My dad went to sell his car once. The car was a Hyundai Elantra, I think it was a 1998 model. The car was in great shape, as my dad fixed everything that ever went wrong and replaced any broken or worn parts with new parts ordered directly from the factory. He also babied the car, washing and waxing the car on Sunday of each week. The year was 2010, so while the car was anything but new, it really wasn’t all that old.
My dad is such an honest person that he pondered on exactly how much to ask for his car. I remember passing his driveway and looking at his sign. FOR SALE: FIRST $200 TAKES THE CAR!
Nobody answered his ad. He was confused. How could anyone turn down such a great car at such a great deal? I asked if I could sell the car for him, and reluctantly, he agreed. My sign was a bit different.
FOR SALE: ’98 Hyundai in Excellent Condition. All New Parts. Asking price $1500 or Best Offer.
He had ten calls. I was so proud. This guy showed up late Sunday evening, right after my dad washed the car. Unfortunately I wasn’t home at the time, so my dad worked the sale.
The guy oohed and awed, and finally made my dad an offer. He offered my dad $500 for the car. My dad agreed. I would have held out for more money, but my dad and I think differently sometimes. My dad’s way of thinking was that he had the car for a few good years, mostly without problems. He felt that the car had served him well and that he had got his money worth, and he wasn’t out to make any money from the car, he simply wanted to sell it and buy something else. That’s my dad.
Anyway the guy said that he needed some time to come up with the money and asked if he could take the car and bring the money up later in the week. Lets get something straight right away, my dad is a fair man who always looks for the positive, but he ain’t no pushover either. He told the guy that if he wanted the car he had to buy it now, and that he couldn’t hold it for him or anyone else. The guy then asked if there was any sort of Warranty with this car. Buddy, this is a car you are buying for five hundred bucks. A warranty? Was he serious?
My dad was speechless. A warranty on a used car that cost less than $1000? That was crazy! He calmly told the guy to leave his driveway and never look back. Surprised, the guy left. I was lucky enough to be at home the next time someone came looking. I instructed that we didn’t need tire kickers. I assured the guy that the car was a dependable vehicle, but didn’t guarantee anything. He agreed that asking for a guarantee on a used car from a private owner was preposterous, and he was glad to pay the money, the full $1500. Maybe I missed my calling.
A few summers ago we had a garage sale. It was our first and last garage sale. When my lady and I moved in together we had two of everything, so selling the microwave, the color printer, and other household items and equipment was our only solution. Since the printer was out of ink, but still a great printer/scanner/fax machine, I decided to give it away for free. I put a big sign that read ‘Perfectly working Printer. Take it for free.’
I put a price tag of $10 on the microwave. Hell I only bought it a few months earlier and paid $80 for the thing, but like my dad, I didn’t need it so I wanted to get rid of it quickly as I could.
This guy came over. He was looking over the printer. “Free? What’s wrong with it?” he asked. I assured him that it was a perfect printer, all it needed was an ink cartridge. “You trying to rip me off?” he asked. It was free. How could I rip him off by giving it to him for free? He walked away, complaining.
Another guy showed up to look at the microwave. “Ten dollars? What is wrong with it?” he asked. I told him that it was only a few months old and that I didn’t need it anymore. “Ah, I see your game, you are trying to rip me off with this piece of junk.” he said. I told him that it was a good item and that if he didn’t want it to walk away. He did.
Then I thought of my dad and his car. With that, I tore the tape from the microwave and instead of $10, I listed the price for $50. The same guy came back, and when I looked over, he was standing in the lineup with the microwave under his arm bragging to everyone around about the great deal he had found. “Now THIS is a great microwave, much better than that ten dollar piece of crap you tried to sell me.” There is just no help for some people!
Just as the sale was about to end the printer guy came back. He said that he checked online and the exact printer was over a hundred bucks at Walmart. He went on to say that the cartridges were on sale at Futureshop. Then he shocked me. Here he stood, free printer in hand, and had the nerve to ask if we delivered. He lived some four hours away. I wanted to chase him out of the yard with one of the spatulas we were selling.