Sunday, May 18

He Didn't Know What Hit Him

About a month ago, I made a BIG HUGE GIGANTIC IDIOTIC mistake. I had just surveyed the occupants of our driveway and made note of the two gas-guzzling SUVs and the gas-guzzling over-sized ugly truck and muttered the syllables "new car."

Mr. Husband's man brain snapped out of that Wife Filter setting, defying the laws of nature as he actually heard the words that came out of my mouth. That rarely occurs. In fact, I'm still intrigued by the fact that his hearing is suddenly just dandy when I say words that he WANTS to hear. I could stand inches from his ear and yell, "PUT YOUR SHOES AWAY, PLEASE!" and he wouldn't hear a single syllable.

Anyway, Mr. Husband has spent weeks researching and exploring and generally driving me crazy as he found one "perfect" vehicle after another. I mostly ignored him as his Wife Filter kept ignoring the part where I insisted that the vehicle be cheap and get better gas mileage than anything we owned.

Then yesterday I made a new BIG HUGE GIGANTIC IDIOTIC mistake--I let Mr. Husband drive through some car lots. That action alone is all it takes for him to come home with something. We've bought at least six vehicles together over the past 14 years, and each time it's the same. He sees a vehicle, he buys the vehicle. There are no steps in between those two actions. In fact, his vehicle negotiations go a little like this:

Mr. Husband: "How much is that car I'm going to buy, even if you tell me it's over-priced?"

Salesguy (it's always a guy): "It's twice the Kelly Blue Book value, but I'll give you a deal and whack $100 off the price."

Mr. Husband: "Will you take double that?"

Salesguy: "Um, sure."

Mr. Husband: "Great! It's a deal!"

He will vehemently deny that this is how it all goes down, but he will not deny that since I took over the job as Official Price Negotiator in our house, we have paid significantly less for things. Recently, in fact, he called me a loony toon for thinking I would be able to buy the gas-guzzling over-sized truck for less than a third of it's Kelly Blue Book value. I bid my super-low price anyway and HELLO! it's in our driveway.

So, we set foot on a dealership parking lot and I knew at that very moment that we would be coming home with a car. I instantly made my traditional conversion to Clueless Female. Can I just say, the salesguy fell for it hook, line, and sinker? He totally bought into my "You talk to him, honey" and "I know I'll be the one that drives it, but I trust you're opinion, so you go ahead and do the test drive and tell me if I'll like it," spiel. (I'm not entirely sure that Mr. Husband doesn't fall for it, too. If that's the case, Mr. Husband, sorry, but yes, I have been using your manliness to get us a better deal. You can thank me with a new Coach watch.)

I know the guy fell for it because when it came time to go over the amount they wanted for the car and how much they were willing to give us for our trade-in, it looked a little like this:



You could have built the Great Wall of Pittsburgh through the chasm on the table. The salesguy tilted that offer sheet in such a way that only Mr. Husband could possibly see it, then proceeded to yammer on with his back directly to me. To be honest, I'm not sure that Mr. Husband saw the smoke coming out of my ears. If he did, he may very well have mistook it as me sending smoke signals for him to shut his trap. Either way, the men at the table were both taken aback when I ripped the offer sheet off the table and scrawled a counter-offer on it. I was trying to play the role of Clueless Female, but this Clueless Female has more than a little input when it comes to car negotiations.

As the salesguy slowly realized that nobody was spending any money unless I said so, he dove into typical salesguy crap and tried the lines about having to keep his boss happy and not having the kind of wiggle room on the price that I was requesting. I revved up to Bitchy Wife mode and told him I didn't really care. Meet our price, or we were leaving.

There was the usual hemming and hawing, but in the end I managed to get the price down to an acceptable level and we drove away in a new-to-us 2003 Audi A4. The salesguy was kind enough to apologize, admitting that in sales school they taught him to never ignore the wife, and that he had clearly committed that sin. He may have even thanked me for sparing his life.

Next time you may not be so lucky, Mr. Clueless Salesguy.

53 comments:

  1. I expect you to show up in it when we hang out.

    Any chance you're free on Saturday and want to meet after the Pirates game? (Or at?) It's Firefighter's Night and we'll be sitting on the first base line, eating Primati's, nachos and possibly slinging a beer or two.

    Also? I'm also the price negotiator in the FireHouse. Except when FireDad randomly BUYS MOTORCYCLES.

    wtftoast.

