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I am in a fairly unique position since about 80% of the cars I am representing are other peoples cars versus cars I have bought to resell. Every time I get a call my ultimate goal is to sell the car to the caller. I don’t get paid until I sell the car, and even if its my car that really is still the case. 
 

I work hard to research the market for each car I am selling before setting an asking price. I always try to set a reasonable asking price and leave it up to the buyer to make an offer they are comfortable with. 
 

sometimes I get guys calling it seems simply to argue with me about how the asking price is unrealistic- often picking the car apart-which begs the question- if you don’t want the car why are you calling me?

 

these calls rarely end in a sale, so my goal is  not accomplished and I don’t think the callers goal is either. 
 

I often get the what’s your best price? Question Or what’s the least you will take, and no matter what I say it’s never low enough, so I just don’t do that anymore.
 

just cut to the chase and tell

me what you want to pay! If we can put a deal together that is as I stated always my goal and I am sure every salesman’s goal when you inquire about a car. 
 

we don’t like to have cars languishing in our showrooms or on our websites. It’s my job to bring the 2 parties together so everyone is happy and the car finds a new home.

 

and always remember-this is a hobby it’s supposed to be fun!

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I've bought and sold cars as a hobbyist, not a dealer, but I've encountered some of what you mentioned above.  When I'm looking to buy a car, if I think the price is too high, I don't contact the seller.  Arguing about the price would be a waste of their time and mine.  I never talk price as a buyer until I've seen the car (either in person or on facebook live video), and the car tells me it wants to come home with me.  If I don't like the car enough to buy it, I thank the seller for their time and tell them I'm passing on the car.  Price never gets discussed when I don't want to buy a car after inspecting it. 

 

When I've sold my hobby cars, I've run into the types mentioned in your post.  Potential buyers have come to see my car for sale and picked it apart and tried to knock money off the price for perceived or real defects.  This despite my always writing a detailed accounting of the car's condition in the ad and pricing it accordingly.  I'm no pricing expert, but I try to price the car to move, usually because I've spotted something else I want to buy and need the room.  Also, I usually have driver quality cars, so I'm not looking for show car prices.   I completely ignore requests for my bottom price or lowball offers.  If someone asks if I'm negotiable, I tell them to come over and inspect the car.  If they like it, we can talk price.  If they're from out of town and can't come to see the car, I tell them to make an offer and we'll go from there.

 

I try to be civil and respectful on either side of the transaction.  I find that's easier to do as a buyer than as a seller.

 

I've noticed the same tendencies in buyers when vending at Hershey.  People always try to knock down the price on items I'm selling.  If I try to negotiate a price on an item I'm trying to buy, the seller doesn't want to budge.

 

A percentage of the buying population has the mentality that they don't want to get beat on price, so they have to argue over transactions.  Some sellers think whatever they're selling is like gold, and don't want to "give it away".

 

The next time I look to buy a car, I hope I run into a seller as reasonable as you sound in your post.

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I like it, if the car wants to come home with me, well put.

 

If I’m looking at a car that’s for sale, I usually know within minutes if it’s worth making an offer.  I’ve walked up to cars and immediately known yes or no in my mind.

 

Treat buyer or seller with respect.

 

As a seller, someone offers well under what you’d take, just tell them thanks for offer but no.  If you’re flexible you can name a lower price, just remember that 9 times out of ten the would be buyer won’t like that price either.

 

As a buyer, offer a fair price for what you intend to so with the car, don’t try to lowball and steal it, and if you don’t think things are going your way, thank the seller for their time and move on.  If you’re real close on price, remember that the difference is being argued by both of you.  Don’t let a small fraction of value of car deter you from purchasing.

 

And I agree, it should be fun negotiating, it shouldn’t be a battle...

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Just now, Skylark4367 said:

 

 

I've noticed the same tendencies in buyers when vending at Hershey.  People always try to knock down the price on items I'm selling.  If I try to negotiate a price on an item I'm trying to buy, the seller doesn't want to budge.

 

A percentage of the buying population has the mentality that they don't want to get beat on price, so they have to argue over transactions.  Some sellers think whatever they're selling is like gold, and don't want to "give it away".

 

The next time I look to buy a car, I hope I run into a seller as reasonable as you sound in your post.

 

 

Before the internet we used to "Keep the good stuff for Hershey", now the stuff to heavy to ship makes up a lot of Hershey inventory. It is a lot of fun to haggle with an "expert" over some lump I should have scrapped. These types in most cases have 2-3 buddies watching, sooner or later the "expert" will through out his lowball offer. Sure OK, I'll take it!!! The expression on the guy is always priceless. Now he has to fumble around with those short arms and find his wallet, AND his buddies are also stuck carrying the lump somewhere else. 

