If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Opposing Views)   Thanks to a new website, women can finally learn how to buy a car all by themselves   (opposingviews.com) divider line 11
    More: Dumbass, The Price Is Right  
•       •       •

5124 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Jul 2013 at 5:56 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2013-07-25 03:28:16 PM  
2 votes:
Hello Farkers,

Rant incoming. Inside baseball rant. Apologies in advance.

Long time reader, first time poster. I work in the industry as the internet sales director for a mid-sized auto group. First, please allow me to apologize on behalf of all car salespeople everywhere. We are subhumans who, lacking souls of our own, prey on the souls of those who venture into our den. It is our nature, and we cannot help it.

Here's the deal with TrueCar. TrueCar is a company that, in addition to offering a direct web service, partners with numerous other organizations, including AAA, BofA, Consumer Reports, USAA, AmEx, and several auto insurance companies. So, if you're looking at the USAA buying service, you're looking at TrueCar.

Depending on the state you live in, TrueCar will either give you a straight price on a vehicle that participating dealers will generally honor, or a "target price" that they believe constitutes a good deal. Either way, the price you see excludes taxes, DMV tags, and the dealer's processing/documentation fee. The price INCLUDES cash incentives from the manufacturer, when available. This is all in the fine print, but it bears mentioning.

TrueCar is, essentially, a parasitic organization. A dealer's "TrueCar" price is no better than the prices they will offer via e-quote, but TrueCar wants to convince you that they are the best way to get a good deal.

They advertize heavily, leverage partnerships, and charge dealerships obscene amounts of money in order to receive TrueCar "leads." I'm not going to say how huge, but you could buy plenty of cars with the amount of money that a dealer pays TrueCar in order to participate.

If you don't pay TrueCar as a dealer, then you don't appear as an available dealer to customers in your area. Thus, you lose customers, and the vehicle manufacturer starts having special meetings with you about "sales efficiency."

Because of these huge fees, and because of the nature of the TrueCar service almost invariably means sales at a fiscal loss to a dealership (I mean this literally, not figuratively; these will be marked with red ink in the ledger), dealers are having to become more creative in order to stay viable.

What does this mean? It means games. It means, "I'm sorry, but that car was just sold, so let me show you one that's just a little more expensive." It means, "I know that Kelly Blue Book says your trade is worth $10,000, but we can only offer you $7,500." It means, "Your price did not include destination and freight or [miscellaneous huge fee]." It means, "Thank you for getting your oil changed with us. That will be $99.95."

If you don't like the process of buying a car, it's because you don't like the economy that we have demanded. If we expect a business to habitually sell to us at a loss, we can expect that business to try sneaky ways of staying profitable, and if price is all that matters to us, we are going to continue to drive the industry in that direction.

As a counter-example, our auto group sells Scion vehicles. Scion has a unique approach to the sale that they call Pure Price. Essentially, no haggling. The MSRP is what the customer pays, period. The dealer usually makes between $500-$800 on the sale, and the customer gets a decent vehicle with no games.

Scion doesn't sell very well because customers don't want a reliable, inexpensive vehicle at a fair price; they want a GREAT DEAL.

On a more personal note, I will say that I've seen totally amoral salespeople gloat about a customer who paid too much for a car they didn't want. Likewise, I've also seen salespeople who care deeply for their customers, salespeople who work tirelessly before, during, and after the sale in order to ensure that their customer is completely satisfied. There are good and bad people in this business. The problem is that the auto retail industry necessarily must encourage bad behavior in order to keep the doors open. Customers, dealers, and parasitic organizations like TrueCar are all partially responsible.

Oh... and speaking to the ad, we sometimes call the "friend" who comes to the lot a "third base coach," or more snarkily, the "maven." Doesn't really matter if it's a man or a woman; anyone who has been in sales knows that it's harder to close two people on a deal than one person.

As far as advice for negotiating price? It's simple, and it's already been given a few times so far. Set up a fake email account, contact the 3 closest dealers via email, tell them that you are shopping several dealers and makes, and ask them for a price breakdown, including any incentives they are assuming. Ask that their quote culminate in their best "out the door" price on the vehicle you want (make sure you know what you want, and ask for a copy of the window sticker or a spec sheet.) Tell the dealer whether you intend to pay cash or finance, as the incentives sometimes change depending. If you get the best price from a distant dealership, consider giving your local dealer the opportunity to match the deal - in writing. You'll save yourself some gas and potentially a headache. You'll also have a local ally in the event that you need help with your vehicle a few years down the line.

