I will be the first person to admit that I have a car hoarding problem. I am downright addicted to $500 cars, and my complete lack of self control means that I find myself with a surplus of worthless vehicles more often than not. Whenever the honeymoon is over and I realize that a car that hasn't run in 20 years probably isn't a weekend project, I always find myself trying to resell my mistakes on the internet.
So I go outside in the rain or snow and try to take some pictures that make my terrible purchase look somewhat presentable. I come back inside, sit down, and carefully list every detail about the car and every problem it has in a well worded and painstakingly crafted advertisement. At this point in the process, things have gone pretty well. Everything goes terribly wrong after this point.
The Van I'm Trying to Sell This Week
Exit... Van Left
Early this year, I was looking for a vehicle to tow my race cars around the country. This search led me to this particular 1989 Ford E-350. It is rusted away to nothing, the tires are old enough to drink, and the engine will only run for a minute at a time before it coughs itself to death. It is truly a terrible vehicle and I am a fool for buying it.
The van has been living in my apartment complex parking lot as a shed all year, but I'm tired of looking at it, so I posted it for sale this week. The onslaught of annoying responses and people has been exhausting.
Here's what you can expect to see.
No matter how much time you put into your ad, people will ignore it and just ask you information that you already gave them. You'll be asked if the car you're selling for spares can be driven home. You'll be asked where the car is located even though the address is in the ad. You'll be asked where your city is by some mouth breathing troglodyte who has never heard of Google Maps.
Ridiculously and Offensively Low Offers
If you post a car for sale for $3500, someone will always send the message offering "$900 cash money today." These offers make very little sense, since I typically would like to trade my vehicle for money, and I even told you how much money I would like. "$900 cash money today" means nothing to me.
Recently, I was offered power tools in exchange for my van. I'm so frustrated trying to sell this van that I was going to accept this trade. Unfortunately, this takes us to the next thing you'll see when selling a car online.
Being Ghosted by Buyers
Whenever I sell a car online, I typically receive anywhere from 30 to 200 responses. The vast majority of these people ask if the car is still for sale. When I say yes, I never hear from them again.
10% of the responses continue to ask questions, and some even plan to look at the car. Of those who say they will come to look at it, only a quarter of them show up.
By Now, You've Found Selling the Car is Impossible. What's Next?
This process typically takes several weeks and every ounce of your sanity. By the end, I'm willing to give the vehicle away if it means I never have to see it again. I have literally traded a vehicle for a sandwich and a beer before, and that was one of the better deals.
Eventually, I succeed and the vehicle is gone just in time for me to pick up the next mistake. I hope I never learn.