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Seller with unrealistic expectation


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I know the subject of sellers with unrealistic expectations has been discussed previously but I ran into such a situation yesterday and am still a bit bothered by it.  I became aware  that a unusual car ; an English Buckler,  had came up for sale near me and after a bit of investigation got in touch with the owner.  The car is a partial kit, partial owner constructed 

sports car / club level racing car. It's been rumored to exist for many years but factual knowledge was very hard to find. The original owner / builder was quite involved in sports car racing in the Vancouver B.C. area during the 1950's and early 1960's. And the car had been described by local contemporary publications as being very well

thought out and constructed. The car was entered in a number of Pacific North West events in the later 1950's. The owner then took a big step up and bought a factory racing model Lotus { a Lotus 19, quite a car in its day }and the other car was stored away and essentially  vanished  for many decades.

Several years ago I acquired a very similar Buckler  kit based racing car project that was also built at about the same time and used the same basic building blocks but its early history is unknown. So the newly resurfaced  car was something I was definitely curious about.

When I was shown the car I was quite shocked. The condition was very deteriorated, and the car had obviously sat outside for a prolonged time. As well I didn't have to look too closely to see that much of the construction  was fair at best with lots of rough edges.

Still I was interested as I already had the other one and owning both of them would be an advantage during restoration , There are less than a dozen known examples existing of this particular model .

Because Bucklers are sort of a cross between a kit car and a production car values tend to be modest compared to some of the other British race /special construction cars.

But the owner ; a daughter  who inherited it a few years ago is convinced it is worth a substantial sum. Very disappointing., on a number of levels.

 

Greg in Canada

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43 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

But the owner ; a daughter  who inherited it a few years ago is convinced it is worth a substantial sum. Very disappointing., on a number of levels.

 

Greg in Canada

 

This has got to be the most frustrating thing about the hobby... where some of the asking prices come from just mystifies me. It's got to be emotional at some level.

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Patience. Let it sit and be ok with someone taking it from your hands by paying too much. If not,  keep waiting. You may get it someday for what is a realistic price. 

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This reminds me — whatever became of that rusted out $75,000 Durant that was advertised in HMN for years on end 15 or maybe 20 years ago?

These poor sellers though - somebody who’s an ‘expert’ on something usually advised them.

I don’t ‘talk price’ with sellers. Ever.

Edited by Ben P. (see edit history)
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A reality too many such sellers do not understand. They basically have three optional directions.

One. Price it way high so that they get every dollar they deserve, and keep it in quality storage, or garaged, safe so that it can survive unharmed until they find a fool ***** I mean a hobbyist ** willing to pay their price. Of course, that storage WILL cost some amount of money! Maybe the garage won't cost much.  On the other hand, some storage can cost a couple hundred dollars a month for month after month after month for years and years and--------.

Two. Price it way high with it sitting behind the garage hoping some foo---I mean hobbyist with more money than brain comes along and buys it fast before it rots into the ground and they need to pay someone to haul off the trash.

Three. Get a little bit realistic. Do some research. Internet. Some phone calls to collectors. Realistic information is not all that hard to get. Check ebay (if the item isn't TOO unusual?). Find and ask in forums like this one! Start with a price that isn't so completely out in left field that nearly everybody that hears will walk away snickering and never call back. Then, if someone shows some interest, get serious about agreeing to a price!

Then they could move on with their own lives.

 

I suppose I should add here that I am not a big fan of most appraisers. I have seen way too many give ridiculously high appraisals. I have told a couple such stories here in the past. Personally, I think appraisers should be required to buy anything they have appraised for sixty percent of their appraisal if and only if the seller asks them to. If their appraisal was reasonable, that should allow them to make a tidy profit on the deal. And if their appraisal was ridiculously high? It wouldn't take many forced purchases to make them get realistic.  I think back to the '25 Dodge Brothers sedan fifty years ago appraised for $48,000! I met the appraiser, he was serious about it. I was sorry for the couple that owned the car. They thought they had won the lottery! All excited and happy, the things they would do with the money! He should have had to pay nearly $30,000 for that $4000 car. 

Unfortunately, he wasn't the only one I have crossed paths with that was that clueless about the value of what he claimed to be an expert.

It should also be remembered that there are several different types of appraisal ranges. Insurance value or what one MIGHT need to pay to get a replacement is not the same as a priced to sell quickly value. Somewhere between those two areas, is a realistic top dollar value. Somewhere between the top dollar value and the price to sell quickly is a sensible price for a car one does not really want to keep.

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After all these years, I have seen it all. Any type of appraisal is just an opinion........not a fact. I am of the opinion that I am rather charming and pleasant person.........most of my friends keep telling me I am wrong.......very wrong! 
 

