By on April 22, 2013

Sometimes Wikipedia cracks me up.

The Toyota Previa… “failed to steal any significant share from the Chrysler minivans due to its high price, odd Asian styling, poor fuel economy, terrible horn, and weak engines.”

Note to Toyota engineers. Work on that horn! The old ones apparently weren’t horny enough.

The retail car business seems to be a hotbed for irrational snobs and hot-headed lunatics. Not to mention those who don’t bother reading advertisements before wasting your time.

Case in point. Every time I sell an old gasser Mercedes, I always put the following headline in big bold letters.


This will not stop someone who is under 25 from coming to my lot, showing me the ad on their rinky-dinky cell phone, and asking where is the diesel Benz.

Every… single… time…

The same is true for when I sell a Mustang or a Camaro.


In this case, the young cell phone surfer will either come with their friends, or their Dad.

“I thought this was a Z28/GT model?”, the father/friend will say while the reading challenged kid is busy texting his friends.

“Did you read the ad?”

“Well… um… son? Did you read the ad?”

These are just cases where basic reading comprehension skills are lacking. Lame yes. But when it comes to the car itself, I deal with three unique types of nutjobs that just make me want to walk away from a conversation mid-sentence and close my office door.

1) The Badge Whore

This is the guy or gal who calls you about a Pontiac Vibe or Geo Prizm and wants it to magically turn into a Toyota. They will test drive it. Like it. Tell you about their all too loved Toyota that apparently bit the big one, and then ask you…

“Do you have a Toyota Corolla/Matrix?”

“Yes, but they are a higher price.”

“Can you call me when you get one in with similar mileage for the same price.”

“I can’t. Those don’t exist. For the same price, it will usually have around 50,000 to 70,000 more miles. You do realize that this is the exact same vehicle mechanically.”

“Yeah… but I really want a Toyota.”


2) The Illusionist

This is the prospective car buyer who will bitch about issues that don’t actually exist. Or will ask you to lower the price due to maintenance it may ‘potentially’ need 20,000 miles down the road.

C: “Do you hear that?”

Me: “Hear what?”

C: “That roar.”

Me: “Those would be the tires.”

C: “What about those little spiky things on the side of them?”

Me: “Those would be new tires.”

C: “And why doesn’t this car have a CD player?”

Me: “Because it’s a 15 year old economy car. They didn’t come with CD players?”

C: “Why does the antenna stay up?”

Me: “Because it’s a fixed antenna.”

C: “I don’t like old cars. This is an old car. Has it recently been given a service?”

Me: “The odometer is at 160k. The oil was changed and it has new tires. The major service isn’t due until 180k.”

C: “That will cost money.”

Me: “So does a bus pass.”

Finally, you have the car buyer who is more lame than Kwame Kilpatrick, Rod Blagojevich, and the 1962 Mets.

3) The Chronic Lawballer

This is the guy who, if you offered a perfectly good car for $1000, would counter with an $800 offer, an extended warranty, and a free toaster.

Yes, the following scenario really did happen to me.

Customer: “You know a lot about SAABs?”

Me: “Sure. I’ve had a couple dozen. (Keeping the SAAB-istic and SAAB-ist puns to myself.)

C: “You know they are unreliable.”

Me: “You realize this car has been on the road for 20 years.”

C: “Well, I’ve had SAABs for a long time. Decades. I never pay more than $500 for them.”

Me: “You realize I can crush this vehicle and get more than $500 out of it today.”

C: “That doesn’t matter. Kelly Blue Book says it’s worth $500 and that’s what I’m going to pay.”

Me: “I can’t help you. That’s not realistic.”

C: “Okay then. What about $600, a 7 day warranty, and you give me your toaster?”

Me: “What?”

C: “I need a toaster. Mine broke. I also saw a toaster in your office. I’m also looking for a TV but you didn’t have one of those.”

Me: “The car is $1200”

C: (looks at me startled) “You said a thousand?”

Me: “Yes, but I always charge more for aggravation.”

C: “No, I want to buy the car and toaster for $600.”

Me: “$1300 then.”

C: “You’re ripping me off.”

