I’ve bought a number of cars on Craigslist, and while generally it’s worked out, dealing with almost any transaction on Craigslist comes with a certain amount of trepidation. That especially goes for what might be the most expensive car ever to be offered for sale on Craigslist, this $1.2 million Bugatti Chiron, brand new with eight miles on the odometer. Scam? That’s what I think, and here’s why.
This ad has been making the rounds on Car Internet as of late, and it’s a whole new level of sketchy. I mean, it’s a brand-new, $2.7 million dollar car he’s letting go for less than half price? Get the hell outta here. (Click here if that ad disappears.)
And those pictures – I know Craigslist isn’t National Geographic, but these pictures are terrible in exactly the same way so many CL ads selling $800 Pontiac Sunfires with severe canine diarrhea damage are. I mean, look at this one:
Oh, thanks. I’m only going to drop over a million bucks on a car if I know the rear visibility is terrible – this puts me at ease.
Looking at these pictures, they all could have been taken of the car right there on the car transporter, too, which doesn’t give me a lot of faith that this guy actually owns the car.
And how, exactly, would this transaction go down? Would I meet him in an In ‘n’ Out parking lot with a couple of Trader Joe’s bags full of $100s?
Anyway, I have questions. So I emailed the seller, and asked why he’s selling this car so cheap. Here’s the response:
No, the full price for it was a bit over 2,700,000.00 with it still being brand new I was selling it for 1,244,000.00 until my wife complaining its to low and I need to up the price a bit so its actually for 2,550,000.00. I purchase this car for my wife but unfortunately she does not want it and wants something less fast around more in her taste. I had it for almost a month only 9 mileage on it. I do have the car title as well and the window sticker.
So the price went up, to $2.5 million, right off the bat. Dammit. $1.2 maybe I could swing, but $2.5 million means I may have to cancel Netflix for a few months.
We also get a reason here (his wife doesn’t want a Chiron– smart lady, they’re really pretty stupid) and learn that he’s put a whole mile on it since the ad went up.
I was still skeptical, so I asked if I could see a picture of the car’s window sticker, since he mentioned he had it there. Here’s what he sent me:
Hm. That’s sort of a strange cropping, and that “Bugatti Chiron” text looks a little funny, along with the alignment of the price information. It’s also a bit familiar. And why such a low-res image? Maybe because it looks like this Veyron window sticker that’s been on the internet for a few years:
I know window stickers all look generally the same, but the odds of the wavy right edge being the same and the Chiron sticker being cut before the watermark down there are really making me wonder. Let’s superimpose these:
So, the blue-outlined one is the one the seller sent me, over the Veyron Monroney sticker from online. This is a pretty clear shitty Photoshop job on that Veyron sticker, with the car’s name and prices and year changed.
I confronted him about this, and got this response:
When I first got it I notice the typography as well but upon doing my own research on it the person who sold me it told me all about the vehicle clarifying to me for my own knowledge about it. This is my first bugatti i purchased for my wife waited a year for it getting built. No watermark as far as I’m aware and the vin number on my vehicle is cut off because too many people from craiglist are trying to scam me out of my vehicle. I have my car title to the car and my sale.
Do Craigslist’s servers do some sort of processing to any CL-related communication that makes the grammar and punctuation around 60 percent worse? It always seems to be like this.
Anyway, that explanation feels like an awful lot of bullshit, and after this point he stopped replying to my questions.
I’m not exactly sure what the scam here is, though I imagine it would be something along the lines of him taking some sort of down payment/earnest money for the car, and then disappearing into the aether, possibly with an audible poof.
I’m pretty sure most of you won’t be shocked at this result, but I’m calling the Great Craigslist Chiron of 2017 out as bullshit. For all of you who were just about ready to meet this guy behind the Ralph’s with your garbage bags full of money and head home in your awesome Chiron bargain, I’m very sorry.
If it helps, I bet for the same money you could buy every single Isuzu Impluse on every Craigslist site across the world and still have money left over. You’d have more fun, too.