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What's your reaction when someone wants to buy your old car?


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At a local show this past weekend, a gentleman asked if my 36 Chevrolet Town Sedan was for sale. I said nope. He kept pushing, I replied it would take a lot more money than I thought it was worth. He kept insisting for an amount--I said $50,000--he finally wandered off.

But when I first got the car in 1983, I kind of regret turning down an offer and not selling it. Driving on the interstate (speed limit was 55 then), someone followed to where I stopped. They wanted to buy the car and offered an amount that turned out to be twice what I paid for it--and I think they were serious!

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Once while driving my 1967 A100 pickup home from work I saw a guy pointing at me from his truck and he was saying something to his wife. He followed me to my driveway and said he wanted to buy my truck to haul a "soon to be his" new Harley Davidson that he had on order. I declined his offer and he mentioned something about old 1920s Chryslers. I mentioned that I had a 1929 model 75 roadster in the garage. He lit up and all of a sudden wanted to buy THAT car from me. I told him that I had promised it to my good friend in Michigan and he said he really wanted it. I told him that I would call my friend and verify that he still wanted the car. My friend said yes, so the next day, the guy with the Harley on order calls me and says that he is ready to come over and pick up the Chrysler. I told him not to bother because the guy in Michigan absolutely wanted the car. The "Harley guy" all of a sudden goes into a rage and says "I took the bulldozer off of the trailer and cancelled my order for the Harley just for that car! I had to go on a waiting list for that motorcycle!!". I apologized to him and reminded him that I was going to call him with the verification of the sale to my friend in Michigan. He started to calm down and agreed that I was right and that it was his mistake to forge ahead without the answer about the car.

Now I just tell people "No".

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  • 2 weeks later...

Don't throw them a price, because they might go for it. Last year we were talking to a guy who had a nice '40 Chrysler convertible and asked him if the car was for sale. I think he threw us a price figuring that it was more than we could afford, but we had the money, and we took it.....

Sometimes you have people with more money than brains that would take a ridiculous price offer and pay it and then you're still on the hook.

We've been hounded by a lot of people to sell off a car and what works for us is to say "make me an offer" usually that throws off their concentration where they don't know what to say. If they give you a price, you say no and then tell the next person what your last offer was that you turned down, and tell them to make you an offer.

In the case of our woodie, we tell people "We've turned down an offer for $50,000 and we've handed back a blank check, but feel free to make an offer." That has turned them around every time.

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I always get this wherever I go with an antique...My reply "evrything is for sale, make me an offer". ONE GUY ASKED ME IF I WOULD GIVE HIM MY 35 CHEVROLET PICKUP...I laughed and he was dead serious...he said," I love it, can't you just give it to me". He actually keep trying to convince me that because he loved the truck so much , he should have it, but for free. In all my years collecting, I told him that was the best and only offer I ever heard.

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Yeah that's like the guys who offer you $10,000. If you do an entire frame off restoration (yourself) to include paint, engine, tires, chrome and interior you can't do it yourself for that kind of money.

Without ever restoring a motorcycle, I'm not so sure you could restore an Indian or a Harley for that price either. Take a 50-something Buick and you'd be lucky if you could do all the chrome for less than $20,000.

Between purchase and restoration, it cost us about $7,000 to restore our 8N Ford tractor.

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99% of people supposedly interested in buying your car disappear when you name a high price and demand cash.

For those that remain, there is absolutely nothing that says that simply because you quoted a price, you must sell it to them. So I really don't get the "I quoted twice what it was worth and they said ok, so then I had to sell it to them and I regret it." Who forced you to sell? I would simply say I changed my mind if I didn't want to sell it. On the other hand, if someone offered me $30,000 for my car, I would certainly take it.

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Everything is for sale... at a price!

I had a guy tell me that who wanted our '87 Mustang GT. I told him that he doesn't know me well enough. If I say it isn't for sale, it isn't for sale. Of course there are cars that I would sell if the right offer came up.

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LINC400 I don't know about your laws in Illinois, but here in Canada I was at a function where a man said "the business is yours for $1.4 million dollars, bring a certified cheque". The next day the person showed up with the cheque, the owner refused, the man with the cheque sued, he had nine witness to the conversation, and won.

I would be awful carefull about naming an amount, because that is the begining of a verbal agreement which is just as legally binding as a signed contract.

My answer is bring cash and we will talk about it. No one has ever showed up with cash yet.

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A lot of curious questions are asked more for information than actual attempts to buy. When told to see my wife at my estate sale, sometimes I get "would you take $$$$?" My reply: Is that a question or an offer?

Generally I like my current collection and always look at car shows for something I might like better, but that doesn't happen as often as it used to.

Once I sold my wife's 65 Mustang Convertible after 24 year of ownership, by mistake. A friend in the auction business wanted to see if people would come if he sold a collector car at his estate auctions. He let me set a high reserve and I watched as the price climbed above the reserve and he yelled SOLD!

I've been sorry ever since. Even though I got my price, the Mustang is gone for good. Beware of the urge to cash out when It's a car you love.

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LINC400 I don't know about your laws in Illinois, but here in Canada I was at a function where a man said "the business is yours for $1.4 million dollars, bring a certified cheque". The next day the person showed up with the cheque, the owner refused, the man with the cheque sued, he had nine witness to the conversation, and won.

