Monday, August 09, 2004

Straight Cop, Gay Cop

Why does buying a car have to be such a fucking hassle?

Why does it have to be such a pain in the ass? Buying a car is worse than going to my dentist. At least my dentist always tells me politely to say "ah" before ramming his cock down my throat.

And why can’t two people pay the exact same price for the same car? I don’t think anybody is averse to having a car salesperson make a profit. But I feel very strange if I had to pay more because I didn’t bargain like a hard-ass. It’s not like this is a flea market and we’re arguing about the dubious value of Beanie Babies.

It’s like you have to have a strategy to get a good deal, whether you play the fresh-faced college grad, tough-talkin’ construction worker or a soft-spoken white woman. It’s a ruthless game played with a smile pasted on your face.

Brian and I came up with a strategy which is a variation of the Good Cop, Bad Cop routine:

Straight Cop: The engine’s smooth man, and the styling is very cool. And you can get it with helicopter blade rims?

Gay Cop: Guuuurl, the interior’s a hideous shade of beige. I can’t image how anybody can mess up a neutral color, but that’s like, fucked up. It's all wrong for my skin tone, umm-umm-ummm! *waves index finger, chin does a three-point-turn*

Straight Cop: Roomy backseat, man, perfect for tail. *raises eyebrows* Very niiice. Leather too?

Gay Cop: You call this a power package? There isn’t enough power here to run my vibrator!

The dealership could also be playing the Good Cop, Bad Cop game. Typically, the salesperson is the Good Cop because they are the ones who are going to bat for you, persuading the Bad Cop Evil Sales Manager to give you an extra discount just this one time because you’re so, so special. The salesperson will come back shaking his head ruefully as if he fought the battle of his life and lost and says the Manager said that $1,000 over Blue Book is his best offer. He throws in free splashguards as a consolation.

I wonder what the salesperson and the sales manager really talk about in the office while you are waiting for a quote? I suspect they were talking about how much of a discount I was gonna get after they screw me over. I heard Saddam Hussein was a car salesman before he became a ruthless dictator.

Yes, I’ve heard that you can get a better deal when you buy at the end of the month, end of the year, or at the end-of-model clearance sale. But the reality is, the car dealers have you by the balls. They won’t make the sale if they are not making a nice profit—I don’t care how desperate or accommodating the salesperson is acting.

So if you’re a teenager who wants mom or dad to buy you a car, then please, I implore you, give them some slack because the car dealer won’t—they will be squeezing every penny they can from your parents’ nuts. With giant, rusted pliers.

Our strategy fizzled out after about 15 minutes; we were not the seasoned veterans the dealership was. At one point, I remembered that I just kept nodding my head even though I didn't understand a thing about the great deal the salesman claimed we were getting. According to him, his cards were all on the table. Buyers have all the power right? We looked at our one-pair and we folded.

For days after buying our new VW Jetta, I second-guessed myself. Did I do my best to get the best possible deal? Was I too easy? When people ask me how much we got the car for, I say the amount apologetically, not knowing if they know someone else who got a better deal. I remember having the same sort of feeling when I bought my first car, Helen.

I hope that the new car lasts awhile. I hope it will be as enduring as Helen. Don't get me wrong, I love the new car; it drives like a breeze. I just really don’t want to have to go back to another car dealership any time soon.

I really don’t.

Next: The new car - Hello Pretty!

Stormy Summers had shared some of her expertise as a former car salesperson. Check out her Car Salesperson's Guide to Buying a Car. You could save yourself a bunch of money!

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