What is it about selling cars that brings out the sleaze in people?
Francesca needed wheels so we started searching the Internet for a good, used car. The ‘net sites divide sellers into two groups, “dealers” and “private owners”. We prefer the latter because the cars are cheaper and more important, you can explore the soul of the person who cared for the car.
Rotten souls were everywhere. Most of the “private owners” turned out to be dealers pretending to be private owners. You’d find out quickly by asking, “I’m calling about the car for sale?” and their responding with, “Which one?”.
To these charlatans, “low miles” means under 200,000. They are unable to come up with “vin numbers” that allow you to learn the car’s history on the Internet. The car wheels are painted with shiny black paint that is supposed to make them look new.
These jerks made us so angry.
The worst was a Broward County guy who was said he was selling a little Honda from his home. His residence turned out to be what looked like a crowded bookie joint located in a warehouse.
There were no cars for sale in sight. To see the car you came for you had to pay a $25 per person shopper's fee. We were told if we didn’t like the first car we could bid on one of thousands being sold at auctions all over the country. They would do out bidding for us for an additional $500 fee. You could see pictures of a zillion cars, impossible to touch, smell, or see if there were cigarette burns in the upholstery.
Young men wearing thick, gold jewelry were anxious to assist us. We suspected they were packing heat so we politely made our way to the door.
A miracle happened a few days later. I called “Eric” in Fort Lauderdale. When I asked the magic question, (“I’m calling about your car for sale”) he replied, “Yes, we still have it”.
It blew my mind.
After suffering so many used car salesmen I was almost speechless. I nearly said, “Fine, we’ll take it!”. Then, I realized we’d better visit his Toyota Prius first. When we got there we learned the car belonged to Eric's89-year-old dad. He had barely driven it. We cut a deal and headed home,
We’ve never had a car with a TV in the instrument panel before. This one told us we were getting 52 m.p.g. as we headed south.
That was great but saying "so long" to the used car scene was even better. We have one for sale in our driveway now (a '99 Subaru!). Feel free to pay it a visit. We'll even waive the usual $25 fee.
West Texas Alien Landing along with a few other summer shots...