The other day, I regaled you with the exciting and awful experience of having one’s car die and purchasing another. Fortunately, unlike last time I went car shopping, my car buying experience this time around was mostly painless. I had a car twenty-four hours after I decided that my old one wasn’t worth fixing. Yay me!
However, I still had the old car, too. My mechanic only wanted to give me $300 for it as a parts car. I have sunk way more into it than that. Provided you fix the transmission, my old car would easily last another 100K miles. I figured someone might want it.
I dreaded the whole car selling process. Selling a car is half as much of a pain in the ass as trying to buy one, but half a pain in the ass is still a pain in the ass. I cleaned out the car. The inside was coated with a nice comforting layer of dog fur–it is shedding season–but it’s a leather interior and easy to clean. I cleaned it up as best I could and it looked pretty good if I do say so.
I was up-front about the condition of the car. I debated whether I should just lie and tell people it’s in good working order, but my conscience wouldn’t let me. My conscience is a bummer that way. I listed the car for half of what I paid for it. Anything was better than the $300 my mechanic wanted to give me for it.
I listed the car on Sunday morning figuring that I’d have all day to let people come over and look at it. Within a couple of minutes, I had a couple of messages like “I really want the car as a present for my brother, but I’m out of town. If you could deliver it to him, I will send you the cash now. Just tell me all of your personal information and I’ll send you the money right away.” Yeah, sure, buddy. I’ll get right on that.
Throughout the day, I had a couple of real nibbles from people with real questions though. The transmission scared a lot of them off, which isn’t that surprising. While I got calls on it, no one actually wanted to look at it right then. Finally, in the evening, I got a call from a guy looking for a car for his girlfriend. They came over an hour later than they said they’d be there, and popped the hood, pushed all the buttons and kicked the tires.
I gave them a minute to talk it over and they decided to buy it. Yay! But, they figured they would low-ball me on the price and didn’t bring enough cash. Booo. I told them I had already cut the price in half and I didn’t want to go much lower. We split the difference, but they had to go to the ATM to get more cash. It was a nervous half an hour that I waited for them to return. It was already past my bed time at this point, too. Finally they came back and handed me a stack of money. Woot! They drove away all excited and I went inside all excited with a nice fat stack of bills. I am ever so thankful that they bought it, because buying my new car completely wiped out my bank account.
The next morning, I thought I’d be nice and call the people I talked to the night before who wanted to see it to tell them it was already sold. Having shopped for used cars only a year ago, I understand how annoying it is. I left two voice mails. The third call was to a woman who had called me three times the night before asking questions about the car. I told her the car was already sold. Instead of saying, thanks for the call like a normal person, she decided to heap me with abuse. She said, “I’ve been looking for a car for three weeks, and I’ve had cars get sold out from under me over and over. Thanks for screwing me over. I hope you’re happy, bitch.” She called me a bitch! How rude. Well, fuck you, lady! You’re lucky I was even nice enough to let you know it was sold instead of making you wait around until tonight to look at a car that I no longer own.
I can understand her frustration, since last time I was car shopping, I had cars that I was on my way to see get sold from under me, too. However, I never called those people bitches or heaped them with abuse. Never once in the three times I talked to her did she ask me to hold it for her nor did I say that I would. Buying a car is a first come, first served type of proposition. If she had just come over instead of calling me three times, she could have bought it, but she opted to come over the next night instead. I didn’t send her a personal invitation; I posted an ad on the internet where lots of people could see it. When responding to an internet ad, you must know that other people might be calling, too, right?
People suck. This is not news to me. I’ve known that people suck for a long time, but somehow, it’s always jarring to discover fresh evidence of suckitude when some random stranger calls you a bitch while you are, in fact, actually trying to be considerate.
I bought a car within 24 hours and I sold a car within 24 hours. Not bad for an amateur. Here’s to not having do that again any time soon. Cheers.
UPDATE: Roughly six hours after she called me a bitch, bitch-lady called me up again. I didn’t answer the phone. She left a long maudlin voice mail apologizing for calling me a bitch. She even thanked me for calling her to let her know it was sold. Well, thank you for apologizing, bitch-lady, but that was still beyond the pale. I am ever so thankful I didn’t sell her the car.