AF­TER 25 YEARS of deal­ing with cus­tomers, Greg–the boss at my lo­cal parts par­adise, Clas­sic Oz Wreck – doesn’t have much time for id­iots. So it was no sur­prise Greg’s punch-line was “f *** off ! ” as he told me of a cus­tomer who’d of­fered $20 for a Holden head­light switch that Greg was ask­ing $ 30 for.

The head­light switch – a rare one-se­ries only item from the 1960s that Greg had re­moved from the old Holden, tested, and stored for maybe a decade – was in­stantly placed back on the shelf. Af­ter be­ing told what he could do with his money, the scoundrel scrounger was scowled out the door.

I love a bar­gain as much as any­one, es­pe­cially be­cause I spend a con­sid­er­able amount of cash play­ing with my cars and I re­alise that a dol­lar saved now is a dol­lar I can spend later. But three decades of my car hobby has given me the wis­dom to re­alise that some of the parts I’m look­ing for these days– for in­stance for t he early Com­modores I’m play­ing wit h – aren’t avail­able new, are no longer k nee-deep at the wreck­ers and are not yet (and may never be) re-made by t he restora­tion parts com­pa­nies.

So there’s not much chance of me tak­ing the time to visit a spe­cial­ist wrecker’s for a now-rare, no-longer-avail­able, good-con­di­tion com­po­nent es­sen­tial for the restora­tion of a 40- or 50-year-old car, only to lose it by try­ing to scrounge a dis­count of just 10 bucks !

An­other sit­u­a­tion I’ve heard a few times is peo­ple ad­ver­tis­ing too-cheap cars and parts. Of course, peo­ple go feral claim­ing they want it, es­pe­cially on Face­book pages where it’s easy to go ga-ga with­out com­mit­ting any thing more than a click of a com­puter mouse. Of­ten, t he sit­u­a­tion works great for the seller–quick sale; money in pocket; empty yard; happy mis­sus – and for the buyer who has of course scored a good deal.

But some­times the flurry of com­ments has the seller think­ing :“Wow, lots of in­ter­est! Maybe it was too cheap? I think I’ll can­cel the sale and ad­ver­tise again for a higher price ! ”

An­other bloke I know– also named Greg – had a US-im­port Chev Sil­ver­ado buy go that way re­cently. The way Greg tells it, he in­spected the truck and af­ter a hand­shake on a Satur­day, left a fat de­posit and a com­mit­ment to col­lect the Chev dur­ing the week. Job done. Deal sea led !

Well, ap­par­ently, no. A few days later, Sil­ver­ado-boy mes­saged Greg wit h “It’s worth more ! ” and “I wasn’t in a good state of mind when I ad­ver­tised it! ” So it seems – and I hinted at this re­cently when I also wrote about buy­ing and sell­ing stuff–you’ re not al­ways safe even af­ter you’ve seen a ve­hi­cle, agreed to buy and left a de­posit!

What made Greg’s sit­u­a­tion worse was that, with a de­posit and com­mit­ment paid and made, he’d spent Satur­day night on-line or­der­ing big - like, $ 5000 big – on parts to fix, im­prove and ac­ces­sorise t he Chev.

You reckon Greg is happy? Nope !

In the past, that sort of stunt from a seller would have re­sulted in a bloody nose – at least !

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