How to Sell a Used Car


I just sold my 1989 IROC Z classic Camaro muscle car. The car of my dreams. 30 years ago, on a return trip from a meeting at Head Office with my first boss (Peter was my hero at that time of my youth), he slowed down as we passed a GM dealership and said, “Man look at that IROC, I’d love to have one of those” . Neither of us could afford it back then, but I swore I would one day own one as proof that I’d “made it”. Long story short … we got one. Another long story short … we enjoyed the Hell out of it, for a good twenty two years. I’d been retired for about one year when she started to show her age. She (unlike myself) started to act her age too. Oh! she still turned heads as I cruised by with that suweeeeeet throaty rumble she made in second gear on slighly inclined tarmac. But the question became … unload, or start throwing money at her?

I had to get one small repair done, to allay serious damage. When I saw the bill, the question was answered. That rolling money pit had to go. I’m not a “car guy” by any stretch of the expression either, and I had no desire to become a slave to a car. But I had a strange aversion to selling it. At first, I thought it was a love for the car itself so I toyed with the cost of restoring it back to is former glory. It was doable, but I found myself becoming disinterested and eventually not even trusting her anymore. By that time, things were looking rather grim. So was the car.

Well, that’s enough melancholy reminiscences. I’m supposed to be recounting my freshly gained car selling knowledge.

So here ya go :

1) Never tell your buddies nor neighbours that you’re selling your car. I always thought “used car salesman” was a derogatory slur. However, if your friends and neighbours find out, suddenly every guy you ever knew becomes the slickest, fastest talkinest, slyest, connivinest, wilyest SOB who ever sold a car (whether he’s ever sold one or not). Whatever primeval, cerebral switch is thrown by an announcement to the herd that a car is for sale, it trumps the trigger to feed, and possibly even to mate. I almost prompted a head-butting contest over what I oughta set as my asking price.

2) Go online and look for your car (there will be one or a dozen somewhere). Look up the price expectations. Be reasonable, unless you’re Elvis or Lennon, your car isn’t worth more than the other ones out there no matter what your friends say, nor what you think.

3) Once your friends and neighbours find out (you just know they will), don’t ever tell them what you set as your asking price. No matter what you tell them, it’ll be “What, Are ya giving it away?” All your friends will assure you it’s worth a small fortune for all kinds of idiotic reasons. More importantly, they’ll assure you that their price would be much more … and … they’d get it too ! Now your masculinity is on the line. They don’t care how many years you have to continue listing it, they wouldn’t take a dime less than twice it’s value (as it rots and rusts away in YOUR driveway, year after frustrating year).

4) Use (there’s no charge) and don’t even think of Kijiji. I got enough nut cases on without eliciting anything from the global looney bin which is Kijiji. At least on you get people specifically interested in automobiles only. You might get a few silly offers price-wise, but you won’t be offered 10 lbs of relatively fresh roadkill, 2 candles, a half empty pack of smokes, and cousin Buford for your 2002 Chrysler like you will on Kijiji. It’s a simple rule to remember, if you can’t sell it on … you’re asking too much for it.

5) Once you do sell it, NEVER! EVER tell anyone what you really sold it for. ‘Cause no matter what you got for it, it won’t be near as much as THEY would’ve got for it. They’d have really screwed that bastard over ! Not like you, you spineless pussy ! That loser shoulda walked away bleeding like a stuck pig all over your old (his new) leather seats. It starts with tiny insults aimed at you, disguised as admiration for the guy who vanquished you. That guy who ravaged your wife and impregnated both your daughters … then drove away in YOUR car, for free ! “Yep, he got a great deal in that sale” (meaning you didn’t, you pussy!). The concept of “both of us got what we wanted ” is lost on the herd. You got rid of the albatross hanging from your neck, and some other guy got your guaranteed future car problems. But that doesn’t matter. You shoulda slayed that loser !

Then I remembered that I neglected to tell him why it doesn’t have a cigarette lighter. I pulled out the lighter 20 years ago ’cause every time I tried to use it, the fuses would go off like popcorn. Ahhhhhhh! So I did stick it to him after all ! I was immediately welcomed back into the herd of neighbourhood used car salesmen. Sometimes I wonder why women even talk to us.


One comment

  1. Anonymous · · Reply

    End of an era my friend. Glad I got to ride her.


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