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Old 15th August 2019, 12:59   #1
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Default Experience: The possible dirty tricks in selling High-End cars (Autobahn)

Some of you might have seen this car posted on the classifieds

Experience: The possible dirty tricks in selling High-End cars (Autobahn)-unadjustednonraw_thumb_147a.jpg


2 Years old, 25000 KMS and excellent condition. It was used for taking children to school. Driver used to baby the car. As the family were moving abroad, they wanted to get rid of the car. I was asked to negotiate the sale and advise the owners office staff on completing the process.

I used CarWale and the Orange Blue Book as well as the current asking price of similar vehicles to arrive at a reasonable asking price – Rs 35 Lakhs. It was about 10% above target price. The market being a challenging, one meant we needed to be realistic and take decisions quickly.

Some lessons learnt:

Fire the Fire Sales Folks – A couple of people rang, they would only come if I accepted Rs 25L. A Tumkur-based person sent some folks over but again offered 25L. Incidentally, the responses for these came from Team-BHP Classifieds.

My Personal Use means My Personal Profit – I dipped my toes into the dark world of agents. One agent who advertises a lot on LinkedIn, offered 27L, sight unseen. Politely told him to find a customer who could pay closer to the target.

Appeal to the Heart but Peel the Pocket – This came from Facebook. Nice guy, who wanted to meet after testing the car but offered Rs 30L. He claimed BMW had newer cars at more reasonable prices. When I called BMW, they had none. Again, the sweet talk, good morning WhatsApp messages, signaled his interest. I clearly told him Rs 32 L. I also noted that he needed to process a loan to buy the car so things might not happen so fast. He was a little upset that I did not give him the last right of refusal but again, he was nowhere near the target.

Don’t ignore the Rebuffalo – I had a serious buyer at Rs 30L. I tried to stretch him to Rs 32L. It fell through, I kept in touch with him and found he bought a newer car for Rs 32.5L, which was 9 months newer and half the price with a service pack. That helped in getting to a realistic price target.

Twist and Entrap – This was from CarWale. An individual – first appointment, he never showed up. To cut a long story short, when he messaged again, I gave him the drivers coordinates and told him to contact directly and not to waste our time. Saw the car and liked it. Asked to meet with me.

He comes with a colleague and we meet in a Starbucks – Good Cop, Bad Cop routine.

It was revealed he was an agent (AutoBahn) and was tasked with sourcing a car for someone in Belgaum (actually, it was Mysore, I later realized).

I first demanded to know what the commission expectations were? 2%
I then stated my target asking price.
• They then gave me the usual story on
• New 3GT is Rs 45L
• Car needs a service (oil change due only in 10000kms!)
• New tyres – they were good for 12000kms.

They then stated it would come to Rs 32 L

Great,– shook hand and out comes the cash. I write the receipt and then they say – “No sir, we pay 30L and take commission, Rs 2 L to service the car for our customer!"

Deal Off!

"Okay sir – Rs 30.5L"

No Deal!

20 min later, phone rings, I decide to ignore, it keeps ringing, I picked up .

"Rs 31L - no commission"

Slightly off target but I accept.

After twist over, now for the trap. I get a call later that evening to bring the car to Navnit for an inspection on the following morning. Am asked to arrange for the new owner to be able to access the service records. I get the office to do this.

Note: Sale has been agreed but no advance paid, so my antennae are on alert. I have forwarded the bank details to complete the transaction. We offered to take the complete payment and close the loan out if they wanted immediate delivery.

Now came ways to entrap and chip on the price.

Entrapment Technique 1 - The Oily Boy - Autobahn says new owners wants the oil changed 10000km earlier. I refused to pay for it. I told the driver not to allow any work on it unless the agent swipes his card in advance with Navnit. I later heard from our driver that the owner never wanted it or decided to defer it.

Entrapment Technique 2 – Waylay – While our office was planning to close the loan with BMW finance directly, Autobahn starts initiating this. I was apprehensive that the agent might be planning a processing fee for this.

We made a headstart and ensured the final amount tallied.

Round 1 to us

However the remainder amount had to be paid and the dealer wants to take the car to “Belgaum” on that day. We are provided with the RTGS UTR number and the dealer wants the car taken to his showroom. Driver on my instruction tells them to go to our office. We refuse to release car until BMW confirm loan closure.

Buyer whimpers and goes back to Mysore (it was not Belgaum). The office promises to deliver the car to him.

Game, Set and Match!

Con-catinate the Buyer – RTGS confirmed, the driver and an office staff member deliver the car to Mysore and collect the rest of the money. The Dealer has instructed them to deduct Rs 50000 from us. I get a call and cry halt!

The new buyer speaks to me and clarifies our terms. He will honour our requirements but he is peeved as he has paid much more than what we are getting but “A commitment is a commitment”. I felt like telling him next time call me!

We agree that he holds Rs 50000 until he receives the Loan NOC and the second key (locked away in the owners residence) and that we deal directly with him.