Couple other notes:

Impatient about waiting? I hear you. But keep in mind that the salesperson is generally not having you wait intentionally. They don't want you to get angry and leave. There are other customers, other salespersons, and often only one manager who is available to "desk the deal," meaning make you an offer. If your intention is to walk in off the street and begin negotiating while the dealership is busy, it's going to take a while. You're talking about a purchase that's going to be between $15,000 and $70,000 in most cases. Real estate transactions sometimes drag on for months. Why wouldn't a vehicle negotiation take a couple hours?

Good credit generally means that you don't need a down payment in order to affect eligibility for a loan or rate (exceptions include some college grad programs and first-time buyer programs.) If you are being told that you need a down payment, it's because the banks will not finance you without a down payment. Don't be offended; if the dealer could sell to you without a down payment, they would.

Women are some of the more terrifying negotiators I've run into.

USAA customers: I love you. You are very straightforward, very conscientious, very honest, and overall a joy to work with. While on the whole I dislike TrueCar, USAA customers alone almost make up for it.

***

By the way, I have a request. I cannot tell you how many times I've reached out to a customer who came to us through the internet, only to hear by way of preamble, "Boy, I really hate car salesmen."

You know what? That actually hurts. I admit that we are hardly heroes, but we don't really deserve the vitriol we get, and you might be surprised at how challenging it can be to arrange and transport the crazy permutations of vehicle colors, packages, drivetrain configurations, options, and accessories in a way that satisfies the customer's needs while accommodating their budget and/or credit worthiness, all while establishing a sense of trust and value. You might also be surprised at how little a salesperson makes per sale, depending on the brand and dealership.

There are plenty of professions that provide absolutely nothing beneficial for society. There are shell companies that do absolutely nothing but levy patent lawsuits in order to make a buck at the cost of our economy as a whole. There are biochemical engineers who sleep easy at night after a hard day of weaponizing viruses.

So I guess what I'm asking is that you give your next salesperson the opportunity to show you that they are more than just a salesperson. If they turn out to be sleazy or lazy, fark 'em, but again, you might be surprised.
2013-07-24 07:57:02 PM  
2 votes:

spman: Buying a car is a PITA. When I bought my current Hyundai Elantra a few years ago, I had to go to three dealerships before I found one that was actually willing to sell me the car without a hassle.

The first two dealerships demanded a large down payment, but were not upfront about the fact that the car wasn't actually in stock, and they had no clue at all when they were getting anymore that weren't painted sky blue. Both in fact assured me that they'd be able to trade one of their ugly ass sky blue cars for a color you'd actually want, just by calling up another dealership. It took them both a month before they were finally up front with me about the fact that they weren't going to have any more in stock for a while, and it took another week after that for them to refund my down payment. I suspected that the problem was really that I wasn't financing through the dealership, and I refused all there stupid add ons, so they weren't in any real hurry to sell me anything.

Also, I don't understand how people claim to get these secret deals, or get dealerships to give you huge discounts. In my experience, dealerships would just as soon tell you to pound sand than negotiate on prices. Maybe Bob's used auto lot where they finance anyone, might negotiate, but I've never had any luck at a major dealership getting anything more than an air freshener and some floor mats tossed in for free.


1) If you want financing, get it from a credit union.  You should not be negotiating down payments or interest or ANYTHING other that purchase price with the dealer.
2) Every new car model has a minimum price it's going to sell for in your region.  For some cars/regions, this is far below invoice, for some cars/regions, it's far above MSRP.  In either case, this info is readily available on tons of free websites.  Find out what the best deal you can get it, then email all local dealerships asking for that deal.  When one bites, go in and pick the car up.  If nobody meets that deal, you were probably wrong that it was possible.  So instead go for the best deal offered, or don't go for any.  In any case, going to the dealer and haggling is not even necessary.

My CSB: 2012 Subaru Outback (with 0.00 miles) at 3% under invoice.  I watched a local dealer's inventory, and when it showed up, I emailed them my offer.  They responded with 5 minutes and said yes.  I drove in that night 30 minutes before the dealer closed to ensure I'd be in and out as fast as possible.  Painless. :-)
2013-07-24 06:20:30 PM  
2 votes:
Well, it's true,   As a solo woman trying to buy a car I've had some horrible experiences.  I was once physically surrounded by some very large sales guys (I'm 5 foot 2 inches) who were trying to prevent me to leave a showroom.  I had left the tiny sales/consulting cubicle because the sales guy was taking too long and I was just tired and miserable from waiting.   They asked to make a copy of my driver's license so that I could take home a loaner for the weekend.  I said "No,"  Short version, I made a run for the parking lot, jumped into my old reliable and peeled out.  I found a local mall where I walked around for about an hour until I could stop shaking with sheer terror.  Dealership later closed due to "irregularities in ethics."

