Time Wasters - Torrens 410

By: Glenn Torrens internet time wasters

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Glenn Torrens gets pulled into line by a hero on the internet...or does he?

OHMAHGAWD! I just got called a time-waster by someone selling something on the internet! Oh, the humiliation! Oh the shame!

It was about a VN Commodore/Calais rear window sun-visor that popped up for sale on one of the spliminityteen car-model specific Facebook pages out there today. You know the ones: "Holden Commodore VN-VP-But-Only-With-V6-And-Chaser-Rims" type pages that any kid with a spare three minutes can set up and claim as ‘his’ Facebook page. Anyhow, being a bit of car nut like most of us, I’m on a few of these pages that are devoted to enthusiasts of Commodores, Falcons, Sigmas, some 4WD and camping stuff and of course VWs.

I thought the rear visor – one of those oh-so-80s Aunger black plastic ones – might make a nice addition to my 1989 Holden Calais V8. It was advertised as being in Albury – a long way from where I live, but close to the home of some good mates. Maybe, possibly, potentially, one of my mates could collect and pay ol’ mate with cash or maybe the seller might be able to drop it at a mate’s house, saving us all the hassle of bank transfers and the risk of being ripped off – a growing trend with sales via Facebook pages. You never know – the seller may have quite possibly known or worked with someone I knew. Yes, that has happened to me before!

So I clicked on the FB tab, and up popped the pro-forma message box that FB offers; it is sent to sellers with ‘Hi, I’m Interested In Buying Your XXX". In the message, I asked about the possibility of him travelling to Wagga…? Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t demanding he drop everything and drive the louvre 1.5 hours to Wagga… but if he just happened to do the trip (the same way many people regularly travel Melbourne-Geelong, Sydney-Newcastle, Perth-Freo or Brisbane-Gold Coast) I thought it might make the buying process easy.

He responded quite quickly – it was on a Sunday evening, if I recall correctly – and said he was willing to ship it. Fair enough, but the price of shipping was yet another cost of my owning this louvre – that was already priced at the sharp end of values. And in my bitter experience, big, delicate items such as rear window louvres are at huge risk of damage when they are shipped, unless a carpenter is willing to basically build a frame around said item so it can’t be crushed, squashed, chipped, pierced, twisted, bent or shattered.

So I responded with a ‘Hi thanks but I will pass – Cheers’ and then copped his ‘time waster’ response.

Now, like many people who have tried selling stuff, I too have fallen victim to the classic time-waster. ‘yeah mate, definitely gunna get it', so you organise your day or weekend around having people come look at your BMX bike or garden setting or your car or whatever. Earlier this year, I thought I might become the victim of a timewaster when I sold my race VW: I accepted a deposit for the car… and six months later it was still taking up space in my shed and I began to think the buyer had changed his mind. As you will recall from a couple of issues ago, it turned out alright for me and the race VW is now with its new owner.

But time-waster? I simply made an enquiry. I told him I was concerned about damage. I didn’t tell the seller 'yeah gunna get it, definitely',  and have him sit around on his arse doing nothing all weekend waiting for me to inspect it nor did I ask him to pack it up in a million miles of bubble-wrap and ship it. I didn’t agree to buy it then hit him with the excuse that my wife/mum/dad/mate/scout leader/bank manager said I couldn’t buy it or other dog-ate-my-homework excuses. In fact I didn’t agree to buy it at all.

Whaddya reckon? Drop me a line at uniquecars@bauertrader.com.au


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