Here's Why It's So Hard to Sell a Nissan Skyline GT-R

Illustration for article titled Heres Why Its So Hard to Sell a Nissan Skyline GT-R

I’ve found it surprisingly difficult to sell my Nissan Skyline GT-R. It isn’t due to a lack of potential buyers. There are many potential buyers. It’s just that most of them think that “ur” is an appropriate way to shorten the word “your.”


Yes, the time with my Nissan Skyline GT-R has come to an end. You’d know this if you followed me on Twitter, because I announced yesterday that I won’t be keeping it for much longer. I also announced that it was “JDM tyte,” which is the sort of thing you have to say when you have a Nissan Skyline GT-R. You also have to say “yo” at the end of your sentences, like, for instance: “Turbocharged, yo.” Or “R34 wheels, yo.” Or “Cavernous storage space with room for all the accouterments of a marvelous golf outing… yo.”

When I first bought the car, I figured I would eventually sell it on Craigslist. After all, this is how cars like this usually change hands: with a Craigslist ad comprised of a) 19 words about the car, and b) a list of 87 “related” sedans, coupes, hatchbacks, trucks, vans, brand names, cleaning supplies, etc.


To show you what I mean, I’ve created a video that demonstrates exactly how I would’ve listed my Skyline on Craigslist:

Unfortunately, there’s a problem with this strategy. Namely: the Skyline attracts some interesting individuals. What I mean by this is that many people have e-mailed me about buying it over the last few months, and most of them are the primary reason why we have so many product safety labels.

You see, it turns out that selling a Skyline GT-R is surprisingly difficult. More difficult than selling a regular car. Or a truck. Or a van. Or a home in a nuclear contamination zone. This is because I’ve discovered that each of the potential buyers who has contacted me fits into one of the following four categories:

CATEGORY ONE: People who think they can get a better deal. Several of the people who e-mailed me about the Skyline insisted I was asking too much for it. Their reason was always the same: because I can find a cheaper one on Craigslist/eBay/my friend who is a USB stick salesman has one for $5,000 less than you’re asking.


I’ve never really understood why people say this to car sellers. I think they expect me to respond with something like: “Oh! You can get one $5,000 cheaper somewhere else! OK, here’s a $5,000 discount!” But instead, what I always say is: “Oh! You can get one $5,000 cheaper somewhere else? You should buy it.”

Upon hearing this, they immediately back off. “Uh, er, but I like yours better.” Or: “Uh, er… maybe you can just take $2,500 off?” It is about this time when a) I stop replying, and b) I sign up their e-mail address for the Rick Santorum mailing list.


CATEGORY TWO: People who can’t spell. I received several one-line e-mails from people who said something like: “I would like to buy ur skyline. what are u asking?” Although I never replied to these people, what I wanted to say was: “What I am asking is for you to use real words.” Unfortunately, I suspect their response would be: “But I can find one on Craigslist/eBay/my friend who is a USB stick salesman has one and I don’t have to use real words.”

CATEGORY THREE: People who asked me to finance them. So far, I’ve received four or five e-mails from people who asked me to personally finance them. I’m serious. What these people say is that they like the car, and they want to buy it, but they don’t have the cash, and “Could we possibly work out a payment plan?”


The reason for this is obvious: because these people are having trouble finding a bank willing to write a loan for a 25-year-old imported Nissan that doesn’t exist in their computer system. And then, when the loan officer finds out these people want to borrow more than $20,000 to pay for this Nissan, he starts laughing, and laughing, and then he calls up other banks to tell them about the guy who wants to pay $20,000 for a 25-year-old Nissan, much like a doctor might parade around a patient with a rare disease so other doctors can see it.

Over the years, I’ve had a few people ask me to finance them on various used cars, and I’ve always wondered why. Here’s a tip, folks: no used car seller, in the entire long history of used car sales, has ever financed a private buyer. Although I never replied to any of these e-mails, here is my response: I would rather use a beach umbrella as a parachute than finance you. I would rather eat a diet consisting solely of Doritos and rubber bands than finance you. I would rather wake up one morning to discover that my fingers have turned into Sharpies than finance you.


CATEGORY FOUR: Reasonable people. Fortunately, a few reasonable people also e-mailed me about the car. To these people, I say: ur great. will u finance me on my next one?

@DougDeMuro is the author of Plays With Cars, which his mother says is “fairly decent.” He worked as a manager for Porsche Cars North America before quitting to become a writer.

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I for one am glad you quit working at Porsche to become a writer. You are beginning to fill the Peter Egan void in my car columnist roster.