Fast forward several years and I needed a new vehicle.  I stuffed a folder with printouts from Carfax (thanks Click and Clack) and made the rounds.  Sales people really seem to hate Carfax.   Each time the sales person tried to make me wait in their cubicle, I walked out after 7  minutes (I just like the number).  Eventually I bought from CarMax, which was a good experience.
2013-07-25 12:05:59 AM  
1 votes:
No, women don't *need* men around to do or buy anything, I suppose.  And, conversely...  But, um, is any of this "nyah nyah", like *going* anywhere?  Cause it looks like 4th grade, from here.
2013-07-24 08:00:11 PM  
1 votes:
The last new car transaction (March of this year) went like this:  I test drove the car I wanted and then went to all the local dealerships and collected cards.  I then emailed all the sales people with what I was willing to pay.  I had the first one that agreed with my offer email me the paperwork and I emailed it back.  I only went back to the dealership to pick up the car and sign a few things in person.
2013-07-24 07:59:44 PM  
1 votes:
I just bought a 2012 Nissan Xterr with cash. The dealer tried to tell me that they have to match internet prices, so there wasn't much room to haggle. Started walking out with an offer 5k less than the sticker price. They stopped me and took the deal.

All I can say is DO NOT be afraid to haggle. They will try and tell you that they are a "No Haggle" place.
2013-07-24 07:37:33 PM  
1 votes:
But all the commercials that portray men as helpless slobs unable to perform even basic household functions are a-okay.

Yeah, I'm a guy who will consult an automotively informed friend when I want to buy a car.   And my friends consult me when they want to put together a new computer or home network, or fix an old one.  Big deal.  Stop being offended.
2013-07-24 07:09:09 PM  
1 votes:
Damn this world, everybody needs apologies for insignificant matters. So what if the ad shows women being ignorant about the automobile industry? Unless you're a car lover, chances are you wouldn't know the different parts of a car and how they relate to each other anyway. You'll also have no idea about fair prices. The ad doesn't even say "all" women are like that, it just so happens that in the real world, a lot of women can' be bothered with learning about cars. So what if they don't know much about cars? What's the shame in that? Women not knowing much about cars is just the same about men not knowing about different make-up/mascara technology and fashion.

Different genders will always have different interests and there's nothing wrong with that. Why in the world would men give time trying to learn about make-up and beautifying devices? Why would women spend a lot of time learning about hardware and mechanics? This is reality, this is the culture we live in. Just because majority of women or men don't know about certain things doesn't mean it's something to be offended about. We have the right to NOT be experts or competent about certain subject matters, especially if we really don't have any interest in them.

The ad isn't attacking anyone in an attempt to shame or degrade them. It simply tries to provide services to what is currently our reality, which is most women aren't really interested in an in-depth study of the automotive industry and that's why they need guides who can help them not get screwed over. There is nothing wrong with that. Stop being so insecure. If anybody wants to degrade anybody, they wouldn't need to start a business just for that purpose. You can humiliate anyone without spending a dime.
2013-07-24 06:58:29 PM  
1 votes:
I went car shopping a few weeks ago, and the process was so disheartening I decided I'd just stick with the car I have until I have time to drive to Phoenix and try another dealer. There's only one dealer in my city that sells the make I wanted to buy, and I got so sick of the salesperson running back and forth to the "manager" to negotiate I just left. They called as I was driving home, and I told them I had no time to play their stupid games. I just wanted to buy a car at the price we'd already agreed upon during our internet negotiations before I even got there.

/ain't nobody got time for that
2013-07-24 06:29:44 PM  
1 votes:
Buying the car is easy. The hard part for chicks is driving the car.
2013-07-24 05:45:42 PM  
1 votes:
Buying a car is a PITA. When I bought my current Hyundai Elantra a few years ago, I had to go to three dealerships before I found one that was actually willing to sell me the car without a hassle.

The first two dealerships demanded a large down payment, but were not upfront about the fact that the car wasn't actually in stock, and they had no clue at all when they were getting anymore that weren't painted sky blue. Both in fact assured me that they'd be able to trade one of their ugly ass sky blue cars for a color you'd actually want, just by calling up another dealership. It took them both a month before they were finally up front with me about the fact that they weren't going to have any more in stock for a while, and it took another week after that for them to refund my down payment. I suspected that the problem was really that I wasn't financing through the dealership, and I refused all there stupid add ons, so they weren't in any real hurry to sell me anything.

Also, I don't understand how people claim to get these secret deals, or get dealerships to give you huge discounts. In my experience, dealerships would just as soon tell you to pound sand than negotiate on prices. Maybe Bob's used auto lot where they finance anyone, might negotiate, but I've never had any luck at a major dealership getting anything more than an air freshener and some floor mats tossed in for free.
 
Displayed 11 of 11 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
On Twitter





In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report