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Most car guys want to part with their beloved rides shortly after they are fitted with a toe tag.


“Till death do us part” is not as common in modern marriages, but it is still a game plan for many car guys.


However, circumstances may change the game at some point in life and car guys may be willing or forced to sell their prized wheels.


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Circumstances may include financial reasons, divorce reasons, or maybe even the BB King reason: the thrill is gone.


The need to part ways with your vintage set of wheels also needs to be sprinkled with reality, so we at MSCC want to address the golden rules when you sell your vehicle:


Rule Number 1: Put a price in the car ad. Interested buyers want to see a price tag on the merchandise and they do not want a coy school girl approach to what is essentially a business deal. No price in the ad will make them less interested in your ride.


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Rule Number 1A: Be realistic when it comes to price. The money you spent on your restoration will likely go well beyond your wildest predictions and will not be recoverable in the sale price. Potential buyers will know the market value of your car and will not pay more for it.They are not Mother Theresa and will have about as much sympathy for your cost overrun as a hungry great white shark would have for you in open water.


Rule Number 2: Some rides are harder to sell than others. Four-door sedans are a tough sell, unless they were owned and driven by John Wayne or Dwight Eisenhower. Your own family history with a four-door sedan is irrelevant to the guy who is even mildly interested in it.


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Honestly, he may want to sacrifice the four-door’s body parts for a sexier two door hardtop or convertible. Cannibalism is part of the circle of life in the car hobby and your sedan may simply be a discount parts department.


Rule Number 3: Your very expensive custom ride may be worth a fraction of your investment in it. Custom is a dicey concept because one car guy’s dream ride is another car guy’s four wheeled cartoon ride. That is the way it works with custom rides for car guys and somebody else’s kitchen layout for women.


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Rule Number 4: Use a real camera. Nothing says “I don’t care” more than a blurry cell phone photo-the one with giant black borders because you held the phone the wrong way when you took the crappy picture. These photos show your level of interest and care in the car is marginal on the best of days.



Also, stay out of the picture unless you’re a naked super model. Car photos are not an opportunity for the owner or their family to share the moment with the car. They are simply a jarring distraction to the cold-blooded buyer. Take the photos with this basic idea: you and your family do not come with the car. Unless you and them do.


Rule Number 5: Hide your anger when you write an ad. An aggressive approach to ad copy where you lay down the terms (no dreamers, test pilots etc.) is counterproductive and may steer people away from your ad in favor of a similar ad with a more business-like approach.


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Rule Number 6: Be patient with people. Sales is a tough game, even for salespeople, but you have to be patient with a potential buyer. They are cautious for a reason; they are about to invest in a great unknown with no warranty and they have the right to ask a lot of questions.


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Rule Number 7: Do not get offended by mild criticism about your car from a potential buyer. You may have tied up a ton of dough in the ride, but there will still be issues with the vehicle in the eyes of the customer, some real and some designed to grind you off your price.


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That is part of the sales game and you would be well-advised to avoid taking it personally-tough as that might be at the time.


Heavy criticism is another matter and likely means the guy will try to seriously lowball you on the price. Stay calm and remove these tactless clowns from the sales process without removing their teeth as soon as possible because they are not worth your time.


These are the basic rules for the seller.


The reasons they need to sell their vintage ride may vary, but these simple rules should always apply to the sales game.


Jim Sutherland

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