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1 hour ago, Shawn Miller said:

I often get the what’s your best price? Question Or what’s the least you will take, and no matter what I say it’s never low enough, so I just don’t do that anymore.

 

just cut to the chase and tell me what you want to pay!

 

That works both ways. As a buyer, cut to the chase and tell me what you need to sell it for. Look, I negotiate gov't contracts in my day job. I understand the need for profit, etc. I also understand and prefer a win/win negotiation, where both sides feel like they got what they wanted. At the same time, as a buyer I want to pay as little as possible. If I tell you what I want to pay right up front, you'll be insulted. I assume these calls are part of the negotiation process, and what I'm willing to pay likely will change as the process goes on. As for people who want to play "price cop", let them.

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Christ, just don't play games when you're a buyer! This doesn't have to be a d*ck measuring contest and we can both get a win and be happy. Like Shawn said, don't be coy, don't ask the seller to negotiate against himself, don't pretend that not saying what you are willing to pay gives you an advantage. Just be honest and sincere and you might be surprised by how the seller treats you. The seller/dealer isn't your enemy and you're actually going to want him as a friend if you DO make a deal. Don't botch it by making your introduction from the Kingdom of Dipshiats.

 

I typically have two kinds of phone calls: the first is the kind where I have a nice conversation and find that I really like the guy on the other end and want him to have the car. The other is where I ultimately hang up the phone and mutter under my breath, "Go to hell." You can guess which buyer is playing games and being vague and/or aggressive and which one just talked about the car, expressed his wants and needs, and made a reasonable offer, whether we made a deal or not.

 

If you ask me what my minimum is, I will usually say, "I can't discount it enough to make a difference. If this is too expensive for you, I probably can't change that."

 

Also remember that if you use up all your "goodwill" getting a deal, there won't be much left later when you want your shipping done fast or information on history or how the car works.

 

And for the 20th time: the games you may play with a new car dealer don't work on me. I don't have a floorplan loan to pay on each car with a ticking interest bomb or a quota to meet at the end of the quarter to keep my franchise. I'm not going to chase you down if you walk out the door because I desperately need the sale. I'm not going to eventually sell you the car for thirty cents on the dollar because you think it's been sitting here too long. I don't NEED to sell any one particular car--there are 100 of them here, I'll sell one of the others to one of the other 60 guys who will call me today.

 

Here's one last secret: I don't have any "tricks" that I can play to make you buy a car or trick you into paying too much. My only "trick" is that I've already seen all the buyers' games.

 

tenor.gif

 

37 minutes ago, joe_padavano said:

 

That works both ways. As a buyer, cut to the chase and tell me what you need to sell it for. Look, I negotiate gov't contracts in my day job. I understand the need for profit, etc. I also understand and prefer a win/win negotiation, where both sides feel like they got what they wanted. At the same time, as a buyer I want to pay as little as possible. If I tell you what I want to pay right up front, you'll be insulted. I assume these calls are part of the negotiation process, and what I'm willing to pay likely will change as the process goes on. As for people who want to play "price cop", let them.

 

I've done that. I put my asking price on every car I sell. There's your starting point. Buyer then tells me what he'd like to pay and we see if we can meet in the middle somewhere. But saying, "What's the least you'll take," implies that what I'm asking is unreasonable and that if I could only make it cheap enough, I'd have the honor of selling a car to his highness, the Royal Dipshiat. No thanks. I'm already being straight with my pricing. Do me the courtesy of acting equally upfront. That's all I ask.

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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I sure would like it if all sellers were as up front as you are Matt. If a car is fairly priced , and it is a car I want then I either just pay the man or respectfully ask if the price is firm. At most I will sometimes  make an offer of 90% or so of the ask , or see if there are spare parts that might be included as well.

Unfortunately many I encounter have a asking price at least 50% higher than what would seen to be a realistic figure. Then the back and forth might occur. But usually the seller has been told by someone how rare / valuable the car is and I walk away.

 

Greg

 

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OTOH once had the owner of a car I liked but passed on have the owner chase me down the drive way begging for an offer. Wound up putting on dolly and taking home.

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Matt, I think you have it down pat as far as how a seller should price and negotiate.

 

I'll tell a story from the other side of the aisle.

