Here Are The Hardest Times You Had Selling A Car

Here Are The Hardest Times You Had Selling A Car

Illustration for article titled Here Are The Hardest Times You Had Selling A Car
Image: Chevrolet

I used to sell cars for a living when I was in my early 20s. It was around the Cash for Clunkers era and I was at a Chevy-Buick-Pontiac-GMC combined dealership. I had a lot of tough customers, but this one guy took the cake. He came in once for service on his Pontiac G6 and I noticed him roaming the lot, as most do when their car is getting serviced. He made a beeline over to a black SSR. I got to talking to him and learned that he hated his basic and beige G6. Weirdly, he kind of opened up to me and said that his wife made him get it for them, but she had her own car and had made him trade his in for the G6 which didn’t make sense. He said he wanted something fun to drive for himself but his wife wouldn’t allow it. He said he would buy the SSR right then and there if he could. Suffice to say, I talked this guy into standing up for himself. He agreed but I could see his reluctance. He lived less than two miles from the dealership, some manager let me drive him in the SSR to his house where I proceeded to do a demonstration in his driveway for his wife.

She was probably one of the worst people I had ever met in my life. Condescending, prickly, you name it. I was being polite but she was not having it. I could see it was getting to the man though and all of a sudden he just erupted, and they had a screaming match that lasted like 10 minutes in the driveway of their house while I stood there awkwardly. Then they went inside and I was just...there. They never came back out so I left. I got yelled at by my manager who said it was a waste of time. But the next day, the guy came and wrote a check for that SSR and shook my hand so hard it hurt. He thanked me over and over and apologized for what happened. I never found out what happened between him and his wife. It was hard dealing with her but that was probably the hardest deal I had ever done.

We asked readers what were the hardest times they had selling a car. These were their answers.

Staff Writer at Jalopnik. Dad. Lover of all things with 4 wheels. Weird interest in buses.

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Selling A Rodeo

Selling A Rodeo

Illustration for article titled Here Are The Hardest Times You Had Selling A Car
Image: IFCAR (Fair Use)

In the 90s lived in San Diego and had a 2wd Isuzu Rodeo. Champagne, V6, great condition. Moved to Seattle, and my ex had a bee in her dumb bonnet about having a second vehicle, even though we could afford it. I was a pushover, so I put it up for sale...many, many people coming by, realizing it’s not 4wd and being perplexed why an SUV would be 2wd.

It took about four months before someone finally paid cash $2k under my ask.

Learned two lessons:

1) Sell a 2WD crossover in California/Texas/Florida before moving north

2) Never move to Seattle for a woman

Suggested by: Lord Whistledown

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A Waste Of Time

A Waste Of Time

Illustration for article titled Here Are The Hardest Times You Had Selling A Car
Image: IFCAR

In 2018, selling a 2002 Ford Taurus with 175k miles. Paint had just started to bubble around the rear wheel wells, that was the only rust. Needed rear springs/struts (like they all do), listed at $800 to get rid of it fast. Nothing but lowballers. Not even kidding, one guy took it for a 30 minute test drive, including highway speeds, complimented the condition of the car, then told me all he had was $200.

Suggested by: Chance Senger (Facebook)

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A Chevy S-10 Blazer

A Chevy S-10 Blazer

Illustration for article titled Here Are The Hardest Times You Had Selling A Car
Image: IFCAR

I’ve only sold one vehicle, a 2000 S-10 Blazer. I posted it for sale on Facebook, since there’s not local Craigslist for our area (and the two closest are black holes of junk being peddled as gold and stolen goods). It had sat in the back lot of a local auto shop for a few months and needed gone. There were fuel delivery issues, the 4WD didn’t work, and it was going to need some suspension work. However, I was only asking $750 for it because I just needed it moved, and it would be a sub-$1500 vehicle for someone that knew how to wrench. The engine was strong, the AC worked, etc. I took plenty of pictures and was completely honest in the description. I figured I would sell it within a week.