Me: “What?”

C: “You’re ripping me off!”

Me: “No toaster then. $1350.”

We ended up arguing for nearly 20 minutes and… I sold the car and toaster for $1200. The guy then called me up a few days later and asked if I could send him $200 since the alternator needed to be replaced.

I replied, “Do you still have my toaster?”

He pawned it. I kept my money. So what are the lamest excuses you have ever heard from a car buyer?



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82 Comments on “Question Of The Day: What Is The Lamest Reason Why Someone Decided Not To Buy Your Car?...”

  • avatar

    That toaster story is comedy gold. I must have led a sheltered life! I like how you increased the price due to aggravation – well done.

  • avatar

    Prospective buyer, “Wow, the body is in really rough shape. I’ll give you $1000”

    Me, “In what way? It’s a $2000 18 year old car that has no rust, and a ton of obviously new parts”

    Buyer, “It’s got some door dings and some scratches”.

    Me, “I’m not sure this car is for you”.

  • avatar

    I’m calling BS on the toaster. No way is even the most obstinate idiot paying $200 for a secondhand toaster.

    Unless it was a shiny one.

    I should perhaps stop parking my car on the street. Because people see its decrepit condition and automatically assume I’m selling it.

    • 0 avatar

      My wife put a $150 toaster on our wedding registry. Someone actually got it for us. The thing is a giant piece of crap and takes 15 min to warm bread. Never actually toasts it.

      It has 5 settings:
      1 – still frozen
      2 – warm outside, frozen inside
      3 – warm and kinda crispy but not toasted
      4 – ok, who burnt my toast
      5 – WTF is on fire?

      Its electronix so there is no doal to make the perfect temp. And when its done it beeps like a smoke detector and scares the crap out of the cat.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve got a Toastmaster I would NOT sell you for $200 – you’ll have to kick in more cash. My mother bought it in ’55, and gave it to me when I moved out of the house in ’68, since she had a new toaster oven. She’s had several toaster ovens since (they’ve burned out every 4-5 years), but I’m still using the toastmaster.

      BTW, I drive a ’95 Nissan I bought used in ’96, and I park it in my driveway. Some guy named Dave leaves notes on it every other month, offering to buy it.

  • avatar

    people want to see what they want to see

    hell, i’m guilty of it myself… i see exactly the car i want with the mileage i like and the engine i want and the right colour… but its automatic… so i ask myself how much it would cost to convert and other idiocies

    people wanting second hand goods want the earth… i include real estate here… people want the house in the ‘burbs, but close to the trains, but quiet and near the shops but not too close and you dont want the traffic… has to be cheap but attract high rent… should be cheap but new…

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Sometimes Wikipedia is . . . um . . . “less than accurate.” Having owned two Previas, I never had occasion to remark on the weakness of the horn. The styling is different from the Chrysler minivans, but much better than the dust-buster Chevy vans, which put the drive just forward of the middle of the vehicle. Anyone who actually drove a Previa and a Chrysler mini-van would immediately notice (a) that the Previa had significantly more room inside and (b) that, thanks to its mid-engine/transmission layout, the Previa handled much better than any FWD minivan.

    Gas mileage? My supercharged Previa AWD got 25-26 mpg at 60-65 (this was in the days of the “double-nickel” speed limit, with the a/c running and a full load of 3 kids and their stuff for a weekend. By contrast, my Honda Pilot is lucky to do 22 under the same conditions.

    Expensive? Yeah, but I’d like to compare its condition against a similarly used Chrysler product after 10 years and 130k miles . . . as well as the repair bills. (Only non-maintenance repair was replacing a failed U-joint.)

    At 160 hp, the 2.5 liter 16v four cylinder engine would have been marginal at today’s 70+ mph speeds. But with forced induction engines of less displacement being rated today at 250+ hp, all of that could have been solved without changing the basic configuration.

    Problem is, minivans are un-cool. CUVs are cool for families.

    • 0 avatar

      I disagree, CUVs are just as uncool as minivans ever were… but the perception isn’t mainstream yet. In three to five years it will be and we’ll be introduced to some other disguised station wagon contraption.

