in customer service for very long. Reading your post filled me with a desire to bitch slap the idiot!

Blogger Heather B. said...

There is an excellent reason for why I've been putting off purchasing a car and salesmen make up 99.9% of that reason. I'll have to tell it to the internet someday.

Blogger JordanBaker said...

If they were hit with something cuter, like kittens, no one would watch baseball.

Blogger Fabulously Broke said...

OOOOOOOO I would've IMPALED him with my research!

Man I would've given my foot to have seen you verbally whip him

Blogger KB said...

The last time I bought a car (four months ago) I talked all about the other dealerships I was going to go to. Then I found the car that I wanted and was like "Oh, that optional stuff, yeah take the price of those right off the car b/c I don't want any of that shit"-- they don't have to lose the options, just the price of the options...I mean, why the hell would I pay $400 for a pinstripe? PLEASE.

That guy sounded like an asshole. I don't envy you. :(

Blogger KB said...

I did pay for the ferret hammock, however. Who couldn't use that? The ferret has got to go somewhere...

Blogger surviving revival said...

oh, god... kill.

i walked into a dealership, chose my car, and told the salesman assigned to me "i realize that i look like a little kid, but i'm here to buy a car. if you touch me, show me vanity mirrors or cupholders instead of dscussing the engine, or attempt to convince me to pay in anything other than the cash that i have in my bag, i will walk. let's make this easy. i'm here to buy a car. sell me the one that i want, or i'll find someone who will."

this worked for me.

Blogger lostinutah said...

Oh, Ashley, indeed there are. I actually had one "forget" where my keys were to the car I wanted to trade in because I said I was leaving when they didn't want to give me enough for my car...talk about pissed off and ready to kill!

Salesmen like that suck.

Blogger Kristin said...

Please come out to California someday so we can play. I heart you.

Blogger KathyLikesPink said...

Wow my blood pressure went up just reading your post. When my first husband and I went to buy a car many many moons ago, when we went for a test drive, the creep salesman had ME sit in the BACKSEAT so he could sit next to my husband and extol the cars virtues. I was too young and afraid of being rude to say anything.

That is NOT the person I am now.

Blogger Raz said...

We used to have a family member who worked for a car company, and that was good because we were treated well and got good cars.

A few years ago he died and since then getting a new car has been a stupidly painful experience.

Blogger Zandria said...

Arrggh! Car salesmen are so slimy!

Blogger Bridget Jones said...

Good for you sticking up for yourself!

Think that guy's just begging you to go get a car from another dealership, then write to his boss.

I did that when I got my Honda SI.

Blogger Kelly said...

Holy EFF! Carsalescreatures make me angrier than angry... Furiouser than furious. Insaner than insane.

Apparently, you can contact that dealership manager and rat that poor bastard out. Tell'em that you had planned to buy a car from that dealership, but because of his demeanour of supreme asshatery that you will no longer even consider the dealership as an OPTION. ... and that you'll be blogging/telling your friends around the nation that XX dealership was poo.

They may even THROW IN those options, for the price you wanted!

Blogger Brittany said...

Oh despite how much feminists try, they will never conquer the male ego. I'm so sorry for your tribulation because it will never, ever be lessened.

Blogger Jorge said...

I understand the need for these folks to sell things. They need to eat.
But when it comes to sliminess, it's pretty tough to beat a car salesperson.
I have a strange effect over them. I don't know what it is.
Maybe it's the necklace of the teeth of previous car salespeople that I wear around my neck when I go shopping for cars.

Blogger Mary Frances said...

Ugh. I need a car and you reminded me how much I hate the car salesmen. I have walked out to go to a different dealer several times. Once I faxed a letter to the "fleet manager" at five Subaru dealerships specifying what car I wanted and inviting bids -- I got a good deal. Now I plan to use the Costco car buying service to negotiate for me. Here is a tip for payback -- negotiate the deal as though you are trading in your old car, let them lowball you on the tradein price so they are making their profit there, get a really good price on the new car, and then at the last minute "change your mind" about the trade in and say you are giving the car to your brother. The look on his face was priceless!

Blogger Jennifer said...

Oh, I feel your hatred! I went to a couple dealerships last weekend to find a car, and they are such condescending sleazeballs.

Did you read that article on Edmunds.com called "Confessions of a Used Car Salesman?" It's about how an Edmunds reporter was sent undercover to work at two different dealerships. It had a lot of really interesting information about the tricks they try to use.

Another idea might be calling the dealership and asking for the internet fleet manager. Although they're still slimy, they seem to be able to get you better deals than the regular salesmen.

Blogger EDW said...

I bought my last car, last year, from a woman. It was a joy. No talking down to me, no pressure to make a deal. I looked at the top three for 6 weeks - I'd just pop in and drive it or sit in it. She just hung out and let me buy the way I wanted to, and I love my car. And happily, all those annoying high pressure, demeaning guys representing the other makes lost out.

Blogger Heidi said...

Oh my, I have totallly been missing out on your hilarity. Sorry I'm a virgin to your blog. Love it!

This post would make me want to buy a fully LOADED car and stop by to stay "hello mr penis for brains, clearly your penis is much smaller than your brains, oh what brains. PS you suck at your job"

Blogger t2ed said...

I've actually hired a broker to find a car for me because I hate car salesmen so much.

Now I'm going to write a number down on this piece of paper. What else do I have to do to get you into that new car today?

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