Tuesday, October 31, 2006

How Women Get Treated On A Car Lot

by: Tom Carey

The first time I went on a big car lot to buy a car, was with my girlfriend at the time. The salesperson met us outside our car as if he was going to valet it. I asked him if I could park there, and he responded jokingly “only if I wanted to buy a car”. He immediately asked what kind of car I was looking for. My response was, “the car is for her, she is making the decision”. I mistakenly thought that was direct and sufficient enough, but apparently I was wrong.

The next few questions were directed at me, as if he hadn’t heard my response to the first question. To which I answered “the car is for her, she is making the decision”, about six times I think. I thought maybe he was hard of hearing, but after hanging out for a few minutes with him, I found that wasn’t the case. She finally settled on a car in the price range she was looking for and he ran to get the keys, which of course he handed to me. I got in to drive, the salesman sat in the passenger seat and my girlfriend sat in the back. He was asking me about the power, the torque, and the handling.

About a ½ mile down the road, I pulled over to let her drive. The salesman nearly had a heart attack when I got out. “I told you a number of times that the car was for her, I am letting the decision maker drive, so she can make her decision” I told him. I was expecting the same question about the power and torque directed to her, but they never came, just questions about the fabric interior and the color of the car. It was as if he took a sales course about generalizing what each gender wants in a car. When we got back to the car lot, we followed him inside to work out the numbers and financing. Then the games started. We were young, but not stupid. He was writing numbers all over the place on a sheet of paper that he folded in fours. He wanted to know a payment I was comfortable with. I just pointed at my girlfriend. She answered $200, to which he responded “$200 up to what”. “201” I remember her saying, I knew there was a reason I liked her.

For the next 20 minutes, we were being manipulated into thinking that the car we drove may not be there tomorrow, and her payment of $223/mo. with what I thought was a sizable down payment, would get her the car tonight. Unlike most car buyers, she was not an emotional buyer. She decided the monthly payment was too much higher than her budget, and said “no thank you”. We got up to leave and the look on his face was as if we just punched him in the stomach. He had one last ditched effort to keep us as clients. When that was rebuked, he blocked the door and said, “When you come back to buy this car, ask for me, because I don’t do this for fun, I do this to feed my family”. I hope his family knows how to garden. The whole experience made us want to go home and shower and not deal with people like that anymore.

If you ask any woman who has gone on a lot herself, you will be amazed at the comments they get. This one took the cake: “Did your husband give you his wallet to shop for a car tonight?” The reason I am now a used car salesman, is because there is nobody else stepping up and treating people like they should be treated when buying a car. There are way to many games and manipulations going on and people are buying cars for way too much with financing that is burying them, because some unscrupulous car dealer tricked them into it.

About The Author

Tom Carey is a co-owner of That's My New Car. The company that specializes in finding the perfect car for it's customers, way under the retail price. That's My New Car gives proxy access to exclusive dealer-only auctions. Tom can be reached at 610-272-1998 or


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