      • 0 avatar

        Or you never know, actual station wagons may be the next hot thing. Everything comes back around – hot pink, bright red, and lime green pants for men are back “in” this year. Very 1980 preppy.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I never understood the hate against CUVs. I happen to like our 2005 Nissan Murano SL a lot.

        • 0 avatar

          My hate for them is pretty simple. They don’t do anything a proper station wagon doesn’t do better, while costing more, driving worse, and being less efficient. And because the automakers quickly learned that people will pay disproportionately more for them, the proper station wagon has mostly gone the way of the dodo bird.

          All for the mostly mythical “advantages” of that tall seating position. Which these days just means you can’t see over or around all the other C/SUVs on the road anyway.

          • 0 avatar

            They’re “cool” because they don’t make sense. The interior size and off-road capability of a car, with the fuel economy and handling of aa truck.

    • 0 avatar

      I disagree — I learned to drive in a Previa, and the horn blew. (No pun intended.) I think it’s a Toyota thing — every Toyota I’ve driven has had a crappy horn.

  • avatar

    Steve….if laughter really can improve your health, you made me a good deal healthier this morning. Far and away the funniest bit I’ve read on this site.


  • avatar

    The lamest reason I always hear is I’m very interested in your car , but I have no way to come out to see it could you bring it to me at blah blah blah – usually 50 or more miles away . My response , sorry I can’t do that but thanks for calling – goodbye .

  • avatar

    I once had a Jeep CJ-7 for sale. I put it on ebay and the winning bidder showed up. I was tracking him on ebay, I already knew that he was bidding on a old Bronco of similar vintage when he got out of the train that dropped him off and I shuttled him 20 minutes back to my house.

    He slowly walked around the jeep and picked out things he wasn’t happy with. I told him I’d let him walk, and I wouldn’t hold his deposit. there was already a second bidder on the line and interested. “no, I want the jeep.” he said. Then he grabbed the steering wheel to hop in, paused, and shook the steering wheel with both his hands. then, before I could stop him, he puts his foot on the rocker panel and rips on the wheel as hard as he can and he bends the bracket that holds the column to the dashboard. At this point, he declares the jeep unsafe and he’s unwilling to buy it.

    so I thanked him for his time, swiftly put him back in my car and dropped him at the bus station across town, knowing full wel that no bus was coming for the next three hours.

    I honestly considered setting the dog loose on him after that steering wheel stunt. He actually called me to scream at me when I gave him bad feedback.

  • avatar

    The absolute worst are the no-shows.

    “Yeah man I’m really interestedin the car. I’ll be by in an hour, what’s your address again?”. “Ok great, see you in an hour.”

    1 hour goes by, 2 hours go by, no buyer. I call back the number.

    Me, “Hey, you get lost or something?”.

    Shopper, “I ah uhh, got busy. Sorry I can’t come see the car, maybe some other time”. *Hear TV blaring in the background*

    • 0 avatar

      Unreliable people in general suck. Not just potential car buyers.

      Me – “Where the hell were you? You TOLD me you’d be here!”

      Them – “Well, you know…”

      And that’s the extent of the explanation you get.

      As far as the lowballers are concerned, I used to work retail years ago, and still remember seeing the most disgusting examples of the Entitled Customer mindset. So many people think they’re owed a bargain.

      And it isn’t necessarily because they’re short a few bucks. Often times they’re just cheap.

      To this day, I’m convinced that some people would refuse a heart transplant if they couldn’t get a deal on it.

      • 0 avatar

        I’ve had pretty good luck selling cars private party, most buyers I’ve dealt with have been serious and come prepared to pay close to the asking price with a minimum of shenanigans.

