By on August 12, 2015

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No-haggle pricing! It’s kind of the zombie of the auto industry. How, you ask? Well:

  • Touching it makes your dealership sick
  • It periodically comes back from the dead
  • The nerd/geek crowd loves to talk about it
  • It doesn’t actually exist

It’s also typically something that’s embraced by losers, whether the “loser” in question is a troubled dealership trying to remake its image after a complete decapitation of the leadership/ownership, a troubled brand trying to differentiate itself (Scion), or a troubled automaker clutching at straws in the face of overwhelming competition (General Motors, with Saturn). But Lexus, the latest brand to give it a shot, doesn’t know the meaning of the word “loser”. Its lineup is bulletproof, both in terms of durability and customer perception. Its dealers are obscenely profitable and generally immune to the worst of the customer-abuse excesses for which mainline Toyota stores are justifiably famous.

So why jump on a strategy that has never, ever worked for any brand that doesn’t own the majority of its retail outlets? Perhaps the answer has something to do with Ellen Pao.

Ms. Pao, an attorney who became famous for suing her employer following what she felt was discrimination for sexual involvement with a fellow employee, somehow managed to get the job of “interim CEO” at Reddit while she was waiting for her lawsuit to come to an end. (Which it did, with a jury finding in favor of her employer on all counts.) During her brief tenure, she instituted a policy banning salary negotiations for new hires. Her motive was, apparently, attempting to ensure equal pay for women:

“We provide offers at the high end and they are non-negotiable,” Pao said at the PreMoney Conference in San Francisco on Friday.

Part of it is offering employees a fair salary at market rate, but when 500 Startups founder Dave McClure asked if there’s some gender-discrimination motivation behind it, Pao said yes.

“There’s some gender to it,” Pao said. “People won’t get penalized for asking.”

Women are significantly less likely to negotiate for higher salaries than men, research shows, and if they do, people react more negatively than they would to a man. Pao said the idea is to get everyone who comes in a fair salary.

“I haven’t heard any complaints. We’re tracking it to see if candidates really want to negotiate,” Pao said.

This whole idea — that women are “less likely” to negotiate — comes as a giant surprise to your humble author, who spent years watching his first wife beat the hell out of everybody from high-end car dealers to jewelry shops in the Caribbean to street vendors in Chinatown. My current girlfriend just served as the general contractor for our home remodel and, over the past six months, I’ve lost count of the number of times I heard her on the phone ripping the intestines out of some poor tile vendor or shower-glass cutter.

To the contrary, my experience in selling cars for years indicates that it’s men who don’t want to negotiate. Many men, particularly those born before 1980 or so, are hard-wired with the idea that disagreement has the potential to end in fisticuffs and we are anxious to avoid a fight if we don’t need to get in one. I never had a man raise his voice to me over the price of a car and I extended the same courtesy in response, but I certainly had their wives call me a son-of-a-bitch over three hundred bucks.

It also seems slightly odd that Ms. Pao, whose boldness in hooking up with a co-worker and then expecting to be cashed out sixteen million dollars in the aftermath has now led her to demand $2.7 million in exchange for not appealing the verdict in her case, seems to think that other women can’t be arsed to ask for a few grand at the end of a job interview. Perhaps she thinks she is unique among women and it’s her job to guard the weaker members of the tribe.

Ms. Pao, however, is not unique in thinking that “women don’t negotiate”. There are plenty of books on the subject. So whether it is true or not, the idea of negotiation-averse women has plenty of social currency.

Lexus is also very interested in pitching directly to women. The Lexus Difference program, another small-batch idea being tested at a few Lexus dealerships, teaches dealers how to prioritize interaction with women:

With Lexus Difference, associates are now being trained to speak to women first rather than directing their pitch to men, among other techniques. “Women hold 80% of the influence in a purchasing decision,” says Turner. “Whether she’s making the decision or not, she’s definitely going to influence the decision. The man doesn’t really care whom you’re addressing, but women feel left out.”

Decades ago, women who were shopping for cars on their own were often advised to come back with their husbands. I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of looking forward to the day when a salesman says to me, “I know you like this Viper ACR. Why don’t you go home and talk to your wife; same-sex, non-cisgender partner; or otherkin poly triad member about it before we sign the papers?” That way I’ll know that America is completely dead and it’s time to hoist the black flag before starting the food riots in earnest.

