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Old 03-31-2003, 12:43 PM   #1
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women buying A/S...

I'm looking for any women out there who have wheeled and dealed their way into an A/S! I've done lots - built my cabin, back-packed Mexico, attended University, tree-planted, and am in the process of raising a child...All on my own...BUT put a motor in it (ie. my car) and my god- I'm suddenly treated like I'm an idiot. buy a trailer! I'd swear that they all run to pee on the tires when they see me coming!

Any support out there? Any one else faced this mess? When I pointed out to the last seller that one of the windows had not only 'moisture' (as he called it) trapped in it - but enough water that I suggested that he add fish and list it as a feature - a built in aquarium! He, in a huff, replied that if I didn't like 'looking at the window' I could just keep the blind closed! - punctuating his sentence by yanking the blind down and changing the subject. This after I had had to sweet talk him into unlocking the trailer to let me inside - no joke, he told me to just look in the windows! And on and on the story after another...I am truly breaking new ground- it seems that I've found a 'Boys Club' I didn't know about. What they don't know is how determined I am...I'll find the back door some how!

So, women, please share your stories with me. Men, share too! If your one of the fabulous ones...let me know. If your one of the ones who doesn't like to sell to women...tell me why. Thanks. A

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Old 03-31-2003, 01:22 PM   #2
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Let me sart with a simple point:

my husband is a real sweet lamb. I am the one who taught him how to bargain when buying things, from flea market to a Airstreams.
The last one we bought, I bargained down the price from $19,000 to $13,000. I wrote the email signed Mike "My wife is the one who is hard headed and will not pay more."

When we arrived at the dealer, he opened the door to let the "little lady" look at the couch, kitchen..... In the mean time I was crawling on the ground next to the wheels to challenge him on his description of "tires in good shape". He started to realise soon what was happening when I mentioned liability, for selling a trailer with a 8300 GVWR with tires rated just over 6000Lbs. I started to set the tone of the whole haggling right from the start. Harsh, acusatory words. And, I didn't really care about the color of the couch.
The fuzziest he became on a lot of points, the harmless bumbling idiot he became, the meanest I became. The "I don't know if I can accept this offer, I have to talk to the boss" old story, I told him I had heard it before and I knew what the boss would say. I knew he wanted to make the sale, and I told him that I knew.

When we came back to pick-up the trailer, the 2 aluminium bottles had been replaced with 2 brand new steel bottles. While Mike was finishing to hitch up, and saw me stormed to the office, he knew already to open the van to load our aluminium tanks. Two salesmen ganged up on me at that point "she does not understand anything.... you cannot get +12 years old bottles recertified....." and all the usual B.S they tried to pile on me. I had done my home work on everything I was ready to challenge people on. There were 2 of them only, they obviously were outnumbered.

I could go on and on for ever. Mike has the expertise on a lot of things, but he will try to make his point so slowwww and so nice, that a lot of people will prevail on him.
I have never been accused of being nice (I received a nice compliment from a friend, Mike told me she referred to me as a piranha, I like it)

The moral is simple, if you want to make it: learn as much as you can on what you will have to talk about, let them know right away that you mean business and don't be afraid to act in such a way that in the end they may hate your guts. It works for me.

I never bought in this B.S. idea of "It's a men's world, poor helpless woman me.....".

Does that answer your question ?

Chantal, the "better" (or at least meanest) half of:

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Old 03-31-2003, 01:28 PM   #3
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I am sooo glad to hear that I'm not the only one! When I went to buy mine, it was "honey" this and "sweetie" that....ugggg.. I probably paid too much also, but it was love at first sight! My husband wasn't as convinced, when he came home and found the airstream in the driveway! But it has grown on him since then.

Good luck with finding the right airstream, and don't let a few bad male egos get to you. You will find on this forum, the men are very supportive and helpful to all genders!
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Old 03-31-2003, 01:42 PM   #4
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Yeah, I don't know what it is but most of us men tend to behave much like the ones you have experienced, Alt, including myself. I have changed and the following story will tell you why. When I sold my Minuet a nice younger hippy type (sorry, I know it's a dated stereotype but it still works for me) woman came to look. She even had a toddler with her in a stroller. I said to myself " This lady can't be serious?" I took one look at her, pointed to the trailer, told her it was unlocked and take all the time you need. I busied myself elsewhere mumbling to myself what a waste of time. After she was done I dispensed her with a scripted curt but polite, "Thanks for looking and good luck in your search"and what do you know, a fewhours later her husband called and gave me an offer. I was somewhat floored and asked him if he wanted to look at it and he said why bother, his wife looked at it and he relly trusted her. I delivered it the next day.