 

I heard about a car for sale, it was a very nice early car.  I did my homework, found that that make and that year car had changed hands a few times.  Made a few phone calls, and in the end figured that a fair price for the car, if it was as it had been described to me by a third party (very nice, by the way), would be in the 60 to 70K range.

 

OK, so now I call up the seller for the first time.  I explain that I'm looking for that kind of car, I have a feel for value, and I've been told he has a nice one.  After a little chit chat, I ask him price.  "Well, first, let me tell you more about the car" and he proceeds to talk for an hour, dodging my price question every time I brought it up.

 

So, an hour on the phone, finally he says "Well, it's a bargain at my price, and I've enjoyed talking to you, I'll let you have it for $180K......."  I think this is when the crickets started chirping, I thanked him for his time and said I'll pass.  "What, you don't even want to talk about it?".   Nope, I'm done, thank you.

 

So, point of story, don't waste the time of a buyer, either.  Everyone has a price in mind, even if they insist they "want an offer" or "are testing the market" or, the worst, "I don't know what it's worth".  Well, you might not know what it's worth, that's correct, but you sure as heck know a dollar figure for which it would leave your driveway.  And, a buyer has some range of what they'd be comfortable with, if I'm looking for a $10K Gogomobile not much sense talking to someone who wants $40K for one....

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I should also say that as someone who frequently works on the buyer side, too, that I don't really enjoy the haggling part of the process. I will make a reasonable offer to a seller but I don't insult anyone. I often pay within 10-15% of what my ultimate asking price would be for a car and I don't beat people up. That always feels wrong to me. If they're OK with my offer, great, we make a deal. We can haggle a bit, that's OK, too. But if they're asking $40K, I don't walk in and offer $25. I would probably offer $37 thinking that I can add some value on the other side and sell it for more than they're asking. I've purchased cars from other dealers and paid close to their asking prices and they'd probably tell you that I'm one of the easiest people to deal with--I make reasonable offers, I pay quickly, and if the car is crap, well, that's on me. With one notable exception where the "crap" was far larger than what someone should expect in such a transaction, I've never complained to a seller about a car. I take my licks like a man rather than reaching into someone else's pocket to make my decision seem right.

 

Melanie and I guide ourselves using one overriding principle: can we look at our kids and tell them we're good people who don't take advantage or abuse others? I am proud that I can look myself in the mirror each morning and know that nobody's getting hurt dealing with us. That's probably why I won't get rich doing this, but my life is good in every single way that matters.

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4 hours ago, Shawn Miller said:

I am in a fairly unique position since about 80% of the cars I am representing are other peoples cars versus cars I have bought to resell. Every time I get a call my ultimate goal is to sell the car to the caller. I don’t get paid until I sell the car, and even if its my car that really is still the case. 
 

I work hard to research the market for each car I am selling before setting an asking price. I always try to set a reasonable asking price and leave it up to the buyer to make an offer they are comfortable with. 
 

sometimes I get guys calling it seems simply to argue with me about how the asking price is unrealistic- often picking the car apart-which begs the question- if you don’t want the car why are you calling me?

 

these calls rarely end in a sale, so my goal is  not accomplished and I don’t think the callers goal is either. 
 

I often get the what’s your best price? Question Or what’s the least you will take, and no matter what I say it’s never low enough, so I just don’t do that anymore.
 

just cut to the chase and tell

me what you want to pay! If we can put a deal together that is as I stated always my goal and I am sure every salesman’s goal when you inquire about a car. 
 

we don’t like to have cars languishing in our showrooms or on our websites. It’s my job to bring the 2 parties together so everyone is happy and the car finds a new home.

 

and always remember-this is a hobby it’s supposed to be fun!

 

 

I purchased a car through Shawn.......a rather expensive machine. It was a very easy transaction. I knew who he was before the deal, and have since become friends with him after the deal. That tells you what kind of a guy he is to do business with. As far as prices go.........every car and deal is different, as is each seller and buyer. Often times money is not the biggest reason for buying a car. The car Shawn sold me was the best of it's kind anywhere........and it was exactly what we were looking for. The fact that we were able to purchase it at a very fair price was just a bonus..........don't tell Shawn.......we would have paid the asking price. 🤫

 

 

The only good deal is when BOTH parties are happy. Over the last few years I have represented quite a few people buying cars from dealers. Every transaction was simple, and easy. Honestly, I rather do business with a dealer......no emotions, and payment and paperwork are always easier. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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When you are buying a car treat the seller with the same respect that you think you deserve. 

