Hammer Time: Trading Cards, Tradin’ Cars


the All Star recruits. Hall of Fame.

They were the only three types of baseball cards I thought were worth trading as a kid. I was eight years old, but that didn’t stop my three older brothers from diligently educating me and knowing the ropes of other similar hobbies like comic books, coins, and stamps.

The exercise was simple. Every time someone wanted to exchange letters with me, I asked them a simple question.

“What’s your favorite team? From there, I’d pull out a scrapbook loaded with baseball cards. All in mint condition and wrapped in plastic sheeting. “Pick your favorites!” They’d pick theirs and I’d go through their collection, find most recent cards in mint condition and would collect mine.

More than 30 years later, I do the exact same thing with cars. I sell based on interest and buy based on long-term condition and reliability. I’m still not loyal to one make or model these days. For me, even after all these years, the ability to buy and sell any car comes down to three simple concepts learned in my youth.

State, presentation and price.

Every car has its price, and it is the condition and presentation that determines the value.

Unpopular vehicles can be a cheapskate’s dream. But that’s a seller’s nightmare.

Three-door minivans? Buy them cheap, sell them fast, and avoid them like a painful venereal disease. A cheap car with little demand always takes up space for too long. Y2K era non-sport wagon base model with 5 gears? Same deal.

Low-demand, low-performance cars generate low net returns. Even if you’re a greedy bastard. In terms of baseball cards, these are the common players that no one wants. The Chicken Stanleys who serve as cardboard fodder for the Jeff Bagwells.

Camrys and Accords? You have to pay a premium for bonds, and unless you’re financing, better get one with no major accidents. What sells for cash at this “all-star” level is the mint condition version.

You can get away with selling a popular car with a difficult history to people with bad credit. Every time I see someone struggling with an expensive car, I think of the dealers who could never hold their cards for long. There was always something a little newer and more popular that caught their eye, and it was my job to figure out what that would be.

Baseball cards and cars sell for roughly the same thing.

1) Always offer a story.

People always buy three things when buying a used car. the model they want. The previous owner they prefer and the maintenance history they want. Even if you don’t offer anything miscellaneous like “I bought it two years ago from an older man who lives in Pawtucket,” the potential buyer will usually appreciate that there is less uncertainty in his vehicle’s history. .

2) Sell yourself.

If you present yourself as an honest and knowledgeable (or at least knowledgeable) guy, you’ll be a big step ahead of the 90% or more who are too scared or too corrupt to do the same.

3) Don’t be afraid to say a car is in an accident. Everything has flaws.

In fact, telling people exactly what happened can be a great way to affirm points 1 and 2. A VW Beetle TDI I recently sold had an accident on the driver’s side that required painting the door and replacing a front panel. By showing what was done, emailing the Carfax history beforehand, and detailing who did the repair, I was able to show buyers that I had nothing to hide.

This franchise alone often gives you a price premium over vendors who just push through everything. When I sold cards, I brought up the little flaws and it often made the other person feel like they weren’t being duped.

4) Clean the fucking thing! Please!

Have you ever gone to a junkyard and seen all the wonderful memories left behind by the last owner? Well, the junkyard doesn’t have to worry about those fond memories.

But you definitely have to.

The next owner probably won’t want that Hello Kitty CD holder on the visor. All that stuff that falls apart in the glove box? Eliminate them and reorganize what you have so you can give them a maintenance history that they can physically keep. You’d have to wash the car, vacuum it, and invest in a spray primer or quick wax with about an hour of time to remove the stains and marks.

A pristine baseball card was always the best buy for my clients growing up, and a clean car is no different.

5) If the car doesn’t sell immediately, research the market.

Edmunds, Kelly Blue Book, NADA, and even dealer-focused pricing guides like Black Book and Manheim Market Report all have one thing in common.

These are rough approximations based on imperfect data…and more often than not, these imperfections are due to the seller’s exaggerated idea of ​​the condition of their vehicle.

Everyone is a victim of it at one time or another. Even the dealers. Even her servant. Most sellers tend to list their vehicles in clean condition, even if their vehicles are somewhere between average and terrible. If you don’t see any action there, forget about the price guides. Look at how the competition sets the price for the same type of vehicle. The market always tells you things that price guides miss.

6) Photos, photos and more photos.

Take pictures of everything before advertising…. and take multiples. I’ve often found that early mornings provide the best time when shadows and glare from the sun have the least impact on my photos. Cloudy days are also perfect for this purpose. So be sure to take pictures of everything; especially the nearby areas that are not perfect.

If a seller is already comfortable with the price, showing them the cosmetic issues now will eliminate the desire for a lower price when you see those flaws in person.

7) Organize the sale: Deed of sale, money, title, license plate and keys

A lot of people struggle with car sales because it’s an organization game. You need to put it all together and understand the sequence of events so that the transaction flow is always moving. Handshake. Answer the questions. Give them physical records of the car’s history. Let them spend time with the car. Be patient. Leave them alone. Give them space.

When you’re organized, you can afford to be relaxed and observant. People like it because it means you pay attention to them and put their needs first. When trading baseball cards, the visual pleasure alone was enough to keep me and the other person busy. With cars, there are more steps, but the same human elements of the transaction apply.

When you’re organized, in anything, it’s easier for both parties to enjoy the experience. It also keeps you honest because you don’t have to figure things out on the fly.

I’m wrong? Is the four squares method of handling customers more effective than being a man, doing your best, and staying organized?

Let me know…

Source : thetruthaboutcars.com

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