Miss March on Salesmen Galore

So, Miss March is in the market for a car. I’m looking to buy my first car before school starts this year. Exciting, right? I thought so too, until I started all this car-shopping and realized that buying a car is up there on the list of “Most Hated Activities” right between having one’s period while camping, and going to the gyno. Yes, it’s really that bad. I blame my hatred on car shopping on the car salesman. I’m well aware that car salesman are notorious for being, well, salesman, and cheesy, annoying, pushy, etc. But, I never realized how sexist they are too.

Take, for example, this scene: I’m at a dealership with my Step-Dad (we’ll call him Gomez, because he looks like Gomez Adams). Gomez and I walk into the dealership. Now, I know that I don’t necessarily set this up to look like I know everything about cars, but I’m not an idiot either when it comes to what I’ll be driving. Gomez introduces himself to the Salesman and tells him that I want a mid-sized SUV, and etc. The Salesman talks about “important car things” like all-wheel drive vs. four wheel drive, the safety measure in the engine; all the while he’s looking straight at Gomez, knowing that it’s me, who is buying the car, but doesn’t bother to look down into my eyes. Finally, he turns to me and says in a sing song voice, “So, what color car do YOU want?” I looked at him and said, “It’s not really about the color as much as it’s safe.” He looked confused and looked to Gomez, then me, and said to me, “Oh, do you have kids?” I felt like smacking the guy and saying “No, I don’t have kids, but excuse me for not wanting to die if the car you sell me crashes into a tree.” So I said, “uh, no” and he totally ignored me and asked again what color I wanted.

Then, there was the dealership where Gomez, and I were sitting at the desk of the Salesman and actually starting to work out prices, because I loved the car, and Salesman goes on a pitch about how the paint jobs on the older models are actually better, he said, “You know, they can’t get dinged up and stuff, because it’s Polyblahblah (I never said I was good at remembering all this info, hence bringing Gomez along!); people loved the older models because they never got scratched or looked beat up.” He stops and looks at me, “You know, they’re great because even when doors slam into them they won’t get busted…like when you’re shopping. These cars are great for shopping.” Thanks, because clearly, that’s all I do.

How about after one of my test drives (can we talk about how much I hate test drives? I loathe them) I got out of the drivers seat and the Salesman gets out of the back and he says to Gomez, “Wow, she’s actually a pretty good driver. Dad, you must be proud!” I was the one doing the “pretty good” driving, why would he be proud? Yes, he taught me to drive, but Salesman doesn’t know that. Why didn’t he say to me, “You’re a good driver. I’m impressed!”?

The best was when I met Gomez and we went shopping spur of the moment, and I was wearing a low cut halter top and jean shorts. Boy oh boy, did the seas of men part at the dealership that day. I felt like a whore on parade. They made no qualms about turning away or staring directly at the sun. I’ve been to a lot of dealerships lately, test drove a lot of cars, and talked to a lot of people, and I can honestly say that there was ONE woman selling cars at all these places combined. And, that was the biggest and most expensive dealership that we went to. This is a breed of men that I don’t understand; are they always like this? Do they go home and act like salesmen? Maybe if they want to start selling me a car they need to figure out better sales tactics; like in dating, one pitch isn’t going to work with every girl who comes into your dealership. They need to work on their shtick and then get back to me, thank you very much.

Have you ever had interesting or sexist car buying experiences?

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6 responses to “Miss March on Salesmen Galore

  1. Hey girl, use the assets to your advantage. I know its tough. Its like apartment hunting. Its so exciting until you do it. Then moving. OMG I CANT WAIT TO MOVE. then you start packing and its like ummmm nevermind, i want to stay in my shithole place because at least I dont have to pack and unpack.

    But toward cars. It was funny, I tagged along with my brother and Mom when he went to go get a car and the thing is, my grandpa raised my mom to be mechanically minded. She knows TONS more than my dad. Dad is good w/ bargaining, Mom knows whats under the hood so it’s always fun to watch the guys get confused. They are hard balls those two. Bro and I (im 4 years older) got there first though and the guy thought I WAS buying the new car. I laughed and walked away to sit in a car I wanted to test drive (yea, its basically why i tagged along). The guy was actually nice to me and didn’t oogle but then again he was Gay. It IS south beach after all.

    But yea, sales men are like that.

    Im lucky though. I know all the service guys at my dealership. I talk sports iwth them and joke around and have become buddy buddy so instead of them ripping me off (uhm, ma’am, you need this done…”no i dont…” yes you do), they actually hook it up with a lot of tune-ups and free maintenance. I think the past few times I’ve gone in for something being wrong I wasn’t charged!!!! (One was something under my car ripped off because I drive over construction A LOT and the second was there was something wrong with my gas mileage (i was getting 15 when i should get 30…) and both fixed free. Im sure its not just cause of sports. I flirt up a storm. So like I said, use the assets to your advantage… just study a bit before you go in so you can talk the talk AND walk the walk.

  2. missmarchabouttown

    Monkey, You’re totally right. And the more I shop around, the more I learn. I’ve gotten better at not even listening to their stupidity–but, it was a real shock to have to interact with these men at first!
    I admire you for having such a good relationship with your service guys! I hope to have that someday, too. Thanks for the comment and for reading!! 🙂 MM

  3. I had some of the same issues when my mother and I went car shopping. What ultimately worked for us; buying the car from a African American salesperson. I guess maybe he understood a little something about being treated differently b/c of the way you look? Whatever the case, I would go back to Earl in a heartbeat for my next car.

  4. I have to admit that my hatred of car salesmen and the whole process in general were key factors in looking into Saturns, where they don’t negotiate at all with anyone. The price is the price. Works well if you actually want one, but I know that at least I didn’t feel that I’d been treated like a stupid person. I’ll be interested to see what car you end up buying.

  5. I loathe shopping for a new car. And yes I always get the whole she’s a girl so what does she know. But to be honest…my dad is an awesome haggler. So I bring him along but I do make sure to input some suggestions so they know that I’m not some dumb chick who knows nothing about a car except how to drive it. I actually went by myself and tried to get tricked into giving up my social for a credit check so that I can get a good deal. I didn’t fall for it but I hate when they try to trick you.

    P.S. Let us know what you end up buying. I’m partial to the Jeeps.

  6. Ooh, what a jerk.
    You should have ended it there and walked out on the salesman. That will teach him a lesson on sexism. This salesman was rude and condescending to you, the customer. That’s unacceptable, and he isn’t doing his job— part of which involves respecting and listening to the customer.

    You shouldn’t have put up with the guy, I don’t know how you gathered such patience. You should have told him straight up, “No, I don’t shop. I also don’t have kids, and seeing you, I don’t want any. I care about safety because I care about my health more than I do about some pretty color, yet you obviously have different priorities. Come on, Gomez. We’re leaving.”

    Be straight up, and once it hits their pocket books, they will think twice before resorting to such sexism.

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