        Maybe I’ve been lucky but part of it is that buyers have a different mentality when buying from a dealer. No matter how fair the deal is the ingrained belief that dealers are out to screw the customer makes customers feel morally obligated to beat the dealer up on price even under the best of circumstances.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Right. I’ve found that you do best when you work with the dealer/salesperson. People think of salesmen in particular as sleazeballs, but they have livelihoods and have to feed their families too. And most of them don’t make much profit on a sale. If you can arrive at a reasonable price that makes everyone happy, that’s what you should do.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed. Never got a lame excuse – but no shows drive me nuts. Especially when I was trying to sell a minivan I was still using daily for commuting. Wash, vacuum, get rid of a weeks worth of debris from eating breakfast on the road, wait…wait…wait…wait…mother…fu…

      • 0 avatar

        The part I don’t get is when they call you, and say they’re “on their way” or “see you in an hour”, then fail to show up.

        What happened between the time the phone hung up and the moment I called them back? In the case of the guy in the example above, I think the latest episode of Jersey Shore started as he was walking out the door.

  • avatar

    Actual voicemail from last November…
    “Hey. I’m callin’ about yer ’86 Voyager van on Greg’s List fer $500. If you think it’ll make’r across da Skyway (a large bridge spanning the mouth of Tampa Bay…Google it), Imma take it. Just a need a beater fer work. Also wanna make sure it got a clean Carfax. Holla back at me at 941-… if ye could. Wanna see that Carfax b’fer I make the drive.”

    Its. Five. Hundred. Dollars.

    We didn’t have a subscription at the time, so since I wasn’t going to spend 8% of what I was offering the van for to purchase a CarFax, no sale. Did offer him an AutoCheck, though. Explained the similarities. Didn’t matter. Needed a Carfax. For Five. Hundred. Dollars.

  • avatar

    I get more buyers who mysteriously vanish than anything, naturally a haggler or two but apparently my cars appeal to aliens or something.

  • avatar

    Steve, perhaps a “Hooked on Phonics” ad above the classifieds section would better help sell those gas Benzes and V6 Mustangs?

  • avatar

    The Mustang/Camaro buyers have cousins in my area. When I sold my Blazer I listed it as 2 door, 2 wheel drive. When people called, I repeated 2 door, 2WD. Somehow they combined this in their brains to make 4×4. I had three prospective buyers who were surprised it wasn’t 4WD! One was angry he’d driven 50 miles just for a “bait and switch”.

  • avatar

    My flake-o-rama experience two months ago was from the buyer’s side. Guy advertises a ’10 F150 Lariat with 15k for $29k. More truck than I needed but wanted to see for myself if it might be worth it. Arrange through email to see it Saturday. I email him the night before giving him my cell phone number saying I need an addy and a contact phone # would be nice just in case. Send the same message to him two hours before the appointment and again a half hour before. No response from any of this.

    He emails me late Tuesday explaining he’s sorry but he doesn’t check his email on the weekends. Oh, and of course “let me know if you still want to see the truck.” No, not so much.

    My theory, like with the no-effort CL ads, is someone is trying to demonstrate to someone else they are responding to the nagging to sell something. “Dude didn’t call me back, honey!” Sure…roger that.

  • avatar

    I believe the toaster. My friend, Jeff, and I stopped to look at some cars at GM lot in Charlotte back in ’90. It was after hours but a salesman showed up anyway. I was looking at the other cars, when Jeff and the salesman began yelling at each other. One of the dustbusters, maybe the Pontiac, that we had laughed at earlier was now the point of contention. The salesman was screaming he wouldn’t sell it to him, nor would anyone at the dealership. Lots of cussing, vehicle shopping can be passionate. Jeff was yelling he would be back tomorrow to get it. I said we needed to go. “How did that get started?” He shrugged his shoulders. “Are you actually going to buy it?”
    “Hell no. That’s one ugly POS!”

    In the Atlanta Journal I listed an ’85 Plymouth Horizon 4-door hatchback, white with blue cloth. 2.2, 5-spd, AC, 42,000 miles. Under warranty. One owner. $2800.
    I had bought a GLH Turbo, but didn’t use my use the Horizon for the 3300 trade-in offered, because my lying boss told me he’d give me the same amount. He needed it so his spoiled 14 year old son could drive it to the end of the driveway to wait for the school bus. After my purchase he changed his mind.

