Things Loved in July

1. My new car!

After 8 years of driving around in my trusty old Ford Focus it was time to trade her in for a 2012 Nissan Rogue!

I’m not sure what I’m more proud of in July – my new car…or my mad negotiating skills.

Who’s ready for a story?

I decided to go car shopping on my first solo day of my Staycation since it was something I couldn’t easily do with a toddler in tow and not something I wanted to hassle with on a weekend. My heart had been set on a Nissan Rogue for quite awhile (based on outside looks alone, of course; I’d never driven one, and up until this summer I’d never even been in one) so the Nissan dealership was my first stop.

I knew two things walking onto that car lot: (1) I was interested in the SV model because of its additional features, and (2) I wanted a used car because I think brand new cars are a waste of money.

It would take more words than you’d care to read to give you all the details of how I had more than one car salesman sweating in his khakis, but allow me to give you some of the highlights . . .

[Background info: I’d found a used Rogue SV with premium upgrades at the Nissan dealership on my side of town (we’ll call that Dealership #1) that was in my budget and at the top of my list. To be thorough, I went to the second Nissan dealership in town (Dealership #2) to see if they had any used Rogues on their lot. They didn’t, so instead the sales guy tried talking me into buying a brand new SV minus the premium upgrades. At his urging, I decided to sit down with him for a little chat. The following are some snippets from our conversation.]

SALES GUY (incredulous look on his face): You want me to sell you a brand new Rogue for LESS than the used Rogue you’re looking at across town?!
ME (smiling sweetly): Yes. That’s exactly what I’m saying.
SALES GUY (reeling): But my car is new! Theirs is used!
ME (shrugging): Honestly, that doesn’t matter to me. Five years from now I’m not going to care about the extra miles that used Rogue has on it…but I will still be enjoying those premium upgrades.
SALES GUY: But if you buy new you can pick whatever color you want.
ME (laughing): Hey now, don’t play that chick card with me. Next thing you know you’ll be telling about all the great spots it has for my purse!

[Later in the conversation…]

SALES GUY (returning from the back room where he and his manager were crunching numbers, huge smile on his face): Alright, we got a number you’re going to be happy with! The used Rogue across town is $XX,XXX.00 . . . plus tax, title, and license, of course–
ME (interrupting): Actually, that price had tax, title, and license already figured into it.

(At this point Sales Guy literally throws his arms up in the air and bangs his head on his desk.)

ME (smiling sympathetically): I’m sorry this is turning out to be such a hard day for you.
SALES GUY (regaining composure): No. It’s okay. We WILL make this happen.
ME (waving my finger to his manager’s office): Why don’t you head back there and run those numbers again.

[And the exciting conclusion of our conversation…]

SALES GUY: Okay, we’re under the used Rogue’s price. Do we have a deal?
ME: I’ll have to think about it.
SALES GUY: What’s left to think about?!
ME: I need to decide which means more to me – having a brand new car, or having a used car with the premium upgrades.
SALES GUY: (speechless)
ME (giving my best smile): I do like those premium upgrades…
SALES GUY (handing me the key to the brand new Rogue): Here – take the car home with you so you can get a better feel for it while you make your decision.
ME: I don’t need to take it home with me. I already test drove one this morning and I know it’s what I want.
SALES GUY (shoving the key in my hand): Take the car for the night.
ME: No, really, it’s okay. There’s no need.
SALES GUY (takes a deep breath): I need you to take this car and leave so we can be done talking. [And I’m pretty sure he added something in there about not wanting to look at me anymore.]
ME (laughing): Fair enough.

So I took that brand new Rogue SV (sans premium upgrades) from Dealership #2 and drove it back to Dealership #1 (parking it out in front where all the sales guys could see it) to get them in an “I can beat their price!” war, with the intention of negotiating down the price of their used Rogue SV with premium upgrades – the car I had now decided I wanted.

After all was said and done, I drove off with a brand new Rogue SV with premium upgrades (the best of both worlds!) for only $100 more than the used option I had been considering.

Hell. Yeah.

I think it’s safe to say I have now been blacklisted at every car dealership in the Madison area – but on behalf of every woman out there who has ever been talked down to, ignored, or taken advantage of while shopping for a vehicle let me also say. . . it’d be worth it if I was.

