Sunday, July 08, 2007

No Sale

I consider myself to be an honest person, sometimes brutally so. I have a deep dislike of people who lie to me and I usually know when this is happening. Thus, most salespeople are already pre-qualified for my personal Douchebag Bin sight unseen. The reason why I mention this is that I've spent the last two days car shopping.

In my mind, the customer/salesperson relationship is one of pure mercantilism; two parties negotiating to maximize their respective self interests. The part of this process that I despise is when the salespeople try to circumvent these boundaries with slimy attempts at making personal connections with me. I've got plenty of friends--business is business.

Nevertheless, I go out of my way to be polite and appear generally innocuous, at least until it's time not to. Yesterday, I was at a dealership when I was approached by a saleswoman. She was a drop dead gorgeous, blond, 25 year old, who was wearing an expensive form-fitting outfit. In other words, she was dressed to promote Bad Penis Syndrome (BPS). BPS is a very common male affliction, where the gigglestick overrides the brain and causes poor and often expensive choices. As we were looking at the cars, I noticed that she was being evasive about the prices, preferring to discuss monthly payments instead. This is Financial Assrapery of the Highest Order, because it involves lengthening the loan terms to reduce the payment amount without reducing the actual principal. It only benefits the dealer and it leads to borrowers getting upside down and higher interest rates. Regardless, I took her flirting and attempts to rook me in stride and chalked it up as par for the course. For awhile, anyway:

Saleswoman: I'm sure we can get your payment down to around $475. You could take it today.
Me: That would be a definite improvement. Are you talking about a 72 month loan?
Saleswoman: Yes, with A1 credit you'll get a low interest rate. Most of our customers do at least 60 months with no problem. We can start the application now.

As she made the last statement she did the intolerable--she placed her hand on my back. I absolutely detest strangers, beautiful or otherwise, touching me. If I know you or touch you first, it's different. This changed the tone of our conversation somewhat:

Me (wriggling away): Cool it, sugartits. (Yeah, I really said that). I wouldn't pay $475 a month on a borrowed kidney. I'm sure as hell not going to spend it on a vehicle that's guaranteed to depreciate faster than I can pay it off. Getting upside down is for suckers.
Saleswoman (stunned): didn't mean to insult you. I..uh..just thought...
Me: You thought you had a live one. Here's the news: If you can't tell me what the prices are and how you're going to reduce them substantially, we don't have a lot to discuss.
Saleswoman: Let me talk to the manager and see what we can do.
Me: You do that. In the meantime, I'm going to the next dealer. See ya.

This exchange had me thinking: Maybe there is a way that I can avoid such misunderstandings in the future. Here's what I came up with on Cafe Press:




At 7:41 PM, Blogger Mighty Dyckerson said...

What are you, gay? You had a beautiful woman touching you, and you didn't ask to check under her hood or lube her chassis? Did you at least compliment her headlights??

At 8:16 PM, Blogger Sassy Blondie said...

Oh my...remind me to take you with me the next time I buy a car. I always get the short slick guy with a Napoleon complex. Fucking car salesmen...I hate them. Hope you find something you like though.

At 8:58 PM, Anonymous Alex said...

You called her "sugar tits" -- haha, bet she didn't see that coming at all.

There is something to be said for car dealers who don't deal, where the sticker price is the price, perid. You'll pay more, but there's no haggling involved and there isn't any need for the sales girl to butter you up.

At 9:29 PM, Blogger RevRee said...

Bwhahahahah "sugartits" I love it!

I just recently bought a car, my salesman was "amazing" and he gave me a great deal on a car too!

At 9:57 PM, Blogger danielle said...

ew. i bought a car 2 yrs ago, if a slimy male salesman had flirted with me...gag. i hated car shopping. good luck. i didn't go to a dealer. i bought a used car from an individual and it was a great purchase.

At 10:20 PM, Blogger Serena Joy said...

You're -- buying a new car?! Whatever possessed you? I like the shirt. You should wear it to the next dealership.:-)

At 11:03 PM, Blogger tfg said...

dyck-Actually, I'm not gay. But if I were to switch teams, you'd be my first, sailor.

sassy-I get to abuse salesmen as part of my job, so it comes naturally.

alex-Actually, I didn't really see it coming until she touched me.

revree-You showed him your tatas, didn't you?

danielle-Every other car I've bought was from an individual. Primarily because of slimy dealers and their slimy markups.

SJ-I'm looking at new cars. The thing that I like is the extended warranty, because Baltimore mechanics are uberexpensive. Also, the difference between the rates on a used car loan vs. new are coming into play.

At 11:04 PM, Anonymous Claude said...

