Just last week, a salesman I encountered at a local dealership had obvious intentions of taking advantage of my perceived weakness as a female car shopper. He called me “Honey,” and made the assumption that I was unable to make a decision without my husband, based on the fact I am a thirty-something year-old with a diamond ring on her left finger. First of all, I have approximately 13 days left in my twenties – thank you very much – and second of all, we don’t live in 1952. I am perfectly capable of buying a car without the final approval of my husband. After clearly communicating all of this with a facial expression I have proudly mastered over the past few years, the cheaply suited smooth talker answered my glare with a line I will never forget – “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.”
Why Car Buying Isn’t a Game
As I drove home in the same car I had been driving for the past five years, I reflected on the sentiments of the slimy salesman. He referred to the car buying industry as a game, and himself as merely a player, tasked with the all-important job of swindling well-meaning people (read: women) out of their hard-earned money. I admired his unabashed opinion of what amounted to one of the most important purchases I would ever make for my family, in the same way I am sure he admired my right hook.
Unfortunately, my personal experience has become the norm, rather than the exception, in the car buying industry. Both male and female buyers have encountered salesman fueled by their enormous inclination towards trickery and deceit, and the majority of those individuals are turning to other outlets for their car purchases. In a consumer market that is largely influenced by the opinions of others, car buyers have been turning to the World Wide Web for years, in order to gain clarity on which vehicle to buy, and from where. More often than not, these same buyers end up choosing a local dealership that is the lesser of two evils (sound familiar, American voters?), and inevitably end up with buyer’s remorse.
While the in-person dealer experience plummets, buyers are presented with more options than ever before for purchasing new and used vehicles online. Where once there was only Craigslist and Ebay, now there sits several reputable web-based car buying services that are structured around the needs of buyers – not the self-interest of dealerships. From locally based companies, to virtual dealers with a nationwide reach, it is clear that the people have not only spoken, but that they have also been heard.
Rather than pander to the self-involved, petty antics of salesman at local dealerships, exercise your right as an American consumer, and demand only the best car buying experience by spreading your wings, and heading online. The games, gimmicks, and biased sales tactics of local dealerships have persisted for long enough. Take a stand, and be a part of the online car buying revolution.