Generally I do a list of 5 things loved in this monthly feature, but this time I’m sticking with just one. Sure there are plenty of other things I adored and enjoyed last month, but nothing tops that new car smell, the thrill of an amazing deal, and the satisfaction of showing the Big Boys they better think twice before underestimating a woman in high heels.


  1. 1
    Anonymous says:

    So which dealership won??

  2. 2

    I need to take you with me the next time I buy a car! :)

  3. 3

    Go girl! I love this post. I’m sending it to my friend who is thinking about buying a car soon. :)

  4. 4

    Love this!! I’m seriously not a fan of misogynistic car dealerships/salesmen! Totally made my day that you got the best of them!

  5. 5

    Serious negotiating skills! I love it!
    Way to be, Dusty!

  6. 6

    pretty sure the sales guy loved every minute of it :-) glad you’re happy with the new car!

  7. 7

    Awesome! They were actually probably wishing they could hire you. Good job!

    -Erin @ DIY On the Cheap

  8. 8

    You are at least ten kinds of awesome!

  9. 9

    Umm that is GENIUS!! Did you do extensive research before hand? We’re planning to get a new car next year and since it’s going to be mine, my husband told me I had to be involved in all negotiations. Which scares me, but you just gave me hope!! Any other tips and info that you have would be great! Thanks!

  10. 10

    Well it’s official. Trina is no longer the baddest bitch. Congrats on your new title, and your new car. It’s gorgeous!

  11. 11

    I love this! Way to go!

  12. 12

    That is awesome and amazing.

    I’m in the market for a new (to me) car – something small and inexpensive (hey, I work at a non-profit and have a heck of a lot of student loans), but I am DREADING the process. I think I’ve read every article on and, and I’m a intelligent, well-educated woman…but I’m so scared! My mom, dad, and fiance have all offered to come with me, but I’m sure that will only make me seem more weak. So….will you drive to St. Louis to go car shopping with me?

  13. 13

    You are fabulous. I will need you to come with me next fall when we make our purchase!

  14. 14

    I want a Honda Odyssey, but we prefer our SUV be paid off first. Unleeeessss, I can adopt your mad negotiating skills and we can afford both?! Well-done, girl!!

  15. 15

    I want a Honda Odyssey, but we prefer our SUV be paid off first. Unleeeessss, I can adopt your mad negotiating skills and we can afford both?! Well-done, girl!!

  16. 16

    We’re going to be shopping for a new car next summer…are you available by the hour or do I have to rent you for the whole day?

  17. 17

    Ha! You really gave them a run for their money! Good job. I think I need to take you with me next time I go car shopping! :)

  18. 18

    This made my day :) Good work!

  19. 19

    I think my husband is in love with you. I HATE shopping for cars and negotiating with salespeople (typically men) with a passion (as in, I’d rather scrub my toilet with a toothbrush), but my husband thrives on the negotiating. LOVES. IT. He may have just met his match in you! :)

  20. 20

    We also have an old Focus and toddler, so I know that you must be loving all the extra space for Kate in your new car! Glad you were able to come out with a good deal. I always leave the dealership feeling duped.

    I’m going to sound like a comment stalker, but I notice lots of new faces. Congrats on all the new readers/commenters.

  21. 21

    Love the car! Great skill my friend!

  22. 22
    Anonymous says:

    I am so happy for you! Hell. Yeah. is right!


  23. 23

    That is awesome. You made them give you a car to take home and talked them down. It seems like magic. I need to learn negotiation skillz which I sorely lack.

  24. 24

    I had the same question – which dealership won? I want to know the rest of the story! Nice job mama.

  25. 25

    This is EXACTLY what happened to us last year when we got our Highlander. We got the newer model with upgrades for MAYBE a hundred more than the used model they had :).

  26. 26

    LOVE this post!!! Buying cars is one of my absolute favorite things to do because, like you, I LOVE playing hardball with the salesmen (who I think are truly sorry they walked up to me about an hour in to negotiations)! But the part about taking the car over to the first dealer is GENIUS!!! I’m totally throwing that into my bag of tricks the next time I buy a car. Great Job!

  27. 27

    Hilarious! My mom is an expert car negotiator. She did get offered a job from a dealership after one particularly nasty (for them) negotiation! I wish I’d gotten that gene, I do NOT have your talent for that!

