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Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Online auctions are a used car nightmare

SECONDHAND Rovers are about as desirable as secondhand socks. That’s one of two lessons I’ve learned this week. 

The other’s a bit of a cautionary tale when it comes to flogging cars. It’s the third occasion I’ve cast my net into the deep, murky waters of cyberspace, and it’s the third time that the only catch I’ve landed are buyers who prove to be a nightmare.Why did I ever abandon the calm waters of The Southport Champion’s classifieds? 

This sorry story started on a still summer’s afternoon, when my trusty old Rover sailed through its third MOT. Yet even I knew the old dog couldn’t last forever, as the increasingly noisy gearbox in particular proved. With that in mind I put her up for sale, sure that a Rover fan out there somewhere – and I know, because I am one – would want to give it a good home.

I might as well have been flogging a pair of Victor Meldrew’s old Y-fronts, as it turned out. The classic car people, despite my best pleas, were unmoved by a cheap Rover, while a stint on a Facebook forum specialising solely in cars for less than £500 attracted precisely zero enquiries. As the weeks drew on and the prospect of the insurance running out loomed, I turned to the dark side and listed it on an online auction site. 

It sold in less than ten minutes, but I was about to relearn a valuable lesson. In online auctions, you have to deal with whichever punter puts up the money first. 

Any noble thoughts of the Rover “going to a good home” quickly vanished – this was a guy who didn’t want to pick up the car tomorrow, but “tomoz”. Or rather, it would have been had “tomoz” not been a day that constantly got moved back to suit his schedule. Eventually, a car breaker from Brum showed up a week later – and was completely disinterested in the pile of paperwork I’d spent three years accumulating. All he wanted to do was get his dirt-cheap car onto the back of his low-loader. 

The chap got his car and I got my money, but I couldn’t help but recall the bloke who refused to buy a scooter from me years ago because a scratch was bigger in real life than he’d interpreted it to be in the pictures, or the man who spent ages playing a hugely stressful game of will-he-won’t-he over whether to buy my MX-5. The internet is great for all sorts of things, but it’s also full of idiots who want automotive perfection for less than £500, and will happily throw all the grief your way if they don’t get it. 

Some things are better done the old-fashioned way. Flogging cars is one of them.

7 comments:

  1. Second hand car auction in online is bit of competitive bid.Because online bid means there will be some famous car will auctioned so there will be high competition for that bid.Rover is the luxurious car and it is best to buy the car in second hand.The auction good for the used car but it should be meaningful auction.Once it is happened in Bangalore in India,there will be a heavy competition for the car but it is the old car.Second hand car dealer in bangalore

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