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Peter C

F'ing time wasters!

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I saw a car I liked advertised on another forum. The guy was up for p/x or swap so I offered him one of my motors (don't worry, not the W123). We exchanged photos, emails, talked on the phone and matey was well up for a deal. His car sounded great, perfect for my needs, with FSH... blah blah blah blah. The car looked great in the photos and the seller painted a rosey picture over the phone. I drove for miles to see this car (1.5 hours each way) and when I got there the car on offer turned out to be a pile of shit. It wouldn't start - had a flat battery, it was filthy, had more bodywork defects than stated, some of the electric didn't work.... Whilst matey was up for a swap when he saw the car I arrived in, I almost told him where to go and stick his pile of junk.Whenever I sell a car I will descirbe it as the car stands. If it's mint, I'll say so, if it's a pile of shit, I'll be honest about it. Why can't everybody be as honest as I am? Did matey really expect me to part with my pride and joy in exchange for his rust bucket?Argh!!!!

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Welcome to reality, it would appear to me that honesty and integrity have long since packed their bags in 99% of cases.Even when you try and narrow things down on the 'phone by asking questions about all releveant areas some dickheads still try and tell you their vehicle is ok.I find that assuming everybody who is trying to sell/swap/whetever with you is a lying shitehawk helps a little as the disappointment is slightly less when you realise it's true upon arrival.

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I feel your pain. Back when I was shopping for some kind of legit (non-shite) car in the fall, I wrote this rant up to send to some friends.ADVICE TO USED AUTO SELLERSPerhaps this guide will find its way to some sellers -- used car lots, backyard wheeler dealers, and private sellers -- and we can all avoid the runaround that makes me want to take shots of Drano.1. Write an accurate, legible title for your post. Why are you using exclamation points? To emphasize JUST HOW MUCH OF A 1998 CAMRY it is!!!!2. Please use English for your ads. While I am lucky enough to hold a master's degree in texting from NYU, many people don't know what you are saying. Not only is "DIS CAR IS HAWT" offensive to English, but it is not going to convince anyone to buy your car. Or perhaps someone was sitting at the table this morning thinking "I do need a new ride, one that's reliable and safe, but also it really has got to be HAWT."3. Include some necessary facts in your ad. These would be: year of the car, exact make and model (no, "2001 Nissan" does not tell anyone what kind of car it is), mileage, and the title status (yes, shoppers will care that this car was used for target practice by the Death Star). Consider these facts absolutely necessary. Beyond that, you might mention the color of the exterior and interior, the type of transmission, whether the car has any service history or had any work recently done. If you truly want consideration for sainthood, you will post the VIN number so I can run a Carfax on it and see that it's had 12 owners and one of them was the Center for Disease Control, who used the car to shuttle people with contagious diseases.4. When listing the vehicle's mileage in your ad, pretend that the word "only" costs $50 every time you use it. "Only" is not a word that goes in front of "186,000 miles" unless the vehicle in question is made by Boeing.5. "All highway miles" is not going to persuade me. You know why? Because the chances are the square root of fuck all that you're not making that up. Dealers that claim to know nothing about the car's history suddenly know that it was only driven on the highway! How convenient! And if a car's mileage actually is all highway, that's preferable to being all city miles, but at the same time being "all highway" doesn't subtract 100,000 miles off the odometer.6. Not to be entirely negative here, I want to thank anyone who describes the car they are selling as "customized" or "tuned" or "swap." This is tremendously helpful -- in knowing NOT to buy your car.7. For general purposes, the word "rare" should never appear in Craigslist car ads. Your car isn't rare. If it was really rare, you'd probably be selling it on Hemmings. If it truly is rare and you're selling it on Craigslist, you will need a shotgun to keep the deranged, annoying tire-kickers away. I suggest something like the South African "street sweeper."8. Please be respectful of buyers coming a long way to check out the car in person. The New York metro area, for example, has a ton of bridges and tunnels, as well as apocalyptic traffic from about 6 AM until 6AM. So if I call and tell you I'm coming, please don't look shocked or be pissed off when I get there. And perhaps unblock the car from the back of the lot. A true champion car seller will check to see if it starts up BEFORE I get there. I know that's asking for gold crown treatment, and I know someone offering to give you $5000-$15,000 doesn't deserve the 90 seconds or so it would take to see if the car works. Your time is important. That's why you use so many exclamation points.9. Time for some science talk. Leaks "a drop of oil" means that the car leaks approximately one drop's worth of oil. In cases where the car leaks an entire quart of oil per day, you might say instead that it "leaks a fucking quart of oil per day." Use of the word "fuck" is optional. Describing the volume of the leak is not. The trouble is that where I grew up, a drop of oil was only about the size of a drop of any other liquid. I know it's old fashioned, but I also have a Mag Lite in my trunk and it's been weeks since I used it to break someone's jaw with a cheap, no-warning shot to the face.10. Yes, I want a mechanic to look at it. I wouldn't buy a sandwich if I didn't know what was inside it. So yeah, I need to know if the car works before I trade you thousands of dollars for it. And no, my mechanic isn't a 1920s doctor who makes house calls. Like most normal mechanics, he has a shop, and that's where he keeps his lift. It's only 2 miles away. I'll spring for the 1/10 of a gallon of gas.11. What's that? A ten thousand dollar transaction and you want me to pay in cash? Holy shit, what a great idea! I'd just love to help you avoid paying income taxes on it, because really the government is always on your ass.12. And speaking of taxes, you probably didn't know that the fake bill of sale you wrote up, where the car only cost $500, means I'll have to pay sales tax on the fair market value of the car. I don't mind though -- I'm eager to contribute to the state coffers. By the way, I don't need a receipt. When the car implodes and I have to sue you, you'll be forthcoming about how much I actually paid for the car, right?13. A small news update -- since about 1994, Americans have had internet access. As one of these Americans, I use the internet for all sorts of things: news, porn, tv shows, and especially for porn. But also to check the market value of used cars. (I reserve the right to watch porn after I check that though). Your 150,000 mile BMW 3-Series from 1991 isn't worth $11,500. If you insist on opening negotiations with fantasy pricing, my response is that I will pay with one football helmet full of whipped cream.

