Rant: How are people (e.g. car sellers) so stupid?

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If I understand your question, yes. Dave's '46 was an amazing truck and a true piece of Americana.
Some rich guy in the wine country bought it for his wife to pick up flowers for her garden, and to drive in some yearly parade.
Thanks for the year. ('46) Apparently that had a decent run, '39-'47. Neighbor had his outside, non-op condition as I was growing up.
Always liked the lines on those. His was stove black & weathered & patinaed as could be. Never moved.
He passed on & his daughter keeps it as yard art/totem of some kind. 42 years after Otto left & still not a runner.
There's a restored example with images at drautogallery of detroit. Yep, dimpled running boards & all.
 
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Thanks for the year. ('46) Apparently that had a decent run, '39-'47. Neighbor had his outside, non-op condition as I was growing up.
Always liked the lines on those. His was stove black & weathered & patinaed as could be. Never moved.
He passed on & his daughter keeps it as yard art/totem of some kind. 42 years after Otto left & still not a runner.
There's a restored example with images at drautogallery of detroit. Yep, dimpled running boards & all.
Dave's truck ran all the time; it was in service all the time. It has driven up and down the west coast many times. Drive it anywhere.
10 years or so ago it had a busted axle. We found one at a yard back east somewhere.
Dave could make anything run; he was a great wrench and a decent guy. Cancer got him in his late 60's.
 
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...
Am I alone in thinking that humans have gotten to be almost too stupid to exist? ...

Dealing with people really sucks most of the time b/c the average person is just too stupid to breath the same air as me, it seems. There should be a stupid penalty, where I get to kick them in the groin.
it's all relative!
If you don't get off your high horse, someone else could "kick you in the groin". lol

so that what I'm saying is not misinterpreted , only the smartest person on the planet (i.e. 1 person) won't get kicked in the groin. :alien:
that is if we can find that imaginary person.
 
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Joined
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I've honestly had good luck doing exactly this. I've wasted my time but I've had 80%+ success.

When two people are discussing the condition of a clunker, one person knows more than the other. I want to be that person. I want the car with the completely dark gauge cluster in need of a 20 cent capacitor which any yahoo can google diagnose ahead of the showing. I want the minivan with a malfunctioning door that needs brakes and tires that some overly emotional person "just gave up on." If the ATF isn't burnt and they have jiffy lube receipts it's worth the risk at my lowball pricing.

And to keep myself sharp, I lowball with the expectation of losing out on some deals, so I'm always on the ragged edge. There'll be another opportunity tomorrow.

As for selling, it's worth while to play dumb. Would you claim your car was "mechanic owned?" Would that set any red flags? Most buyers want to hear the car was maintained, "Loyal", but never made any "surprise" trips to the mechanic. Only if everybody knew there was some bullet proofing, like head gaskets and timing belts on a subaru, would it be worth mentioning that stuff had been done in the ad. You can save the receipts and show them if prompted, but don't volunteer the info-- you'll scare people away.
I suspect you have different metrics compared to the OP. I don't recall you ranting about poorly crafted ads. Maybe some rants about scammers on Craigslist, but not poorly crafted ads.
 
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If the car has traded hands many times, then it’s certain to have been neglected, and one naturally wonders why people kept getting rid of it. Bad car? Lemon? Hidden accident? Slipping transmission? What, exactly caused people to dump this thing?
Not necessarily. Checked out a '15 Corvette last year. Carfax showed 4 owners. I can imagine if some people bought this as their first Corvette they may dump it after a few months.

1) Didn't get permission from the missus.
2) Rides too stiff for a daily commute.
3) Feels too cramped inside for long rides
4) Not enough luggage space for road trips
5) Insurance costs too much
 
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It is not uncommon for cars like Corvettes to have had several owners in just a few short years. I know quite a few people that churn through performance cars. I have a friend that is driving a different car every time I see him.
 

dnewton3

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To echo the OPs concerns about "stupid people" and sales, I agree. Most of my dealings in the last few years have been via FBMP. As much as I hate social media and don't particpate, I have to confess that Market Place has simply become the most common way to buy/sell stuff; replaced CL sevearl years ago as the most popular forum.