If Lexus believes that they’ll sell more cars by becoming the proverbial safe space for women, I’m all in favor of doing it. But I wonder: When some Silicon Valley company decides to take a third chance on Ellen Pao and she in turn decides to celebrate another megabucks job with the purchase of that lovely new Lexus RC-F coupe, will she accept her no-haggle feminine destiny, or will she demand to negotiate?

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86 Comments on “Please, Ladies, No Haggling...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    “… she in turn decides to celebrate another megabucks job with the purchase of that lovely new Lexus RC-F coupe”

    Well, if she goes for the V8 then she can’t be all bad.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    Wow. I usually like what you write, Jack, but… this belongs on some trolling subreddit, not TTAC. Your slip is showing.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I’ll bite.

      What’s the problem with it? Quoting Lexus directly? Suggesting that the non-negotiation policy is designed to appeal to women?

      Where does it cross the line from speculation to trolling? You’re a customer, I’m interested in your serious opinion.

      • 0 avatar
        tedward

        I thought it lined up exactly with my life experiences to date. My wife, and every female boss I’ve had, and basically every woman actually, play out the pittbull role with glee when it comes to negotiation. They all also look at me with bewilderment when I plainly state that someone is employing”fighting words” or sympathize with the first punch-er.

        As to ms. Pao. She seems like a smart person with no management skills. I’ve met the type before and I can’t imagine the thought process behind hiring her to run yet another significant business. The hook up and sue dynamic troubles me as well but I’d have to know serious details of the case before I made final judgement there.

        • 0 avatar
          its me Dave

          I’d agree that women have achieved parity with men in every aspect of value negotiation – except one. They are terrible at negotiations that depend on self-assessment of self-worth. You know, the kind of blind self-confidence/arrogance males project when negotiating salary. Any conclusion drawn from a blanket assertion that women may or may not be willing, able or likely negotiators glosses over this salient exception.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick_515

        It’s trolling because you, the famous contextualizer, failed to recognize the continuous discrimination of women in the marketplace by 1) anecdodally, yet disingenuously, suggested that this is simply not true, by referring to two or three people you have known, and developed a theory of no-haggling men that’s a poor excuse of a theory, and b) hid behind whoever the eff this pao is to ignore what she was trying to do. If you want to engage with gender discrimination in society, then you can’t hide behind the actions of Ellen Pao.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        A few things:

        1) Your characterization of Ellen Pao’s story could have come straight from r/TheRedPill. It’s the most reductive version possible, not even acknowledging the bad treatment her employer admitted to.

        2) And the reason you treat her story that way is as support (which is flimsy overall) for a narrative of ball-busting women and men who won’t stick up for themselves out of a fear of violence. I’m sorry, but the narrative is just wrong. Every academic study ever shows that women are less likely to be assertive in negotiations, and it’s been consistently true in my professional life, where men are more likely to frankly raise complaints or questions about my work or my bills, more likely to ask for favors, and more likely to argue with my advice.

        3) “Why don’t you go home and talk to your wife; same-sex, non-cisgender partner; or otherkin poly triad member about it before we sign the papers?” That way I’ll know that America is completely dead…” Sorry, but this is just more Fox News-ish Angry White Male shtick. It really doesn’t come off well or help your case to denigrate people for no reason other than that they are not like you.

        All of that aside I agree with you that no-haggle pricing is a boneheaded move for Lexus in particular, especially at the higher end of its lineup (I can see it working for ES/RX/NX). Lexus is still a brand that needs a price advantage to compete against the Mercedes-Benzes and Land Rovers of the world, and dealers need to have some flexibility.

        • 0 avatar
          Andy

          The thing is, they still do have the price advantage, even if they don’t negotiate.

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Baruth

          1. With the exception of the word “somehow”, my entire characterization of Ms. Pao’s situation is without value judgment or editorial opinion. She slept with a fellow employee. She was terminated, ostensibly for poor job performance. She sued the company. She lost on every count. She then offered not to appeal in exchange for a $2.7 million payoff. If that bare relation of the facts is pejorative to her, that’s a reflection on her actions, not my description.

          2. I believe you just called the mother of my son a “ball-buster”. Surely you can see how this is neither respectful to women nor particularly productive. If my description of women asserting themselves strikes you as “ball-busters”, you have to ask yourself what *your* preconceptions are.

