Nov 17, 2013

Shopping online


Guys like these are why you go to dealerships.

I've recovered this blog after an accidental deletion.  Amazing how you can have google search for cached files from over a year ago, then use them to restore an old blog.  I love this internet shit.
You thought it was annoying selling your car online didn’t you? Well, now you’ve got some cash and you’re going to shop online. Good, you’re about to get a taste of your own medicine. Don’t look for advice here. I’m not advising as much as complaining for my own amusement. If you learn something, it’s not my fault.

Shopping at a used car dealers makes me want to barf.  But not every private seller is a pleasure either.   If you are patient and wise, then purchase from someone  in your car club. It will be worth the wait.  Sadly, I've never been able to wait very long for anything, ever.  So I'm stuck with all the irritations described below.

The less effort it takes for someone to post online the more annoying a purchase experience can be. When it's really easy to post you’re going to get all sorts of lame sellers. Heck, you can post an add on Craigslist from your phone! For free! In the Wendy's bathroom! So brace yourself for some real ass-hats. The more excited you get finding a car online, the more odd the situation will be.  Heck, half of them won't even really be for sale. The "Craigslister" is just getting a "temperature check" on a car’s value. A cruel practice indeed, but more common than I can bare to tell you.  Take a Xanax and read on.

Regardless of the source, you’ll run into some of these Guys:

Price Dreamer Guy
This guy is asking for some insane price for his own amusement. He’s not really motivated to sell. He’s just motivated to make obscene money if he gets lucky.  He thinks free web posting is like Lotto.  He pics a number that is crazy and lists it, “what the heck it’s only the internet”. The next legitimate seller comes along and sees what Price Dreamer Guy is asking, so he asks for an obscene price too. Two dreamers do not make a market price. Actual sales do that. I know, it’s crazy.


2004 AWD Tiptronic shouldn't be priced like a 6 speed '98 Carrera 2S. 
Not every Carrera is an  investment car.     RMS, IMS and ugly headlights. Translation: watercooled, unreliable and still ugly.
did I mention ugly yet?


No Photo Guy
You think you’re onto a barn find here don’t you. Well a car with hockey sticks stacked on top of it isn’t always a barn find now is it? Dream on.

When I find a car with no photo I think maybe I’ve found something special. I’ve got a opportunity to buy before people with less imagination get involved. Usually I’m dead wrong and it’s just another BS listing from someone not willing to make any effort. Or better yet, my hasty inquiry gets him thinking others will soon follow in droves. I wait for days on a response. Perhaps the reply will come about 12 hours after I buy something else. Those are fun.

Seriously you have to have a photo. What the heck are you thinking? You can’t find a camera? Bull! If you aren’t ready to wash your can and take a decent photos just burn it for the insurance money and don’t tease me.


No photo, SanFran California Newspaper ad.   Condition, unbelievable!  
This car was sourced by my wife in one day after I'd been looking for 4 weeks.
The seller then held it for us until we flew down to drive it home  
This is the only car I've ever made money selling.  Ever. 

Bad photo guy
You’re not as bad as No Photo Guy. Or maybe you are. Bad Photo Guy took a crappy picture with his phone through his kitchen window. Did I mention it was raining when he took the photo? It was. Usually a picture with any level of effort will look good.  Real effort will look amazing.  I personally often think Bad Photo Guy is a car guy too stupid to take a good photo. I’m usually wrong.


Couldn't tell you if this is a good car or not.  Photo's too poor. 
I would suggest buying from a guy w/a cleaner garage if I were you.
Hopefully I’ve convinced everyone to take a snapshot or two by now. Now let’s criticize that picture you just took with your camera. You haven’t paid any consignment fees, you haven’t paid a photographer either, you’re probably posting a free add too. You can afford to take 10 minutes and read about how to take a decent picture. If you can’t read, okay, then look at some pictures from an add that doesn’t stink like yours.

This poor picture captures this Porsche quite accurately.  Disappointment was in abundance, as were the exaggerations.

If you pride yourself on your car, you’ll already want to take a good photo. Go to cobracountry.com find the article and learn. It is specific to Cobras, but the premises are sound for any car. People buy cars sight unseen from that website and pay as much as $100,000. The author has something figured out.


No Contact Info Guy
This guy can’t be bothered with people contacting him. He lists few or difficult contact methods to weed out only the most motivated buyers.  How annoying: people actually  interested in your car.

Disconnected Phone Guy
This guy changed his name to No Proof Reading Guy.

File Photo Guy.
File Photo Guy pasted an image he found on the web into his add. We want to see your car. We all know what a Viper looks like dumb ass.

1977 Tran Am.  Low miles.  Only driven to Texarkana and back a few times.

Annoyed Guy
"Why do these people keep bothering me with questions?"  Because you posted an add stupid.  That's what we do when you are selling something we want, we contact you!   That's how the process works, you post a crappy add with little to no information, we call with many questions, you fake like we're not bothering you and tolerate the stupid questions because......  get ready for this:   You're trying to sell your car!

Shity description guy
 A listing lacking basic question info is suspect to me.  Info, like owner history, why it's being sold, recent repairs,  etc etc are a given aren't they?   If you spend 5 minutes posting an add, then i'm going to spend 5 seconds considering buying it.   Shity description guy, is often compounded by several other shortcomings.

Suspicious Guy
Can't you tell the difference between a Nigerian scam email and a car guy from Seattle?  Take a chance and reply.  If you think I'm going to rob or murder you via email, it might be safer to just keep your car.
I sent a picture of  my cash to get this island dwelling hermit to finally take me seriously.  
That convinced him to meet me via ferryboat at Friday Harbor to see the bike.  
When I got there, he'd forgotten to bring all the paperwork that made the bike so compelling in the first place.  
I took a chance and bought it anyway.  A great bike. 

Old Photo Guy
Old Photo Guy is only slightly better than File Photo Guy. “This is what it looked like when I bought it. Now its red, has turbo-twist wheels and 50,000 more miles.”  Perhaps you should meet No Photo Guy.

Firm Guy, or Infirm Guy
This whole thing annoys me.  If you're firm say firm, if you don't say firm expect me to attempt to negotiate..  If you are offended, tell me.  If you want to continue negotiation suggest something.  We aren't face to face so communicate.  Don't be an ass.

Slow Reply Guy
Come on, do you really think I believe you only check your email/voicemail every 48 hours? Even astronauts have access to email. Whatever game you’re playing, I’d like to not to.

30K original miles.  Seller on Bainbridge Island took 48hrs for each response
 to my emails and kept rescheduling my appointment.  He kept saying he was
 out of town or whatever.   He forgot to remove the salutation
 from his emails that said "sent via IPhone."  I hope his next car spins a rod
 bearing.   (similar, but not actual car in photo)



Invariably everyone I call claims to be away on a trip when selling a car, why is that? “So sorry, I’m not available to respond to the add I placed 3 hours ago, please leave a message and I’ll get back to you after I return from California where they have no phones or internet”

No Reply Guy
I’ll get back to you on him.


I've sometimes been Price Dreamer Guy and frequently Annoyed Guy too.
Joy Ride Guy.  That's who I want to be.