Ever year around spring time, I decide to do a little cleaning up around my place, and while doing so I find all kinds of car parts tucked in the corners of my closets or inside boxes sitting in my living room. When you live where I do (by the beach with no garage), your apartment doubles as a storage locker. Thankfully, my roommates don’t mind the eyesore, but when the pile starts to get too big, it comes time to start selling some stuff.
I’m not a hoarder by any means — I hold onto parts for good reason. The likelihood that they can be used on a next project car is very high. However, the parts that I deem unnecessary get listed on local forums and Craigslist.
I don’t know if it’s just me, but the business of slinging used car parts has changed quite dramatically lately. For the most part, I find the days of asking fair value (and someone actually paying for it) are all but gone. Now, it’s a dirty game of low-balling and back-and-forth emails until either a reasonable price is reached or I tell them I’d rather burn the part than sell it for that cheap.
What happened to having some courtesy when bartering? Oh right, the Internet came along and now everyone hides behind a monitor with little repercussion. Try low-balling someone at a swap meet, and chances are you’ll be mocked and laughed at. I swear I spend more time replying to low-ball offers than people with legitimate interest. Just recently, I had someone offer me a baby pit bull as a trade for my stock Integra seats, even though my ad specifically said looking for cash only. I guess it’s time I stop responding to these ridiculous emails, but for some reason I think with a witty reply they’ll clue in and maybe I’ll save the next victim from their low-ball crime.
We’re all looking for a bargain — after all, that’s what makes buying used parts so good — but the low-balling must stop.
And it starts with you. Make reasonable offers.
There’s a time and place to make a lower offer, but doing so for every part won’t net you the results you want. Instead, hopefully, you’ll get outed on your local forum and learn your lesson the hard way. I give props to the forums that have low-ball threads and list the perpetrators. Stopping this epidemic will lead to more people actually wanting to sell their parts, rather than just sitting on them because of the hassles that come with it.
My apartment may be cluttered, but I’d rather stare at those parts boxes every day than sell them off to some low-baller. I could be out some cash, but at least I have my dignity.
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