That said, I can say that what the OP complains about is valid, but not 100% experienced. I have occasionally seen some really good adverts.

Last year, my wife and I bought a property "as is" and it included a huge list of items and equipment that were left behind as part of the purchase agreement. (Cash deal, so didn't have to deal with assessments). The list of stuff left included several agricultural tractors, log splitters, lawn equipment, farm equipment, etc ... it was truly a hoarder's paradise. As I got things fixed up and running, we sold pretty much all the equipment via FBMP, quickly and easily. The reason it all went so fast and sold well for good money is because I took good pictures of each item, well lit and easily seen from several angles, and did a good job of describing the items verbally in the ads. I got quick turn-around on my sales because I put solid effort into the ads. When folks would PM me about the stuff for sale, they typically had very few if any questions, because I already put the info in the ad. And if they asked a stupid question about something that was either well described or imaged, I would typically blow them off because they were a "stupid buyer" and I didn't want/need to deal with that.

Not everyone is stupid when they buy/sell stuff, but I will admit (unfortunately) the vast majority are.
 
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Ha, everything on this thread regards how "stupid" impacts a car sale or, in the above case, equipment sale.
Our society is dotted with reservoirs of stupidity, insulation and wastefulness. Many bathe in them, drink the water, then retreat into their little slice of the world-all the while complaining how ugly it was out there.

As alluded to above, the quality of sellers' pictures alone reveals a lot about their brains.
BITOGers are on a "car edge". Imagine some normal person selling a car once every 5 to 10 years. They'd never 'get used to it'. They're likely mechanically disinclined in the first place.

As described above, one mistaken word on the part of a buyer/seller ISN'T ENOUGH for me to turn tail and walk away.
a) If a buyer utters the word "cash" AND you're so smart, why not just come back with a price you'd settle on?
Potential buyer: "I have cash".
Seller: "Great. Count out $5,500 of your cash and the car is yours".

b) In my part of the world the question, "Why are you selling it?", is a feel-out question and often the first asked.
Me: "Why are you selling it?"
Lady: "My husband had a heart attack and can't drive anymore". She then brought me inside and showed me her 600 lb. husband all tubed up and watching TV.

You gotta play the hand you're dealt.

There are seasoned semi-pros (and some full timers) here. If your trade is so brisk you can indulge your communication preferences, God bless you. Everyone else is required to do "the people time".

Used car market filled with stupid people who you'd rather blow off? Find another source of cars I suppose.
 
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Possibly. But consider that any reasonably nice vehicle, with multiple owners, has probably had more maintenance done, not less.

Say, a nagging issue a seller knows he'll need to address that he would be fine to ignore, but to sell it it would need to be fixed for whatever reason (e.g. broken window switch, or new tires, etc.) that will make it easier to sell.

What do new car owners tend to do when getting a reasonably nice car? Excited, with a pride of ownership and investment, they probably get caught up on routine maintenance, get it washed and waxed, etc. Let's say a $20,000, ten year old car. It's probably been treated better by 2 separate owners, than 1 owner since I assume the 1 owner probably got "tired of it" around year 7 or so. Whereas it was still "fresh" for the first 5 years for both the two owners where it traded hands twice at the 5 year mark. There might even be advantageous "overlapping" maintenance, such as too frequent transmission fluid changes. The new owner does it out of a precaution, but it's already been done.
Now you're just trying to dig in for when you got called out.
 
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Minnesota
I'd like to have a engaged seller, but most sellers probably don't have a higher level of interest and when they do the price may get beyond my budget. May be inexperienced seller is a better way to understand it when a private party is the seller. And then the car lots and car sales people who have no experience and interest in the vehicles. You are going to have to know what you are getting into so you are happy with the value of a purchase.

Value and VIN. Usually try to know what big issues to look for by researching before seeing the vehicle, and having the VIN can help. Then if the price is within my realm I'd bring enough cash to cover the asking price and adjust as evaluated. My 2 buys over this summer could have been a private party as well, both from used car dealers, same lack of information that would be nice in advance...