          3. I’m simply drawing a parallel between Stereotypical America of 1950 (“Go home and get your husband”) and Stereotypical America of the future (“Go home and get your otherkin poly triad partner.”) You don’t get to use one without the other; you can’t rail against a sexist, racist America in which most of us never lived and only know from TV shows and novels without admitting that the country is swinging in the other direction in a manner that is likely to overshoot the mark.

          My opinion, which I did not put in this story, is that Ellen Pao is basically the feminist equivalent of a race huckster. She decided to bang around at work and then wanted to get paid $17m for doing so. It’s a vicious, despicable mindset that, in its association with the idea of “feminism”, poisons the well for legitimate concerns like the rape of American servicewomen and hiring discrimination.

          • 0 avatar
            zamoti

            While the suppositions within the framework of the piece may not be without logic, it’s the overall approach to the idea. The beef was with no-haggle pricing; the framing in which it resides is about women. This piece could have been written any number of ways but you chose to use Ellen Pao as the backdrop. I don’t know much about EP, nor do I care to read titillating tales of workplace gossip so I won’t attempt to make the case for/against her. The issue is that for the various number of ways this article could have been composed it leaned far enough into the territory of misogyny that a few people picked up on it. Not only that, it’s not the first time that we’ve caught a whiff of this in the air so yeah, you got called out.
            While I normally enjoy your writing, I just don’t understand why you continue dance around on this line when there are so many other ways you could express yourself.
            In simpler terms, “when ten men tell you you’re drunk, lie down”. Yes I used men on purpose, that’s the joke.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            1) No, you don’t get off that easy. You entirely left out the basis for her claim, treating it as if its subject matter was her intra-office relationship. She claimed that she was subject to quite a few different types of sexist behavior, any of which independently would arguably qualify as discrimination, and the vast majority of which had nothing to do with the relationship. The company admitted that some, but not all, of this behavior took place. The jury decided against her, but this was clearly a case with enough factual merit to reach a jury, whether or not bringing a case was the most ethical way to handle the situation (which I go back and forth about). If the events in question had taken place the way you imply, any judge in the country would have thrown the case out at the summary judgment stage. Your presentation is factually inaccurate and quite ideological.

            2) OK, guilty as charged on the use of the phrase “ball-busting.” Replace it with “hyperassertive.” I stand behind the underlying point.

            3) Such a “Stereotypical America of the Future” exists only in the minds of conspiracy-minded Angry White Men, and possibly in the minds of a few campus radicals who make a lot of noise but most likely number in the low three figures nationwide. In the real world over the last couple of decades, I see nothing but welcome correction from the assumption that everyone is either straight, white, and preferably married or somehow deviant. I see no “overshooting,” just a lot of angst from people who now have to think about and accommodate differences they didn’t before. The main effect of the type of language I and others called out is to make clear your disapproval of certain classes of people, those who stray the furthest from the old-fashioned ideal. There’s really no benefit in that.

            Your final paragraph doubles down on the incomplete and inaccurate characterization of Ellen Pao’s situation, and as a result slaughters a very weak straw man.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            You redeemed yourself with that last sentence, Jack.

          • 0 avatar
            Maymar

            So, you’re saying car salesmen are actually a very evolved, enlightened group of people? Ohio must be a wonderful, mythical place.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          “Every acidemic study ever” does not seem to relect reality as I know it. My mother is far more likely to negotiate down to the last fifty cents, and having sold cars to women, most were the same way. Trying to negotiate an extra $100 off due to the scuff mark on the bumper of a 1990 Tempo Im selling for $800, for instance. Its an old car is why its $800, if it were like-new, showroom condition, itd be $2800 or whatever, and a scuff on what Im representing as a mint condition car is grounds for negotiation. A guy would accept that its an old car (with scuffs and dings), and pay me the $800 if he thought it was worth it or say no thanks if he didnt.

          Hope I dont sound too “Fox-newsy” to you, but why is stereotyping white people okay, but not anyone else? Its okay to call him an “Angry White Male” but if you called some Furgeson protester a “BET-watching angry black guy”, THEN its racist? Its okay to hate white people, but if you hate someone who isnt white, suddenly it becomes bad? How about not hating anyone? How about not stereo typing “Duck Dynasty fans” any more than you would “Braxton Family Values fans”? NOTHING he wrote couldnt have possibly come from a black guy or a hispanic guy or whatever. It is you who is trying to make something out of nothing.