Here is a simple way to know what something is worth.....not its value...........what price do I need to put on it to sell in seven days. That is what it is worth. And with today’s market for project and unusual cars that are incomplete, disassembled, poorly done, and obscure.......they should be glad someone is looking at it and wants it.  Today you can get the best value opportunity for your money in the hobby for the last thirty five or forty years. I have mentioned before....the “re-education” of sellers expectations is going to be a hard pill to swallow for most people.

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6 hours ago, keithb7 said:

Patience. Let it sit and be ok with someone taking it from your hands by paying too much. If not,  keep waiting. You may get it someday for what is a realistic price. 

If one is too patient, it sits outside in the elements and only gets worse.

 

Craig

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25 minutes ago, edinmass said:

After all these years, I have seen it all. Any type of appraisal is just an opinion........not a fact. I am of the opinion that I am rather charming and pleasant person.........most of my friends keep telling me I am wrong.......very wrong! 
 

Here is a simple way to know what something is worth.....not its value...........what price do I need to put on it to sell in seven days. That is what it is worth. And with today’s market for project and unusual cars that are incomplete, disassembled, poorly done, and obscure.......they should be glad someone is looking at it and wants it.  Today you can get the best value opportunity for your money in the hobby for the last thirty five or forty years. I have mentioned before....the “re-education” of sellers expectations is going to be a hard pill to swallow for most people.

 

Well- noted-

 

The revelation of current, actual, and timely value may not be that which the seller wishes to accept - at least at first. Sometimes reality is a difficult pill to swallow. The offer to stay in touch, to offer advice may not sit well either, but could later pan out.

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So many factors old car sellers live with, $ invested, emotional connection, unrealistic expectations, bad advice, lack of knowledge, etc. 3 years ago, I placed a $6000 bid on a 1926 Chrysler 4dr sedan, nicely restored 20 years ago but sitting in dry storage since, still in excellent condition , part of an estate being sold thru prothonotary's office at an asking price of $12K (reasonable). Eventually the car sold for $9000 + sales tax of $1450. The old gent who bought it (he had owned one 60 years ago) kept it for a year and offered it at $10K. He eventually sold it after 6 months for $8K, about what it was originally worth.

 

6 months later, a seller called me for advice on selling a 1925 Chrysler 4 dr sedan, an older restoration needing re-paint, some re-chroming etc. Said had spent over $30K on the car (purchased 10 years earlier for circa $22K+tax, new radiator, tires, etc) and a local person had said it was worth $35K. I relayed the above experience. Owner was gracious about it, but seemed genuinely shocked at maybe losing $25K of the investment. The lesson for anyone entering the old car hobby, do your homework.

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Here's one that annoyed me, I asked for some more detailed pictures of something on ebay and the guy took the photos then relisted the items at a higher price because they're "valuable" 

 

still for sale months later....

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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

After all these years, I have seen it all. Any type of appraisal is just an opinion........not a fact. I am of the opinion that I am rather charming and pleasant person.........most of my friends keep telling me I am wrong.......very wrong! 
 

Here is a simple way to know what something is worth.....not its value...........what price do I need to put on it to sell in seven days. That is what it is worth. And with today’s market for project and unusual cars that are incomplete, disassembled, poorly done, and obscure.......they should be glad someone is looking at it and wants it.  Today you can get the best value opportunity for your money in the hobby for the last thirty five or forty years. I have mentioned before....the “re-education” of sellers expectations is going to be a hard pill to swallow for most people.

 

 

You have been surprisingly right a lot lately and I've come around to your way of looking at this.   Project cars almost have no value other than parts.   Very rare cool project cars will find a new owner,  but the discount is heavy.   Worn, beat, needing a lot of work and not a very desirable body?  You will be giving the car away.

 

I wouldn't get too worked about about recalcitrant sellers.   Move on to the next car,  there will be plenty of cool things to choose from.

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Recently a well known member here asked me about selling off his collection...........the problem with collectors is ALL THE STUFF associated with car collecting. Truck and trailer, tools and shop equipment, books and literature, club publications, spare parts, the list is endless. Doing the math on time spent dealing with calls, emails, tire kickers, window shoppers, ect...........it’s a large and difficult undertaking. I usually recommend to people take the top ten or twenty valuable items, and sell them individually and the rest make a few piles of the stuff and wholesale it out fast. Interestingly, almost no one ever takes this advice. Oftentimes much of it ends up at the junk yard and landfill. We all have or dreams of our stuff being worth ten times what we have in it............fact is the opposite is true 99 percent of the time. 