I would be awful carefull about naming an amount, because that is the begining of a verbal agreement which is just as legally binding as a signed contract.

My answer is bring cash and we will talk about it. No one has ever showed up with cash yet.

That sounds like a little more than naming an amount. I still don't see how if you just said "I would want $XXXX for it, someone can make you sell it to them for that amount.

Years ago, my mom's friends were interested in buying a house. It was owned by an elderly woman who was supposed to be selling it and moving to a retirement home. At the closing, the old lady changed her mind and decided she did not want to sell. My mom's friends had cancelled their lease, hired a moving co, had an inspection done on the house, etc. The old lady had to pay some penalties and expenses, but there was no way they could make her sell them the house. Once she changed her mind, that was it. It was her house, it did not close, and there was no way the lawyers could make her sell and move out. They had to find another house.

Consigning a car to an auction would be a different story. But after the house story above, I don't see how anyone can walk up to you at a car show, and make you sell them your car just because you named a price. In fact when I bought my 2nd Lincoln, the owner refused to sell it to 2 other people because the buyers were just going to treat it as a beater. They would not promise to take care of and preserve it. So he sold it to me for less money because I promised to take care of it and keep it stock.

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That sounds like a little more than naming an amount. I still don't see how if you just said "I would want $XXXX for it, someone can make you sell it to them for that amount.

Years ago, my mom's friends were interested in buying a house. It was owned by an elderly woman who was supposed to be selling it and moving to a retirement home. At the closing, the old lady changed her mind and decided she did not want to sell. My mom's friends had cancelled their lease, hired a moving co, had an inspection done on the house, etc. The old lady had to pay some penalties and expenses, but there was no way they could make her sell them the house. Once she changed her mind, that was it. It was her house, it did not close, and there was no way the lawyers could make her sell and move out. They had to find another house.

Consigning a car to an auction would be a different story. But after the house story above, I don't see how anyone can walk up to you at a car show, and make you sell them your car just because you named a price. In fact when I bought my 2nd Lincoln, the owner refused to sell it to 2 other people because the buyers were just going to treat it as a beater. They would not promise to take care of and preserve it. So he sold it to me for less money because I promised to take care of it and keep it stock.

I sold a 1929 Chrysler model 75 to my close friend for a lot less than I was offered by someone else. My friend wanted a roadster to restore. The other guy wanted to use the body on his grandfather's model 65 (which would not have fit).

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  • 1 year later...

Threads like this kept me from being an annoying wannabe buyer 2 days ago...I saw one of my two dream cars at a cruise, a silver on silver '63 Riviera...the paint was so so, but it looked solid. It took everything I had to not go up and give the owner an unsolicited offer....BUT, I would HATE if someone approached me and asked to buy my car that didn't have a for sale sign in it. So I let it slide...Probably good, because I have nowhere to put it.

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There's nothing wrong with asking.

A simple, "Would you be interested selling it?" is not an insult. If they say yes, ask how much. If they tell you to make an offer, it's not for sale and end it there (unless you have a bottomless checkbook, in which case, offer whatever you want).

Many shows do not allow "for sale" signs.

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There's nothing wrong with asking.

A simple, "Would you be interested selling it?" is not an insult. If they say yes, ask how much. If they tell you to make an offer, it's not for sale and end it there (unless you have a bottomless checkbook, in which case, offer whatever you want).

Exactly !

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If you have an offer, an acceptance, and a consideration you have a contract. Could be verbal or in writing. A verbal contract can be enforced if you have proof, either both parties agree what was said or you have witnesses.

In fact at an auction sale if the auctioneer says "$10,000" and you wave your hand and he says "Sold" that is a contract. He doesn't have to let you out of it if he doesn't want to although it can be hard to enforce. That is why they have you register. Be careful of your number, if you leave early and throw the card away someone could pick it up and buy stuff in your name.

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I guess if the offer were right for my Riviera I would take it.

In the 90's I bought an '81 Ford pick up that needed a clutch from a coworker for $50.00. He just wanted to be rid of it.

Put a clutch in and some used tires from a junkyard on it, cleaned it up a bit and another person out of the blue offerd me $900.00 for it. :eek:

That was a no brainer.

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i once had a nos set of five 1953 pontiac deluxe wheelcovers (hubcaps), my investment total $50.00 this was twenty years ago. a fellow pontiac club member, who also was restoring a 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina, kept asking me over, and over, and over, how much would i take for the wheelcovers. so i thought, i'll throw out a very high price, and he'll stop asking me. so i said that i would take $300.00 for them, well, he bought them. so be careful what you say is your price, you just might get it, lol. here's a picture of the wheelcovers, that i going to use on my 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina. charles coker, 1953 pontiac tech advisor

post-32395-143138647669_thumb.jpg

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When I purchase my '37 dodge brothers 2 dr d5 touring sedan It was at a car show own by my now doctor. I was told by his machinc that the c ar wouldn't be for sale because it was his favor.I approce him telling him that I would be interest in buying it if ever he wanted to sale.He told me that he didn't want to sale but it wouldn't hurt to make him an offer

.I made him an offer what i could afford and thoughht was reasonable.2 month later he called saying the car was mine if i still wanted it.That was 6 years ago with only 14,000 miles on the meter and title show that he purchase it in 1983 with a B code title makeing that he was the second owner and only driven it 436 miles the car just turn 30,000 miles this past week.

Vern

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