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Fear & Loathing The Classic Car Dealer

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. autoroundup
    Joined: Jun 20, 2011
    Posts: 1


    Ryan, nice article. This hits home. Well, all I can really say about this is, "When the goin' get weird, the weird turn pro!"
  2. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,075


    Of course it isn't your problem. Seems to me the point some are trying to make here is that while you are not willing to sell to him, he's a shyster because others are.

    Nothing wrong with that either if $4000 has been the best offer around and you need to sell.

    It's funny, and this isn't a knock on you are these complaints weren't about knowledgable car guys, but people post here all the time about wanting to buy a car and the suggestion is to walk up with cash in hand.

    It's a bit hypocritical for advice to be dished out about offering cash and then complaining about someone actually doing just that.
  3. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,086


    Let me share the tragic results of perpetuating the disdain for car dealers, like this thread may be doing.

    I know of lots of folks, and some have posted on this thread, that bought just ONE car from a dealer. It was not a good deal. They have never bought from a dealer again, but have spent the rest of their lives bashing dealers. That is not a normal reaction to a bad situation. We have all experienced bad experiences in other parts of our lives, and yet have gone back for more. But for some reason, car dealers are held to a much higher standard. Or is it that the bad smell cannot be removed because "journalists" perpetuate their disdain for dealers?

    This weekend at Back to the 50's, I came across a nice 63 Tbird for $10500. It had a few flaws that I could have handled for $1000. I felt his price was reasonable and offered him $10000 by my dealership check. I offered to have him hold the title until the check cleared.

    He was not comfortable with this and I can understand. He asked for cash. I was okay with that, but not with the hassle at the bank when acquiring $10k or more in cash. I offered him $9900 in benjamins.

    He couldn't decide, so I called him later. He was still uncertain. I contacted him the next morning before heading home. He did not want to sell to a dealer, so he passed.

    Now come on, I was there with cash and my final offer was only $600 less than his asking price.

    How sad that he has a bad taste for dealers, and it is so blinding that he cannot function logically. I wondered why?
  4. Weird.
  5. TheTrailerGuy
    Joined: Jun 18, 2011
    Posts: 392


    a few bad apples...
  6. Kettleman
    Joined: Mar 28, 2006
    Posts: 149



    I agree that honesty should be king in dealing with buyers and sellers. every hobby has some scumbags involved.

    I recently overheard a gun dealer at a gun show brag about how he bought a valuable gun from a widow. basically he told her the old gun was outdated and not worth much. Gave here $300 and sold it later for over $2,000. He laughed as he told the story.

    Needless to say I make sure I will never buy anything from that guy
  7. I'm with you Ryan. There are a bunch of bumbs f####ing up the old car culture. Including some of the baby boomers who have made their money and want to buy back their youthfull memories at any cost. "New barn find" is my newest phrase to hate. The sport is supposed to be about paassion for the cars and passing on deals to others. Not money grubbing middle men with just enough knowledge to get himself in trouble and get you in trouble also if you don't know what youir doing. I'll save my thoughts on Barrett Jackson for later
  8. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,075


    I just bought a motorcycle, I haven't seen it in person. I made the offer over the phone. I'll be there tomorrow with the agreed upon cash in hand.

    I bought another off this site (I caught it before it got deleleted) the same way a couple months ago.

    I can understand wanting to get some negotiating out of the way before driving what may be hours for a pig in a poke. (13 hours round trip for the HAMB bike)
  9. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,075


    The guy willing to fork over large amounts of cash to buy his dream car has no passion for it?
  10. NorthBayArea
    Joined: Sep 5, 2006
    Posts: 47

    from Smyrna, DE

    "Build'n model airplanes!" says the fairy, well I'm not buyin it. Next thing you know there's money missing off your dresser and your daughter's knocked up. I've seen it a hunnert times."

    -for any other Tommy Boy fans out there........God I hope its not just me!
  11. phukinartie
    Joined: Oct 8, 2008
    Posts: 965


    All car dealers are like my farts.... Not to be trusted

    But if you keep your butthole tight things may not get shitty!

    I tried to do a deal with a car dealer on here ..I wanted pics of the floors,He took a bunch of obscure underside pics I asked him to just lift the loose carpets and take some pics.Never happend then a car that was for sale for a year magically sold the next day
  12. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 5,843


    First of all, when one wants to create a hypothetical situation, as Ryan has done here, it's easy to make the "facts" in the story elicit sympathy from the readers. Cases in point, the fact that the poor little old lady never got to build her patio and Scott started abusing drugs have absolutely nothing to do with anything. They were thrown in to make us feel bad for those who were "ripped off." Teddie the car dealer didn't "ruin" anyone's life (geez, talk about hyperbole!). He did nothing but buy and then sell an old car.