    I parked the car at a Target lot and met the potential buyers there. The first looker was a 50ish (my age now) man. He was gung ho to drive it, but insisted taking off in second. “No sir, you’ll have to use first until you pay for it, and then you can take off in third if you like.” He was incensed and refused to drive it then. Idiot.
    The second person thought it was a 5 speed automatic. (Little did they know nearly two decades later, the Neon would only graduate to a 4 speed auto.)
    After the meeting the third one to find out they would like to use my car to learn to drive a manual with me as instructor, future callers got grilled on what cars they had been driving.

    I just realized I have more respect for car salespeople than I thought.

  • avatar

    From a seller’s standpoint, the worst I’ve had was a couple that looked at a Durango I was selling. It was about 4 years old at the time and I was asking payoff for it. Around $12,000 I think. The couple drove it, loved it and said they would talk to their bank and get back with me. A couple days later the wife calls and says they were approved for the loan and had money in hand, could they come pick it up? I said sure, just bring me $12,000 and it’s yours. She pauses for a second and then we have the following exchange:

    Buyer: “12,000?”
    Me: “Yes. The same price we discussed two days ago”
    Buyer: “I thought you said $1,200”
    Me: “Uh, no.”
    Buyer: “Well, we were only approved for $1,200. Would you take that?”
    Me: …click…
    Buyer: …dial tone…

    • 0 avatar

      Why would anyone think that a 4 year old 30k MSRP (minimum) vehicle would be sold for $1200?

      • 0 avatar

        Fully plausible with an American-made car. :)

      • 0 avatar

        I have my suspicions about the prospective buyer’s intentions, but I honestly think they were just that stupid. I really should have seen it coming. Of course, this whole situation was much less aggravating than the time I drove 40 miles to look at a Cherokee the owner allegedly put $3000 into, only to find it a rusted out former denizen of the snowy north. I can only assume the owner sprayed it off with a garden hose and then proceeded to snort 3 grand worth of cocaine on the hood before posting the Jeep for sale.

  • avatar

    My mother had an old 1993 Caddie that needed work, the AC was shot but it ran good and was clean. I was tasked with selling it and had this one guy stop and kept trying to low ball me and bring it to his house – didn’t want to go to the bank and get the title signed, wanted to keep the plate “for a few days” etc. I told him what the deal was and to take it or walk, he whined that I didn’t really want to sell it, yeah right. Next guy (literally 10 minutes later) didn’t have any issues, I actually dropped the price since he was a decent man and didn’t try to haggle.

  • avatar

    Selling an old BMW on craigslist brings out the big thinkers. “I would love to buy this car if it had a manual.” I might have kept it if it were a manual, but automatic was the first word in the ad and transmission was the second one, unless you consider 1994, BMW, or 325is to be words. Something like five people said this. It was the nicest E36 they could find, but they were only looking for one with a manual. I guess since they didn’t value their own time, why would they value that of a seller?

    Another guy really wanted the car but wanted to make sure we knew how little it was worth. His big play was taking it to his friend at the BMW dealer service department who determined it would cost $2,800(at new BMW dealer rates) to replace all the parts that were aged or worn on this 93K mile, 18 year old car. The technician was thorough enough to notice that the shop that had installed new struts and shocks a few hundred miles earlier hadn’t installed new rear bump stops that were needed, but not thorough enough to notice the new shocks, struts and lower control arms. His estimate for restoring the car to new included doing that work again, for the second time in a few months. Anyway, we weren’t about to discount our price by half because a car that cost $36K when it was new 18 years ago wasn’t still new when offered for a sixth of that amount. Our asking price was on the high side, but the car was insured and registered for a few more months, so there was no rush. The guy with the restoration estimate didn’t give up. Every few days he had new arguments for why we should sell him the car more cheaply and with some sort of guarantee and rebate for the work it needed to be like new. We finally told him to go piss up a rope. He couldn’t believe we were breaking off the negotiation. A mechanic bought the car soon after for what we were asking by then, which was basically what we’d have taken as a counter offer the second week the car was on sale.

    • 0 avatar

      To be fair, I have seen many cars, including BMWs, advertised with “manual” transmissions only to realize that the seller’s idea of a manual means you can move the shifter thing while driving but there is no clutch pedal.

