I just quit my job to travel, and now I need to sell my car.
When you’re selling your car with only two weeks to do it, you gotta take every avenue offered. The first thing I did was tell my mechanic. He said he would buy it but didn’t have enough money. Then he said he wanted to buy it anyway. Then he came back again and said he, in fact, didn’t have enough money.
So I put the car up on Craigslist, and immediately was inundated with emails. That means I either set the price too low, they were looking to scam me, or (most likely) a combination of both.
Unfortunately I didn’t have the luxury of being a choosey seller because 1) I am leaving the country soon and 2) the car is registered in Florida. California has more strict registration requirements and requires a smog check. Not a huge deal, but enough to make it so that I can’t just sign over the title and be done with it.
The mechanic ended up coming back to me – he had met someone who was also interested in the car. I had originally thought his waffling on buying was a ploy to lower the price, but if it ends up working out I’ll have to thank him.
I ended up meeting this new suitor at a different mechanic’s shop of his choice yesterday.
The mechanic was busy when I first arrived and so I went to meet the potential buyer (we’ll call him PB). I walked PB through the car, then we drove it around the block to test it out. Everything went great and he said he just wanted to have his mechanic take a look at it before committing. It was a relief since this was one of – if not the – biggest hurdle to get over before leaving.
It went downhill fast from there. The mechanic plugged in a diagnostics machine that spits out info on anything that is wrong with the engine. He rattled off a laundry list of problems that were new to me. It was especially surprising since I had just taken it in for an inspection less than a week ago with no issues. Then he took a look underneath, and launched into a new list of (expensive) problems the car had that were, again, new to me. All this felt pretty suspicious since my mechanic had told me the car was in great shape when he originally wanted to buy it himself.
PB told me he’d come back to me that night with an offer. I ended up getting a text from him 2 hours later offering $1000 less than we had talked about and trying to tell me it needed $2500 in repairs to keep his family safe when driving. I politely told him where to shove it, but deep down I was starting to sweat since I really needed to unload the car and didn’t want to go through Craigslist buyers. But I still had one last hope.
I had been putting off trying CarMax since I could always go to them last and figured they’d lowball me anyway. But after dealing with PB’s nonsense, I decided to go there right away. I’d at least get another benchmark for the car’s value. After a quick inspection, CarMax offered me almost double what PB did. I couldn’t believe it, but it was for real and now I had almost three thousand dollars more than I was planning on. And as an added bonus, their offer is good for a week so I can use my car right up until I leave. So even though I should’ve gone there first, it ended up working out great for me. Let’s hope this pattern of being stupid and having it pay off continues once I go overseas.