Yeah, no. There was the initial flurry of “is this still for sale?” and “will you take $300 and a shotgun for it?” type responses. There were even a few “why are you selling it so cheap, must be junk” replies, and I politely referred them to the description. A couple of no-shows where I lost my lunch break to meet people that never came. A few more stupid trade attempts (“would you trade for an AKC German Shepherd?”) This went on for about a month. I was starting to worry that I would have to just tow it out to my moms and let it become an Appalachian lawn ornament.

Finally, a retired Chevy dealer mechanic contacted me. He needed a cheap Blazer with a good body/frame and mine fit the bill perfectly. He drove three hours from KY to look it over, we did the deal and he was able to start it and drive it home. He was a really nice guy, made up for the waiting.

Suggested by: dbeach84

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1974 Ford Mustang II

1974 Ford Mustang II

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Image: Bull-Doser (Fair Use)

74 Mustang II (yeah, I know - get it out of your system)

In the family for years, had been mostly restored and I was down to needing a little bit more sheet metal and a correct-color interior arm rest. Parts were getting harder and harder to come by, and I had scavenged all the yards in a 50-mile radius and had them on speed dial anytime I got another II. So I was ready to shift everything to MOPARs.

Had plenty of people who were interested, but no one would give me what I was asking (which wasn’t a lot - basically covered the new engine I had recently put in it after the first one seized and little bit more for the fact that it ran and drove perfectly...and looked damn good if I do say so myself). I took it to car shows, car cruises, advertised it in the paper and classified supplements for almost a year.

So many collect calls from people with names like “HeyI’mCallingAboutTheMustangWillYouTakePayments?”

Met a guy a work that was one of those never-catch-a-break-guy. Type 1 diabetic, wife recently started dated her boss and then kicked him out of the house. He had no way to get to work, so I let him buy the car with payments. I think he made 3 or 4 before flaking out. Never saw him again, never heard what happened to the car - I never saw it around town, so I’m assuming it was wrecked or he drove off into the sunset.

Suggested by: Matt

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2006 Subaru WRX STi

2006 Subaru WRX STi

Illustration for article titled Here Are The Hardest Times You Had Selling A Car
Image: Subaru

Selling my 06 STi was a pain. So many tire kickers, kids who just wanted to joy drive it, kids asking if I can do payments, dumbass trades, etc. I just took it to a sleezy consignment place and and they got rid of it in a week. It’s funny because they ended up selling it to a kid within my neighborhood for 26k. I had it listed for 20k and had trouble getting any serious offers. I assume they financed it for him since it was one of those places that “ approved credit for every Airman!”

Suggested by: finalformminivan

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1971 MGB

1971 MGB

Illustration for article titled Here Are The Hardest Times You Had Selling A Car
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My 1971 MGB.

A lot of tire kickers with classic cars. Lots of people love to look. Lots of people love to imagine themselves driving one. Lots of people can afford the entry price of an MGB.

But when you see a classic up close things quickly lose their luster if you don’t know what to expect. 1971 British automotive craftsmanship is not to the standards of a modern car, and that’s only obvious when you see it and feel it in person. Couple that with my bracing honesty about it’s ongoing maintenance needs, and upcoming work - and most people politely looked, and then ran away - never to be heard from again. I eventually sold it to a guy with some mechanical experience who knew what he was getting into, and appreciated the car for what it was.

Suggested by: TheWalrus

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1991 Chevy Corvette

1991 Chevy Corvette

Illustration for article titled Here Are The Hardest Times You Had Selling A Car
Image: Bull-Doser (Fair Use)

In 1999 I bought a 1991 Corvette (obnoxious teal with a 6-speed) with less than 60k miles. It was a great car, but I got married and I also had my 1968 Cutlass, so I had to sell it and get something a bit more practical for having a kid. (And I will NEVER sell my Cutlass).

Selling a low mileage C4 Corvette in 2001 proved to be really hard. It was old enough that nobody was going to finance it, and worth too much for most people to buy with cash. Compared to newer cars, it wasn’t fast enough to attract enthusiasts. I actually ended up trading it for another car plus some cash and turned around and sold the other car. It was not optimal. I probably would have been better off getting a beater and sticking the Corvette in a garage somewhere for a while.