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  2. You go girl! Our car is about to die and hubby wants to buy a truck so he can tow around his boat this summer....yeah he's mental if he thinks that's ever going to happen.

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  3. Yeah for you! Audi's are awesome cars. You will LOVE it!

    Hallie :)

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  4. You are my hero. Don't think I could have pulled that off. Sounds like you got a good deal.

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  5. Um, did you draw the salesman as a dick with a mustache? Because that's what it looks like.

    You go, girl! You're my new hero. Car salesmen are the worst people on the face of planet earth. I'm sure they're descendents of horse thieves. I hate 'em.

    Sorry to anyone out there whose relative may be a car salesman. I'm sure yours aren't like that.

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  6. Go Burgh! Love the shot of crazy toddler on the big wheel. :)

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  7. heh! next time you'll sic the Toddler and Baby Shell on him.

    do you teach classes in smoke signals, car negotiations, and toddler-esque drawings? I could use refresher courses. And whenever we get around to replacing my oil-burning contributor to global warming, I may bring you to the negotiation table to smack around the salesguy.

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  8. Love it! We have a very bad guy/good guy gig going and I'm always the bad guy but that's just the nature of our partnership. My husband would accept any deal you gave him esp if you told him it was a good one because of course your telling the truth, why would you lie?

    Meanwhile, I'm a complete miser and skeptic. I always hold up the sale!

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  9. Nice work! I'm dying to have an Audi someday. Car dealerships are the most uncomfortable place in the whole wide world...they stalk you in such a way that there is no way to talk to your spouse alone...so you have to go in knowing your full plan and how to deal with each situation that might arise...I suck at playing hardball, and hubs rocks at it, but I refuse to be ignored at the negotiations table...espec if it's my car...good for you!

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  10. Right on.

    And 'grats to the Pens!

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  11. Sweet. Can you come with us when we hit the 'negotiation' stage? We're just shopping and researching now, but I am so not looking forward to that part.

    I love the picture, by the way. lol

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  12. I'm shocked you got an apology. I'm usually ignored, too.

    Unless I wear something low-cut.

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  13. I am impressed with your mad negotiating skills and would like to borrow you in a while when I need to get a different car because I'm much like Mr. Husband in that way. "You want how much? Well, you look like such a nice guy, let me give you a little extra." I do not know why.

    What I am more concerned with however, is this: Ook! I think Baby Shel is getting road rash.

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  14. Oooh, next time we buy a car I'm taking you with us!!

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  15. I was in love with Audi A4s for a while. I still feel weird car crush for them when I see them. I know, I know. Too much information.

    My real comment is: Gracie and her gender defender sensibilities would be proud. Rock ON!

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  16. Nice! When we bought our last vehicle, I actually had to whisper to my husband "I'm going to storm out of the place in a huff - play along". I think he was still muttering "Perty car! I want!" No help at all. Honestly, sometimes I am confused as to how men function at work - you know, without us?

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  17. Don't people realise that NO money ever gets spent without approval from the wife?

    Silly sales guy.

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  18. At least he didn't give you a keyring and tell you to go check out the cup holders and vanity mirrors.

    They are never fair with at trade-in! Car salesmen are a different breed.

    Congrats on the "new" car!

    Love the drawing . . .

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  19. A4!!! cool!

    that image is just priceless!

    and I need you out west to help me with some negotiations please! We're not so good at that!

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  20. are you free next weekend? we could use your help here! ;-)

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  21. My husband is like yours and I am just a bit better. I know we'll be taken for a ride (literally and figuratively) but don't really know how to stop it. We have solved the problem by only buying Chrysler/Dodge cars because my brother works for Chrysler and so we pay cost for the vehicle. I'm pretty sure we get hosed on the rust-proofing, etc. Ah well, admitting your weakness is the first step ... Enjoy your new car.

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  22. I have the bigger balls in my household too. Good job, good job.

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  23. Way to go :)

    What? No picture of the new wheels?!

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  24. I see that your husband uses the same bargaining technique as mine. He's all tough-guy before we get there, and next thing you know, he's offering to pay more than the asking price. I once almost ripped a guy a new one for talking to me about the makeup mirrors.

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  25. Awesome negotiating skills. Just goes to show we women can "wear the pants" just as much as the boys can. Your daughter is adorable on her trike!

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  26. Hello? Hello? Is this thing on? Where are you? I'm missing your snarky comments in my inbox. Burgh Baby's Mom withdrawal is not pretty.