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Old 03-31-2003, 01:46 PM   #5
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I see were your problem is

That last salesman's style I am sure was the "honey this and sweetie that" He had that look.
He didn' try it on me though.

When this happens, just refers to him as "Bud" this, and "Sport" that. Try "Buster" too.

I am more comfortable in French though to deal with this type: You do not have a saying in english for "Excuse meeeee, Sir. As far as I remember, we did not herd cows together when we were young". It works great too.
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Old 03-31-2003, 02:40 PM   #6
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I think anyone armed with the facts can score big points. I used to be in sales and frankly, I was pretty good at it.

Most good salespeople will try to make it a win/win. Win for the customer and a win for the home team. I treated folks like I wanted to be treated. If I came across an SOB that was really trying to take stuff for free, I let them go elsewhere and get it for free there. Sometimes the other places would go out of business dealing with the freebie folks.

It's all about relationships in sales. If the sales person is a jerk, then they won't go far. The same holds true for the customer. Sure they hold the money, but they are going to need service too after the sale and in the A/S market, that group is pretty small unless you want to travel around the country for good A/S service.

I guess what I'm saying is go in being informed, be cool and don't go in with an ax to grind, be fair and reasonable. If it does not feel right, walk, more times than not the sales folks will work with you. I seek out salespeople that are not like the typical used car type. So far, I've had good success.

If you go at someone with a hatchet, your less likely to score points. Be friendly and don't allow yourself to be disrespected (but from the sound of your email I don't think that will be a problem because you seem very confident and fearless).

Anyway, best of luck with th A/S buy!


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Old 03-31-2003, 03:39 PM   #7
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Good for Chas, to be able to avoid sterotypes, evolve and learn from reality.

I think that women IN GENERAL (not intended to address any of us here), are to blame for the situation.
For too long, and still, women have been playing the "help me, I'm weak" game. Then they are surprised when they are not taken seriously.
That was OK at the time of the dinosaurs. Things have changed since. Unfortunately a lot of men and women have not.

Back to conducting business in general:

I believe I am a pretty good judge of people, and know when the marchant or the customer I am dealing with is trying to give me a run around or is honest and open. Then, I of course adjust my behaviour accordingly.

The fact that I have been operating my own store for over 35 years has to be a big part of it. Nothing beats experience.
But, it is true, I think, that some people are just too nice, and greedy salesmen can "smell" them.
Life would be so great if we could only deal with nice people. In the meantime, we just have to deal with what we got.
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Old 03-31-2003, 04:01 PM   #8
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Unfortuanly it's a proven fact that this sort of thing happens. I try like hell not to act any different to a female then a man but it's somewhat Genetic and it's also "trained" into us. The older you are the more you have to admit that Dad wore the pants and was the one that got things done. It's how we were raised. It's a built in stereo type. It's starting to go away but it's going to take a few hundred more years.

My recent error with my wife is I thought I was doing her a favor. The 59 is her's. She inherited from her father.
I had the morning off shortly after we brought it home and decided to get it insured and tagged so that If I had to move it for any reason it would be street legal. So I went and got insurance and a tag. Thought I was doing her a favor.

I'm in the dog house over it. She feels like it being tagged/registered in my name shows ownership.

Should have cleared it with her before I did it.

My whole point in this Is Guys operate differently then women and we to this day have not figured women out. When a women confronts us it puts us on the defensive. The reason is when we saw our parrents and learned from them how to interact that it was at a time when that's just how it was. Not saying it was right but that's how it was.

My best advice is make a list of problems. Find out what those problems are going to cost to repair. Ask the guy is he actually wants to sell it. Tell him you plan to buy one and if he wants to give you any problems over it you can take your money else where and buy another. If he's such a pig the he can't get over himself he doesn't deserve your money. Unfortunatly if he is this way he is too stupid to deal with in the first place and no matter what you say in his eyes your not going to be right even though he's dead wrong.

Just a tip......when your presenting a problem/s It's best just to make note of the issue and generalize that it needs a few thing . point out what the average price is for them in good condition. get him to come down that way.
He knows what wrong Just let him know you also know the problems it has. By grouping it all together instead of pointing out each individual problem. Each individual problem is sort of nitpicky. Make a low offer and let him counter. Till you get to the max price you feel it's worth. If he won't come down to that walk and let him stew.
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Old 03-31-2003, 04:36 PM   #9
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Very, very deep. I feel as though my soul has been cracked open!

What you say has some truth to it. Sill, never thought I read about it on the forum!

Good post.

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Old 03-31-2003, 05:57 PM   #10
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Well! Great replies - thank you. I kinda ducked a little when I hit send on this one...not sure who all was out there. So, again, thanks for all the thoughtful returns.