    Martha had an idea of what the car was worth. She chose to take 53% of what she thought the car was worth. Her choice. She could have waited until someone else came along and offered more. She chose not to. So much for a straw man set up to fall easily.

    Same thing with Scott. He could have (should have) inspected the car or paid a competent inspector to look it over for him. If money was tight, it would have been money well-spent. If there were flaws in the old Riv, well, welcome to the world of antique cars. If he wanted new with a warranty, he should have bought new with a warranty. If he was turning to drug abuse because of his disappointment in the Riviera, for crying out loud, then he had serious issues long before he even thought about buying an old car. And I'm sure his divorce was about a lot more than his feeling sorry for himself over getting taken by Teddie. Again, straw men of one's own choosing are easy to knock down.

    Now for a true story as it relates to Martha: I once had my '54 DeSoto listed on several internet sites (before I ever discovered the best one, namely, the HAMB!). I received a call from a man who claimed to be a classic car dealer in Kansas City. Without ever seeing the car or asking me any questions about it, he offered me a third of what I was asking. I told him that for the condition it was in, according to the Old Cars Price Guide, it was worth what I was asking. He then ridiculed the OCPG and asked me if I knew what cars were really worth "in today's market."

    I said this DeSoto is worth what I'm asking, it's a great driving car and I won't take much less. He got very angry, cussed me out, and hung up. I ended up selling the car to a friend for asking price (he knew the car) and he has been very happy with it. In fact, I've tried to buy it back several times, to no avail.

    Now, the difference between me and "Martha?" I decided to stick to my price and wait. It paid off. Most people with any brains at all will wait and see what other offers come along.

    Another true story: I have a good friend who deals in vintage stringed instruments, mainly guitars and mandolins. He is well-known among collectors around the country and has sold instruments to most well-known musicians and a lot of actors as well. A farmer once brought in a very rare 1923 Gibson "Lloyd Loar" F5 mandolin in amazingly great shape. He had inherited it and wanted to sell it, as he had no interest in it. My friend carefully looked over the instrument and said, "The mandolin is very rare and in excellent condition. It is worth $X and that is what I would ask for it in my store. However, I am a dealer, and I am in this to make a profit plus cover my overhead, etc, so I would be willing to offer $Y for it (about 2/3 of $X). You could probably get $X for it if you sold it yourself, but I'm willing to pay $Y for it."

    The owner of the mandolin sold it to my friend and was satisfied, as he was told the retail value (honestly) and what my dealer friend would offer.

    And both were satisfied with the transaction.

    One more true story, this time as it relates to "Scott" in Ryan's story: I have bought one vehicle from a classic car dealer (my '47 Ford coupe). It was for sale on the internet for a very good price. I called and asked a bunch of questions. Every question was answered thoroughly and even beyond what I had asked. I agreed to buy for full purchase price, as it was thousands below what most in that condition were selling for elsewhere. The dealer told me that every other person who had inquired about the car had offered much less. I said, "They're nuts. If it's anything like it looks in the pictures and the way you describe it, it's well worth the full asking price."

    The car arrived right on time and upon closer inspection, the car was better than they told me it was. I got under it and carefully looked at everything and was amazed at how clean and well-done it was.

    I normally would not recommend buying a car sight unseen over the internet, but this particular dealer has been around for a long, long time and they wouldn't still be in business if they were in the business of ripping off customers.

    It's easy to paint a picture, especially when one is crafting a make-believe story, that there are no good classic car dealers, or that they have no purpose in today's world.

    Reality is, there are plenty of really good classic car dealers out there. They perform a valuable service for many people. And yes,there are shysters as well. Determining which is which is pretty easy to discern. Just ask a few questions and see if the ol' BS meter doesn't go off!

    One will be able to tell quickly whether it's a passion or a paycheck.