Yes I'd like to know it's got a oil leak that may be a rear main seal before driving an hour to look at it, but my gut instinct said offer $1200, ended up being a $1500 buy instead of the $2k asking price, they knew the condition was not top tier, fair enough, for the build quality I'm planning on just adding oil and driving it until parts are no longer available. A car lot selling a 2004 Sienna, they had no idea and their mechanic had to add oil before the test drive. And the car fax said this vehicle just had an oil change at this establishment, somehow wrong service work was on the VIN history and it was obvious...

Next I paid car lot full asking price on a vehicle that was just advertised and I was able to determine the only previous owner did keep up the maintenance. It ran good, history code was for cam/crank correlation but no check engine light for the 3 times I looked at it, 2012 Kia Sedona with possible timing issues, but for the price point seemed worth the risk. Check engine light came on after I bought it and was driving it home, as-is warranty was going to be up to me. I knew the risk was there but was able to be at a value, $2500 I was comfortable with and dealer wasn't negotiating being it was just put on the lot. Not sure if they erased the code but this one seems to have a electrical issue and the light now comes and goes but no noticeable mechanical issue. Car lots likely aren't going to be familiar with what they are selling.

You have to be informed before going to evaluate and offer to purchase. Sellers likely wouldn't put effort into a car they expect to be gone unless they are well versed in what they have. My buddy just got a 3.3 Highlander and didn't have a clue about the maintenance except to have a mechanic check it out. He will eventually have it serviced but risk damage from neglect whether it is his or from the previous owner in the mean time. I've informed him of what to look for and encourage him that he bought one of Toyota's best motors. He might be one of the lucky buyers and likely could have got a better price with specific information on known issues like resealing the coolant outlet housing. Not saying the mechanic didn't know about this, but the buyer was not informed.
 
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Buyers have it in their head that they are going to get a better deal buying privately. They may, but have to deal and put up with private sellers who are not experts in selling. You get what you pay for.
 
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If a buyer says they have cash AND says a price they will pay, I'm all for it. Even if the price they say is low, at least we both quickly know where we stand on the deal. Had someone recently reply to a tool listing of mine at $150. "$100 cash." I'm not going to sell it for $100, so at least neither of us wasted much time. I didn't send him a reply, though I probably would have if he had put any conversational words at all in his reply instead of merely "$100 cash."

The funny part is his saying that on a $100 item doesn't actually mean anything because of course such private-party listings are cash only and nobody is going to take a credit card or check.

I think a buyer saying "I'm paying cash, of course," with the of course on the end, (or similar, such as "I'm paying cash, so I won't be wasting your time with a check or having to go to a bank") makes a good impression. It gives a little more information into what they're thinking, or just softens it, and they come across more as a regular but straight-up person who does have money yet isn't a gruff lowballer.

Sadly we are living right now "The Fall of The American Empire" in real time. No country on earth can survive in a totally "push button world or society which America has become due to our country moving 99% of our manufacturing jobs over seas.
That plays a part, but the main cause is actually the 1965 Immigration Act.
 
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If a buyer says they have cash AND says a price they will pay, I'm all for it. Even if the price they say is low, at least we both quickly know where we stand on the deal. Had someone recently reply to a tool listing of mine at $150. "$100 cash." I'm not going to sell it for $100, so at least neither of us wasted much time. I didn't send him a reply, though I probably would have if he had put any conversational words at all in his reply instead of merely "$100 cash."

The funny part is his saying that on a $100 item doesn't actually mean anything because of course such private-party listings are cash only and nobody is going to take a credit card or check.

I think a buyer saying "I'm paying cash, of course," with the of course on the end, (or similar, such as "I'm paying cash, so I won't be wasting your time with a check or having to go to a bank") makes a good impression. It gives a little more information into what they're thinking, or just softens it, and they come across more as a regular but straight-up person who does have money yet isn't a gruff lowballer.


That plays a part, but the main cause is actually the 1965 Immigration Act.
Better yet, just tell the seller that you have "cash in hand" (if in fact you actually DO have the cash in hand). That will covay to the seller that you are ready and able to buy immediately.
 