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There is a saying that;when horses went out of fashion all the cowboys moved into the motor trade.I'm afraid there is still many an Arther Daly out there trying to rip off genuine people.

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Talking to a "classic car" dealer last week and he has seen the listing for my Maestro."Ooh,I think you were a bit harsh desribing that car.It's alot nicer than you portray it".Well there is rust on two wheelarches and rust on the bottom of the door which I have photographed.Yes the rooflining is sagging.Basically I have desribed the car as it is.I have been there in Autotrader land myself and wasted time and money going to view some fictional mint motor only to be shown round a POS.I know exactly what it is like so try to be honest with desriptions.Although the new owners are happy and my feedback often says "exactly as desribed" by being honest I don't seem to make a great deal of money but hey, aleast I sleep at night :lol:

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What's been peeing me off recently is the private sellers.If I'm buying a £1000 car, I don't expect any warranty worth the paper it's written on, so I don't expect a huge price differential between the sort of car dealers who operate in the £1000 car bracket and the private seller - I'd expect the dealer to want £1000 for a car that came from the auctions at £800 or less, I'd expect a private seller to want maybe £900 for the same motor.I am considering buying a BMW E46 - I've been looking at cars in the £6-8k bracket. Since I trust my instincts on buying cars, I would consider buying privately.HOWEVER, I'd expect a dealer offering a car at £7k to have card payment and credit facilities, to offer a warranty of some description, have trade plates so I can road-test the car etc... I would expect a private seller to have none of these things. SO, I'd expect to get a better price, 'cos I'm taking a bigger risk - ultimately I'd expect to get a car that is a year newer and/or 10k less on the clock and/or a better spec than the equivalent bought through a reputable dealer at the same price.Most people selling E46's privately seem to be putting them in at "dealer money". Maybe it's just me, but if I see 2 IDENTICAL £7000 cars, one at a decent dealership, one private, I'll buy from the dealer as at least I'll have a bit of comeback if it blows up next week...

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To me it's absolutely understandable that a dealer will charge more - even on a £1k-range car, than a private guy. Because if I bought a £1000 car from a dealer and the engine fell out a week later, I *would* be going back to him and I *would* be leaving either with a repaired car, or my £1000.If I bought it from a private chap, I'd ask the question - "Look, mate, the car was a rotbox. Are you going to sort it?" but I know, and he probably knows, that there ain't a thing I can do if his answer is "No."That sort of risk carries a pricetag. Insurance, if you like.I've always been honest when selling cars, and I've never had one come back. If it's got rust blebs, I photograph them all. If it smokes, I say so. I want them to turn up and not be able to haggle since everything is mentioned in the ad.

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I've got the 3 series advertised at the moment, my usual "If you're going to offer 25p then don't bother calling" routine.So far I've been offered a 205 GTi that looked rather nice - but I don't want a car, I want the f'ckin' money.Oh, and I've been offered a Birmingham Spec 2002 Corsa SXi. I'm still in the process of trying to get down to just enough venom to be polite in my reply.

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So true UglyAmerican!I travelled 400 miles to view an Astra Coupe Turbo last September. Seller sent me lots of pictures and described the car as a 40k minter.What I ended up viewing was a hastily polished up money pit. The interior was worn, the turbo smoked like fuck, it was pissing oil everywhere, it was supposed to be a fast car but due to said rubbered Turbo it drove like a 10-year old Vectra LS (mine), the temperature sensor was sending the cooling fans into 'OH BUGGER' mode, the gear change would have just about sufficed in an early Maxi.The worst part was that the seller attempted to deny all of this despite admitting 'not being an engines man' and accused me of timewasting, via text, after I'd left.Sadly another club member bought it on a whim and all of my doubts about the car were proved right, and the new owner was left with big bills, the old one with a red neck!I'm still annoyd about it though, as I had to endure 800 miles of fugging Nissan note hire car. :roll:

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I'm still annoyd about it though, as I had to endure 800 miles of fugging Nissan note hire car. :roll:

My brother in law recently bought one of these of his own free will :shock:

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Birmingham Spec 2002 Corsa SXi.

Wot dat den?
No tax or MOT, a smashed headlight, atleast 1 flat tyre and a huge scrape down the N/S from experience.
Either than or, as the E30 forum puts it so aptly, "Very council". Motor World alloys, badly applied 'tintz', at least three previous heavy fights, either ragged to death or 'tuned' with a green stuff air filter, resistors comically wired to the temp circuit, Peco back box, badly lowered, pot burns in the front seats, holes in the dash / rear shelf from badly wired Motor World JBL speakers / ebay telly monitor, clutch on last legs and front seats reclined to 30 degrees from horizontal. With no tax / mot, finance outstanding and a Punjabi MC's tape stuck in the broken head unit.

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and a Punjabi MC's tape stuck in the broken head unit.

Showing your age there Pete! It's all about da MP3 now innit?
Heh, I was thinking more along the lines of they tend to shove dead tape decks back in and say "needs the code, innit?"

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