After a week of being banged up out there...thrown from dealer to private sellers and back again...I am happy to say that I am still in the game. Why? Well - I have made the decision that I want an A/S. Simple as that.

I recently read a quote (of who's I forget) describing 'the game'...WHATEVER it is that we want - see it like the ball in a game of the heat of the game, it is all that matters- we are utterly focused on it. But in the end, the ball is put away...forgotten. We never talk of the match by referencing the ball- it is all in how the game was played. I enter all my negotiations with this in hard & don't drop the ball 'till the game is won. Then be ready to move on.

Thanks for the boost. A
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Old 03-31-2003, 06:19 PM   #11
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Until one is committed
There is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness
Concerning all acts if initiative (and creation), there is one element of truth
The ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:
That the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never have otherwise occurred
A whole stream of events issues from the decision raising in one's favor all
Manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which
No man could have dreamed would have come his way.
Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
Begin it now.

- Goethe
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Old 03-31-2003, 06:22 PM   #12
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I bought my Airstream last summer sight unseen . I spoke to the previous owner on the phone quite a few times untill I could get a feel for things. I think I was extremely luckey but I was a nervous wreck. I made towing arrangements (1000 miles)
and wired a complete stranger a good bit of money (maybe a little too much.) One week later I saw it for the first time when Rick Davis drove up my street with it. He had called me from the
road and told me that it was really nice but other than that I could only hope!!
It is out of character for me to take a chance like that but it felt right. I decided that if I wanted to get a vintage AS it was something I'd just have to go for.
I think you've gotten lots of good advice above. The two men that I dealt with were both extremely nice and honest (Again-I was luckey)but I did my research and took a big risk. I hope your luck improves and you get your AS soon.
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Old 03-31-2003, 07:11 PM   #13
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Well, I don't have a trailer yet, but if anyone wants to talk about a woman's perspective in a man's hobby, I'm your girl! I've restored two 68 mustangs, currently have a 68 corvette which I do all the work on, and in my free time I woodwork and do astronomy. I'm thinking about learning to sew just so I can occasionally be around other women. My husband however, isn't mechanically inclined and other than occasionally handing me tools or lifting heavy parts, stays away from my stuff.

My favorite story - after I bought my first 68 mustang, the starter went out, and we had to have it towed home. After the tow truck guy rolled it into the garage he turned to my husband and said, 'I guess you'd better get on to fixing that starter', to which my husband replied 'not me, this thing is all hers'. The tow truck guy answered with a laugh 'that'll be the day, seeing a pretty lady getting her little fingernails dirty!'. Within a minute he realized his mistake, that not only was my husband not joking but that I was genuinly enthusiastic about the car, and knew all about it. He hung around and talked mustangs with me for about a half hour, while my hubby quickly got bored and retreated to the house.

I've found the best ice-breaker is knowledge. As soon as people realize you know what you're talking about, there's no more of that 'sweetie-honey' BS. You'll get twice as much respect when they realize you've done your homework. If they still give you any trouble, leave. They're probably not someone you want to deal with. If someone told me to just peek through the windows to check out a trailer (!?) I'd be asking him if he really wanted to sell it, and that if he did, he'd better open that door up quick. I never sweet-talk. You have to play it like one of the boys.

Another time my mechanic invited me to take the mustang to the drags with him for a fun-run day. I didn't know how to race, but he said he'd show me so I thought, what the heck - I'll give it a shot. I was the only girl there driving, and the other guys were pretty skeptical. 'does she know what she's doing?' one of them asked my mechanic friend, and he replied 'sure, she built her own engine from a bare block'. Well, most of the guys there hadn't even done that. Suddenly I was in. Everyone was chatting with me, talking cars. We went back a bunch of times that summer, even got my husband to go and take the car down the track a couple times. I'm sure glad I didn't shy away and miss out on that experience!

And Toaster, what's with the vehicles being in one person's name or another? At our house all the vehicles have both our names on them. That way if something happens to one of us, there's no misunderstanding that the remaining person is the owner, since both names are on the titles/registrations.

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Old 03-31-2003, 07:54 PM   #14
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Reminds me of what happened to my sister. She was then in her mid twenties, very femine looking. This day, she was wearing a dress, picking up parts to fix my father's company trucks.
She got pretty ennoyed when the service man kept calling her "Sir". She ended up having to "shake her boobs" in front of the counter, asking him if he usualy sees those on men?

In our business, we meet the same people every year (we have a traveling music store). Someone pauses a question to Mike. He tells them "that's her business, I'm just the truck driver" . I answer their question. They direct the 2nd question to Mike, he turns toward me and repeat their question,.......... We know we have seen some people repeatedly over the years, when they talk directly to me.
Yes, men (and women) can be taught. It just take a bit longer with some of them

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