How to fail at selling a car battery to a biological female
The car has become… an article of dress without which we feel uncertain, unclad, and incomplete.
I took my car to the dealership to have its oil changed this weekend, and they told me that the battery failed the load check. My first thought was, of course, that the battery is not that old (four years). My second thought was that I can get a battery for less than the $130 quoted me by the dealership.
So I told them I’d hold off on that for the moment and the next day at work I talked to one of my co-workers, who has far, far more car experience than I. He reminded me of a simple fact: the only places I really drive to are work (from home) and home (from work). The only terrible thing that would happen if I had a dead battery would be that I’d either have to bike to work and/or catch a ride from someone to Napa to get a new battery.
Basically, as he said, the dealership “just wants to sell a battery.” They tried to play on fear (being unable to start the car to get where I need to go) to sell it to me.
My car doesn’t need a new battery yet. I’ve still got plenty of starts on the current battery. And I’m not so dependent on it that having it fail to start is that big a deal. And I’ve got my savings account to help cover it should I find myself without the money to pay for it immediately, so that’s not even an issue. Waiting until my current battery is completely dead is both frugal (I get more starts per battery) and green (more starts per battery means fewer batteries need to be produced).
This is a perfect example of selling by fear, which is a subset of the “but I might need it someday” syndrome. I will not die because my car did not start. I will not be raped by hooligans. I will not be stranded for long, if at all. I probably won’t even miss work. I will have to get a ride, buy a new battery, and pay for someone’s dinner. I had a dead battery once before…nearly everyone has. I called my dad who called my cousin, who picked me up, drove me to Napa, helped me pick out a battery, and installed it. I drove away less than an hour later.
Not everything has to be a big fucking deal.