I”m in a strange mood, or rather: a strange world… Today at 12.21 I put an ad online to sell our car. Five minutes later I was in another world of suspense, deals, money, maybe even crime… About one minute after the ad was online, the phone rang. I could hardly believe it: someone was interested and wanted to negotiate straightaway. So we did, and we agreed he would come by later this afternoon.
Fifteen minutes later, the phone rings again.
‘This is Mark de Boer.’
‘Yes, who is it?’
‘You have a car for sale?’
‘We just called you for it, didn’t we?’
‘O, is it you again.’
‘Well, it was my little brother. Is everything okay? What do you think of the bid we did?’
‘Why do you ask? Do you want to raise the bid?’
‘O, maybe we can add another 50 euro or so. What do you think?’
‘I think we agreed on the deal, you come here and if necessary, we can talk.’
‘Yes, yes. Where did my brother come from, Amsterdam?’
‘I don’t know, he didn’t say.’
‘So he said he was going to come straightaway, right?’
‘And what about the address?’
‘Well, I gave it to your brother, so I guess he will find the way.’
‘O, well, okay. See you later.’
I go out, clean the car a bit, feeling somewhat anxious about what is going on. In the meantime, the phone rings a couple of times. I am very suspicious now. One of the callers wants to make a bid, but I tell him I am already negotiating. He wants me to call off the deal with the other one, but I refuse – afraid it is some kind of trick to test me. At two o’clock, the first caller is there. A trader, nice guy, seems trustworthy but I try not to be naive. He checks the car, and I ask him about the calls. He is not surprised: ‘This is what happens all the time. Did he say I was his brother?’ So he goes on to explain their schemes – basically it is a scam, calling private sellers with tricks to get the address and then pay a visit with three or four guys. Long story short: we agree on a deal; he makes a cash downpayment and will return on Monday to get the car. Ten minutes after he leaves the phone rings again: ‘Hello, De Boer? Did my brother already stop by?’ This time, I pretend I have no clue what he is talking about. He asks about the car. I tell him the car has been sold already. That seems to be enough for him and he hangs up.
So, here I am, uncertain of my current state: am I –
- naive and ripped off (of what?)
- just a witness of the fuzzy world of car trading
- blessed with a very swift deal and a good price?
Update 24/3: it looks like option 3 is the right one. Saturday we said goodbye to the car (and bought another one in the meantime), everything back to normal 🙂