      Spelling kills me too: one craigslist classic was for a Ford F250 with a Manuel transmission and duel wheels.

      • 0 avatar


        Yup I hate that. Go to AutoTrader and specify “manual” transmission for a particular model. There are always dealers wanting to put down manual for a car that simply lets you paddle shift or is one of those advanced dual clutch transmissions. It get’s really annoying if you are trying to filter for a car you know is rare but has to be out there somewhere (like a stick shift Focus with heated seats).

        • 0 avatar

          i can always sell you my stick shift focus with heated seats and sport package :-)

        • 0 avatar

          It worked the other way around for me. I was looking for an A5 with certain options, color, etc. with a manual transmission for about a month, filtering by manual transmission. One day I filtered by color only, and found a car having everything I wanted, but that was listed as having an automatic. I clicked on the interior photos and saw that it really had a manual. I ran upstate the next day and bought it.

      • 0 avatar

        How is it fair when I said my car had an automatic transmission? Does anyone think a manual is automatic? I’ve sold enough old German cars to know that manual and automatic customers are practically never looking for either, so I list the transmission clearly and early in my ads.

      • 0 avatar

        “Manuel” transmission with “duel” wheels?

        So the truck’s from down Mexico way, come to fight you over a matter of honor?

      • 0 avatar

        Whatever Manuel is transmitting, I don’t want it.

      • 0 avatar

        That is extremely aggravating. I see that bs enough that I don’t think I’ll ever go see a car without first seeing a picture of the shifter.

        It’s also the tip of the iceberg with the lies about BMWs. Lots of sellers claim to have the sport package when they do not. People also make up recent maintenance. I’ve seen ads claiming timing belt replacement – I think it has been 20 years since a BMW had a timing belt.

        I’m sure sellers lie about every make and model, it’s just easier for me to spot the lies on BMWs. I always ask for the VIN to guard against this. There is a website that will decode the serial number part of a BMW VIN and tell you the features the car was equipped with. I assume similar sites exist for other manufacturers.

  • avatar

    When I sold my prized (and very cherry) 2002 Miata, the purchaser kept reminding me not to cancel the auto insurance. I don’t think she knew how that worked.

  • avatar

    When I sold my SV650 the buyer had reasonable questions over E-mail, but showed up an hour late to look at it in shorts and sandals without a helmet, and asked if he could borrow mine.

    I actually had a spare set of gloves, riding boots, and helmet laying around, which I let him borrow (and he did end up buying the bike no haggle), but it was still a bit bizarre.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    If I had been around when the Previa was introduced, I might have been put off by the prospect of having to remove the passenger seat **and** the carpet just to get to the spark plugs. According to my neighbor, even with his decidedly-front-engined 2005 Chrysler Town and Country, the back row of spark plugs on the 3.8L V6 are hard to access, due to being underneath the windshield cowl. It’s no wonder, then, that cab-over-engine layout died within one generation of minivans.

  • avatar

    before my Fiero was totaled times got tough for a while so I contemplated on selling it. Few days later talking to a prospected person who then continues to argue the price of 900.00 which the car had just been serviced with a new clutch, master slave cylinder and and new paint job.

    Guy: “It’s nice looking, but I’ll only give you 50 bucks for it”
    Me: “Excuse Me?”
    Guy: “Don’t you know they catch fire, I don’t want to take the risk.”
    Me: “The car has survived for 20 years I think it will last a while longer…”
    Guy: “Yea I don’t know”
    Me: “I think you’re looking for an MR2”

    • 0 avatar

      Lol, was the other guy serious?

      If he was going to use that as a point to lower the price, you should have asked him if he would be concerned about himself. That’s a lot of money into it for only $900.

      • 0 avatar

        You should call the guy up and offer your Fiero for $50 after it was totalled! ;D

        • 0 avatar

          the accident was a blessing in disguise I made almost 2,000 on parts. 300 alone on the headlight actuators that I had rebuilt and a near perfect interior…I miss that car dearly but needed the money for school and medical expenses versus spending almost 4,000 to repair. 6 months later I got my first good paying job and looked for another but they are pretty rare around these parts to this day I swear I will buy another

      • 0 avatar

        he was dead serious I like to strike up a conversation before getting to brass tax andall he kept talking about was his friends MR2 and how bada** it was and how he wanted something similar that wasn’t modified…needless to say Igave him the longest possibly stare trying to telepathically share how much of an idiot he was and gave him the number to a few friends who might be able to sell him an mr2.

