I hate car shopping. Like I’d rather have a root canal sans nitrous and Novocaine. But it was time. I spent the last few months researching, test driving and checking out special offers – which let’s be honest, are all bullshit because they somehow never apply to what you want.
“Hurry in now! Get a brand new 2015 XX for $216/month with no money down!” And when you get there, “Oh, we don’t have any of those left in stock. But I can give you this one for $616/month! It’s so much better. No shit sherlock. I bet it is!
So I narrowed it down to two cars and when my current lease was almost up, it was time to rock and roll. And by rock and roll, I mean go in hoping I got paired with a car salesmen with a heart, which is about as common as someone still on their first nose in Boca.
After my mom peppering me with phone calls in the months leading up to game time, her cutting out newspaper ads she swore had to be legit -like Cadillac Escalades for $235/month (I will have a murdered-out one someday where people will easily mistake me for Puff Daddy – or whatever alias he goes by these days. I just can’t keep up – it’s exhausting), I decided it was best to leave her at home tending to my child and just bring Bob. My mom could NOT understand how I couldn’t bring her along to negotiate. Why I wouldn’t want her powers of persuasion on my side. She was baffled. After all, she got an incredible deal on the car she’s currently driving, and Bob had nothing to do with it.
“Rachel, you should bring me, I know what I’m doing.”
“I’m good mom, thanks”
“Bob is not the negotiator, I am! I got my car for xx a month which is ridiculously low!”
“True mom, but you also put like FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS down!!!”
“Yeah? And I got a great monthly payment”
“Fine, but you better make sure that whatever monthly payment they quote you includes tax, that’s where they get you!”
So, Bob would be my wingman. But, not because I needed the negotiation help, I’m pretty damn good at that part. It’s part of the reason for my nickname earned early in my career, ‘The Velvet Hammer” (Get your minds out of the gutter, people! Grow up!) Truth be told, Bob is the epitome of a car guy. He knows it ALL. So he’s a good person to have with you. Plus there’s that stereotypical thing of a girl entering a car dealership all by herself.
First dealership was a bust. No dice. Didn’t even want to negotiate. Just wanted me to pay a lot, turn over my life savings and my first born for basically nothing but a stripped down luxury car.
Onto #2. I knew I was walking out with a car, I had already done the deal a few months before and then decided to wait.
Upon intros to the salesmen, he says, “only one parent today?”. I told him if I had brought my mother, one of two things would have happened. 1) We would have walked out with the car we wanted for the price I wanted in 5 mins, or 2) We would have been escorted out by security. It was too close to call.
It’s not even fair to call it a dealership. A man was playing the harp, there was a center area with all kinds of free food and drink, an area with massage chairs. It was like a hotel. They had me at the harp.
They came in high (because it’s a stupid game they have to play I suppose) and I said no. I told him to do better and only come back one more time because I did not have it in me to play the game. One shot. Get it right and I’ll tell you that you have a deal. And he did. Could not have been better. In and out with a brand new car in less than 2 hours!
During that two-hour period, I only got 2 texts from my mom asking for an update and reminding me to make sure the price included tax.
It was such a good experience that Bob wanted to buy a car that day. Seriously.
So, I pull into the driveway, my mom is using words like “baller” and “gangster”, my daughter asks if she can drive it. I remind her she’s 5 but she doesn’t see an issue.
The minute I pulled into the driveway, my mom starts trash talking my previous car. Which is weird, because it was the same tactic she used with boyfriends. The minute she was sure they were out of the picture she would start flapping gums – but about ridiculous stuff. “He dressed like a bar mitzvah boy.” “He was so cheap and didn’t want to buy razors so he constantly had a beard.” “He got ugly at the end.”
Then, I say I have to get the car seat in the car. And she’s telling me how it needs to go on the passenger side. I tell her it’s actually safer on the driver’s side. She argues. Tells me that’s ridiculous. Asks me how I could possibly know that.
“Mom, you realize I worked for the top car seat company. Literally training retailers on car seats – including safety features and how to install them.”
Silence. Then, back to bashing the bluetooth in the Benz and how this one is so much better. (P.S. She currently drives a Benz, but apparently the bluetooth in that one is perfect. Go figure.)
We sit down. My mom wants details. I tell her all about my negotiating prowess. She asks me where I thought I got it from patting herself on the back.
And then looks at me and says, as only she can, “I could have gotten it for $20 less”.