Selling your car isn’t easy

Someone told me once that you can sell anything…..for a price. All you need is the right combination of a good product and the right pricing and there will be customers out there who want it.
Personally, I’m not a salesman. I couldn’t sell a heater to an Eskimo. I don’t know how you salesmen and saleswomen who are reading this do it for a living. The knockbacks and the constant need to convince people would beat me up too much. You long termers out there have my endearing admiration and respect.
This post isn’t about selling Saabs in general, though. It’s about me selling my Saab. The journey continues.
I placed the ad on the internet last week and have had around one enquiry per day since then. I wasn’t expecting a flood of interest and this trickle is actually good. It’s a pace I can handle.
The ad is visible everywhere, of course, so I’ve received several enquiries from mainland Australia. They’re easy to deal with as you just answer their questions and wait for a response. I’ve also received a couple of local queries, however, and today I had to deal with the first instance of someone having to look over the car.
You might remember that I came to a decision about selling my 1985 Saab 900 T16 Aero because it was a car that I never really felt I’d formed any sort of bond with. Faced with prospect of presenting the car for inspection this evening, I realised that had changed.

As soon as the guy lined up an appointment I found myself feeling hesitant. I went through a very real process of trying to assess him, to see whether I felt him worthy of taking custody of such an important piece of machinery.
The way I see it, we never really own these cars. We just take care of them before handing them on to someone else. Was he going to be a good custodian of this most important piece of Saab history?
I was surprised by my reaction. It’s true, I don’t feel like I’ve formed the same bond with this car as I had with my old 99 Turbo, for example, but I’ve been driving it more in recent times and faced with the prospect of handing it to someone else, I had a lot of second thoughts.
The inspection came and went. He’s a young guy. I think he’s a student at the university here. He hadn’t driven a 900 before but instantly liked it. He has another Saab to look at tomorrow and will give me a call. I think he’s going to buy it, but we’ll wait and see.
I’ve told him that the price is firm. If I’m going to sell then it’s going to be on my own terms, and this is a heck of a lot of car for the money.
Selling something you like isn’t easy. Maybe that’s why Toyotas are so popular. You can’t get attached to them so it’s no trouble to trade them in.
And by the way, the guy who looked at the car tonight complimented me on the photos I took for the ad. It was completely unexpected, but very welcome.
I told you they can make a difference.
Preparing this post made me sort through some numbers. Specifically the number of cars I’ve owned and the number I’ve sold.
I just realised I’m possibly not that good a custodian myself, though hopefully I’m getting better.

  • Holden Gemini – written off.
  • Holden Torana – worn out and wrecked
  • Holden Gemini – trade-in
  • Toyota Celica – trade-in
  • Toyota Celica XX – worn out and wrecked
  • Saab 99E – written off by my ex
  • Alfa Romeo Sprint – sold
  • Saab 99 Turbo (white) – sold
  • Saab 900 Turbo – trade-in on Saab 9000 (still owned)
  • Saab 99 Turbo (red) – sold
  • Saab 99 Turbo (white, again) – sold
  • Saab 9-3 Viggen – written off

Selling the Alfa Sprint was easy. It was dying in a big way. Selling my 16V Alfa 33 today would be very difficult indeed.
Selling the 99Turbo the first time was very painful. I remember having both it and my newly purchased Saab 900 parked together on the street on the day they buyer came to pick the 99T up. I looked at them both and realised with astonishing clarity that I’d made a mistake. That’s why I bought it back a few years later.
Selling the red 99T was easy enough. I’d not had it for long and it had a fuel injection problem that I just couldn’t get around. It was a beautiful car, though. Almost perfect. We needed the room.
Selling the white 99T the second time was sad, but third gear had gone and I just didn’t have the resources to fix it. I’d almost buy that car back today, again, given the chance (G’day Bill).
I hope I’m getting wiser as I get older. I’m certainly looking after my cars better these days.

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