Saturday, December 22

Selling a car privately sucks these days

As you know, I'm currently trying to sell my VW Bora. I've done the usual things, like advertising in Autotrader magazine and on their website, putting cards up in the supermarket and sticking posters in the window of the car itself.

It's about the cheapest 2.0 for miles around. But all I have had is calls from agencies - or "Vehicle Matching Services" - who want to rip me off to the tune of £50-£100 a time, and two people who have been rude enough to try to bargain with me over the price on the telephone without coming round to see the car.

The Agencies and Vehicle Matching Services are all about getting your registration fee in, and then they give you back a percentage of that fee if they sell the car. But, of course, if you sell the car privately, you don't ever get that money back, and if they don't sell the car, they don't have to give you your money back either. Forgive me, but I'm struggling to find any motivation for them to do any work here. It sounds like a great little scam if you ask me.

As for the two individuals who've called me, well, I'm more than prepared to do a deal on the car. But, if you expect me to bargain with you, at least be prepared to put in the effort to come and have a look at it beforehand.

If I'm buying a car, and I'm going to make an offer, I look at the car and use any deficiencies that I can see as a bargaining tool. "That paintwork's a bit scratched" or "Looks like it needs four new tyres" or "Has the cam belt been changed recently?" or "These seats are a bit worn", that kind of thing. If you've not even been to look at the car, on what basis are you suggesting I should drop the price? For all you know at this point, it could still be in showroom condition.


But I'm left with little recourse but to drop the price anyway, and hope that someone genuine will call up now and not waste my time.

Failing that, it'll go to the auction, which really will be giving it away :(

Christmas meals

Was fantastic to meet up with the DB folks for a Christmas lunch on Monday, and also on Wednesday at the Managed Objects Customer lunch. Lots to talk about, and it's always interesting to see where DB, MO's other clients and MO themselves are going with the product.

I wasn't expecting to still be here, to be honest, as I should really have been in Australia by now. However, for one reason or another (mainly being lazy) I've not booked the tickets. Until yesterday, that is - I'm flying out on the 21st Jan with Singapore Airlines.

Time to start panicking then, I guess ...