    Me? I buy high and sell low; it's the secret of my success! :)
  13. niceguyede
    Joined: Jan 19, 2009
    Posts: 633

    from dallas

    I like the story. Its worthy of a script! But its just people, any one selling anything. There's good people that have an idea of what their stuff is worth to them, and the guy who knows what some sucker will pay. Ive bought classics of lots and been impressed with the price compared to the conditon. I also used to work for some lot guys who sold me a car at twice its value just because they knew my car blew up and I didnt have enough money to buy a cash car from an individual at the time, because I worked for them!! If you can tell a guy would pimp his mother for a buck just from talking to him, maybe you shouldnt buy something from him. People are people, good and bad in every walk from the time time began.
  14. KrisKustomPaint
    Joined: Apr 20, 2007
    Posts: 1,107


    Well damn, now I'm all geared up to go for a joy ride. Where did I put that slim jim?
  15. Alex Yohnk
    Joined: Sep 7, 2005
    Posts: 828

    Alex Yohnk

    To understand Ryan's point, I think everyone chimming in should read the book "the tipping point" by Malcolm Gladwell.

    in our drive through society that's been spawned by advertising executives and technology, along with gonzo media styles, we have lost touch with what has made this hobby (country) great, and in turn, we are (some of us) hanging ourselves with our own rope.

    sow well, reap well
    sow poor, reap poor
  16. poboyross
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 2,139


    GOOD post, Ryan. I almost fell victim to a couple of these guys when I was selling my first build over the past few months. I heard the sob story of "Your car really isn't worth what your asking because I've got a guy down here who does our welding, but he's pretty slow, so we might not ever get to it and have to sell as-is". WTF? How is the slowness of your POS employee MY problem? The guy tried the whole "Worth maybe half" thing....trying to see if I was in dire straits and trying to feed on me like a G*ddamn vulture. I told him I wasn't hurting and would wait until someone paid what I felt was fair based on my research...guess what? It paid off. Struck up an honest deal with an honest LOCAL individual.

    Another guy tried to say he only wanted to pay MAYBE 2/3 of my asking price because, in his words "I've got a guy down here with one that has no rust, but it's got a bad motor/trans, etc etc". Umm......the only thing left on mine WAS the patching...and I drove it almost daily.

    The gall of these a**holes drives me insane. I made sure to tell them there was no blood in this water...go f*ck someone else. Hey...I want a good deal, but I'm not going to f**k anyone to do it.

    Last story and I'll shut my cake hole. about 20 years ago, after my grandpaw died, my grandmaw had a yard sale about a year afterwards. She put his guitar out there, knowing no one else in the family played it, hell, he never played it. She put $60 on the price. A young guy comes up to her, who she's never met, and says "Ma'am, I want this guitar, but I've gotta be honest with you, it's worth MUCH more than what you're asking." So, my grandmaw asks him "How much do you think it's worth?" To which he replies "Well, at least $700." She looks down and thinks for a minute, looks back up and asks "Is this for you or for someone else? Do you play?" He says "It's for me, and I do play." She says "Well, because you were honest and you'll take care of it, you can have it for the price that's listed."

    Look, I'm not expecting to find people like my grandmaw, but I SURE AS HELL expect to find people in the ballpark of that guy. AIN'T HAPPENIN'. I feel like the last boyscout so often.

    We're in tough times, and you see what people are REALLY made of during these periods. I'm not encouraged by what I see.
  17. RJP
    Joined: Oct 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,537

    from PNW

    Ryan. How bad were the brakes on the Riv?
  18. Big Mac
    Joined: Sep 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,567

    Big Mac
    1. Utah HAMBers

    Wonder if the mods will end up closing Ryans post.... lol.....
  19. corncobcoupe
    Joined: May 26, 2001
    Posts: 4,950

    Staff Member

    Ahhhh ... no.... don't think so
  20. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,200


    I deal in classic cars,antique advertising,and collectible firearms.I think that painting all of us with the same brush is just plain sad.I care more about where the car is going and who's going to be its next steward than about the money.It's made on the buy,not the sale,anyway.I struggle with wanting to repair every last detail with the car,the buyer just wants to hide anything that's wrong with his trade.We have a saying and it's "Buyers are liars."Always up to their latest how to scam the dealer b.s. move.All that accomplishes is pissing me off and showing the buyer who the professional is.'nuff said.
  21. Me? I buy high and sell low; it's the secret of my success! :)[/QUOTE]

    LOL. I thought I was the only one that did that...
  22. daddio211
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 5,996


    I think it's unfortunate that so many have missed Ryan's original intent, even though he's reposted numerous times to clarify it.

    Nobody disputes that some of the dealers are out for your wallet and 2nd mortgage... more if they can get it. The issue as I read it is that someone's greed (minus passion for honesty and helping a fellow human being) is where this whole thing went south.

    Ryan's comment regarding Bobwop's classified ads are all I need to know to feel comfortable purchasing from him, let alone Bob's own posts here offering help and advice to fellow HAMB'ers. THIS is what car dealers SHOULD be doing, giving back to the old car community!