          Youre so worried about him [NOT] calling that gold digger whore out for what she has done that you compeltely missed the fact that he didnt really call her out, at least not in any “Angry” way, white male or otherwise. He simply stated the facts as accurately as possible. Not sugar-coated enough for you? Too bad. Its not all tulips and lollypops out here. People do stupid shit, if he wants to use her stupidity as an example, there is nothing wrong with that.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            “He simply stated the facts as accurately as possible.”

            I don’t think you read my comments. Jack stated the facts of the Pao case quite *in*accurately.

            “Its okay to call him an “Angry White Male” but if you called some Furgeson protester a “BET-watching angry black guy”, THEN its racist? Its okay to hate white people, but if you hate someone who isnt white, suddenly it becomes bad?”

            If calling a type of rhetoric (not a person) “angry white male” as an adjective is hating white people, then hate doesn’t mean anything anymore. I’m not stereotyping anyone, just pointing out a type of rhetoric that really makes Jack look bad.

            Calling Ellen Pao a “gold digger whore” is orders of magnitude more hateful than anything in any of my comments, whether or not you think she was justified in bringing suit against her employer.

      • 0 avatar

        If I may hazard a guess, he’s just a lib who was fed a stedy diet of propaganda that painted Pao as a victim.

        • 0 avatar
          InterstateNomad

          I’ve also picked up on the bad vibes from your articles, and I share the concerns of the above posters. Nope, I wasn’t going to lay it all out for you, I was simply planning to stop reading your articles. However, since you seem to say that you are listening, please do. Your depth of knowledge makes your articles otherwise very interesting and good reads.

          Otherwise, yes, I avoid non-negotiating dealerships like the plague, since all the ones in my area appear to have markups over MSRP. At the very least, if a car has been sitting on your lot for a year, I want to negotiate a discount, like a sale or clearance at a store.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    “My current girlfriend just served as the general contractor for our home remodel and………”

    We just finished our current home a year and half ago. I allowed my wife to do all the contractor negotiation and quality control. She is petite, at 5’1″, but she could make the most grizzled contractor to tremble.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Everyone wants a no haggle negotiation….until being presented with the no haggle price, then magically everyone becomes a pro negotiator. As they say in the auto sales industry – buyers are liars.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      My local Acura dealer is a no-haggle place. I did all the usual research (TrueCar, KBB, “what did you pay” thread on Acurazine) and then emailed the salesguy I bought my last car from, and said “can you send me a quote on a grey AWD RDX with Tech?” It was in line (+/- $200 or so, about $2400 off sticker) of my expected price based on my research, and we just showed up and did the paperwork.

      The big missing piece is a trade-in, that will always be a negotiation point if it’s present.

  • avatar
    kkop

    No-Haggle pricing works very well for Carmax, for both its used and new cars. Works well, and not just for men…

    • 0 avatar

      I think Carmax works because they have such great inventories of used. If you come to my lot I’ll give you a better number for your trade and sell mine for less, but you have to want one of the three Fusions I have in stock. They do alot of market research on their locations as well. Dealerships are often in a row of 20 and competing against various makes with various current rebates to overcome in order to close the deal on new units. Both dealerships and Carmax sell cars, but they truly are different markets in many ways.

    • 0 avatar

      Exactly. I bought a new (leftover) Pathfinder from one that has a Nissan franchise. I thought the price was fair, although the trade-in was a little lower than I would have preferred. Of course, while every other Nissan dealer had maybe one left in stock, usually a stripper in poop brown, Carmax had 6, with different trims, although all but one (the one I bought) were silver.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      CarMax is a very large corporation that can afford to let someone walk by refusing to negotiate. Most new car dealerships are family owned, and that one extra sale can mean hitting factory incentives and even mean people’s jobs (for failing to hit sales goals). That’s why it is so hard to enforce a no haggle policy at a new car dealer vs CarMax.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “The man doesn’t really care whom you’re addressing, but women feel left out.”

    Translation: These women just cry over everything, now we have to make a special effort to talk to them first. Why don’t they stay home and clean house?

    I bet that quote there about the Difference program was written and rearranged by lawyers approximately seven times before he said it out loud.

  • avatar
    PartsUnknown

    “The man doesn’t really care whom you’re addressing, but women feel left out.”

    If there is a better distillation of the differences between the sexes, I don’t know what it is.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    My wife is an Obi-Wan Kenobi Jedi Master. “This is the price I am going to pay,” she says staring straight into the salesperson’s soul. Or, “This is the donation your company will make to the charity,” she commands and then waits for the CFO to lower his eyes and reach for his pen.

