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mfennell Reader
9/12/19 5:25 p.m.

Reading these, it occurs to me that some people are just good at selling stuff.  My cycling buddy JP is like that.  It seems like he's constantly selling something, often bicycles or bicycle parts but sometimes bigger deals.   Starting a new business?  Better sell the M2.  Gone in 2 wks.

I tend to keep stuff forever.  Eventually it has no value.  The crazy light (for the time) Zipp bicycle wheels I bought for $1k (used - decent deal), I hung onto so long that I eventually just gave them to a riding buddy who was still able to use them.  I paid $4500 for a kart 12ish years ago.  It sits in my basement, probably valueless at this point.  

docwyte UltraDork
9/13/19 8:14 a.m.

I've sold plenty of cars, I rarely keep them.  I don't have the space and I need the cash for my next car. 

I don't really have any good stories tho, most of the cars have sold to people from car forums, some have flown in, some were local.

beanco Reader
9/13/19 10:56 a.m.

I bought a 2002 Ford escape with 200,000 miles on it for $600 to run off road. Plans changed and I decided to sell it. I listed it on CL for $800. Next day a guy shows up to test drive it, haggles on price but I stood firm at $800. He says give me an hour and I'll bring you the cash( Yeah sure buddy, I'll wait right here) He showed up 20 minutes later all sweaty and bleeding from his forehead??? He handed me $800 cash in all 10's and 20'sfrown

I took a picture of him when he wasn't looking and made him sign the title while I watched. I checked later that day to see if anyone had been robbed in the area, nothing reported.yes

beanco Reader
9/13/19 11:12 a.m.

Another time I bought a 1998 Outback because I wanted to see what was so special about a Subaru. After I replaced the exploded clutch and did the head gaskets while the motor was out I gave it to my nephew to drive in college. 3 years later he gave it back and I repaired some small things and gave it to his brother. 3 weeks later he blew it up. Turns out timing belt snapped. He decided to buy a truck and gave me the car back. I didn't have room to keep it so I listed it for sale. $500 doesn't run. After countless text messages wanting to drive it home or sell me parts to fix it, I changed add to parts car and $300 firm. Some kid calls me and low balls me sight unseen, I reply $300 firm! H e said he would stop by and take a look. While I was waiting for him to show, I got the skid steer out and parked it right next to the car. When he showed up he asked why the skid steer was so close to the car? I told him if he tries to low ball me again, I'm going to crush it in front of him!!!! He handed me $300 cash and called a tow truck to remove it.

Most of my good stories involve me as the buyer.

I've sold cars and bought them back from the same person at a much lower price and they never knew it was me.


kazoospec UltraDork
9/13/19 5:07 p.m.

Pretty sure I've shared this one before, but it is a pretty decent story.  I was trying to help my dad sell his Ford AA truck.  It's basically the F-350 of the 1920's & 30's.  Tried various enthusiast sites, the national Model A convention (which happens to be held 10 miles from our house at Gilmore Car Museum), various FB site and even here on good old GRM.  Lots of nice comments, but no sales.  My dad starts getting antsy.  Finally, I hear the words I've been dreading all along, "What about Craigslist?"  I manage to put him off for a month or two, but now he's got a boat coming and needs the storage space.  Finally I agree, with the warning, "You know dad, CL is full of scammers, dreamers and idiots, don't you?"  Reluctantly, I put up the listing at about 10 p.m. on a Saturday night.  Dad's getting up there, so I give my contact information to act as a buffer.  At 3:30 a.m. the following morning (which makes me assume, probably correctly, eastern Europe), I get the following message:  "This is Yohan, I will buy truck.  My agent Vladimir will contact you."  Yeah, nothing scammy sounding there AT ALL.  About 8:00 a.m., sure enough, some dude named Vladimir calls me, sounding like a central casting audition for the character "Russian Mob Boss" is some cheap screen play.  I ask him if he's calling for Yohan, and get the reply "Who is Yohan, I know no Yohan!"  ALARM BELLS.  Me, "So do you have any questions about the truck?  Would you like me to send more pictures to you?"  Vladimir: "No, I will buy truck for (whatever our asking price is, I forget how much we sold it for)  I will send you cashier's check tomorrow."  ALARM BELLS AT MAX VOLUME.  So I tell him it's a cash only sale, and I'll only sell the vehicle face to face.  (I figure this will get rid of our insistent but scammy sounding new friend)  Vladimir: "Where is truck?"  I tell him, per the ad, in the Kalamazoo, MI area.  Vladimir:  "I call you back tomorrow."  OK.  I'm figuring this is the last we'll hear of our good friend Vlad the mob boss . . . but I was wrong.