 

The really sad thing today is that so many lonely and or jealous people call on cars with no intention of buying. They call and act like they want to buy a car or they call just to be rude. When I mention this to people I know in other fields they cannot believe that it happens. When I mention it to folks who are involved with old cars they laugh and share their own crazy stories. I think the lonely ones just want somebody to speak to them like they are important. The rude ones just want you to get upset. 

 

In any case if you do not like a price make an offer. But make a serious one. By serious I mean be prepared to act. Do not call make an offer and then say "let me ask the wife". 

 

 

 

 

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Buying from a dealer.

In the seventies we lived in a rural area and wanted to trade a 2 year old 2 door for a 4 door station wagon.  There were three dealers, one fourty miles away, one fifty miles away and the one that we bought our trade in from that was one hundred twenty miles away.  We went to each dealer and asked for their best deal, telling them that we were also going to the other two places.  Each road tested our trade in and gave us a quote.  We decided to go with the one fourty miles away.  The new car would not be ready for three days but they offered to deliver it.   A week later we got a call from the dealer fifty miles away, he asked what we paid and then said he could have beaten that price by ten percent.  I told him I had asked for his best deal at all three and bought from the best quote. 

Every time since then if we see a used car that my wife likes we go in, let them examine our trade in and find how much difference they are asking.  She make an offer which we know they are going to reject, my wife writes a cheque for an amount between our first offer and their first figure.  When the salesman comes back rejecting our first offer we hand him the cheque and tell him that is all we are willing to pay.  It has never failed in the last 45 years.

Buying privately.

I drove 200 miles to look at a vintage car.  The seller went on and on about what he  had done to the car.  My only question was when had he replaced the wood spokes.  He said never.  I said goodbye.  He wanted to know what was wrong.  I said the car has hickory spokes if he did not know that how could I trust anything else about the car.  I saw it listed for another two years.  Most people lose a sale because they talk too much about things they do not know.

Always Caveat emptor always.

 

Edited by Guest (see edit history)
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Want to buy a car? Want to make an offer? Back it up with money on the spot. Not a fifty dollar deposit. Not a thousand dollar deposit. When buying a car I will pay at least 20 percent down ...........eliminates the bull shit. I NEVER talk money until I go over the car and determine I want it........I don't kick tires. I explain to people BEFORE I come look at their car I am willing to pay market price for the car's current condition.........and explain to them I don't pay 95 point car money for a 80 point car. I pay 80 point money. I also explain to them if the car is represented as a better car than it actually is, I will turn around and leave as soon as I see it. I don't need to visit with people and kick tires. I buy a car for one of three reasons.......it's for myself, for a customer, or for a flip. There are countless cars for sale, and very few decent ones. I don't need to wast my time on a four wheel turd with shiny paint. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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19 minutes ago, edinmass said:

Want to buy a car? Want to make an offer? Back it up with money on the spot. Not a fifty dollar deposit. Not a thousand dollar deposit. When buying a car I will pay at least 20 percent down ...........eliminates the bull shit. I NEVER talk money until I go over the car and determine I want it........I don't kick tires. I explain to people BEFORE I come look at their car I am willing to pay market price for the car's current condition.........and explain to them I don't pay 95 point car money for a 80 point car. I pay 80 point money. I also explain to them if the car is represented as a better car than it actually is, I will turn around and leave as soon as I see it. I don't need to visit with people and kick tires. I buy a car for one of three reasons.......it's for myself, for a customer, or for a flip. There are countless cars for sale, and very few decent ones. I don't need to wast my time on a four wheel turd with shiny paint. 

 

Ed,  You sir are the exception to the rule today. Everyone seems to have watched to many TV shows that "teach" you how to negotiate. Always enjoy your posts.

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8 minutes ago, Brass is Best said:

 

Ed,  You sir are the exception to the rule today. Everyone seems to have watched to many TV shows that "teach" you how to negotiate. Always enjoy your posts.

 

 

There is some good news from those fake TV shows..............I explain to people I'm like one of the American Pickers.........if I'm buying a car, I need some room for "meat on the bone". Seems most people have seen the show and understand the comment.......so if the car to me is a flipper.......I explain that ahead of time. I also have a few other tricks which I will not disclose. I often buy cars that others can't. Buying is a different art than selling. Being highly skilled in both is rare. Every dealer that is well known in the hobby has their particular "shtick" that works well for them. I enjoy looking at cars listed for sale and seeing what doesn't work.......which is what we see 90 percent of the time, and things done well......... every day in the world is my classroom learning.

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Here's how it goes.

 

I just had an interesting piece of memorabilia for a certain marque, identified to a specific dealer and town.

