Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I Grew A Spine, But It Hurt

So... The local BFF talked me into going car shopping with her. She just wanted a little company while she scoped out deals and such. I gave her a little more than she asked for, but I think she is happy.

Understand that car salesmen work on commission. That's Number One. Number Two: salesmen are not the most up front people on the planet. Now, I am not saying that car salesmen lie, but they know how to hold back. No, fuck it, they lie.

My friend (after checking out about 6 cars) decided to be in love with a Ford Fusion. Funny thing is, we found nothing good at the Ford lot, but we found the Fusion over at Dodge. We also found salesmen on the hustle for every nickel they could get. That is where I grew a spine.

The BFF explained what her bank approved her for and admitted that she was willing to throw in her Permanent Fund Dividend. The salesman said that might not be enough. I called him on his bullshit. He went and got the Manager. As if I'd think shit smells better from a different ass.

"I'd like to let you have it for that, but I won't make any money that way." That was Lie One from the gorgeous Sales Manager.


Understand that my BFF is one of the nicest people born into this world. She is sweet, funny, generous, open-hearted... And she has no freaking backbone. (I didn't walk in with one. Matter of fact, we'd mainly gone to that dealership because they are having a drawing for winning 3 extra Permanent Fund Dividends.)

Even though I was just tagging along, I couldn't stand it when the salesmen started holding that Fusion hostage over a measly $250. My friend had laid all her cards on the table - which is such a huge mistake when dealing with salesmen. They knew too much about her at this point. They knew that her current car was about to blow a head gasket (whatever the hell that is); they knew that she was very worried about going into winter without some kind of reliable vehicle; they knew what she had from her bank and maybe they thought she could come up with a little more. Ojh, and they knew that she had fallen in l.o.v.e. with the Fusion. (It's the right color, is known for good gas mileage - and it has a bang-ass stereo. This is all very important to the BFF, especially the stereo. Lord, help her. ~sigh~)

Oh, and let me talk about this car for a moment. It had just landed on the lot. There were at least 7 minor appearance flaws and a couple of safety issues I spotted right off. The car was filthy - as if the former owner had a bunch of kids or a couple of pet monkeys - and we had no idea what was going on under the hood. The test drive went great though, so my friend was happy.

Once they had my friend salivating, the salesmen stopped bargaining at a price just a tad out of her reach. ("And I'd just love to see you drive out of here in it, but...")

I got pissed. At the salesmen for the creepy attempt to get another $250 out of the deal, and at my BFF for sitting there with tears of desire in her eyes.

Thank GOD for my brother, J. That man is just stone cold, bad to the bone when it comes to negotiating. I've watched him work. I've seen him reduce other men to tears across bargaining table. I used to watch him working a deal and think, "What an asshole!" Now I am glad that I sat at the feet of a Master. Brother told me once that the best way to handle any negotiation is to keep the other person off balance. "Be what they don't expect, do what they aren't looking for, and hold your ground."

I looked like a wimp on this particular day. Hell, I felt like a wimp. I loathe car shopping and car salesmen. So I got an attitude and asked the salesman if he was seriously going to let a customer walk out the door over a stinking $250. He stared at me. I stared at him. He blinked. Then he left to get his Manager. (I took the chance to call my nephew because he knows about cars. Gave him the price and a rundown and got his advice: that's a great car and great deal so jump on it! Maybe ask for a year-long warranty.)

Back came our salesman with his manager. Oh, hot damn that Sales Manager is fine. Just pure deliciousness. He even has a sexy name, but I'm not telling.

I went into heat for about five seconds before I remembered that my friend really wanted this car.

The  Sales Manager repeated what the Salesman had said about not being able to go a penny lower. I repeated my line about letting a customer walk. The Sales Manager stared at me. I stared at him, but had to stop because my hormones were turning happy cartwheels. I looked at the Salesman and my hormones calmed down.

I asked the men how they felt about beating the hell out of my friend over $250 when they knew they were going to make SO much more money off someone coming in to buy that hot ass and brand new Durango sitting out there on the showroom floor. (Do you know what a fully loaded Durango goes for these days? Damn.)

Mr. Gorgeous tried to tell me that what one customer does makes no difference in the case of another customer. Next he tried telling me that he had no idea what it was going to cost him to bring the Fusion up to safety; he would know only after they ran it through their checks.

I did a lot of nodding (and kicking my friend under the table to get her to stop leaking tears) and pretended to be sympathetic to the plight of poor salesmen everywhere.

The Sales Manager tells me that he' stuck. He'd like to help my friend out, but...

I avoided looking directly at that gorgeous man (because he was really starting to piss me off), and I channeled my brother.

I called both salesmen liars and told them that they could keep their damn Fusion (okay, I said something worse than "damn"). I reminded them that this car was coming with a cheap ass 3-month warranty and no guarantee that it would be running by New Year's Eve. I said they were going to go to Hell for the lie about not making more money off other deals, and I think I cursed once or twice (okay, I cursed a lot), then I told my friend to get her coat because we were leaving. I started reminding her that we could always get my nephew to take us to the auctions.

Have you ever noticed that salesmen have this thing they do where they try to keep you on their turf? I mean, they can't bullshit you out of your money if you get up and leave, right?

The Manager stopped us before we got to the door. He nicely asked my friend to come back, come back, so they could maybe work something out. He also mumbled something about me being "a little aggressive." (As if I have eff to give about what he thinks of me.)

After about another thirty minutes of a game of Who's Gonna Blink First, we struck a deal. The guys agreed to let my friend put a refundable "Hold" deposit on the car until after the safety check. If the repairs weren't going to be outrageous, then she could have the car for the price she wanted; if not, she could walk away clean.

I wanted to kill my friend because she was sitting there just ready to go out and sell ass or something for the $250. The Manager mumbled something about my attitude, but the Salesman dropped me a wink.

When we'd put up the deposit and walked out of that place, I was ready for a drink, some crack and a big piece of anything chocolate. My friend was doing a little jig because she was sure she was going to get this car. I told her that the Manager really wasn't so fine after all; he mumbles too damn much. I also told her that she was going to get her Fusion. The only reason for the delay was so the Manager could save face.

My friend called me this morning. She got the car.


(P.S.: Hope this post is coherent. Had an infusion today & feel just a little bit crappy!)