A day or so later, he calls back and says, "I fly to Grand Rapids, MI, meet you at airport, give you cash."  Ummmm . . . OK, either he's serious, or he's taking this scam waaaay farther than most.  At least he can't kill me and hide my body at the airport.  So, for the first time, I start treating Vlad as a serious buyer.  To condense the 2nd half of the story, we ended up working out a secured electronic transfer and he had the truck picked up by a professional shipper without ever having laid eyes on it.  Here's the cool part:  It seems Uncle Yosef (Stalin) built a bunch of AA's under license during the "Great Patriotic War" and, not surprisingly, almost none of them survived.  He was purchasing the truck for a Russian military museum.  A couple years later, my friend found pics on a Model A fan site from a recent Russian military parade in Moscow.  In it was the following truck, which we're 99% sure is my dads: Image may contain: car and outdoor

If it is his, that little fender wrinkle on the passenger's side is from when he backed into it with the tractor.  laugh

TL;DR - Seemingly scammy CL deal turns out OK, dad's old toy goes to an interesting new home. 

jgrewe Reader
9/13/19 6:17 p.m.

I raced an X1/9 back in the early 90's.  I ended up blowing the engine really good at an event at Michigan Inter. Speedway. Literally could not get the head off of the engine.  The car gets parked next to my shop and put on the back burner.  I end up building a couple RX7's with Jim Susko of GForce Engineering fame.

I weird guy stops in and asks if I want to sell the FIAT? It was still fairly complete, full cage etc.  I just wanted it gone, I think I sold it for $1000.  He hands me the cash and asks if the bedframe angle iron trailer in the weeds is for sale, "Sure $300"

He loads the car on the trailer and heads down the road.

Flash forward a couple years.

I friend says, "Hey, I saw your FIAT in a mall in Monroe, Mi.

Me: WTF?

He explains where it is and I decide I need to go see for myself.

I find the mall, head inside and find the shop it is in.  The store sells custom airbrushed T shirts and right in the middle of the place is my old car covered in airbrush work with a pimp-o-licious diamond pattern interior covering everything inside.

I talk to the owner of the shop for a bit. He tells me he got if from some other person who may have bought it from the guy I sold it to. I told him the car's history and gave him a couple pics of the car taken at Mid Ohio and Nelsons Ledges.  He put the pictures on the dash of the car, said a lot of people didn't think it was an actual race car.

He didn't even know if it ran, he just liked how small it was and that it had a roll cage in it.

ddavidv PowerDork
9/14/19 7:32 a.m.

So many cars, so many stories.

My favorite was selling my wife's POS Cavalier RS she bought new in 1989. At only 50k miles it was starting to have 'issues' and it being a Cavalier I just wanted it gone. A female college student living here from Germany came to buy it. She brought the $5500 asking price in cash. In 5s, 10s and 20s. Stuffed loosely in a garbage bag. When I asked her WHY she simply said, "I don't trust banks".

A year or two later I found the car sitting in a junkyard with the front end smashed. I'm guessing she never bought collision coverage.

spitfirebill MegaDork
9/14/19 8:41 a.m.

I tried to sell my TR3 back in the 70s and 80s during weak moments.   I had one lady call and ask if it had an automatic transmission and would finance it for her.  No luck at all until 1986  when I had multiple buyers chomping at the bit.  None tried to dicker.  

chandler PowerDork
9/14/19 9:30 a.m.

This is really my brothers story but I was along for the ride and did all the driving;

this was 2012 I believe, my brother bought a MKI Jetta coupe with a g60 swap from a guy somewhere down south, they were going to meet in Knoxville and he was going to drive it back to Harrisburg PA where he was living at the time. I was working outside Lima oh so I said I would drive over after work 6-3 and be there when he got off work at 11ish. So I drove my diesel Caddy out there arriving a little after 11. We threw some stuff in his Element SC and hit the road figuring on a 7am arrival; meeting at 8am. I had been up 24 hours at this point so we stopped at a Wally World to find some tunes, settling on Lady Gaga which kept me awake admirably. We get to the hotel we are meeting the guy at and the car is on a trailer; he comes out, surprised by our lack of trailer. “Yeah, I said I drive it but just around the block”, I laugh knowing what’s going to happen. My brother hands over the wheels he was trading for the car and we hit the road, 8 miles we made it before the engine let go.

saturday morning 8:30, no problem we will rent a truck and trailer. None available, Uhaul, Penske, Ryder everything in the book. Even tried hertz, enterprise etc for a truck to tow a trailer from someone else. Three strikes. I have a bumper dolly because I buy a lot of rabbits but it was in my caddy back in Harrisburg and he doesn’t have anything that’ll tow and the 48hp of my MKI isn’t going to get it done. My brother calls a buddy who happily loans him his truck, so we drag the Jetta into a Cracker Barrel lot and head back out to Harrisburg. I drive straight through we get the truck my towbar and bumper a few spare tires(they were questionable on the Jetta) and head out again. Back to Knoxville. 

We arrive, swap the bumper on hook up and drive back out. 30 miles, tire let’s go. Change it. 45 miles, tire let’s go. Change it. 15 miles, tire let’s go. Change both remaining original tires. We have no more spares and it’s on donuts from cars we had parted out. Google a tire shop and there is a Walmart getting ready to close 2 miles from us. They have a set of 165/75/14 (or whatever) in stock so he has them put them on. Back to his house no further issues. I sleep four hours then head out so I can be at work Monday morning at 6. I drove pretty well ALL weekend!

Lady Gaga kept me awake the entire way.

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