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5 minutes ago, alsancle said:

 

 

You have been surprisingly right a lot lately and I've come around to your way of looking at this.   Project cars almost have no value other than parts.   Very rare cool project cars will find a new owner,  but the discount is heavy.   Worn, beat, needing a lot of work and not a very desirable body?  You will be giving the car away.

 

I wouldn't get too worked about about recalcitrant sellers.   Move on to the next car,  there will be plenty of cool things to choose from.


 

Thanks for the compliment.......I wish I was wrong on this one. There is only two questions that really matter..........where the floor is and what date do we stand on it?

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My pet peeve. Husband passed  away neighbor comes over tells the wife he watched B J auction on TV ( so now he's a expert on car values) the car is worth xXxX$$$ and do not anyone talk you down. 

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A lot of it stems from the exposure that antique cars get in on air auctions such as Barrett Jackson. I had a situation where a friend and I were looking at a '60 T-Bird. After careful examination we determined that the car was at best, a parts car that had severe rust and mildew issues. The owner told us that he wouldn't sell the car because "when I do sell the car, it will pay for my grand kids college education". You can't argue with that mentality.

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You went to look at a rare car.

 

It isn’t in good condition.

 

You were still interested.

 

You think the Seller wants too much money.

 

 

Solution:

 

Pay too much money

 

Find another one for sale

 

 

Jim

 

 

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This is a common problem in all hobbies I take part in. My local hobby shop has a $60 price tag on a kit you can find for about $5 at conventions and about $10 on eBay. Has sat collecting dust in the shop for about 12 years now...and I suspect it will be there forever.

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4 minutes ago, Billy Kingsley said:

This is a common problem in all hobbies I take part in. My local hobby shop has a $60 price tag on a kit you can find for about $5 at conventions and about $10 on eBay. Has sat collecting dust in the shop for about 12 years now...and I suspect it will be there forever.

 

You have a local hobby shop?   I haven't seen one of those in years.

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Yes, it mostly survives via the RC car and planes. I know where there are some others as well, but I can get what I need locally so I don't really need to visit them. I try to hit the shop in South Glens Falls at least a couple times of year as well, it's worth the almost 3 hours one way trip.

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A day in and day out battle with cars - and I hear it from a few friends in the collector furniture business, artwork, and ..., plus occasionally a dump of a house in location, location, and location area. My opinion is that the first person on the scene generally looses out - actually I have had people then sell for less than I offered to the 2nd person.  The flip side of the coin is I have seen first people win too.  I usually say - they have to set a realistic price that works for them and I am here to say yes or no to that. Often times you have to pay a little more than you think it's worth - rarity and condition comes into play.  Lot's of fish in the sea too - sometimes you just have to say no and walk away. 

 

 

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21 minutes ago, alsancle said:

 

You have a local hobby shop?   I haven't seen one of those in years.

 Dad use to work for a fellow by the name of Richard "Dick" Fulteron, who ran the Foreign Technologies Unit at Wright Patterson Air Force Base - he had a certain hiring criteria in which one check box was they had to have a hobby working with their hands - such as trains, planes, and automobiles (Dad is a Model Railroader who likes cars) - after a tough day of "fun stuff" Dick believed it the only relief valve.  As a kid I went all over the United States visiting hobby shops.

 

Gene Smith of Smitty's Hobby Shop was in Dayton (catered to people in military from all over the globe) - use to be one of the better Hobby Shops in the United States.  

 

Most all the Hobby shops in Cincinnati have pretty much gone the way of the wind, though there are a few related to motorized planes and cars.

 

Boardwalk Hobbies in Mount Lookout is still fun - soldiers, games, model cars, and ... 

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On 2/1/2020 at 6:57 AM, mercer09 said:

the best part of this topic is, nobody wants to pay the price, but when it's their turn to sell, they want top dollar!

 

say it isnt so................


Spot On

 

Every day I get calls from folks wanting 10 mile to 100 mile hauls that don’t want to pay “ the outrageous cost of a local tow service “.

 
Or

 

They want hauling done for between 8 cents and 30 cents a mile.

 

Such Is Life ....

 

 

Jim

Edited by Trulyvintage (see edit history)
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On 2/1/2020 at 9:00 AM, alsancle said:

 

 

You have been surprisingly right a lot lately and I've come around to your way of looking at this.   Project cars almost have no value other than parts.   Very rare cool project cars will find a new owner,  but the discount is heavy.   Worn, beat, needing a lot of work and not a very desirable body?  You will be giving the car away.

 

I wouldn't get too worked about about recalcitrant sellers.   Move on to the next car,  there will be plenty of cool things to choose from.

AJ and I had that discussion this week - from my experience selling/buying, the rule of thumb is that it better be a "exceptionally exceptional project car" or at a sale price under $99,999.99

 

And same theory pretty much applies at certain other levels lower too. 

