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Buying a car - I Want to Blow some Smoke Up My Own Arse


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I was looking for a Boxster for the Mrs, so I responded to an ad on Carsales from a Private Seller

Called, set an appointment and I was there very much on time

Viewed the car, asked a few questions about its history etc. 

Then it came to the test drive - I said I didn’t dare drive his car as I wouldn’t be insured, but asked if he, (the seller) wouldn’t mind driving me around as a passenger so I could listen out for weird noises and the like. 

Finished the drive, noticed some scratches, marks and stone chips but this is a used car so I don’t beat him up over them and just factor this into my upcoming offer (mechanical issues are more important to me) 

I then asked him if he was open to offers and that if I made an offer, I’d be willing to back it up with a deposit. I made an offer which wasn’t too far off his asking price (no looooow balling) He politely turned down my initial offer, and we worked up to an agreeable figure 2 minutes later as I wasn’t too far off…… I never once asked what his lowest price was before looking at the car. 

I paid a deposit and we signed a piece of paper

Now I don’t wanna jinx things but hopefully everything goes to plan and we finalise next week

Sorry for the slightly long post but my point it, how come everytimr I sell a car, I attract some of the weirdest, strangest people who waste my time and (in my opinion) can be a little unreasonable….

I must say tho when dealing with fellow enthusiasts, the experience has almost always been very pleasant - yet to sell/buy a car to/from anyone from PFA but I expect some others on here will also be very good to deal with

Why can’t I sell a car to myself or normal people only lol 

But yes, that’s enough smoke up own arse for one day (or the rest of the year lol) 

Have a good weekend in lockdown everyone (if you are indeed in lockdown)

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How your enquiry & purchase went is actually how it should work but unfortunately when selling a car we usually have to deal with the low ballers and time wasters before we find a genuine buyer.

Fortunately I’ve been able to qualify enquiries on each occasion that I’ve sold a car privately so that the first person that actually sees the car buys it. 

It’s actually not hard to be polite and respectful to the person selling the car and it can be a good experience for both parties when the negotiation is fair and reasonable but an initial enquiry offering $10,000 - $20,000 under the asking price is never going to work and it’s insulting to the seller especially when they haven’t even seen the car. 

Well done on how you handled your purchase. 

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You raise some interesting outlooks and points .. yes with all this lockdown this stuff is worthy of another debate  We are all different I guess ..  Dont we buy  the seller over the car ?

I always love this debate on forums with enthusiasts  and even worse enthusiasts whom are nearly anoraks  , the swear words and red flags , Enough , Value , Profit , Paid for it , What will you take  etc 

It always pays to be nice, I dont want to buy from a dickhead or sell to a dickhead ..I normally will say if its genuinely nice .. and I will sometimes say if im interested depending how im planning on doing my negotiations   price discussions aint about nice though .. they are just the pointy end of the stick that shouldnt get personal , its just sharp moment of immediateness, its a place where you see if your close or apart and if you wanna keep talking about your $ value differences.

There are so many other places you need to meet in understanding with the buyer or seller before price becomes the only decision factor 

As an example 

I have bought stuff that some people described as excellent and found it to be a pile of crap .   i have sold stuff at what I thought was fair to low price only to hear indirectly the buyer bitching and when I ask is all ok , they say nothing.  Then even more comical only then to find they sold it to someone else I know who thinks they got a gem ..not knowing what I sold it to initially and that the other bloke was moaning.

There is also stuff on some of my cars where I have never looked or touched things.. I simply just dont know and sometime accept the seller just dont know.

Lowball . is a matter perspective , especially if you car is high price compared to others and it hasnt a unique position and or  advantage for the buyer .   

This is is all a game of Egos sometimes , penis challenge , financial prowess  ..Sometimes I might even open with Im at the lower end of this market trying to get in , is this something your entertaining and do you want or have the time to talk about your car. I rang you cos on face value your car really appeals but not sure I can upfront get to your price point.

Im mid rant now.. grab a beer perhaps

Its a bit like a PPI .. I feel they are risk assessment tools rather than negotiation tools.  I basically tell people get a PPI , I will fix it if theres something wrong  or agree a bit of variance say 1-2k , but before i invest any more of my time  I ask them now agree a price prior or taking it there in the first instance . 

Porsche buyers are probably the worst .. whats serviced , when its serviced , serviced to a track ready spec or otherwise.. numbers and over revs and more and more stuff.  Again you buy the seller .. I dont want a car thats been sat, i dont want a car thats been trashed and unloved .. but I also know that the day they look the best is probably the day I buy ,  when someone else may have just dropped a bundle on a professional detailer.

There is so much discussion around history and records and I have bought cars that have been under Porsche warranty and  that just have cursory glances and the regular annual stamps and have bugger all else done to them only to find theres a crap load of things unchecked .. i have bought motor sport cars where dudes drive to the track and hate their day being ruined by a badly prepared car and make sure the cars tip top but also ready to be spanked around the tarmac.

I normally tell the buyer to tell me what kind of owner/seller they are its easier.. it give me a feel for their use and knowledge of their car..   I offer/buy lower and then might do remedial maintenance on older cars 10 years plus to a level that I need to feel confident in the car. If its a car with inherent pitfalls in design or model , I might check those items that are an interruption to the passage of reselling later if I dont like my purchase.   

If the level of understanding is very very low of the status of their car or its origin etc ..   I just decide then,  am I going in for a level of dollars that I care and or do I need to protect my money or I just buy cos I like it. 

Do you have a car for sale? 

To close I reckon a good polarising move start with the recognition of how long they have owned it and it worth calling out to the seller like most people who bought pre covid collectables are making a profit and It fun to negotiate on the gains side of the equation and  about their level of win  rather than the older scenario of broken hearts and losses;) 

One of the best lines,  I also ever heard from a dude when I was buying motorsport stuff...   "Im here offering fine service on a Saturday and Im normally selling Polo gear on a Sunday..if Im not at the race track" .  "My price s good , my knowledge is excellent, tell me you didnt google prices before you got in the car and came here!"  "Lets just get you the right looking and fitting  stuff , I will swipe you card and you can get back to the flamboyance of our indulgence.. you in your car and me in mine with new tyres on it from opening this shop today.. we share the same addictions brother

Cheers to that .. another Corona beer needed




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