  28. 28

    You are my hero! Best post ever.

  29. 29

    The big question is where are you going to place the glass jar with that salesman’s balls?

    Well done madam, well done 😉


  30. 30

    I’ve read your blog for a while and almost never comment on blogs. But have to for this. On behalf of all women who have gotten that ‘lil’ miss’ treatment – YOU ROCK!

    (And Congrats on the new car!)

  31. 31
    Anonymous says:


  32. 32

    Dear Dusty,


    Your best friend (in my head),



  33. 33

    Awesome job! I really need to go car shopping – I’m still driving the original car from when I was 16 (now over 12 years old) and my two door VW Beetle is not the best for toting around my new baby. I need to go find myself a new car before the little one arrives in January! I guess I’ll have to go have some fun at Madison dealerships as well, lol.

  34. 34

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!!! You rock! And seriously, best idea ever taking it back to the first dealership! I may have to steal that in the future!

  35. 35

    This. is. amazing. Good for you! I have the same car but a few years older, so obviously a good choice. Enjoy!

  36. 36

    You are the freaking bomb!!!!!!!!! YOU should be a lawyer!
    I always let car dealers intimidate me, and my husband does too. I’m sure we paid too much for our last car.
    Nissans are awesome. I’ve had my Maxima for 10 years!

  37. 37

    These comments are hysterical – thank you everyone!

    @Anonymous: I went with Dealership #1 because they’re more conveniently located.

    @Mrs W: I didn’t do a whole lot of research to be honest with you. I knew I wanted a Rogue, so I only looked into that model’s stats, reviews, safety ratings, etc. Luckily it checked out well so I didn’t have to dive into extensive research to try to figure out Option B would be.

    @Beth: I’m loving the new title! Can I get that engraved on a name plate?

    LOL, LB – for reals! Hahaha!

    @Stephanie: I’m my head we’re all BFFs too, so I’m right there with ya, babe. :high5

  38. 38

    Dusty, get your bum to Metro Detroit and help this momma negotiate. I suck at it and I just fell in love with you.

  39. 39

    Next time go to CarMax. I swear by them. I will never ever buy another car from any other place than Carmax. The best, easiest, most enjoyable, don’t have to spend an entire day in their showroom as a captive alternative.

    Everyone at Carmax is happy and carefree … you can even bring your dog along …



  40. 40
    Anonymous says:

    My brother in law sells cars, and reading this from his perspective was kind of difficult. Maybe you’re exaggerating for effect here, and I hope so, but why were you so rude to them? And if you spent all day with the first dealership and then ended up buying from the second … I think that’s pretty appalling. They’re not out to screw you; they’re trying to earn their paychecks like anyone else, and there’s a fine line between negotiating and taking advantage. It sounds like that first guy worked really hard to get you what you said you wanted. I hope there’s more to the story here that you didn’t share, and that everyone was happy at the end of the day. But please don’t say your actions were on behalf of every woman who has had a bad experience at a dealership, because your “success” doesn’t affect them at all. -Chan

  41. 41

    Now that is impressive!A few days ago my kids and I were recently rear-ended in our SUV and my car was totaled. I will have to use some of your pointers to get the best car for the best price.

  42. 42

    Soooo…long story short but I am going to have to buy a car in the Spring…can you come with me??? LOL! AMAZING JOB…I am so impressed!!

  43. 43

    I LOVE this story. Congratulations. Enjoy your new Ride (with upgrades)!!

  44. 44

    @Unknown: Thanks for the love, girl – and good luck with your negotiations!

    @Anonymous: I said on my Facebook page that after reading this you’ll probably either want to be my friend…or think I’m a total bitch. I’ll go ahead and mark you down for the latter, hahaha.

    @Katy: Oh how scary! I’m so sorry to hear about your SUV – thank goodness everyone was okay!!

    Thank you, Keri – good luck to you!

    Thank you, Stewart! (Gotta love those upgrades, hahaha!)

  45. 45

    Congrats! Major badge of honor. I went with my hubby to buy our Jeep while 8 months pregnant. After hubby’s mechanical questions, I loved seeing the salesman’s jaw drop open when the person doing the hard negotiating ended up being me. :) Success!

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