  • avatar

    I understand the desire to haggle over price, but what part of “NON”, in “price non-negotiable” do people not understand?

  • avatar

    I’ve never sold a car, per se, but I have tried to sell car PARTS. I picked up a complete set of C4 Corvette wheels for a friend’s project, and then had to re-sell when said friend changed their mind. I’ve had a few people who turned them down for not being chrome, if that counts as a lame reason. (I still can’t sell these things. Also that friend is no longer a friend.)

    • 0 avatar

      I hate selling car parts too.

      A guy wanted the injectors off my f250 pickup I’m parting out and the upper intake. The fuel rail bolts broke off and i said f it to pulling the injectors out. So i let him know he can still have the intake for less than half what he was paying for the injectors and intake. Something like $30. Dirt cheap. Never heard back after that.

      Also tried to sell the transmission on that truck. People seem to want these things. The heavy duty 5 speed, in small block ford pattern, 4×4. Guy calls says he’ll buy it but he needs a few weeks to get the money. Never called back.

      Now I’m just keeping all the parts to myself. Though i did get $10 for one part.

      • 0 avatar

        I haven’t done it, but some people that I have talked to that are trying to part out a car don’t recommend it. Either the market wasn’t as strong as the internet suggested, or people were asking for parts buried so deep in the engine bay, they weren’t worth fishing out for what people would pay.

  • avatar

    I have never sold a car, but as a buyer I have no respect for sellers who mark the price up way too high. This happens a lot with dealers in small towns with little/no intrabrand competition. I may come and test drive the car there, but If I can drive 120mi to a bigger city and save $8000, I will.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m with you. If i see those on craigslist i just pass right over them.

      Then again i have a friend who ended up out the door for a 2005 neon for like 9,000 dollars. No Neon is worth that much! Some guy made some good cash off him.

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    After I had driven from COS to PHX to visit a friend and possibly help out someone he was renting shed space from by selling her my ’96 Roadmaster wagon at a price which was severely disadvantageous to me, I was treated to her taking it to a favorite mechanic who apparently never swindles her and upon returning, being told the Check Engine light was active and the fault codes revealed a cracked intake manifold. She’d need to take $2,000 off my asking price and I should be grateful she’s doing me a favor.

    I went out to my car, started it, noted the Check Engine lamp was indeed illuminated. I released the hood, raised it, and peered underneath the LT1’s oversized resonator. Several of the plastic vacuum hose fittings looked to have worked loose slightly, so I pushed each one down until I felt the internal collars grab the vacuum fittings which studded the intake manifold and throttle body. Returning to the interior, I noted the Check Engine lamp had shut off and turned off the engine, then restarted it once again and let it idle for several minutes, noting the lack of any warning lamps. I switched the ignition off, returned to the house and informed her my price still stood, it was a much better price than the market bore at the time, and her mechanic was crooked and she should never visit his shop again. She responded “well, I can’t buy your car at that price.”

    She ended up buying an older Chryco minivan for $1,000 more than I was asking for the Buick, and it gave her trouble for years.

  • avatar

    In the late 80’s I arranged to meet a guy selling an ~83 Tercel with about 100k on it. Upon opening the hood it took a few seconds for me to realize that every last square inch underhood was freshly painted with shiny black spray paint (belts and hoses too), which to this day is the most bizarre thing I’ve seen. When I asked why he had done this, he said that most people like to see a fresh clean engine compartment. I suppose I was lame to walk away…

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I hate it when people paint everything in the engine bay. It’s dishonest. I’d rather see something that’s well-worn but in good condition than something that could be hiding a secret behind fresh “satin black” paint.