 

I put up my asking price.  Guy from that city, who collects that marque, offered me half.  I responded thinking, gee, would be nice for this to live in the town where it was born.

 

I offered him a deal in the middle.

 

He said no, this is all I'll pay.  I say no.

 

Two hours later someone agrees to full price.

 

Baffles me.  A guy who collects that marque, a great memorabilia piece from his city, and he passes because of ten dollars? 

 

I'll tell you, I was aggravated and shut him down.

 

I guess I shouldn't post this, but I'm going to, as I just don't get the people who low ball and wish they'd learn a lesson, though they won't. 

 

They may have great collections of things, but how many people have they aggravated along the way, and believe me when I say the old car world is very, very, very small....if you've pissed off a lot of people along the way to amassing your collection, a lot of people know it, and you've missed many an opportunity to acquire things you'd like to have.

 

I was in a retail business, very personal, and was told that if I aggravated one customer, that customer had 200 friends, each of which had 200 friends.

 

Only lately do I realize the reality of that statement, when Facebook friends are in the hundreds. 

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Guess I do things different, may be that I like newer cars (last 60 years). Often I decide make/model/etc before I start looking. Then I research everything possible. What it was thought of new as well as now. Most of what I like are considered oddball and usually are low production (under 5,000/year). Often have and have read the service manual. Keep in mind that central Florida has many oddball and rust free cars.

Next I decide what I am willing to pay and have a sliding scale for condition.

 

Only then do I start looking. Everywhere. Can be quick or may take six months. Pretty soon I know of all for sale in Florida (cheaper title). Then when I go to look usually have the full amount I'll pay in cash. How much cash I'll carry can be a variable but never more than have available. Eventually will find one I want.

 

The difference is am not a professional and never buy for resale, always expect to keep/enjoy for a few years so how long it takes is not really a factor.

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I also agree with Ed, if you are going to make an offer on a car, it's not conditional.  It's a real offer, not a think about it offer, not an ask the wife offer, not an I'll mull it over for a while offer.

 

If you make an offer, make it knowing you have to back it up with a deal.  

 

I've been offered a ten dollar deposit on a car I had for sale, nope, make it something real, so I know you're real...

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I get a little annoyed when I am selling a vehicle and a potential buyer sends me an email or message thru the computer. His main concern..."What's the lowest price you'll take?" I just delete the email or message. I'd rather not see or talk to a potential buyer like that. He's not seen the car in person. Can't get off the couch and come look at it. I'd rather it rot on the lawn that sell it to a pompous bully.

 

When I have a serious buyer on the way to view my car, I prepare by hiding the extras. Maybe spare winter tires on rims. Or shop manuals. Or some other stuff I might have for the vehicle. I save that for when negotiating. If the guy is grinding too hard it might come out to offset an offer. Or if we're 95% there, and he can't commit quite yet,  he's real close, I may say, "hey look I'll throw in a free set of winter tires on rims". SOLD! In another example if the buyer pays near my asking price, I surprise him/her with free spare winter tires on rims.

 

When the potential buyer is in my driveway it's deal time. If he drove 2 hours to look at it, if he leaves to think about it, odds are he's not coming back. I will do whatever I can to sell it to that person in my driveway, that day. If I gotta go down on price, let's get it done. Thank you for showing up on time. Not wasting my time. Not being a dick. Let's get it outta here.

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Matt Harwood said:

Just out of curiosity, do you guys view deposits as non-refundable?

My answer, as a hobbyist not making a living selling cars ( though I’ve sold over 200 in 50 years of collecting to move up), is no, yes, maybe.

 

A guy sends me a deposit, comes and looks at car quickly, finds things he just can’t live with and is straightforward and honest about it, deposit returned.

 

A guy sends deposit, waits weeks to come look at car, meanwhile I’m turning away other potential buyers, then wants to back out, he’s not getting some or all of deposit back.

 

A guy sends a deposit, never comes to look at car and then says his wife won’t let him buy it (usually a bogus excuse to hide the fact he won’t tell you the truth), he’s not getting some or all of his deposit back.

 

Guy comes and looks at car, gives me a deposit in hand, calls me later and says he can’t buy it, sorry, you’re not getting it back.

 

The “some or all” depends on a lot of factors, has he been straight with me, has he communicated well, and so forth.

Edited by trimacar (see edit history)
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I don't raise the question of price until I've 

talked to the seller and learned a lot about the car.

If a car is many hours away--or across the country--

I reach a tentative agreement on price over the phone,

since there's no point in flying until it's very likely

I'll buy it.  (If I found the car not as described, I could

walk away, but I've never found that to be necessary.)  

