Scoundrel scroungers and hard to get car parts - Torrens 418

By: Glenn Torrens

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Advertising slogans such as 'Down Down, Prices Are Down' have a lot to answer for, reckons Glenn Torrens

What do you reckon?

After 25 years of dealing with customers, Greg – the boss at my local parts paradise, Classic Oz Wreck – doesn’t have much time for idiots. So it was no surprise Greg’s punch-line was "f*** off!" as he told me of a customer who’d offered $20 for a Holden headlight switch that Greg was asking $30 for.

The headlight switch – a rare one-series only item from the 1960s that Greg had removed from the old Holden, tested, and stored for maybe a decade – was instantly placed back on the shelf. After being told what he could do with his money, the scoundrel scrounger was scowled out the door.

I love a bargain as much as anyone, especially because I spend a considerable amount of cash playing with my cars and I realise that a dollar saved now is a dollar I can spend later. But three decades of my car hobby has given me the wisdom to realise that some of the parts I’m looking for these days – for instance for the early Commodores I’m playing with – aren’t available new, are no longer knee-deep at the wreckers and are not yet (and may never be) re-made by the restoration parts companies.

So there’s not much chance of me taking the time to visit a specialist wrecker’s for a now-rare, no-longer-available, good-condition component essential for the restoration of a 40- or 50-year-old car, only to lose it by trying to scrounge a discount of just 10 bucks!

Another situation I’ve heard a few times is people advertising too-cheap cars and parts. Of course, people go feral claiming they want it, especially on Facebook pages where it’s easy to go ga-ga without committing anything more than a click of a computer mouse. Often, the situation works great for the seller – quick sale; money in pocket; empty yard; happy missus – and for the buyer who has of course scored a good deal.

But sometimes the flurry of comments has the seller thinking: "Wow, lots of interest! Maybe it was too cheap? I think I’ll cancel the sale and advertise again for a higher price!"

Another bloke I know – also named Greg – had a US-import Chev Silverado buy go that way recently. The way Greg tells it, he inspected the truck and after a handshake on a Saturday, left a fat deposit and a commitment to collect the Chev during the week. Job done. Deal sealed!

Well, apparently, no. A few days later, Silverado-boy messaged Greg with "It’s worth more!" and "I wasn’t in a good state of mind when I advertised it!" So it seems – and I hinted at this recently when I also wrote about buying and selling stuff – you’re not always safe even after you’ve seen a vehicle, agreed to buy and left a deposit!

What made Greg’s situation worse was that, with a deposit and commitment paid and made, he’d spent Saturday night on-line ordering big - like, $5000 big – on parts to fix, improve and accessorise the Chev.

You reckon Greg is happy? Nope!

In the past, that sort of stunt from a seller would have resulted in a bloody nose – at least!

 

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