      • 0 avatar

        You’ve seen that before?! I don’t think my guy was trying to be dishonest, as it was totally obvious that EVERYTHING had fresh paint; he genuinely thought it was a good selling technique…

        • 0 avatar

          I looked at a 1975 Toyota pickup that your guy may have owned. It was a practically rust free Arizona truck, priced what seemed reasonably, and drove okay. Unfortunately, someone had changed the color cheaply from yellow to a medium metallic blue. There was plenty of yellow paint still visible in the door jams and through some holes in the finish. The paint saved not doing the exterior properly was deployed over the entire engine bay. The older gent selling it seemed like a very decent sort with a sympathetic reason for selling. I just couldn’t imagine owning a 35 year old vehicle where every wire is the same color, every screw and bolt head is painted to surrounding surfaces, and with any heat exchangers’ functionality compromised by an extra layer of paint.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t even like it when people clean an engine bay for a sale. I’m sure some people like that, but if I open a hood and everything is so clean they could pass for new parts, my thought is not “wow, clean car” – it’s “front end accident.”

      • 0 avatar

        Seriously? Since when can body shops be bothered to clean up after themselves? I’m anal enough that my cars get an underhood spring cleaning annually. Except for my Jeep – that thing is like the Exxon Valdez…

  • avatar

    Not actually car story but a tractor story.
    My Dad’s neighbor borrowed a Farmall tractor from him to put up hay a few years ago. He had it for quite a while, and finally my Dad called him and asked for his tractor back. The neighbor returned the Farmall and they had this conversation when it came back.

    Neighbor: “I really like this tractor, I was wondering what you’d take for it?”
    Dad: $2500.00.
    Neighbor: “Would you take $1500.00? The tires are pretty worn out.”
    Dad: “They were fine before you borrowed it.”

  • avatar

    The closest I can come is a few years ago when I was shopping around for a car to replace my Olds Alero with. I had found online a 2006 Fusion with like, 22000 miles on it for 10K. It was at a Toyota dealer about three hours away I had talked to the dealer and told him that I would stop and look at it while on my way to my family’s home for Christmas dealer. When I go there, the Fusion was sitting out front. It was Merlot with a beige cloth interior. I got inside and the interior was FILTHY! Coffee spilled down the console, mud splashed up the A-pillar and black pet fur and food crumbs were all over the seats! They knew I was coming to look at the car! I took it for a ride and then after being promised that the car would be cleaned, they looked at my absolutely spotless, showroom-clean and zero-problem Alero, and proceeded to tell me that it was only worth $3000 to them (even though at the time it blue booked around $5000 trade-in). I said what is wrong with you? He then went to say “Well, we are part of the Penske Automotive Group. We have over 1000 dealers and by the time we service this car and get it ready to put on the lot we will have over $1000 in it.”

    Now what Penske had to do with it is beyond me. It took me two hours to get them to give me my car keys back. I was furious with them. To this day I have no desire to deal with anything that has the name Penske on it for that reason.

    On a different note, several months ago I advertised on Craigslist an older PT Cruiser that I wanted to sell. It was ten years old and had a lot of miles. It looked good but was priced right. I got several emails from people claiming to be out of the country but wanted to buy the car, and wanted my paypal info so they could send me the money and make arrangements for someone to pick the car up.

    Give me a break.

    • 0 avatar

      “It took me two hours to get them to give me my car keys back. I was furious with them.”

      The right response is “give me my car keys back right now, or I can call the police, and you can explain to them why you have stolen my car.”

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    I still remember driving 100 miles to look at a used Toyota truck at a dealership. The salesmen had neglected to tell me that it been hit in the rear so hard that the frame had flexed to the point where the box had hit the back of the extended cab and dented both corners. The crummy body work done to the tailgate stuck out like a sore thumb as did the cheap aftermarket rear bumper that had been slapped on it. The truck looked like it had been ridden hard and put away wet from day one. This was a 3 year old truck that I had been told was in excellent condition and the price they were asking would suggest .

    Lucky for him, the guy that I talked to on the phone wasn’t there when I showed up. I don’t think I even bothered shutting my car off I was out of there so quickly. That was it, I was done looking at used junk that people wanted top dollar for. I went and bought a brand new one.

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