 

I have always put in writing that my deposit

is refundable.  However, I have never backed out.

Buyers and sellers treating each other with respect,

as others pointed out, goes a long way to making

transactions--and the whole hobby--more enjoyable.

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2 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Just out of curiosity, do you guys view deposits as non-refundable?


Generally speaking, yes they are and should be. From my youth I recall the term “good faith money” often times a small amount in comparison to the deal at hand, in other words, a deposit.  I have seen the money returned when a deal didn’t complete, but only under circumstances where “good faith” was still present. Everybody has a story and it would be up to the guy holding the cash to decide how he feels about that. If a guy handed me money on a Sunday with the promise to show up next Saturday with a trailer and the agreed balance but lost his job or even just lost the transmission on his truck in the week between.... but found himself unable to complete the transaction, I would be inclined to return some or all. For the BS excuses we all know... not so inclined. 
 

I did get to hear a neighbor at Hershey, when asked for a deposit back via the wife excuse, give the best response ever: “You think she will be mad at you for buying a $12,000 car that doesn’t run, imagine how mad she will be when you come home $2,000 poorer with nothing to show for it.”

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I've never intended to turn a profit on the sale of a car, and I've never been disappointed! While purchases from dealers typically leave me feeling like I could have negotiated a better deal, I've walked away happy with all my private purchases (helped quite a bit that they were all, well, cheap cars.) Typically I end up selling for a just a bit less than I really wanted but a real sale, to a real buyer who won't give me grief (who won't be calling me next week to complain about the nickle-sized oil puddle on his driveway or the fact the car is cold-natured in February) is worth it to me. 

 

I have a 6 cylinder 4 door shoebox that I drive everywhere. I've had it for sale on and off for a few years and have heard the "wife" excuse 3-4 times. Several friendly guys in their 80's came and took a look but I think, deep inside, they all knew they were wasting my time. My wife doesn't like it but it didn't bother me so much; I generally enjoyed our discussions. Now, some years back an acquaintance gave me a standing offer on the car as the original owner was his uncle. He'd missed out on it when the gentleman passed away, then missed again when I bought it. I really want him to have it, but when I was ready to sell I called him up and...did you ever actually hear the blood drain out of someone's face? He did give me a deposit but after several months he told me I could keep it, he couldn't buy the car. I think about it sometimes, that cash that I kept. If he called me up tomorrow and said he was ready to buy I'd still deduct it from whatever price we'd agree on, but I may very well have sold it to someone else while I was standing around for months waiting for him to make up his mind. 

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10 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Just out of curiosity, do you guys view deposits as non-refundable?


 

Only refundable if there is a title problem...........and I insist on title in my hand for inspection, before I give a deposit. Also a requirement BEFORE I go look at the car(email photo).........too many “it’s in the process” or some other story.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Selling cars is only half of any automobile transaction. We have to buy them first. Been doing this for a few decades and I've found the internet age to be the most frustrating and the most successful way of dealing.

 There are far too many "just testing the waters" a*#hats who put a very silly price on their junk. The same amount of idiots respond to any ad just looking to start a fight online.

 But on the flip side I've met many good people from all over the world via computer. Both buyers and sellers.

Recently had a guy who spent his time e-mailing me at least 10 times on a Corvette I had listed. Explained to him my price  several times, and not to bother showing up without that much cash. He totally agrees. Shows up with his girlfriend who he must have told how he was going to lowball and get his Vette. He immediately starts out with a 50% offer as he gets out of the car without even looking at the Corvette. I stopped him and said get back in your car and leave. Not going to sell you the car. So he changes tactics and starts whining and upping his offer. Finally gets to a price which I would take from anyone but him. I told him NO, not gonna happen please just leave. He starts with the threats and my buddy who was standing away off came over and told him to leave now.

 He finally did, fully humiliated in front of his girl without the Vette.

I sold it to the next guy for less than macho man offered me.

 I still feel it was worth the $500 loss.

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I have done that two times in forty years........and still don’t regret it. 
 

Remember what I posted elsewhere.........

 

A good deal is only good when both the buyer and seller are happy.........

