Feb 13, 2011

Selling your car online, or how to meet really annoying people.

The sale of the Cobra took over 18 months. It was appraised at $75,000 and cost much more. I clearly
missed the golden opportunity to sell it to some rich athlete back some years ago. Hind sight is 20/20 they say. Then the economic downturn took it’s toll on my selling price as well. In the end, I sold it for about the cost of the engine and paint job. The good news is I was happy to sell it to the buyer, he was a true car guy. That’s good enough for me. But let’s review some of the joys of selling shall we?


Should have sold it 5 years ago.  Listed on Cobracountry , Facebook, and this blog.
  Buyer was a perfect match, knowledgable, good communication, respectful.   
I try not to think about it to much or I'll cry.  You've got to sell one if you want to buy one. 
We can't all be Jay Leno. 

As a seller I can tell you it ain’t easy keeping positive when morons are bothering you constantly. You post in the usual places: the forums, Autotrader, Craigslist or perhaps some specialty websites. The emails and calls come.

For Sale: 1998 BMW M3 Convertible, triple black. 25K miles, excellent condition, no dents or flaws of any kind in body work and interior. Engine in perfect working order. 30K mile service complete. Factory options include optional comp wheels, 3 spoke steering wheel and cold weather package. All 100% original $25K firm. No emails, no trades, no car buddies, no low-ballers, no dealers. Here’s a thought: if you are shopping for an M3 and can afford this one, then get off your ass and call. Adam 206-555-1212

I recall giving a 2 hour test drive to some lady looking at this car.
She gave me a deposit that I returned to her then next day.
 She just wasn't worth it.  That's Craigslist for you. 

Responders annoy in so many  creative ways:

I’d like to buy the “item” guy.
This ridiculous form letter scam crap is for the birds. I guess they must work on occasion. There are in fact just as many morons selling as buying, so the Nigerian royal consulate might as well send you a check for $10,000 above your asking price. Not suspicious at all right? I’d love to get these guys to send me as many checks as possible, keep them busy for kicks. But antagonizing them might be ill advised, so I restrain myself.

Bought as a total pile, spent a fortune, sold cheap. 
 Ducati Monster Forum.  Buyer road it home to CA
I hope he made it.


The price dreamer.
If you can’t afford my car don’t contact me. If I say firm, don’t bother me with an offer. Also, don’t ask me my lowest price. I said firm precisely because I was tired of people like you. Oh, and one more thing, the fact that you’re considering cheaper cars doesn’t affect me. If I wanted to sell my car to Camry shoppers, I would have priced it like a Camry in the add.


I tried to sell this for over year.  $16,000 in restoration and asking something like $7,000 I think.
  KompackKarKorner sold the car in 2 hours. More info on this build.

The car buddy
I don’t know why you even called. I just spent 30 minutes sharing all kinds of details about by car and nothing seems to end this conversation. It has become apparent you are not getting around to deciding anything. Why did you call? If I wanted a new friend I would have listed a personal add.

Free advice guy
Free advice guy sees you’ve built what he’s interested in buying or building. Your specific car is not of interest to him. He would however, like to learn all you learned during the 3 year build process and has no compunction about asking these questions while you’re trying to have dinner.

Premature negotiation guy
I hate when negotiation begins before anything else. I prefer to have my car  insulted after getting to know you better. If it’s not close to what you want to pay and you haven’t even seen it yet, then we’ve got a problem. My all time favorite is when they email an offer and don’t even mention what they are offering to buy. It’s possible I’m also selling other things and yes, I will take $37,000 for my ‘99 Ducati Monster.


Guy on Craigslist wanted to pay me $300/mo for this.  Wife and I  later delivered this to a car to OR. 
The final drive is often the best one.  Buyer paid asking price, but  I still feel I sold this car too cheap. 
Car's this good should be kept in the PCA family.
.
Swap meet guy
This fellow wants to trade up and has something uninteresting to offer. Perhaps he wants me to wait while he sells his car. Go to a dealer if you need a trade! Go to a pawn shop if you want to use your table saw for a down payment. Why are you shopping if you aren’t ready to buy? I’ll tell you why... Because you’re a passive online loser, that’s why. Emailing stupid offers and bothering people is your specialty.  Why not, it’s only the internet.


Painted matte black, wasp exhaust, etc etc Craigslist helped me to sell before dying.

Brokers. If I wanted your services I'd have contacted you.  No I don’t want to sell my car for half price either. I also don’t want cancer or herpes.


Screwed on my trade at Kirkland's Rairdon Dodge.  They got me at a weak moment.
I really needed a SUV and they had a cool SRT-8 Cherokee that seemed a good choice.
I was screwed in other ways,I take full responsibility.  Because  I'm stupid.
(a ZCP should be sold to people who understand, clearly a BMW forum car)

People shoot off emails way too quickly with no respect for your time. Heck, often they email and ask questions that you have already answered in your listing. They are never local, and don’t ask smart questions. Some smart questions I’d like to hear once in a while would be “when can I come see it,” or “what’s your mechanic’s phone number.” Even requests for documentation of some sort might be nice. Many of them can’t communicate well in person or in writing, which is suspicious. Although I cannot spell myself, I still find grammar and spelling errors suspicious when I receive them. I assume that I’m being emailed by a 15 year old from his room which is covered with car posters. All he really wants is larger pictures emailed to him for new wallpaper on his laptop. Who knows if this is accurate or not, it’s the internet. If my car really interests you perhaps you should try contacting me in the manor that won’t make you look like a lazy ass. Better yet, just email and call. If it doesn’t compel you enough to take serious action in contacting me, why do you want it? After all I’m not talking about a Ford Taurus, I’m talking about your last sports car.

Consigned and then sold long distance.   Easy sale. 

The annoyances often stem from people shopping beyond the realm of feasibility. They start looking online for their dream car, they extend the search to cars they can’t afford: “what the heck, I’ll shoot an email and offer $8,0000 less.” Or maybe they can’t find one close, so they extend the search to the opposite coast. Buying a car $2500 away is very different, and yes I’m using dollars as a measure of distance. Lastly they often aren’t really looking for a car at all, but rather just looking. This is common, we all do it. Throw out an offer to see if it compels us to take further action. Try not to put a seller though your recreational Craigslist emails or calls for your amusement. No matter how charming or apologetic you might be, I’d prefer you contact me only if you mean business. After all, I’ve only got so much patience and will need it for the next guy who might even be for real.

Each time I post a free listing like on Craigslist or a forum, I expect some irritation. Heck it didn’t cost me anything to list the car, so a price has to be paid somehow. Conversely, If I’m paying for a listing, like on Autotrader, Vehix ,etc then time wasters might be much more annoying to me. After all I’m essentially paying to be bothered.



Not for sale.  Hehe.  Listed on Craigslist & Ebay, I owned it that evening. 

Eventually, I often decide the car isn’t worth selling at all and try to keep it. I might even try to consign it somewhere.  Then when too exhausted to talk about my car with anyone else, I'll trade it in.  I invariably end up taking even less than those insulting offers. But, at the dealer they don’t think I’m a con artist and they do all the paper work.  Most importantly I get free coffee while they screw me worse than I ever imagined.

I think I’m going to throw up now.

Next blogBuying online, and how annoying sellers can be.  It cuts both ways, what can I say.

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