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I don’t know, I’ll have to ask my decision maker

Posted by Miss Knotty on October 31, 2007

I’ve been a-car-shoppin’, folks.  I went to test-drive a Toy-o-ta Y’arrris — I spec’d one out on the Toy-o-ta website, and I knew just what I wanted – 3-door, manual, w/ power windows, doors, mirrors, and a couple of other little bells and whistles.  I don’t ask for a LOT in a car, but I want what I want (said the princess). 

The price point is not the issue for me with the Y’arrris (it’s Toy-o-ta’s lowest-end vehicle); I just like the style of it – it’s cute, small, looks European, it has nice pick-up for a 4-cylinder, it behaves well and has warm heat and cold A/C.  Great.  But they don’t offer a power/convenience package on a Y’arrris.  They only have stripped-down base models with no convenience features.  The salesman and his manager explained that asking for convenience items pushes the price up, into the range of a Car-ola, would I be interested in that model?  No, I don’t want a sedan, thanks, and the May-trix looks like a mini-van.  I like the Y’arrris.  If I buy a Toy-o-ta, I’ll buy a Y’arrris.  There’s no way they could get the features I want?  “No, there’s really not.”

 Greeaaattt.  Well, thanks anyway, I’ll keep shopping. 

 The thing that got me, though; the thing that REALLY stuck in my craw?  Was the dealer’s roundabout and offensive question:  “Are… are you the… the, uh, decision maker?”  WHAT?!

I don’t understand how they can even ASK that anymore.  I mean, what?  How was I supposed to answer that?  I did my best impression of the meanest, nastiest, iciest Bette Davis voice I could come up with, and with a look square in the eyes that could freeze water, I said, simply, coldly, “Yes.”  I SHOULD have walked out at that point. I’m just glad that I didn’t give him a correct e-mail address or phone number. Bwahhahahaa.

Sexism is not dead in the vehicle-sales industry. 

My dad offered this by way of an explanation (not an excuse, mind, but an explanation) – that a lot of women, and probably men too, waste a lot of a salesman’s time looking at and shopping cars that they don’t intend to ever buy).  Now I can understand this at an Aston-Martin dealership, or something like that. – “oooh, show me the DB5″, but not at a Toy-o-ta dealership.  Seriously. 

I would expect in this day and age, that any person: female, male, single, coupled, whatever, walking into a car dealership would get equal treatment.  I betcha they wouldn’t ask a single man in a car dealership whether he was the decision maker.  But a single woman in a car dealership is, as my friend Amber so aptly put it, “chum in a shark tank”.  and Jennyjake and I agree: car salesmen prey on single women.  It’s tradition, and it’s still fact, tragically.  (Because apparently we, as women, don’t control our own purse-strings.  I refuse to take a guy-friend car-shopping with me (which is apprently custom for single women to do) just on principle.  If Mr. Salesman is not going to cut me a square deal as just me, then Mr. Salesman is not getting my business.  Simple as that.  I don’t endorse discrimination, and my hoo-hah is not going to prevent me from getting the car I want from a square-dealing dealer. I’m going to see a lady salesperson next time.  Forget all this sexism garbage. 

And I’m not getting a permission slip, either.


5 Responses to “I don’t know, I’ll have to ask my decision maker”

  1. Zuleika said

    What?! I would have had a few nasty things to say to that salesman for sure! Then tell him I’ll take my millions elsewhere. Lol ;-)

  2. lise said

    I truly cannot believe that they asked you that. I also can’t believe that they couldn’t explain the extra features to you – idjits – that’s what they are.
    The sexism questions and the idiocy of them are quite unacceptable and unbelievable.
    I go with my husband when we buy new cars and he is NOT allowed to talk because he ALWAYS costs us money. He cannot haggle and gets TERRIBLE deals. so UNFRICKING BELIEVABLE.

  3. Ronda said

    I had a simular experience when I bought a car before DH and I were married. The sales guy kept talking to him… nnot me. He barely responded to my questions.
    I think he took notice once I drove said car adn he had us sitting at his desk after the fact and his manager came by for that hard sell thing they do… and the manager was also talking to DH and ignoring me.
    I was tired of it, so I said something like…
    “We aren’t married. I’m buying a car, he isn’t. Both of you are treating me like I’m stupid and I wouldn’t buy a car from you even if you gave me a wonderful price.”
    Another single woman was within earshot and she walked out with us.
    Stupid car salesmen.

  4. Beverly said

    Two car buying stories-
    1) In my early twenties and single days with a good job, I went to buy a new car. First the salesman tried to convince me that I could afford a car that I knew I couldn’t and then proceeded to tell me to get my dad to co-sign on the loan. I left.

    2) Recently my 70+ yr old dad went to buy a new truck. The salesman actually had the balls to ask him if he could afford this vehicle!Maybe my dad wasn’t dressed good enough. But, talk about insulting a customer!

    So, there’s sexism and ageism.

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