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.