    So no, she doesn’t negotiate. She’s simply obeyed.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Ms. Pao is as interested in the protection and growth of her fellow fems as Jesse Jackson is in the betterment and growth of his fellow race.

    These people are totally narcissistic and self interested.
    Perhaps, after years of repeating earlier positions, they might actually begin to “think” they are what they say.

    But unlikely. Their whole goal is to benefit themselves.

    IF these Mother Theresa’s were truthfully interested in the cause…they would live their cause!

    I often ask my “true believer” friends…IF they did really believe in a hereafter and such a heaven and eternity of bliss along side their maker…why in heaven’s sake would you NOT want to get there NOW! Why in hell would you spend so much of your income on healthcare and the prevention of an early arrival and better seats???
    Why, if the gathering and hording of wealth is a key no-no, why would you ever deposit any money at all and instead give it away to a suffering soul? Wouldn’t every good deed you do simply cement your passage into the front row of eternal bliss??

    Actors…fakers and phonies…that’s all they are. (a line from one of my songs)

  • avatar
    2drsedanman

    “During her brief tenure, she instituted a policy banning salary negotiations for new hires. Her motive was, apparently, attempting to ensure equal pay for women.”

    What a bunch of shit. This whole “everyone gets a trophy” mentality is just another weakening pitfall of our society. I’m sure there were/are instances where women have been paid less than men. I see it in my own department. Recently I decided to pursue other job offers and was upfront about it to my boss. Because they wanted me to stay, we re-negotiated a few things and I received a $3/hour raise. Does that mean that other people (including women) who are doing a similar job as me should also get a raise? Hell no!

    These once price, take or leave it scenarios may work for some people. But like my job, if I can negotiate a better deal, either with cars or salary, why shouldnt’ I ? Do I feel bad because I make more than the women I work with? Not one damn bit.

    • 0 avatar

      The no haggling for salary is a new thing at tech companies the idea is transparency and no bull shit they can advertise a job @100k and if you get it you get 100k it simplifies the system and allows you to publish salary etc. they get around employee retention my creating new positions with higher pay when they have too.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    No salary negotiations? Great!

    Just pay me whatever salary I ask for, and I’ll start on Monday!

  • avatar
    Driver8

    “same-sex, non-cisgender partner; or otherkin poly triad member”

    Uh oh….’Beetlejuice’ three times.

  • avatar

    Actually, no-haggle was not among Saturn’s problems. The first Saturns came out in ’91, and for the ’94 model year they sold nearly 300,000 copies of the SL, their only model at the time. The redesign for ’96 was a major harbinger of the brand’s demise

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/the-truth-about-saturn/

    I have no quibbles with the rest of the article. My mother was a great haggler.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    For whatever reason, I think a premium Toyota brand is the best place to have no-negotiating pricing work. I don’t see a typical Lexus buyer as particularly penny-pinching. Though I’m interested to know if they intend to use the Scion model where the dealer sets the price or if the mothership does it. I suspect the former and that I should have read the earlier article.

    As for women negotiating… my wife paid full asking for her used Legacy after I, admittedly, blew it while talking about the car with the sales guy. She also loved the no haggle buying process when she bought her Scion prior to the Subaru. She also chose to hide in her room any time the guy redoing our shower came to the house. Or really, she hides in her room any time anyone comes over. She’d rather jump off a bridge than argue with someone over price or workmanship.

    • 0 avatar

      When I was working on my MBA, one of my classmates was a salesman who was selling Lexuses at a local dealer while looking for a job in software sales. He mentioned that there was quite a bit of haggling – especially among Asian customers – presumably because it’s much more common to haggle over everything in many of those countries. Given Lexus’ popularity with Asians, I wonder how this strategy will affect them.

  • avatar
    Remi

    I agree with PeriSoft – what could have been an interesting perspective on another no-haggle experiment has morphed into a “America is doomed by the LGBs – I am being persecuted for being a white male”.

    Perhaps no-haggling is a dead end, perhaps it’s not, but if I want to read about white american males being persecuted for their mainstream beliefs, I just have to turn on Fox News.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      ““I know you like this Viper ACR. Why don’t you go home and talk to your wife; same-sex, non-cisgender partner; or otherkin poly triad member about it before we sign the papers?” That way I’ll know that America is completely dead and it’s time to hoist the black flag before starting the food riots in earnest.”

