Can women get a better deal on cars?

In a follow up email discussion with Tony, on his post 10 tips on getting a good deal when buying a car, an interesting point came up as to whether gender makes a difference in getting a good/better deal. Tony, argued that his wife actually went for the final negotiations at the car dealership and that helped them secure the best deal possible and real savings that he would not have been able to realize.

His logic was this: His wife (and women general?) is much more patient when it comes to negotiating so she was able to stay at the dealership for over 4 hours, talking to and pushing the salesman and his manager to provide the best deal possible. What’s more is that she was able to feign ignorance (she knew it all) and stick to a price, by using lines like “Oh I don’t know, my husband said that I can only pay $30,000 for this car…..but I really want this car; can’t you do something to get this deal done“. By having this stereotyped approach with the sales staff, where she was able to deflect any hard questions and play innocent to any probing ones, she basically wore down the salesman to get the best deal possible. Tony was on the phone at home in the event of any really tough questions or joint decisions that need to be made (and to watch their kids).

I asked Tony why he didn’t just go himself and use the same act. His reply was that firstly, he doesn’t have the patience and secondly he would not have been as effective (to the salesman) as his wife at pretending to be ignorant and unflinching on the sales price (i.e. playing to the gender stereotype of women and their lack of interest/knowledge around cars). This was one instance in which gender perceptions worked in their benefit. I probably wouldn’t have thought about this tactic, but I can see how it would work. From the deal Tony got, it sounds like it definitely saved him a few hundred dollars.

Do you think gender differences and perceptions still play a big factor when buying a car? Would you use it to save money?

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