Selling our Car
February 28, 2009
We have been planning to consolidate from two vehicles to one vehicle. We bought a 2000 Ford Ranger and traded in my wife’s 1992 Ford Ranger. Earlier I told about an irritating experience with a young woman from Chile who supposedly had a truck for sale. She wasted a lot of our time, but did not cost us any money.
Eventually, we ended up buying a new used truck from a dealer about a hundred miles away tho contacted us via Craig’s List. The good news is that the truck evidently is fundamentally in good shape. We had it checked by an outstanding garage. The bad news is that it is costing us about $1,500 more than it should have because non-fatal maintenance had been neglected. The outstanding garage was well-supported and rewarded last month.
We were taken for a ride by the dealer. This is embarrassing. I have been plotting revenge and restitution, but the prospects don’t look good. I don’t know if I will tell the story in detail. The reluctance is a) we are embarrassed and furious and b) I don’t know how much effort I want to put into telling a complicated story that embarrasses and infuriates me. David Rochester probably would. Should I use David as a role model?
We still have my 1998 Chevy Prizm for sale. It is dinged. I burns oil. It starts reliably and runs well. It has almost 200,000 miles on it. There is nothing serious wrong with it that I know of, but it might croak after a week or last for a couple of years. I will tell the buyer this.
I was going to place an ad for it on Craig’s list. I saw an ad seeking such a car (Corolla/Prizm). A Prizm is a Corolla sold as a Chevrolet but built by Toyota. We saved a thousand dollars by buying a Corolla with a Prizm label on it. (It’s like buying house brand aspirin instead of Bayer’s aspirin.)
I have been exchanging email with the person who wants to buy a Corolla or Prizm. We are selling it cheaper than others being advertised. He is going to meet me at the dock by the terminal on the mainland tomorrow, Sunday.
I told him all the good parts and bad parts about the car including that it may last a long time or it may not. I told him I want to be paid in cash. What I know about him is that
a) He needs a cheap car pretty soon. He wants a Corolla or a Prizm about the year of ours. He said that he is 58 years old and physically impaired, so he can’t beat me up. I guess meaning he won’t steal the car from me and refuse to pay me and leave me in a battered heap on the ferry parking lot. As there are usually Highway Patrol cars and police dogs around the ferry parking lot, I probably am safe in this regard.
b) He seems unwilling or unable to communicate by phone. I infer that he s living with somebody else and probably needs a cheap car of his own, perhaps to travel somewhere else. I once had a dying car that I offered for sale for $200. A man with a crippled arm who needed a cheap car with an automatic transmission so he could drive to California with one arm bought it from me. I said, “I don’t know if it will make it to California.”
He said, “Drive me to an ATM machine and I will get $200 out and pay you and take my chances.”
I have no idea if he made it.
c) I described myself so he can recognize me at the ferry terminal. He described himself. “I am an old white man. My stepson will be with me. He is a young black man. We will be easy to spot.”
We are supposed to meet at the ferry terminal on the mainland on Sunday at 3 pm.
Life is dangerous and uncertain, for both of us. Perhaps his young black stepson will beat me up and steal the car. (Perhaps he reads my blog and will beat me up for ndulging in racist stereotypes, of course.)
When I get there I will see if the state patrol officer will let me pet his bomb-sniffing police dog in the hope that the purchaser and his young step son will be intimidated. However, at least one of the bomb-sniffing dogs is a cocker spaniel. As “police dogs” go, this is not very intimidating. It would be just my luck to get a “wuss” police dog.
On the other hand, the old white man who buys the car from me (if he does), may travel a mile from the terminal and then my former car will emit a big cloud of blue smoke and expire on the spot, leaving him stranded.
As I said. Life is dangerous and uncertain. Be careful out there.