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Buyers who want to leave you bleeding on the garage floor are NOT the people you want to do business with. The biggest deal I ever had going in my life came down to the closing and at the last minute they wanted to beat me up over pennies on a seven figure deal. I walked away.......pissing off everyone........the realtors, the lawyers, and especially the buyer. Best thing I ever did. If you get a bad vibe.........run away, don’t walk......on a car, a house, or a used lawn mower. Buying or selling something that comes with a headache is something I absolutely refuse to ever do.........took me years to learn the lesson. I often times see a car I would very much like to own.......but the seller is such a sxxt head I never even bother calling on it. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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I've read this entire thread with interest, and guess successful (happy) buying and selling boils down to attitude and respect.  Like power and money, one begets the other:  a positive attitude results in the showing of respect and vice versa.

 

Cheers,

Grog

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On 12/18/2020 at 11:35 AM, Skylark4367 said:

I've bought and sold cars as a hobbyist, not a dealer, but I've encountered some of what you mentioned above.  When I'm looking to buy a car, if I think the price is too high, I don't contact the seller.  Arguing about the price would be a waste of their time and mine.  I never talk price as a buyer until I've seen the car (either in person or on facebook live video), and the car tells me it wants to come home with me.  If I don't like the car enough to buy it, I thank the seller for their time and tell them I'm passing on the car.  Price never gets discussed when I don't want to buy a car after inspecting it. 

 

When I've sold my hobby cars, I've run into the types mentioned in your post.  Potential buyers have come to see my car for sale and picked it apart and tried to knock money off the price for perceived or real defects.  This despite my always writing a detailed accounting of the car's condition in the ad and pricing it accordingly.  I'm no pricing expert, but I try to price the car to move, usually because I've spotted something else I want to buy and need the room.  Also, I usually have driver quality cars, so I'm not looking for show car prices.   I completely ignore requests for my bottom price or lowball offers.  If someone asks if I'm negotiable, I tell them to come over and inspect the car.  If they like it, we can talk price.  If they're from out of town and can't come to see the car, I tell them to make an offer and we'll go from there.

 

I try to be civil and respectful on either side of the transaction.  I find that's easier to do as a buyer than as a seller.

 

I've noticed the same tendencies in buyers when vending at Hershey.  People always try to knock down the price on items I'm selling.  If I try to negotiate a price on an item I'm trying to buy, the seller doesn't want to budge.

 

A percentage of the buying population has the mentality that they don't want to get beat on price, so they have to argue over transactions.  Some sellers think whatever they're selling is like gold, and don't want to "give it away".

 

The next time I look to buy a car, I hope I run into a seller as reasonable as you sound in your post.

My approach is different, but do agree to the civil and respectful:

 

Just have a nice conversation and then ask if there is flexibility on the price - I think the bulk of people take no offense in being asked such.  And "arguing" over price will not get anyone anywhere - NOT A GOOD APPROACH FOR ANYONE. 

 

I see nothing wrong with asking the "bottom price" either - it is more a "how" do they ask kind of thing. 

 

Not everyone wants to come and look at a car either - we do a huge business of people just wanting my time and good honest representation.  A lot of people do not have the time, covid, do not like to travel, are too far, and the list goes on and on. 

 

Usually, when someone takes the pick-it-apart approach my response is "perhaps you should find another."  Obviously, if the price is too high there stands to be some degree of pick-it-apart.  Again, no harm no foul if they are not a A _ S about it.

 

 

 

 

 

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On 12/18/2020 at 11:53 PM, Bryan G said:

I've never intended to turn a profit on the sale of a car, and I've never been disappointed! While purchases from dealers typically leave me feeling like I could have negotiated a better deal, I've walked away happy with all my private purchases (helped quite a bit that they were all, well, cheap cars.) Typically I end up selling for a just a bit less than I really wanted but a real sale, to a real buyer who won't give me grief (who won't be calling me next week to complain about the nickle-sized oil puddle on his driveway or the fact the car is cold-natured in February) is worth it to me. 

 

I have a 6 cylinder 4 door shoebox that I drive everywhere. I've had it for sale on and off for a few years and have heard the "wife" excuse 3-4 times. Several friendly guys in their 80's came and took a look but I think, deep inside, they all knew they were wasting my time. My wife doesn't like it but it didn't bother me so much; I generally enjoyed our discussions. Now, some years back an acquaintance gave me a standing offer on the car as the original owner was his uncle. He'd missed out on it when the gentleman passed away, then missed again when I bought it. I really want him to have it, but when I was ready to sell I called him up and...did you ever actually hear the blood drain out of someone's face? He did give me a deposit but after several months he told me I could keep it, he couldn't buy the car. I think about it sometimes, that cash that I kept. If he called me up tomorrow and said he was ready to buy I'd still deduct it from whatever price we'd agree on, but I may very well have sold it to someone else while I was standing around for months waiting for him to make up his mind. 

