I’m selling my “bachelor-mobile.” Yes, that’s right! I’m selling my little two-door sports coupe with the manual transmission that’s kept me feeling like I’m still in my twenties when I’d rip around the streets of Regina, Saskatchewan. The reason is pretty simple: my wife works from home now and we really only have need of one vehicle. It’s financially unreasonable to keep two vehicles when a household only needs one. Right? Am I right?
What’s blown my mind in recent months is exactly HOW difficult it is to sell a premium vehicle in excellent condition. It seems that people are ridiculously hung up on the little details and as opposed to what I’ve done in the past, people assume that the work and the research will be done for them. I realized after a couple of weeks of dealing with people who were inquiring about the car that I’ve never actually SOLD a second-hand vehicle before. I’ve mostly dealt with dealerships.
Selling a personal vehicle as a private seller is extremely taxing and time-consuming. We’ve had a ton of interest in this car, and for every person who has an interest, I’ve had to subject myself to a lengthy plethora of questions about the vehicle and multiple photos beyond the adequate ones included in the selling post. It’s tiring, because I’m generally of the opinion that these questions could most easily be answered by setting up a viewing to simply come SEE the vehicle. Wouldn’t that be so much better than trying to ask questions about it?
For some, I can kinda understand the impulse to want to see more and ask further questions through a digital frontier. I’ve had some people who live two, all the way to eight hours away from Regina who have shown interest. But for those who reside right here in the city, it’s pretty disappointing to see the reactions and requirements of some of the people who have come to view the vehicle.
Just so everyone doesn’t think that I’m some sort of megalomaniacal douche-canoe (Google that, if you don’t know what it means), let me give you some examples. Some of this may seem perfectly normal and expected, but it struck me as a touch odd and left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
I had a young guy, probably 16 or 17 years old, come see the vehicle with his father. They spent well over half an hour with me, pushing every button, trying every feature and then taking a lengthy test drive, which included city AND highway speeds. The boy was totally enamoured with the vehicle and I could tell that he was definitely interested. His father asked the rough questions, although I was able to answer them without issue.
He said he would get back to me and he left quite happy. So imagine my surprise when I got a text from him a day later saying that he wanted me to bring my vehicle in for a mechanical inspection before he would put a offer in. Now, this struck me as a bit odd, especially since he spent more than half an hour test-driving the car. It would be one thing if he had no idea how the vehicle ran, but we ran it in every condition it could face, except off-road!
He said he had no concerns but wanted the inspection done as a precaution. Although I was a touch resistant, I would have gone through with it if he had simply agreed to pay the necessary expenses! One thing I definitely won’t do is put out money in order to sell something. That’s just flat out ridiculous. Therefore, ambitious hot-rod-seeking teen boy didn’t buy my car.
Another potential buyer reached me through text message after getting my number through my wife’s FaceBook market page. She requested “additional photos”… That always throws me for a loop. I had a half dozen photos of the car, inside and out, which showed every perspective of the vehicle. I wasn’t sure what she was looking for, so I asked. She specified she wanted a side shot of the vehicle. Okay, fair enough. I told her I’d get the photo as soon as possible.
Errands and parenthood got in the way and she texted aggressively, asking why I hadn’t gotten back to her yet. I told her that the time to take some photos would need to happen but that I would still get them as soon as I could. I asked her why she didn’t simply come over to take a look at the car herself, to which she replied that she lived in Saskatoon. This put her at just over two hours away from Regina. I kinda get it. But on the other side of the coin, why wouldn’t you just buy a car in Saskatoon? It’s a bigger city anyway!
I eventually got a free minute to take a full-on shot of all four sides of the car and sent them to her. Her exact words were, “Finally, those are MUCH better pictures… my son’s dad will texting you with questions.” Umm, what? There was nothing wrong with the advert’s photos, but “my son’s dad” sounds strange as compared to “my husband.” I let it go and moved on. The next day, a random dude called me, not texted but called, and identified himself as this buyer’s ex-husband. He asked a couple of cogent questions about the car, but ended up asking for specific photos of specific areas of the vehicle.
I’m definitely not lazy, but I explained to the gentleman that I had an adequate number of photos on the advert and that the extras I sent to his ex-wife were a courtesy. The next obvious step would be for one of them to come down to Regina for an in-person viewing and test drive. This would answer all the questions he had and would save the trouble of trying to work around my schedule to get added photos.
Apparently I had the “audacity” to suggest he come for a test drive and it was decided that he would pass on the vehicle. I understand that this is subjective since it’s my car and my blog, but am I being too sensitive? I find myself wondering what happened to the good ol’ days when you’d purchase a private vehicle by showing up in person and taking the damn thing for a test drive. Don’t even get me started on the folks that are either asking me if I’m willing to trade for another vehicle or are offering HALF MY ASKING PRICE…
It’s amazing how difficult it is to sell of a second vehicle in order to lower/eliminate some debt and try to get ahead. People are hung up on the small details, before they even see the damn vehicle. I have a guy who intends to buy the car without even test-driving, but won’t have the money for another week from this post going live. I’ll be curious to see if he comes through. Maybe I’ll get a chance to reduce more belongings in the long list of property I don’t want/need. ☯