Scew the car sale

 Hi fellow travellers,

After almost 11 month of travelling in South America we would like to share our experience about buying and selling a car in Chile.
Because we would decide different now.

Buying was the easy part. We knew that we have to spend a couple of Euro on repairs before we could start. Our main concerns were reliability and popularity. The car should be easily repairable, even in remote areas. Not a fancy car, not a high tech car and not necessarily a beauty. It's a used car so an "ok" condition was "ok" for us. ..

But selling was a completely different story...

It will be always on your mind in the last month of your trip. If you are going to buy a car in Chile, it is very likely that you have to sell it in Chile as well. Welcome to the other side...

In the beginning it was quite fun. Lots of interested people. I like qualities like reliability, trust and honesty. But during the "selling process" until the end these qualities became more and more short. At least that's how I felt. It sucks not to be in an equal negotiating position as a buyer in this particular situation.

Let me explain it:

People keep asking all sorts of odd questions like

"Please give more info"
Hey it's all in the description. Read it and tell me exactly what you want to know!

"Does your car fit for my travel needs?"

Well, I don't know what your travel needs are...

"How does it work with buying a car. What about the RUT ?"

Learn to use search engines or ask Siri ! I'm not your information centre which saves you a lot of time doing your own research. Do your homework!

What is better. Gasoline or Diesel?"

Well, what do you like more. Again, this is your homework.

You don't tell people what you really think. Because you are still hoping to make a deal. You spend a lot of hours and energy in politely answering all these mails, no matter what. And when they got their information

  • ​"Thank you but I changed my mind"
  • " I'm sorry to inform you...I decided for an other car."
  • "Well, I think we just use a rental car "....... (Yes, sure.....)

"But hey …thanks for your help! Great man! I appreciate! Good luck with selling the car!!

You will also meet some straightforward persons where communicating is fun and sometimes it is just not working out because of dates and locations. But come one...telling the price of the car is too high after exchanging 5 mails is sort of ridiculous. The price is clearly visible! You should be aware of it in the first place. So why waste my time if you cannot afford the car. This is not fair.

This happens quite often...

So....if you are the nice guy, decide wisely what you want to answer and how much time you want to spend on it. You can be pretty sure, you are not the only one who is asked about all sort of things.

After all the experience with, lets call them fake buyers, you are becoming more and more suspicious with every new mail. The hard part is to find the right guy between all those others, who has a real solid interest in your car and react accordingly.

If you finally found Mrs./Mr. Right: Let the negotiating begin..

Even if you agree on a price, most people don't want to pay a deposit. Instead they want to see your car before all other people. Which means that you just have their word...and promise...? Well, thanks for that! I am driving thousands of miles to your location just on your word...

Sometime, but not very often, they also expect you to change your plans totheir needs because: "Hey...I'm the buyer...eventually...You should give me priority service and forget about all of your plans. If you want to sell the car you better be at my place in time…"

As a buyer I can understand doubts regarding a deposit. But I experienced the overlander community as quite trustful. Even when it's difficult there is always a legal way to get your money back.

We already had our return flight. Usually flight tickets tend to be cheaper if you book in advance. As we know now... a big mistake.

Well, you can pay some money to change the date of your flight later. But you still don't know how much time you need to sell the car. In fact, the airlines also wants to have a notice 10-14 days in advance. Otherwise it's a lot more expensive.

That money you can also spend on some discount for selling the car faster and in time. So no big win on that idea.. So you end up sitting at the airport/hostel waiting for cheap flights or you have a specific time schedule to sell the car.
Usually the buyer knows that as well....

As a seller you would like to have some security that the buyer shows up and pays most of the price you agreed on.

No matter how many emails you have exchanged, no deposit, no security on both sides. Without a deposit you end up looking for other buyers as well, because you don't know if the guys shows up or starts negociating the price again once he sees the car.

You will sell your car to the first guy who is willing to put the money down. There is no doubt, that buyer does the same and looks meanwhile for other cars. If he finds one he likes better, you are out.

You just want to be sure that you can enjoy the end off your trip without having too much trouble about getting rid of your car. But you end uphaving the opposite.

You may say, that's part of the game. You should have known that before.
Don't cry big baby. ..

Yeah you are right. We knew that this situation will come. But we never imagined that I will be such -let's say it honestly- a pain in the ass. It will be always on your mind during the last weeks of your travels and you have to deal with it constantly. did it end in our case?

Well...we have mixed feelings. The good part was, we sold it with only minor problems. The guy showed up, had the car checked in a garage and payed most of the price But trust can be a tricky bitch….

In our case we had 2 potential buyers. One solid interest right from the beginning and a couple who contacted us around two weeks before the end of our trip. Next to some interested people waiting in Santiago.

Our experience:

DO NOT trust anybody before the money is in your bank account.
DO NOT tell other people that you sold the car until you have the money in your bank account.

Some people tend to "think it over" on a short notice, even if you agreed on a price, closed it by shaking hands and already made an appointment with the notary on the following day…In my line of work a handshake is as good as a signature. If you back away from it you only do this once and you're out of business.

This happened to us…after making a deal, shaking hands, making and appointment with the notary on the following day we received a messages at night about reducing the price 10 hours before the signature. Right after we told other people that we sold the car.

Back then we thought it is only fair to tell them right away, so they can concentrate their efforts on others cars. This was not a good idea and clearly our error in reasoning.

So, at some point there is a possibility that you are running out of options and you have to take what you can get. This isn't quite a satisfaction.

If we do such a journey ever again, and it definitely seems so, we are going to ship the car in both directions. Which means you can build your dream car with your dream equipment at home. You can make a proper check-up and you have enough time to look for best prices. And as a bonus you don't have to worry about taxes or technica revisas (Except the port fees)

I also like the idea of not to worry about finding a buyer, thinking about return flight dates and locations. If you are sick of traveling go and book a place on a ship, book your flight back home, arrive at the port in time - done. You can do all this in your own pace, nobody else is troubling you.
(And hopefully the transport of your car is going well)

No worries until the end of your trip, no emails to answer, no negotiations, no uncertainty, no stupid questions....It will cost you a fair amount of money, of course. But I think it is worth not to have all those troubles in order to enjoy your trip until the end.

At least this goes for me now. To sit in a hostel waiting to sell the car, driving across the country will cost you money as well. Nobody can tell you for sure that you don't have to spend a similar amount of money on a discount to be able to sell your car right before you have to catch your plane back home.

I'm happy for the drivetheamericas forum. I really am. No questions about that, honestly!! Thanks for their great work!!
But it will be a once in a lifetime experience...At least in the cars for sale category.

I'm sure other people feel different about it. And I am honestly happy for them!!
It is just not working out for me and maybe for others as well

Magische kleine Helferlein....
Car repair maniacs

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