I put the Toyota Highlander on the market about a month ago, and this was the first hit i got! And to be honest, I almost just deleted it from the inbox because it sounded pretty “scammy”.
The guy had emailed me 3 different times overnight, and from 2 different emails, requesting different times to come and see the car! If that wasn’t enough to sound the fraud alerts, what he wrote in one of them was “…if I like the car I’m ready to make the payment on Monday or Tuesday wire transfer or cashier check.” I was like hollllllllllllld up…
I’ve heard plenty of stories of people getting scammed over Craigslist, and i sure as hell wasn’t going to be one of them. I also thought it was pretty interesting that CL had added to the top of these emails a warning stating explicitly “** Beware: cashier checks, money orders, escrow, shipping”.
So needless to say i wasn’t putting much thought into meeting the buy Saturday morning, and to make it worse i was hella sick with the flu :( But to make a long story short(er), i met w/ the guy and his “business partner” and we did the whole checking/test-driving/questioning routine – esp me, because i wanted to see if they were legit and if they were serious enough to drop cash (which i was adamant on in this case).
One of the guys started bartering w/ me right away – a sign that they wanted it – but wanted to offer between what KBB (Kelly Blue Book) considered a “trade in” and a “private party” value. Were they on crack? Yes my car wasn’t in the excellent condition as KBB was showing at $19,900 (my advertised price), but it was a good starting point to bargain down. The trade in value was set around $15,000 ish….pshhhhh, did they know who they were dealing with ;)
We went back and forth, back and forth, and they ultimately wanted an answer from me right there on the spot. But i needed time to think about it, and for once in my life i said exactly that – I needed a few hours to think it over w/ my wife (wierd!) and I’ll get back to them….it took saying it 3 or 4 times for it to sink in, but they finally agreed to it. Having read The Millionaire Next Door really helped me during this process!
To make the rest of the story short(er), we went back and forth on negotiations over 3 days, and came to a settlement. By this point, it was pretty evident they were serious buyers, and were pretty wealthy in there “side business”, which i don’t even WANT to know about! haha, and we agreed to the selling price of $18,900. It was $1k lower than i would have liked in a perfect world, but the tires needed to be replaced, it needed a new alignment, and there def. wasn’t a line forming to check it out, so it worked.
We met up on Tuesday morning, him with his $19k in cold hard cash (yikes)! And me w/ another Credit Card check to pay off the remainder of the $4,300 left on the loan. As I did w/ my Cadillac, I locked in a rate at 3.4% by calling USAA first, and it will last for 1 year until setting back to my normal rate of 5% (prime).
You might think it’s pretty stupid to sell the car at a loss, which you’d be partly right, but for me it works. My ultimate goal is to have $0 car payments by driving an older car, and saving/investing the $450 i would normally be shelling out for the Highlander. So now, instead of paying $5,400 a year ($450×12), I could SAVE $5,400 a year! Of course, this first year will be used to pay off BOTH c/c xfers, but once complete i’ll be smooth sailing :) Plus, I will get back a little over $1,000 when I cancel my extended warranty and the tire/wheel package, which always helps.
It was either this, or wait another few months till winter and put it on the market again, but it would still drop in value around the same, if not more, than what i pay off it each month. At least that’s what i tell myself :)
So the long, and sickening (literally), weekend of bartering paid off. I am now back to having one car, a clearer mind, and a full on gameplan! I start paying off the $7,400 I now have in credit card debt next week – when my car payment used to be due – and Operation No Car Payment is in effect!
Here’s how I got to this point:
– It’s up for sale and everyone’s hatin’
– I bought the Cady and slapped it on my credit card!
– I might by a new car!! I’m sexcited ;)
– Thinking about selling my SUV – should i do it?
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!