The 5 Worst People You Meet When Buying a Used Car

#2. The Guy Who Doesn't Want to Sell His Car

Did you know there are people selling cars on Craigslist who really don't want to sell their car on Craigslist? Case in point happened to me the other week. I found a 2000 Honda with 95,000 miles on it for about $3,000. It looked like it was in good shape, and the best part is, it was being sold in my hometown. How wonderful, I thought. He'll be relieved to know it's not some freak from the World Wide Web, but just a local Semitically handsome man he might bump into at the post office.

He posted on a Saturday afternoon and I contacted him within two hours, asking to see it right then. Late Saturday night, he advised he'd call me Sunday. I explained I was seeing a car at 11 a.m. on Sunday, but would gladly come see his before or after. No reply.

On Sunday, after seeing the other car (in the entry below), I contacted him again asking to see the car. It was sold.

Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images
Let's pretend I made this face, because I need a picture here.

Let's recap. I contacted him within two hours of posting and asked to see it right away. He ignored or put me off for 36 hours until he said it was sold. My guess is that he was selling a lemon and didn't want to do that to someone he might see again in his hometown. The other option is that he wanted the thrill of posting his car to Craigslist without selling it. Kind of like guys who like it when other men leer at their wife. Incidentally, his wife was also on Craigslist and totally put out.

#1. The Decent Guy

It's hard to believe, but it's true: You can meet some decent people selling used cars. One gentleman was selling his elderly mother's 1997 Honda Civic for about $2,500. The car was driven infrequently for years and only had about 100,000 miles on it. According to him, it was a "cream puff!"

I'd never heard that term before, so I looked it up, and it turns out a "cream puff" is not just an antiquated gay slur (which was my first guess, this being Craigslist and all) but also a term for an old car in excellent condition. He answered my inquiry promptly. He used full sentences, and everything was smooth sailing. Images
Man, this boat is a cream puff.

We met at an agreed location, and I looked over the car. It was in very good condition, but not excellent. Still, it was an acceptable embellishment. His asking price was based on trade-in value rather than Blue Book's suggested third-party sale rate. Again, acceptable. The AC worked and the car drove well. If he would bring the price down to about $2,000, we had a sale.

Then this gentleman disclosed to me that when there was heavy rain, the driver's side occasionally got damp. I researched that. It's a Civic thing. If it's wet with rainwater and not a coolant, then it's probably rust damage to the underneath, allowing water to come in. I quickly imagined myself having a mold-induced allergy attack and passed on the purchase. He divulged something that cost him the sale because it was the right thing to do. He was an honest man. A decent fellow. And I found him on the Internet, no less.


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