A bit of a long story but just wanted to share this. Handling this for a good friend meant an extra responsibility without compromises. Other lessons learnt
  • Be Firm
  • Be Realistic
  • Be decisive
  • Eyes wide open
  • You don’t need to be forced into anything at anytime.
  • Trade off on Ability to pay vs Target Price

Last edited by ajmat : 15th August 2019 at 23:06.
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Old 15th August 2019, 15:03   #2
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Default re: Experience: The possible dirty tricks in selling High-End cars (Autobahn)

Ajmat, Thank you for sharing your experiences in a lucid easy to grasp manner.

The hope for a fair price and the desire for a little extra are the two wheels on which the second hand car sale industry runs and makes a nunnu out of some of us sometimes. Given the compliance need to ensure that the buyer registers the sold car in his name and my need for minimum effort and fuss I zeroed in, 20 years ago, onto a local trader who wraps up the inspection & price on Day 1 and the physical purchase & payment on day 2 and in about 2 weeks sends proof of change of registration. Only shortfall is that the car inevitably gets sold for 20% lower price than what I could have got if I made all the effort myself. i guess we all make our compromises. I invariably sell my cars after a 10 year+ run by which time the price is in the boondocks in any case.
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Old 15th August 2019, 15:33   #3
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Default re: Experience: The possible dirty tricks in selling High-End cars (Autobahn)

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Ajmat, Thank you for sharing your experiences in a lucid easy to grasp manner.

Only shortfall is that the car inevitably gets sold for 20% lower price than what I could have got if I made all the effort myself. i guess we all make our compromises. I invariably sell my cars after a 10 year+ run by which time the price is in the boondocks in any case.
Thanks, I might point out that the 20% differentiation a 10 year old car might be relatively less than the time/effort expended. In this case, the differential was probably much higher, also it was someone else car, I could have taken my own call for a lower price but I value my friendships!

Last edited by ajmat : 15th August 2019 at 22:10.
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Old 16th August 2019, 10:22   #4
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Default Re: Experience: The possible dirty tricks in selling High-End cars (Autobahn)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post

I was asked to negotiate the sale

Some lessons learnt:
Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post

Given the compliance need to ensure that the buyer registers the sold car in his name
I zeroed in onto a local trader who in about 2 weeks sends proof of change of registration.
Only shortfall is that the car inevitably gets sold for 20% lower price
Adding to Ajmat's well penned experience and V.Narayan's no-fuss approach here are my experiences:

1. I have helped several friends and relatives buy and sell their wheels with no kickbacks

2. Have used on line selling platforms to sell machines that I was directly responsible for. My first filter here would be to gauge the potential buyer through his/her messaging and that would filter out approx 90% of the rats.I would give NO IMPORTANCE to buyers who would try to quote upfront.

To the balance 10%, I would share a temporary number with them to ensure that I don't get harassed later.

I would try to meet them at a neutral place very close to home and would post a friend closeby to monitor the proceedings.

The next assessment is done when they come to see the vehicle, and that would indicate their willingness to conclude the sale /time pass approach.

Despite all this filtering, I have ended up taking back one car twice because the buyers would chicken out; and I did so after i verify that no damage has been done to the car and I have deducted a nominal amount for usage.

A group of bikers came to see a Royal Enfield 350 Thunderbird that was directly my responsibility to sell, and one of them started coining stories about why the rear wheel is bald because of doing wheelies. Anyways they were trying to low ball and I told them that I would get back to them after consulting the owner, which I never did.

Another buyer bought one car and the following day called to say the car was vibrating at 80-90kmph on the highway. I went to their location by bus, 200km away, tested the car and explained to them what was wrong -just wheel balancing got done and all was well.

Such pain points aside, I have become good friends with over half the people who bought the machines I've sold, and I keep giving them tips on maintenance too. It costs nothing but helps earn a lot of goodwill.

3. I agree with V.Narayan's approach on taking a small hit on resale for some peace of mind; it is precisely for this reason that I have always directed my friends in Chennai to approach a leading used car dealer in Royapettah Chennai to sell/exchange their cars. Their offers are sometimes pits but ownership transfer is guaranteed.

As an example, a 2006 3rd owner Corolla in top condition fetched a quote of 1.7L in 2017 and got sold in 3 hours, with the ownership transfer record in hand in 15 days. The owner could have got 2-2.2L direct but would have had to deal with all kinds of "roll baaz" buyers.
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Old 17th August 2019, 13:16   #5
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Default Re: Experience: The possible dirty tricks in selling High-End cars (Autobahn)

MODS: Please merge this post with the earlier one

Another experience that I came across while selling a car

A person calls from a place 500 km away and gets more details about the car over what I had described in my ad.

Then he explains that he is speaking on behalf of his buyer and he would take 10 grand as commission on an approx 4.2L sale value.

I verify that the guy is indeed a real estate dealer in his town.

I tell him that he can take whatever he wants but I need xx in hand.

He then asks if I could bring the car midway so that they wouldn't need to travel all the way to my city. I said that is not possible, to which he says ok and said he would leave his place at exact 7 am the following day and reach me in 10 hours. I said to myself, "Wow, this is fantastic; never seen such enthusiasm".

The next morning I call up at 8 to find out his whereabouts and he says they are getting ready to leave in 10 minutes and will inform me when they are 4 hours away and again an hour away from my city.

They never turned up.

Last edited by vigsom : 17th August 2019 at 13:18.
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