My advice regarding profit/expense whether wanted or unwanted:  keep in mind that there really is a cost justification for restorations - ie.  if I am buying something that needs a 100K plus restoration please keep in mind that I am using "my" money - if you wanted to be rewarded then you should have used "your" money.  And I stand a strong chance of loosing money, but that is "my choice" and usually when a seller thinks that is "their choice" the car remains unsold for a very long time. 

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While on the subject, I never bring up the price (except maybe to comfirm the price listed) on the first contact. At this point am more interested in things like a clear title, rust (if any), what doesn't work, odo reading, and what it would need to drive home. Only then do I decide if it is worth further investigation. So first: am I interested ? and only then might the price be discussed but will not make an offer until it has been seen (including underneath) and inspected.  I'll only look at a non-running car if REALLY cheap.

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On 12/19/2020 at 11:40 AM, kuhner said:

Or how about the classic line,  “I saw one just like it for sale in Hemings for that much”.   Yea, just like it.

I hear this all the time - I am very quick to point out (which I do very rarely by the way), when something is better than something else. Some things really are not the same - they are better and they stand out as better.

 

I will give you some not car examples, but parts examples:  

 

When I restored the LaSalle I bought a parts car (which technically was a mistake as I should have bought an AACA National Prize winning car and taken off what I needed) - $2,000 to  restore the part on the original purchase, $1,000 to restore a part from the parts cars, and periodically found something NOS ebay that was say $850.00 and cost $500 to restore.   Bottom line, I was always better with the near perfect part and it turned out to be a cost savings in reality. 

 

Second example:  My upholsterer asked me if I could get new seat springs for my Auburn, I replied yes that I could and the cost was about $1,250.00 - his reply was "perhaps I should spend the $1,250 as his estimate to restore my originals will be around the 6K range (ie that is a $4,750.00 savings).  Another example:  I know where there was a NOS set of Auburn front fenders that no one would buy as they said too expensive - I paid X and it was decent savings over my fenders needing some work (plus then I sold my fenders as they were better than 90% of everyone elses and minimized the cost outlay).  

 

On the flip side of the coin - some parts are not replaceable and cost a fortune to restore as a result.

 

And, some parts are just really expensive and you have no choice than to replace (ex. RR PI Cylinder heads at 20K + for part alone).  

 

I received a call the other day - "hey friends have a near perfect set of original near NOS 40 Lincoln Contintal hubcaps at home from a car they in a shop and unfortunately was destroyed in tornado this summer - do you want them - reply:  yes they will probably be a far better investment than replating originals -And they were far better.  

 

My point:  People use to say if restoring a car you should get the best one available (that is still true) - it just is harder to get certain things these days. So, when I see something that stands out as exceptional over its comparables ....

 

 

 

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Which is why I often look for parts for a car I do not have because it is a likely future purchase. Also tend to buy two when need one when are undervalued at present but a decade from may be NLA (tend to keep cars I like for decades. Black cars not so.  Is part of the reason I find it hard to throw things away, 6 months later I tend to need it. Others I just forget I have (like a few tripowers and a dual quad setup I never used, just like lotsa carbs 100mm holes do little for me).

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I bought a vehicle some time ago based on pictures.  I even sent a reasonable deposit.  When I went to pick up the vehicle, it did not even come close to the pictures. I looked at the vehicle and told the owner that I would pass on the vehicle. She said that she was going to give me back my deposit and I declined as I had her take the vehicle off the market for a couple of months.

 

I was asked why I would pass on the car and I gave her a few reasons and the basic price to fix those deficiencies the pictures did not show.  She asked what I would buy the vehicle for and I gave her a number.  I told her if she could sell the vehicle for what she was asking then she could send me back me back my deposit.  If not, then I would buy the vehicle for what I explained it was worth.

 

A couple of months later I received an email and all it said was "you own this vehicle".   

 

When I went to pick up the vehicle, she explained that she could not sell the vehicle for the price she was originally asking over the couple of months of trying.  Since I did not just come down and try to nit pick the vehicle to beat the price down after I got there & I left the deposit for her taking the vehicle off the market, she said I was apparently a decent person.  She was happy to sell the vehicle to me.

 

PS: I drove 1200 miles one way four times.  Twice on the first trip & again to pick up the vehicle.  I just do not spend a bunch of money without personally looking at the vehicle. 

 

The trips were a good thing though.  I got to spend a bunch of time with my son who was 16 and he had a lot of time practicing towing a trailer with a vehicle  on it.  He has become very proficient towing a trailer.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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