      Brilliant.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Another thing I’m not looking forward to in the Brave Progressive New World: the complete humorlessness and inability to view one’s self in any but the most serious, and thoroughly victim-oriented, terms.

      Obviously no Viper salesman is ever going to send someone home to talk to their otherkin poly triad members.

      ‘Cause, you know, why would you go Viper shopping without bringing your women?

  • avatar
    Pch101

    In Japan, there is no haggling.

    Producers would prefer that retailers sell their goods for MSRP because a lack of pricing power damages their brands. If Apple does it, then why shouldn’t they try?

    One of the key intents of Scion was to attempt to bring elements of the Japanese retail model to the US: No haggling.

    On the whole, this is not surprising. It just doesn’t work in the US car business, that’s all — consumers say that they don’t want to haggle, yet they want the benefits of haggling.

  • avatar
    haroldingpatrick

    Cue examples of the world’s best negotiators who bought a new ride for 1k under invoice while getting full retail value on their trade in. . . .

    I don’t know anything about how much profit a dealer has to make to stay in business – I’m guessing it differs for every one. Me, I just research incentives and shop around. Be polite, take your time over two or three visits to the dealer, tell them you need to contemplate their offer and go home. When they call you back the next day to make the sale, ask politely if they could do a little better. They might, they might not – make your decision. Christ, there is more to life than money.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Meh. Reddit is a shithole that attracts the worst leftist degenerates of society. Their ultra humorless supercereal business userbase is simply a reflection of their staff and management, which is a complete joke…also ellen doesn’t care about women as shown by when she unceremoniously fired one if their most important and productive staff members, the extremely popular lady who cordinated iama interviews with celebrities.

  • avatar
    cwallace

    Anyone who doesn’t have the sense to play Good Cop to your wife’s Bad Cop deserves to leave money on the table.

    We plunked down for the Platinum Limited (known in the F&I dept. as the BOHICA package) Toyota Sienna very recently, and yes, the dealers are changing the dynamics. The (female, and similar age as my wife) salesperson addressed her first in all our interactions, and I will admit that it felt… odd. I’m not saying that it was negative- this is her car we were buying, after all. But I did stop in the moment and note that the times, they are a-changin’.

  • avatar
    Andy

    Aren’t a lot of Lexuseses leased? I expect there will still be an awful lot of haggling over monthly payments.

    To the article, I don’t see that this policy was made for women. Men also like to feel they are not going to be jerked around. Seems to me that people don’t mind paying sticker price, if they know everyone else is paying the same. It’s not the desire to get a better deal that everyone else, but the fear of doing WORSE than the other guy.

    I’ll pay close to sticker for a Tacoma, because I know everyone else did too, and the resale value is insane. But I’ll be damned if I don’t get my $8,000 “discount” on an F-150. Maybe one day they’ll just price them correctly in the first place. Until then, if I hear my buddies bragging about how far they got below invoice, I’m going to be That Guy the dealer hates, with my Edmunds TMV report in hand.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Oh also I meant to say. I think the current ES really has a premium look going for it, and it’s pretty long and low and wide. Just look at that solid character line along the side!

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    “a troubled brand trying to differentiate itself (Scion)”

    Scion has done “no-haggle” from day one. They weren’t a “troubled brand”, they were a new brand, and they had cars people wanted.

    Now, Scion *dealers* are a whole other story. Some hold to the “pure price” mantra, while others add the ADM sticker, corporate be damned.

    When iMs arrive at dealers, if I can find a dealer that will sell to me at “pure price”, I will buy one.

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    I bet the reason that woman cursed you over $300 was either that was the price you quoted her for applying TruKote to the underside of her Fargo-based car, or she had a fit of menopause/PMS. They all do that when they are not haggling you to death.

    OK OK, come down. When I could not pass a driver’s test because I failed to bribe a Soviet cop, it was our female friend, and not my dad, the one cornering the cop in the hallway with 50 rubles in an envelope.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    “It doesn’t actually exist”

    Nonsense.

    You can get no-haggle pricing at any car dealer, from a BHPH to the fanciest of luxury dealers.

    Offer them the price on the sticker, plus fees and taxes.

    They won’t make you haggle.

    (Is that wise? Well, not if you want the *lowest* price, but it can sure save you some effort and stress.

    Every time I’ve bought a used car – except the first, where I overpaid, but then it was only a $1200 car – I’ve asked for and received a few hundred dollars off the asking price, “just so I can feel good about haggling it down”.