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My stand is, if your interested in what I'm selling ,you'll make an appointment to see it in person. You know the person is not a serious buyer, when the say how much they will give you sight unseen. I'm not going to fill out a cradle to grave report about everything that was done to a car worth less then $5000. If you want it don't be a moron, and come see it for yourself.,,,,
Plenty of people will think a seller is either a moron or shady for wanting/expecting people to travel there and meet them in person one at a time to find out information that could have easily been already typed up for all buyers to see. And thinking why bother dealing with the seller when the seller can't even be bothered to type a bit more.

Obviously, there's a generally happy middle ground for most people between a sparse description with one picture and the car's entire history with 100 pictures and a video.

As I think about it more, it makes me think of people who buy/sell on ebay and similar a lot, or maybe just online in general, compared maybe to people who don't. On ebay, if an item has only a quick description and few pictures, it better be in good condition or it can easily be returned. If it has flaws, they better be pointed out. If I buy something on Amazon that has little info, I can return it. Private car sales have more risk due to no returns, so a quick description and few pictures or a "just come here and look at it" can raise red flags.
 
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I buy from clueless sellers, but only certain kinds. Facebook marketplace is great because I can "profile" sellers before I even contact them. I want someone inexperienced, with only one item for sale, who's been on facebook for a while, and who looks like they throw money around.

I consider it rude to start negotiating via messenger-- I wait until I'm in person for "the kill." It usually surprises people and they're more likely to go along with it. Generally I agree with the seller about the condition they mention in the ad, but bring up something I find that "they didn't know about."
You consider it rude to start negotiating via messenger but not rude to profile sellers you can manipulate and then in person "find something they didn't know about" so they will "go along with it" when you go for "the kill." lol ok. :D
 
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97.2% of car sellers and buyers have no idea how an internal combustion engine works. Asking questions is a waste of time in my experience. If it looks decent ask if you can test drive it, go from there.
Heck even "professional" dealerships quite often have half of the info listed wrong. Cannot count how many times i have seen a stick shift in the pictures and it is listed as having an auto trans or vice versa.
The only time Ive ever dealt with an informed buyer was when i sold our chrysler minivan to a dodge mechanic. When we were on the test drive he said wow it shifts perfect, i explained that i did regular pan drops and filter changes. He asked what kind of fluid i used and i said atf+4 and he said how much will you take for it. He didnt care about 2 very minor rust spots or that 1 power window didnt work. He actually understood that the vehicle had been well maintained and the major components all worked as they should. Contrast that with the first car I ever sold...guy tried to tell me it needed a new engine. Asked him why he thought that, he said because the oil is black.
 
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97.2% of car sellers and buyers have no idea how an internal combustion engine works. Asking questions is a waste of time in my experience. If it looks decent ask if you can test drive it, go from there.
Heck even "professional" dealerships quite often have half of the info listed wrong. Cannot count how many times i have seen a stick shift in the pictures and it is listed as having an auto trans or vice versa.
The only time Ive ever dealt with an informed buyer was when i sold our chrysler minivan to a dodge mechanic. When we were on the test drive he said wow it shifts perfect, i explained that i did regular pan drops and filter changes. He asked what kind of fluid i used and i said atf+4 and he said how much will you take for it. He didnt care about 2 very minor rust spots or that 1 power window didnt work. He actually understood that the vehicle had been well maintained and the major components all worked as they should. Contrast that with the first car I ever sold...guy tried to tell me it needed a new engine. Asked him why he thought that, he said because the oil is black.
That fellow really needs to read and partake here, I hope he found enlightenment.
 
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May 11, 2013
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Really?!

I'd think just the opposite, as in "I have the cash and am not a tire kicker or going to offer you some nonsense trade or need to get financing, or trying out a scam like a check mailed to you, etc."

You are spot on Charles. Regardless how anyone wants to twist it cash is always the best way to deal. Dealers might not like it. Reason being the finance officer no longer has any control over the final sale. For a consumer who is driving off the lot of dealership or driveway of private party, cash is the very best tool for negotiating the best deal.
 
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