 

Basically, my money, my time, my aggravation, my... and if you as a seller want to reap rewards then do all the work yourself and let's use your wallet doing it.

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

Recently a well known member here asked me about selling off his collection...........the problem with collectors is ALL THE STUFF associated with car collecting. Truck and trailer, tools and shop equipment, books and literature, club publications, spare parts, the list is endless. Doing the math on time spent dealing with calls, emails, tire kickers, window shoppers, ect...........it’s a large and difficult undertaking. I usually recommend to people take the top ten or twenty valuable items, and sell them individually and the rest make a few piles of the stuff and wholesale it out fast. Interestingly, almost no one ever takes this advice. Oftentimes much of it ends up at the junk yard and landfill. We all have or dreams of our stuff being worth ten times what we have in it............fact is the opposite is true 99 percent of the time. 

 

I think we are all guilty of the same thing.    I'm always shocked when I go to sell something. What I really end up getting vs my perceived value before is usually quite different,  and I'd like to think I know what I'm doing.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, John_Mereness said:

Al and I had that discussion this week - from my experience selling/buying, the rule of thumb is that it better be a "exceptionally exceptional project car" or at a sale price under $99,999.99

 

And same theory pretty much applies at certain other levels lower too. 

 

Basically, my money, my time, my aggravation, my... and if you as a seller want to reap rewards then do all the work yourself and let's use your wallet doing it.

 

What seemed like "fun" 25 years ago feels overwhelming when I look at projects now.   Also,  when full sorted V16 Cadillac's are selling for 65k  - cats are living with dogs.

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2 minutes ago, alsancle said:

 

What seemed like "fun" 25 years ago feels overwhelming when I look at projects now.   Also,  when full sorted V16 Cadillac's are selling for 65k  - cats are living with dogs.

Yes !

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4 minutes ago, alsancle said:

 

Also,  when full sorted V16 Cadillac's are selling for 65k  - cats are living with dogs.

My Airedale thinks he would like a Cat.  He is probably wrong though.  That said, even if wrong he would still harass it and it would be living on top of the refrigerator. 

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The title of this thread: 

Seller with unrealistic expection

 

 

I could be wrong, but I think this is a good example of the phenomenon.  It's a really nice car, but, at that price, I don't think so (As I said, I could be wrong).

The link:

https://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/cars-for-sale/chevrolet/chevelle/2305409.html?refer=saturday&utm_source=saturday&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2020-02-01

 

Cheers,

Grog

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Here is a short post that will scare you..........

 

in the last 90 days I have seen a bunch of nice, driving, open cars for sale..............the scary part?

 

 

All looked underpriced to me by 30-50 percent..........nice cars, and makes me think I need to adjust my price ranges on ALL cars.

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Yes some great comments here. Speaking of all those collectors who are occasionally looking to down size though -where on earth do all the good quality tools and shop equipment go to die? I keep hoping to see some nice tools being re-marketed in the general "parts for sale" forum but never really see any?  I'm surprised by this-apologies for veering off topic.

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Having sold nine brass Fords and seven Model A’s (all within 7-10 days of listing) in the last 35 years the biggest thing is KNOW YOUR MARKET.  There have been ups and down aplenty. I ask a fair price and do not negotiate much. When I buy, I explain the market to the seller, make my offer and leave my card after inspection. I stick to my offer and 90% of the time I get the car. Sometimes it takes 6 months. I realize this niche is and does not apply to everyone or other cars. This is what works for me.

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12 hours ago, keithb7 said:

Patience. Let it sit and be ok with someone taking it from your hands by paying too much. If not,  keep waiting. You may get it someday for what is a realistic price. 

Excellent advice

 

While I totally agree- also remember, we arent here forever. Many of us are older. How long are you gonna live? cant take any of it with you!

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One reality of selling any old car:   Most people that come to see what you have for sale are not really looking for a specific car,

They're just checking to see if they can buy cheap and re-sell it.    Sad, but true.   

I looked for a couple years for a 1934 Ford Fordor V8.  (This was in 2002 & 03)   Mostly what I found were modified cars with later

Ford V8's, some painted like Jelly Beans.   Finally I found one that looked great and ran poorly.  I told the seller I was interested in

the car but it had to run better.   I offered to return with my tools and parts to make it run better.  If I could, I would buy it.

He thru me out and said I was trying to cheap him.

Ten years later I heard he sold the car with a seazed engine for 30% of his asking price.  Sold to a Streetrodder who was thrilled to

get it.  I heard he drove it until the engine seazed, then parked in his garage.  I guess I wouldn''t have been able to make ot run better,

but we both coul;d have learned more about why it ran so poorly.

 

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