Why Men are Worse Negotiators Than Women When it comes to Car Buying

Posted by  | October 30, 2013 | 

Ghostwritten by Elliot Chan. Formerly published in Unhaggle.com

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In the automotive world, women are often the butt of a joke. Unfair stereotypes about women being poor drivers and bad negotiators have made buying a new or used vehicle an intimidating endeavour. But like most things, women are as equally skilled as men—and new car negotiations are no different.

When You Know Less, You Prepare More

Before stepping into the showroom or test-driving a vehicle, most women are recognized to have done their homework and pre-purchase preparations. This advantage allows them to properly assess what they want upon arrival and ask the necessary questions to advance the car buying process. Women shouldn’t be considered naïve and clueless, and salespeople should think twice before treating a female shopper as a potential pushover. Odds are, that girl knows what she is talking about.

It’s through this mistrust between salesmen and female car buyers that have led to the need for women to be more educated. A study done by AutoExpress reported that 6 out of 10 female drivers received a discount on their new car purchase, even though 90% initially felt that the salesman wasn’t genuine. But women are more inclined to enter a store and browse, whereas men have less interest in comparing prices and doing research—they simply want to buy, buy, buy! In the end, it’s because of the women’s preparation and decision-making ability that enables them to purchase the vehicle at a better rate.

How Men Get in the Way of Negotiating

When approaching a negotiable situation, such as car buying, the customer must understand several important interested-based questions; what are the preferences, priorities, fears, needs, wants and future aspirations? Women are naturally more inclined to ask these questions before entering a bargaining or a big purchase scenario.

Both genders suffer from social sanctions, so are women really better than men when it comes to negotiating? How can that be? After all, males have always been the dominant gender all through history—but many are convinced that the forceful tactics men use during negotiations are actually working against them in car buying situations. Men tend to focus on status and act upon superiority, which is a poor way of negotiating. While the man says, “Take it or leave it,” the woman might be more collaborative and willing to compromise—thus making them better negotiators. Listening is the key, not aggression and intimidation.

Women understand that a common ground is usually the best platform for a fair negotiation. Empathy plays a large role in that regards. Being able to view the situation from another person’s perspective doesn’t necessary create an advantage, but it does allow the person to understand why they aren’t getting the upper hand. As it goes, women tend to have a higher level of empathy than men.

In marital relationships, big purchases such as an automobile wouldn’t be considered an impulse buy. Husband and wife would ask interest-based questions and determine whether or not a vehicle suits their lifestyle. While most men have dream cars growing up, women tend to consider the necessities of having a vehicle, not the luxury or image. Cars, in many cases, are a status symbol for men but that is not the case for women. Women are less likely to splurge on a car to show off their status and the marketplace still only considers men as gender with the financial power.

That Clueless Woman Who Could Never Buy a Car Without a Man Around

Women car owners have become a social norm—with more attention to feminism and gender gaps in terms of earnings, the marketplace needs to change their strategy to incorporate a dominant car buying demographic. The image of a damsel lost in a showroom, if it ever actually existed, is no longer something salespeople will see. As negotiation goes, the playing field is even—men or women, it doesn’t matter, what matters is know what you want to hit the road in.

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