I got a good bit of advice from a guy who used to sell cars: get a look at the invoice for the car (they have to show you this, by law), then offer about $800-1000 over that figure. It's a reasonably fair amount in the sense that the dealership makes some profit and the salesperson gets a decent commission.

If you offer less money then the salesperson is the one who gets hurt first, commission-wise, and they probably won't let the deal go through.

At 11:36 PM, Blogger Kalleigh Hathaway said...

Yay, goodbye 93 Camry that probably reeks of cigarette smoke. Wonder if you took my new car recommendation or not (as if I can now remember what it is; I've been permanently distracted by the news that Alfa Romeo is re-entering the US market in 2010). As for Sugartits, I'm glad she ruined the deal before you could had time to admonish the little captain for BPS. I hear that sometimes doesn't happen until AFTER the bill comes in.

At 11:55 PM, Blogger Legaleagle said...

I'm glad you bring up this thing about them only telling you what your payment would be instead of the actual price. That INFURIATES me. How do they know what my payment would be? Did they pull my credit report? Did they consider my downpayment? Noooooo! It's like they pull some number between $300 and $800 out of the air and expect you to jump at it.

Also, I love the phrase Financial Assrapery and intend to work it into regular conversation in the near future.

At 8:34 AM, Blogger Mr. Friendly said...

If you really, really, really want to avoid arsehole interaction at the car lot, bring a fugging clipboard with you when you shop.

The salespeople think you have all the numbers and steer clear.

Even if the only thing you have on the clipboard is porn.

At 9:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or you could just go to my guy at Russel Toyota in Catonsville. He's a no bullshit guy. Done business with him for 15 years. he actually came to my dad's funeral....but then again, my father did buy something like 9 cars from him over the years....

At 9:19 AM, Blogger Broadsheet said...

Ugh - sounds like the slimy older car guy who actually called me "little lady" when I walked into the dealership last time - just before I turned around and walked out.

Wait until the last Saturday of the month. That day alone is worth $500 off the car. Claude's advice is also good. Less hassle.

And WHY buy a new car? Get a slightly used one with low mileage. Mine was a dealer car with only 5,500 miles on it. Came loaded since it was a dealership car.

At 9:26 AM, Anonymous hanmee said...

The woman: bullshit!
The shirt: fantastic
You: priceless (esp. after uttering "sugartits")

Note to self: Dress like a whore when car shopping...

At 12:52 PM, Blogger Da Monkey Code said...

I usually try and get my female sales people to bed me before I let them know I'm just looking and in no way financially capable of making 1 payment let alone 72. It's a lot cheaper then hiring escorts.

At 9:29 PM, Blogger karla said...

If you like honesty, you must love me, since I'm always so honest about how much you suck.

At 1:06 AM, Blogger tfg said...

claude-Thanks, that's good advice. I always try to keep track of how everyone's bread is getting buttered.

kalleigh- Yes, a Visa statement is a sure cure for BPS.

legaleagle-She knew what the payments would be because she kept the price fixed. She'd asked about my credit and assumed no downpayment. Apparently, much of the world only functions on credit.

mr. friendly-Actually, I carry a clipboard everywhere because chicks dig it.

holyfatman-I will definitely check out Russell. Word of mouth is gold, I've found.

broadsheet-Yes, initially I was only going to look at something 2-3 years old. However, I'm finding that Toyotas and Hondas don't depreciate like domestics, so I wouldn't save that much and would miss much of the 3y/36k mile warranty. Also, new car interest rates are 0%-5.9%, whereas used is between 7%-9%.

hanmee-Thanks. I'll wear a leather mini-skirt next time.

da monkey code-That will never work. Just pay the escorts with counterfeit $2s. What are they going to do, call the cops?

karla- I appreciate your candor. BTW, shouldn't you be shooting illegimate humans out of the Womb of Doom, instead of posting clever comments?

At 3:56 AM, Blogger Tickersoid said...

Like you, the more complex the deal, the less interested I am. I'm always perplexed why so few people think like that.

At 9:22 PM, Blogger ThatGreenyFlower said...

I am impressed that you called her on her slimy tricks. Good man.

We were sitting down to sign our auto loan paperwork at our last dealership when they told us that the terms on the loan were 4 points higher than we had been led to believe. We got up (I was 8 months pregnant at the time and it was impressive that I COULD get up) and headed out the door. It was AMAZING how fast they chased us down apologizing for the "misunderstanding."

I wish I never had to buy another car, but alas--in all likelihood, I will. But I'm going to remember "sugartits" for next time. Even if the salesman is a dude.

At 9:29 AM, Blogger Scary Monster said...

Me just can't deal with any salesmen or women. Here in Lilliput it's even worse. I often don't know what the fuck they are talking about, so Me just takes the attitude that they are tryin to screw me over. Me wonders how "sugartits would play in Japanese?



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