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  27. Wahoo for good deals!

    I love your diagram of the situation! lmbo

    I talked to Barb this weekend. She said that during the week days, the pavilions don't generally get totally reserved and she could probably do that plus get us admission! So we need to pick a day and give her the info on # of people and children!

    :-)

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  28. I love the conversation between your husband and the sales person, "Can I pay double that?" Hahaha. I may or may not have a brother in law very similar to your husband.

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  29. Way to rock the casbah lady!

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  30. Silly sales boy :-)
    I play that same role, too. The boys may occasionally wear the pants, but we pick them out :-)
    Love it and congrats on the new vehicle!!

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  31. Way to go!
    LOVE the drawing, btw. Too funny. :-)

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  32. This is one area that I want NOTHING to do with. I loathe the car dealership. My husband is the wheeler-dealer in our family.

    Cute ride for Alexis!

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  33. Awesome! I definitely need to get some lessons from you because we totally got screwed over during our last car purchase. I have now learned that no, my husband can NOT negotiate. Good job & congrats!

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  34. Congrats on the new (to you) car!

    And may I finally say, with finality, congrats to your Penguins heading to the Stanley Cup!
    I just want to add: I told hubby the very first game that the Penguins were just skating much faster...and that the Flyers looked like a bunch of lumps out there.
    So, for the record, I was rooting for us but as a Mother, my intuition was telling me, NO FREAKIN' WAY!
    Glad they left us with some dignity by not letting you guys sweep us!

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  35. Rock on sister friend!!

    My husband is the reigning negotiator in this house. In fact, I don't even go with him to buy the car anymore. Mostly because I know he won't buy the car that day. He likes to play the "I'm leaving and I really will watch me" game. And he does. He really makes those salesmen work for their sale. It takes days.

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  36. Yay!!! Will go with me when I get my next car?

    Enjoy!

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  37. Yay!!! Will go with me when I get my next car?

    Enjoy!

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  38. Car dealerships exhaust me. They take away my will to live. Doug and I went to one once where, because we are both young, no one there would speak to either one of us. They outright ignored us because they assumed we didn't have enough money to buy a car.

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  39. I hate being dismissed like that! Congrats on a new to you car and a deal to boot!

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  40. Congrats on the new car, despite the annoying sales guy! I would have been pissed too! *grrrr*

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  41. GIRL YOU ROCK!!! I am SO PROUD of you! I wish I was there to see it. I know who wears the pants in your house. (as well you should).

    Alexis take notes girl.

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  42. GIRL YOU ROCK!!! I am SO PROUD of you! I wish I was there to see it. I know who wears the pants in your house. (as well you should).

    Alexis take notes girl.

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  43. Ha! Good for you! He actually apologized? I'd love to have seen that thing go down.

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  44. Audi and red? Good girl....

    And the coach handbag, go for the new one with the leather strap and bling on the side pouch....verrrryyyyy nice.

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  45. Go you! That is AWESOME! And hey, you got a new car...that's kinda exciting, right?

    That drawing is hilarious. Nice work.

    Alexis looks so cute on her little Fisher Price vehicle, too!

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  46. BBM... you're my hero.

    Congrats on the new car!!! And double congrats on the good price.

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  47. OMG! Congrats on the car!. And that was the funniest thing ever written, although you had me at "Mr. Husband's man brain snapped out of that Wife Filter setting . . ."

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  48. Ah, look Alexis got her license. The Fisher Price Audi Turbo looks good on her.

    (Well done on the negotiating BBM!)

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  49. It's official. I'm in love with you. It was just lust before, I was all about your rack, but now, I realize that I was a fool and failed to see the whole package.

    And I see that you are also forced to push what we call the tricycle of doom in our parts. I hate that thing. Every week, I consider throwing it in the recycling bin, so that I'm not forced to hunch over that way-too-low handle and fight Little Man's terrible steering skills.

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  50. Nice job!!! I am jealous for sure. Well not really. But your negotiating prowess is quite impressive!

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  51. Crying works well too.
    In our case, the husband brings down the hammer, salesman says no, I cry, husband really throws it down, and the salesman says yes.

    Well, really there was more to it than that, but we walked away paying waaaay below market value for our car.

    Congrats on the new ride!

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  52. That is really infuriating. Don't those dorks know that women control the family budgets? It's common knowledge! Please!

    Glad you got a good deal though.

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