Unique Cars - - GARAGE GURUS -

Aaaarghhh! Had one get away the other day. Be­cause I work my own hours and don’t have a boss snoop­ing around, around look ing over my shoul­der from nine to f ive, I can keep a track of es­sen­tia l stuf f (like cars and go-fast bits) as t hey come on to t he mar­ket. That’s t he essence of on­line shop­ping I reckon: Get in early and grab it fast. Let’s face it, t he in­ter web has opened up a whole world of pos­si­bil­i­ties, but equally, it’s opened t hat same world up to a few bil­lion ex­tra buy­ers. So you’ve got to move quick or miss out.

And t he ot her day, I just wasn’t quick enough. I’ve been on the look­out for an R A40 Celica (don’t ask why, I just am, okay?). Any way, a few hours be­fore I was due to drive in­ter­state and v isit my dear old mum, an R A40 turned up on an on­line sa les site. The price was right, t he con­di­tion looked good and it was lit­era lly just around the cor­ner from Ma’s house. Meant to be, right? Wrong. I col­lared t he phone and rang t he seller, only to be told I’d missed out by min­utes. Bug­ger.

Nat­u­rally, I told t he bloke t hat if t he sa le fell t hrough (and ask an on­line seller how of­ten t hat hap­pens) to give me a bell and we’d ta lk. Never heard from him again. So, not only did t he per­fect car, in t he per­fect place squeak past me by min­utes, it a lso at­tracted t he only ot her se­ri­ous R A40 buyer in t he countr y. As I said: Bug­ger.

Gen­er­ally spea k ing, I’m a bit luck ier t han t hat. Some­times I don’t even k now I need a par­tic­u­lar car un­til it f inds me (usu­ally through some ran­dom, rando round­about way). way) But when it does, does if I’m cashed up, I don’t mess about. Oh, I k now a ll about t he t heor y of hang­ing the seller out to dr y and mak­ing them sweat on t he sa le, tempt­ing t hem to drop t heir price in des­per­a­tion. But I’m over t hat crap. If t he car is right and t he price is rea­son­able, I’m a ll in. Which is not to say I never hag­gle, but if you’ve done your due dili­gence on what t hings are worth, t he car is eit her priced right or it isn’t. And, fra nkly, I’d rat her won­der if I’d paid maybe a hun­dred or t wo too much while I’m driv ing home in my new car, than go­ing home with­out it and wait­ing to see if any­body out­bids me in some k ind of drive­way Dutch auc­tion.

My ot her tip is to carr y cash and don’t be a smart ypants just be­cause you’re the buyer and he or she is t he seller. Cash ta lks. Sim­ple as t hat. Mean­while, mak­ing t he seller feel small while you strut around point­ing out faults in t he car aint go­ing to get you a big dis­count any time soon. If t he car isn’t what you were hop­ing for, t here’s no point in be­rat­ing t he seller for mis­lead­ing you (un­less they’ve been snea k y about it). Just state your case, tell t hem it’s not for you, rack of f and let t hem get back to t heir life. Don’t leave t hem hang­ing wit h a “I’ll get back to you” un­less you rea lly do in­tend to mull it over and ca ll them back with your de­ci­sion. If you ain’t buy­ing it, say as much; t hey’ll un­der­stand.

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