    And Bob took a beating a while back over a car he purchased to sell (his intent never a mystery) and always remained professional and courteous. I do believe (and Ryan, don't let me speak for you) that the original post was all about guys who DON'T do this!
  23. Because...

  24. "In fact, I feel like 99% of all people in the world mean good."- Ryan are an optimist. God bless you!:)
  25. SakowskiMotors
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,240


    Hi Guys
    Interesting read. Some interesting things to consider on both sides of the coin.
    No offense taken Ryan. You know it is all good in my book. You are a good guy in the real world.

    Though beware, the only people more unscrupulous then a dealer is the general public.

    Here is a funny specific example of a dealer helping society.
    A good customer brought a car into the LA shop for me to look over and do work as needed that he bought online from far away from a dealer Same customer had a bitchn 54 Chevy conv that we did lots of work on. Great guy and friend. Well, the car looked okay. But when we started to raise it on the lift we heard some strange sounds. I just felt something wasn't right. We raised it all the way up. At first the underside looked nice and fresh. Then I noticed the frame looked strange, but freshly painted. Long story short, the entire frame from front to back looked like Swiss cheese once I unwrappd the tin foil from around the frame that was undercoated!

    Dealer said it was my customer's problem. A real jerk. Told him to pound sand basically. (one of my favorite expressions I learned on The Hamb)

    Asked him where he got it, and turns out he got it from a dealer in a city where I had been a dealer in years before. Turns out his DMV inspector/officer who inspects your dealer opperation was the same one who used to hang at my classic car shop and dealership some because he said it was one of the only dealers where he was certain there would not ever be a conflict of interest in his enforcement. ( he is the guy who can shut you down).
    So I called him up, told him the facts. He visited the dealer in his jurisdiction who was on the other side of the country from us. All of a sudden my customer /friend got a call from a nice now dealer that said no problem, I'll be happy to take the car back, and he did.

    So there it is. A classic car dealer providing some worth.

    I will also buy cars from people who do need money today for a situation they have gotten themselves in. I always tell people what I can pay today cash, but never beat up their car. Always say no pressure, sell it higher if you can. Then get back with me if you want. I provide a service to cash out I'd you want, when no one else steps up to the plate. Usually the car is listed where anyone else could offer a higher price. I provide a valuable service to someone when no one else will step up to the plate. Ask the guy who gets to keep a roof over his family's head because he could pay his bills now.
    Or they just want to cash out today without the hassles and headache.

    Or, I sell cars for or buy cars from people who just don't have the time, or don't want the headaches of the general public.
    Dealers usually in my experience are more straightforward by far then the public. ( and that my friend, is a extremely sad but true fact, even after conceding your description of most dealers ) They might get you a little if they can, but I don't usually leave looking at a car wondering my lord, how could someone describe this car as a show car when it is a absolute junker.

    But there are good and bad everywhere, just hold the few great people tight, and run from the rest as fast as you can.
    *There are still a couple of million great people worldwide out of everyone else when you add them all up. That is a lot! I bet a lot of them are on The Hamb. :)

    p.s. The Hamb Rules, and I have way more worthless posts then classifieds here. I am here for the hobby/addiction. And, you guys have been great over the years. I should probably post more in the classifieds here, but I like to keep the hobby / work separation.

    p.s.s. Better not look at what I am selling right now on my website.

    Keep having fun!

  26. sawzall
    Joined: Jul 15, 2002
    Posts: 4,679


    interesting to note who HASN'T posted on this thread...
  27. SaltCityCustoms
    Joined: Jun 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,210


    I talked to a dealer in Denver once, I wanted to look at a car in his lot and the first reply I got was "do you have any cash" my response "well not in my pocket but I would like to look at the car" to which he said "I'll show you the car when you come back with money" I responded with some vulgar language and told him there's no way anyone would come here with a briefcase full of money just to view a car.
  28. screwball
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 1,761


    Just as a side note read 90% of any of the 4 door posts that ever show up and it seems like almost every one is a dealer.
  29. povertyflats
    Joined: Jan 8, 2007
    Posts: 8,247

    from Missouri

    A perfect example of a dealer bringing something to the table in our hobby right there.
  30. 57Custom300
    Joined: Aug 21, 2009
    Posts: 1,288

    from Arizona

    I'm a bit biased here. After spending 40yrs in a Ford dealer (on the mechanic end) I've seen some cruel stuff. It seems like it has gotten worse as time has passed. I agree with Ryan but I'm sure there are some good dealers out there.

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