    If they’d given me any significant grief about that I would have just taken the asking price, since it was fair to begin with, or I wouldn’t have been interested.)

  • avatar
    orenwolf

    Jack:

    #1: law of small sample sizes.
    #2: your post ignores the fact that women are paid far less than men.
    #3: diversity in tech is horrible. Despite over 50% of graduates in the field being female, there is almost nowhere that even approaches a 80/20 split of male/female workers. So, when a woman is actually given an offer for a position, are you surprised that they do not tend to want to rock the boat further by negotiating?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      When you correct for the job, women are not paid far less than men.

      The same way that men are FAR more likely to die or be injured at work… until you correct for the job.

      Diversity in tech is far more than it would be if people looked at blind resumes and tech-interview results without names, and I say that as someone who has interviewed dozens of candidates for tech jobs over the course of two decades.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Is denying someone’s victimhood a micro-aggression?

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Correcting for the job ignores the real problem: pay for each job has an almost perfect inverse correlation with the number of women in that job, which is much stronger than the correlation with the difficulty or undesirability of the job. The reasons for that are historical — there isn’t some kind of conspiracy to pay women less — but it means that in the aggregate there is still a major gender pay problem. A perfect example: two disgusting and unrewarding jobs requiring similar qualifications, garbage truck driver (dominated by men) and nursing home aide (dominated by women). Garbage truck drivers are generally some of the better-paid blue-collar personnel, while nursing home aides are lucky if they make double the minimum wage.

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Baruth

          Driving a garbage truck is far more dangerous than being a nursing home aide. And once you leave the corrupt fiefdoms of the major cities where “garbage collection” is synonymous with “organized crime”, the pay is about the same. The company that picks up my garbage pays its drivers between $12 and $21 an hour according to Glassdoor. Nursing aides in my neighborhood make $15-20.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Women are paid less than men. Does it need to be said? The sun rises from the east, btw.

      Everyone is paid exactly what they deserve. It’s a *marketplace*, OK? When my competitor gets considerably more for his tomatoes, who can I cry to.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Glad to see you live in a world full of rational Homo economicuses all with perfect information and exactly average luck. In the real world where I live, the market does not give everyone exactly what they deserve. All sorts of other factors influence results.

        Maybe your competitor got more for his tomatoes because they were better tomatoes. But maybe the buyer was a buddy of his, or he was offering a kickback. Or maybe the buyer is gullible or ill-informed and didn’t know tomatoes could be cheaper.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Water finds its own level. Please give an example of someone not getting exactly what they deserve from the marketplace.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            An F-150 regular cab truck buyer who relied on IIHS safety ratings.

            That’s a good example of imperfect information distorting marketplace outcomes. Pretty much every transaction has some level of imperfect information, from the minor to the grotesque.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            How can you possibly set a given value for how much, said F-150 buyers were ‘taken’ for? Especially when there’s not a safer ‘regular cab’ pickup on the market, in its class.

    • 0 avatar
      thx_zetec

      “diversity in tech is horrible”。 Huh? In tech there way more Asians in tech than in general population, many of them with dark skin. And if diversity in tech is bad I’d hate to see what you say about the NBA.

      “despite over 50% of graduates in the field being female” whoa what you smoking?! Can you provide a source? Tech graduates mostly men, with large number of asians thrown in for diversity, that that diversity is good for much.

  • avatar
    trackratmk1

    This will be a failure for Lexus as long as they have other stores that still negotiate. They all need to be on board, else this will happen.

    Buyer: So, how much is this one?
    Lexus: $50,000.
    Buyer: How about $48,000?
    Lexus: Nope, still $50,000.
    Buyer: Thanks, I’m going to get the same exact car at a dealership two towns over that knows what you’re selling this for, and who will give it to me for less than you.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    Hey, good to see they are chasing Cadillac down the sewer.

    So, when car brands make themselves “a woman’s car” intentionally, do they always fail?

    Mercury had Jill Wagner. (A LONG WAY from James Dean! And Ford had Mike Rowe at the same time…)

    Cadillac targeted all their ads at women during the North Star era. I remember she looked like a lot of fun, but made me think – men must drive German cars, then.

    Pontiac developed the reputation (which it regained from it’s pre-Delorian era) as the single woman’s car… I would imagine the 1950s maiden aunt mobile was a better reputation than the 1990s “exotic dancer” grand am.

