How The G1 Can Save You Money

T-Mobile G1

T-Mobile G1

I am in need of a new car, so I spent my Saturday out and about test driving different cars. Now this is the first time I’ve had to shop for a car myself, so I was a little naive at first, to say the least. One thing I picked up on really quickly was how the car salesmen try to categorize you from the moment they see you. The way you dress is the first indicator they get, and just the tip of the iceberg. Then they proceed to the small talk and seemingly garbage chit chat that you take for granted at social functions you desperately do not want to be a part of.

You may or may not notice, but the salesmen will start slipping small, unobtrusive questions into the conversation that seem to be in line with standard “How do you do?” etiquette. But questions along the lines of, “So, RT, I see your area code differs from mine. Where are you living now?” and “Do you want some water? How was work this week?” The answer to the latter question is usually negative, because for some reason or another there appears to me to be an unspoken social construct that all people shall say work sucks, maybe because no one wants to be that one jerk who talks about how awesome his job is. But that’s a conversation for another time.

Back to the story: At this point the salesperson has just heard you had a terrible/great/ok/baffling/ weekend, so the person replies, “Oh that sucks/is interesting/sounds about right/whatever. What exactly do you do?” That last question is one everyone asks you, so it’s pretty trivial right? Maybe… and maybe not. That salesperson is not just trying to make a new friend with small talk. He/she wants to know if you can afford to pay for the car you’re eyeing. Finding out where you live is another indicator of what you might be able to afford (or your priorities in life, I suppose). So is seeing if you’re married, if you have kids, what you currently drive, whether you rent or own, and a million other questions really. It’s not that hard for them to peg you, nor should you really try to hide it.

I feel like I’m straying off topic again. Maybe I’ll save the rest of the car-purchasing experiences for future posts and just get to the point now.

So I’m talking to a salesman (let’s call him Bobby) and his phone goes off, which he promptly answers, and I see that he’s got the new(ish) T-Mobile G1. Out of curiosity I ask him if he likes it. FYI, Bobby has been cold to me since he saw me. I can tell he wants to get me the hell out of the way (I do not dress up or appear wealthy for this stuff). But all of a sudden, he goes off! “Oh MY GOD I love this phone! This is the best phone ever! I used to have a PDA before this and… yea… well, this thing is great, it even saves me money!” [italics mine]

Here are the thoughts that run through my head immediately:
-Hmm, he seems receptive to this question. Maybe he’ll be nicer now and we can have an enjoyable test drive.
-Does he know anything about phones? Because I know a fair amount.
-Last time I checked, this phone still cost at least a few hundred dollars. How does he save money with this phone??

I, of course, ask Bobby how exactly he manages to save money with a very expensive piece of equipment like that. You know what he tels me? The G1 has an application (either pre-loaded or downloadable) that lets you scan the bar codes of products and then compare its price to the price listed at other stores. I’d heard of it before from the Android Developer Challenge 1. So he went to Home Depot to buy a lock and decided, “Hey let’s see what this thing costs at Ace Hardware or Lowe’s.” Lo and behold, Ace Hardware was selling it for $4 cheaper. At this point a store employee comes by and asks Bobby why he’s taking pictures of a barcode, so Bobby shows the guy and says, “So I’m going to go to Ace Hardware now.” Not wanting to lose business, the employee counters by saying he’ll take 10% off the listed price. Winner!

To make a long post short: If you have a G1 go get that app, and the next time you’re shopping at a big chain store go see how much that store’s competitors sell whatever you’re buying for. If it’s cheaper, go tell someone. They might make you a deal. That was not Bobby’s first deal.

Advertisements

4 Responses to How The G1 Can Save You Money

  1. Cathy says:

    Back to the car post…if you are female, you WILL be asked ‘what’s your favorite color?’.

    Back to phones-Apps are fun.

  2. RT says:

    What happens if you say, oh I don’t know, Neon Pink. Where do they go from there? Hehe that would be a fun little game.

    Yeah apps are shaping up to be the wave of the future in terms of smart cellphones. Do you have a G1 or iPhone or a Windows Mobile phone Cathy? And if so, whaddya think about it? Would you ever go back to “dumb” phones?

  3. Cathy says:

    If you knew me and could have witnessed my reaction the first time I was asked that question, you’d understand more. Let’s just say that question has been asked every single time I have gone into an auto dealership alone (even if I was just walking around while waiting for an oil change). I kind of find it the standard question asked of females and it is insulting.

    I did not get a mobile until 2001. I was out of contact for a day and there was a family emergency. I never thought I needed one. Now I have an iPhone 3G-S, which I love. It does everything I can imagine and then some. I don’t have to wait or make notes of things to do when I get home, I can pretty much do everything wherever I am. However, I have always drawn the line at talking and driving. I do know the concentration level is not all there. (Especially with a manual transmission) :)

  4. RT says:

    Really, while waiting for an oil change? That really is insulting. Even more so than the looks I get that basically mean, “Who is this kid walking into my dealership trying to look at a $X0,000 dollar car?”

    As for the phone, I’m definitely not advocating playing Flick Fishing while you’re driving, but I do have a Bluetooth device in my car. The driving comes first though, I have to ask people to repeat themselves all the time because I’m too busy paying attention to the road to process the conversation. But the 3G-S, that explains the apps comment. =) I keep telling myself I don’t really need the smart phones that go online and have apps and stuff, but I’m starting to doubt myself! They’re still pretty expensive for my tastes though, especially the required plans.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: