Car Culture, Sarah

Women get the better deal

February 17, 2013
  I have bought three cars in my life. The first, from a family friend who sold me their 1986 Chrysler LeBaron for $1,800. The second car I bought during college with my mom by my side. The first dealership we went to, not one sales person came out to the lot to ask if we needed help. The second dealership, we went to we found a nice salesman who ended up selling me a red Ford Mustang. We even took a picture with him when I signed on the dotted line. The third car I bought all by myself. Still in my top independent-woman moments, I bought my Mazda6 from a Minnesota dealership that advertised a policy of no negotiations. It was like the grocery store — the sticker price was what I would pay. Good deal or not, it was that simple process that gave me the confidence to go through the paper work, make the decisions, finance a loan and trade in my old car without a sidekick. I didn’t want to deal with the back-and-forth game. An undercover investigation in Great Britain using mystery shoppers revealed that women got a better deal than their male counterpart at 6 out of 10 dealerships. Good, right? But to get that good deal, women were subjected to long explanations, idle chit-chat and sleazy compliments. “While women may be able to negotiate a better deal, they may find they’re subject to long, patronizing discussions in showrooms, with some sales staff even resorting to sleaze,” Steve Fowler, editor of Auto Express magazine said. I wonder if this is because women have a different relationship with their cars than men? As long as everything is solid under the hood (which I would have researched before setting foot at a dealership anyway), these are the things that interest me: Will my car seat will fit rear facing? How often am I going to have to fill up for gas? How much is it going to cost to replace my tires? And please, can I get some heated seats? Still, it warms my heart that women were able to negotiate better deals in a place traditionally thought of as a man’s world. Do you think men or women are better at negotiating deals?   LWTK’s mommy blogger, Sarah, is attempting to be a good mama to little Henry, wife to Shea, full-time employee and part-time grad student all while avoiding making dinner from a box every night. In her non-existent free time, she’s running, eating popcorn and blogging about it all at The Gatsby Diaries.

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