    Have I missed a successful women-oriented car brand? I assumed it’s like all things: Women like to buy things targeted at men; men like to buy things targeted at men; women get the idea that things too targeted for them (outside of things that really are made exclusively for women) are a pink ghetto and something past its prime.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    Ellen Pao is really a bad example on how to do women right correctly and pollute the reputation of most honest, sidelined female in workforce.

    Ellen slept with her higher up hopping to get ahead, she of all people should know what not to do in her position. Most guys would be aware that it would ruin their careers with sexual harassment lawsuits in the future.

    Ellen then turn around and sue when the affair was busted because “the other guy didn’t get fired”. Well, based on this alone I’d say the company is exactly right to fire her.

    She then divorce her husband right away and marry a man that has been in a same sex relationship (I have no problem with same sex relationship) for a long time, get herself pregnant, just because he has money and is a big VC investor. How many people will go through all this just to climb up the career or financial path? She is articulated and will prostitute herself as long as it is beneficial. Love and family be damned, they are just stepping stones anyways.

  • avatar

    I enjoy the back and forth of making a deal, putting together a package and a price that makes both parties happy, but when it comes down to it, particularly for large purchases I’ll simply ask what their bottom line, no BS, price is. Sometimes I’ll counter offer to see if it’s really the bottom line, or see if I can get them to throw something else in, but in general I’m not fond of extended dickering. Tell me what you really need to get for it, and if I want it and think the price is right I’ll buy it.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    At Inskip Lexus in RI, a MASSIVE luxury dealership chain, some old finance manager told my mom (in 2008), sitting next to my dad, “Are you sure you want to be on the title honey, if he runs off you’ll be on the hook for paying the loan.” Mom looks at dad, looks back at FI guy, and says “F you, guess we’ll pay cash instead” and took out her checkbook. Would’ve like to see the Lexus customer service folks when THAT survey came back. Oddly enough, that car’s replacement (another Lexus) was delivered directly to the house and the paperwork faxed back and forth.

  • avatar
    orenwolf

    here’s a meta question: Why the hell does the “Reply” button disappear under some posts? Is there a nesting limit where only so many replies are permitted to a given message?

  • avatar
    stuki

    Statistically, women, particularly once into their Lexus buying years, are easier marks than men. Which is the reason the architects of progressive totalitarianism were so bent on giving them voting “rights”, after all.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    With “No Haggling” both sides lose. The ‘locked in’ price won’t be to the consumer’s benefit. And then the OEM and dealer can’t constantly adjust for changes in the market. Except trade-ins will be negotiated as usual. Some pay full MSRP anyway, but get far above “book value” for their trade-in.

    • 0 avatar

      Why is it that all other industries somehow adjust to the changes in the market without running their customers through the grinder of the middle-eastern bazaar, but automobile marketing needs a magic exception?

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        It’s the same reason real estate is highly negotiable. Cars aren’t like buying microwaves or laptops. Except flat screens and appliances are negotiable to some degree, plus regularly go on sale. Btw always ask for past and up coming sale prices, ‘right now’.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          New cars are is identical to each other as new laptops or new refrigerators.

          With real estate, each property is different.

          The only thing that cars and real estate have in common is that they’re expensive.

  • avatar

    I’m not sure it is for losers. Saturn and scion seem to be more hampered by product then dealer experience. The largest Honda dealer in my area Manchester Honda has been no haggle for more then a decade and they seem to grow bigger every year. Lexus is in a good position to test this they have a. Good product mix and good dealers so it would likely be the first real test of fixed pricing. A neighbor of mine used to work at the Honda dealer I mentioned, she noted a large amount of buyers were either in their 20’s women or senior citizens it seems to me if these are the groups attracted to no haggle pricing it should work out fine.

    One more note I like you writing Jack, but this is another one of your articles where you seem to step over the line from insightful free thinker to bitter old divorced white dude.

  • avatar
    manbridge

    What a bunch of first-worlder problem nonsense.

    I’ve never held a job that a woman could do for any LENGTH of time.

    Thread is full of female reproductive organs.

    • 0 avatar
      Scott_314

      Being somewhat aware of car prices, my sister in law asked me to come help her negotiate.

      At the negotiation however, she was the shark and I was the fish. She went way past my limit of politeness, which would have been sending the sales associate to go talk to the manager two or three times. She had him pleading with us to stay, “I’m sure I can get another couple hundred off, just don’t go!”.

      Next time I buy I think I’ll ask her to come with me.

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