Suggested by: Sid Bridge

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2006 BMW M5

2006 BMW M5

Illustration for article titled Here Are The Hardest Times You Had Selling A Car
Image: BMW

I bought a used 2006 BMW M5 SMG (V10) with about 30k on the clock and sold it at 90k. While it was an amazing experience and a really, REALLY fun car, it was also the biggest financial mistake of my life.

The SMG was the key factor, here.

Almost immediately I had problems with it, starting with the input shaft sensor, which led to all sorts of complicated problems and physical damage to the clutch, flywheel, gears, etc. There were clutch issues, sensor issues, hydraulic issues, easily $3k+ per repair. Eventually, I was hesitant to even drive it, fearing I would be stranded or be in for an expensive repair. The car also showed a lot of signs of REALLY pre-mature wear, the leather dash was cracking, the seats faded, plastics not working, leaks developing. No matter how I took care of it, I couldn’t keep up, it really was a cheaply built car (for a car that retailed for $100k in 2006).

The only saving grace was it’s V10 engine and physics-bending handling/grip. I’d repair the car, get addicted, something breaks, can’t sell a broken M5. There was ALWAYS an error, there was ALWAYS something not working, and ALWAYS expensive maintenance. Doing the Oil MYSELF cost me about $150+ for 10L of oil and a filter. Decent tires were $1000 a pair (2), with the rears being replaced about every year (thanks to my driving).

I tried to post it everywhere for sale, but I had trouble finding a buyer who could scrap together the money for such an expensive BMW...plus the guilt of sticking someone with this nightmare. It took about 3-4 years of trying to sell, driving it intermittently, before I gave up and sold it to ‘webuyanycar.’

Not to promote anybody, but I was happy with what I got and amazed they so eagerly took it...as a company, they have my blessing. Me any my wife celebrated when the check was deposited. The guy who scanned the codes read 71 errors on the CANbus. I’m pretty sure one of my LED Halo lamps went out the day I sold it, just to spite me.

Suggested by: Ninety-9

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2008 Porsche Cayman S

2008 Porsche Cayman S

Illustration for article titled Here Are The Hardest Times You Had Selling A Car
Image: Porsche

2008 Cayman S. It had high miles, but all service records from the dealer and seemed to be in really good shape when I bought it.

Six months later, I was newly engaged to a broke girl and bought a fixer-upper house and I couldn’t really afford the upkeep on it. Especially not after the shifter cable and fuel pump going out within a few weeks of each other.

So I was a bit desperate to sell it, and afraid to drive it, fearing some other part would fail and set me back another $2k or so. So of course nobody was interested. Bring a Trailer won’t take it; I tried another auction site but didn’t get within $8k of what I would take.

I had it on several online listing sites plus PCA’s classifieds, but rarely got any replies at all.

My mechanic said he’d buy it at the price I was asking (and said I should be asking more), but his wife wouldn’t let him since he already had 17 cars. But at least I knew my asking price wasn’t the problem.

Eventually a guy that had been asking to see it and then cancelling at the last minute for several weeks finally kept his appointment and ended up buying it. Given that I overpaid for it and sold it under its value, it cost me about $10k for 9 months of ownership.

No more “cheap” Porsches for me. I’ll wait until I can afford one with a warranty.

Suggested by: Sad Crying Clown In An ILX

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AE86s

AE86s

Illustration for article titled Here Are The Hardest Times You Had Selling A Car
Image: Tokumeigakarinoaoshima (Fair Use)

Multiple fans of AE86s: “Hey I see you’re always buying them up. I want to buy one but can’t find one, let me know what you find for sale in your Corolla network.”

Me: “I actually have one for sale.”

*crickets for 3 years and counting*

Suggested by: Clayton Ashby (Facebook)

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Staff Writer at Jalopnik. Dad. Lover of all things with 4 wheels. Weird interest in buses.

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