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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Yes, for the scammers I realize it's about fooling someone into buying a sub par Chevelle for a ridiculously inflated price. Don't these fellas expect to be found out? I just finished a 3 day trip to pre-purchase a Chevelle which was advertised at $49500. The photos of the interior were clearly several years old. The inspection took place on the street, and the list of problems contained 25 major items. The Trans was leaking, the shift from 1st to 2nd was extremely difficult (synchros?). A relatively firm braking action would put you into the curb...at 15 mph! The windshield washer bottle was being used as a coolant overflow. The seats had been sliced to accommodate the wrong bolts...it's an exhaustive list. So the trip cost me over $2000, and while it was certainly educational, I came away VERY jaded about private sellers. This seller told me the car just needed "dialing in" over the phone. He sent me a pic of the title, any photos I requested, and seemed very open and honest. Come to find out, he was not at all honest about the true condition of the car. I thought I had vetted him and asked all the right questions, but obviously I was not critical enough.

Anyhow, enough whining. How do you experts evaluate a car accurately enough to make it worth a flight and hotels?
 

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I'm more trusting of private sellers than dealers.

Not everyone is a cheat. When I sold a classic car, I provided over 100 current photos and spelled out every problem with the car. I turned away potential buyers (a woman looking to buy for her husband and a newbie to the hobby) who didn't know what they were looking at. I found the perfect guy for the car. I sold it for less than what it was worth. But I slept well after.

I think before you spend the travel money again you should ask for many date stamped photos or videos. If the seller balks, then walk. Or pay somebody on this forum closer to the car to look it over for you. There are guys here who do that. For the amount you are looking to spend it would be worth it IMHO.
 

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Having a third party inspection would save some time/money.
As for me, I would drive 500 miles max one way to inspect a car for myself.
 

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I left a hunert buck deposit with an eBay seller in Tennessee. Within an hour, I had a fellow forum member at his place looking it over. The car had some issues no one could ever see, but the solid bones were confirmed by my friend and I bought it.
 

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I limit my range to a 3-5 hour drive one way. I can find just about anything within that range living in Tennessee. When I lived in Florida it was different. But if it is the exact car you have been chasing after and it is a plane ride away, I agree- more photos and have someone nearby inspect it, even if you have to hire a professional.
 

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Not defending seller but some people are not car people that buy classics and just have no idea about anything. Probably have no idea how to drive and he could be the reason trans is having issues. Not sure if this guy thought you would buy sight unseen?? Maybe he was a scammer though and thought you wouldn’t know what your looking at but in my mind if someone was paying 2k to come look at the car I’m figuring they know what to look for.
 
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When looking for my Chevelle. I’d ask for running and driving videos or FaceTime before making a trip. I flew to Minnesota for a view, car had issues. Drove to Florida 3 times for different views, all had issues. Finally flew to Boston area for a win, shipped it home. Patience for the right car. It will pop up when least expected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm more trusting of private sellers than dealers.

Not everyone is a cheat. When I sold a classic car, I provided over 100 current photos and spelled out every problem with the car. I turned away potential buyers (a woman looking to buy for her husband and a newbie to the hobby) who didn't know what they were looking at. I found the perfect guy for the car. I sold it for less than what it was worth. But I slept well after.

I think before you spend the travel money again you should ask for many date stamped photos or videos. If the seller balks, then walk. Or pay somebody on this forum closer to the car to look it over for you. There are guys here who do that. For the amount you are looking to spend it would be worth it IMHO.
Thank you, the date stamped photos are an excellent idea. Of course, not every private seller is a thief. I am an FFL (gun dealer) as my side hustle. I know the only way to beat the big stores is to provide customer service and honesty. I always under promise and over deliver. So again, the question arises: why do some of these fellas think they can get away with it?
 

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Because there are non-car guys out there with deep pockets and a lack of experience who simply must have the latest trend.
That's one reason, it's the buyers that are inflating the prices of driver cars.
 
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I must be living right...got pretty lucky. Did not have to deal with the scammers when I was looking for my 70SS. Knew what I wanted and called a friend I had not seen in years. Knew he was into muscle cars. Told him what I was looking for...70 SS396 with build sheet, TH400, matching numbers, posi, original wheels and interior, etc. The more original the better. Turns out he had it and was selling. Only 10 miles from my house. I really wanted the red, but ended up with the cortez silver which I really like too. So my story was pretty unusual and luck must have been involved. He was glad it was going to a heated and AC'd shop where he can stop and visit it too.
 

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Thank you, the date stamped photos are an excellent idea. Of course, not every private seller is a thief. I am an FFL (gun dealer) as my side hustle. I know the only way to beat the big stores is to provide customer service and honesty. I always under promise and over deliver. So again, the question arises: why do some of these fellas think they can get away with it?

I think the simple answer is because they often DO get away with it. Between buyers that don’t know what they are looking at and those that buy based on some photos, it only takes ONE sucker to make it all pay off. I will also say that I think sometimes the seller themselves don’t truly have any idea what is wrong about their car or what are serious issues and what aren’t.
 
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Have to say. before deciding to go ahead with my 68... I considered buying one done...But not by ME! that was the key.. I have a hard time being as proud as I am of a car that someone else did.
That said I have looked at cars and not at dealers. They have a bottom line.
they by or trade extremely low and sell Very High! They have a profit margin and overhead like rent wages ETC...BORING Okay?
The private seller(two kinds) usually has built the car... OR was taken to the cleaners when they bought it.
The first knows what they did and why and can answer those questions... The latter not so much.
The thing they both have in common is they want to sell OR need to sell.
No overhead like rent etc... maybe? But still a smaller profit margin if any.. We all know if we sold ours today we may break even? not likely although with the crazy prices maybe make a profit.. But never on your time. We all know this.
So the Home seller is probably the best way to go and you can actually barter with these persons as they want to sell and usually sooner than later.
That is not to say they won't try to take advantage.
Always take a friend who knows what to look for OR a distraction. I take my wife... she distracts and I look at what the owner probably doesn't want to me to see.
And the owner seldom say no to a lady dressed nicely and politely asking... I get her to ask questions that the owner was not prepared for...
Like i see it's been hit before...they usually stumble with yeah that was a while ago... Even if it didn't show damage or repairs I get her to ask... takes the owner by surprise...
Anyway that's my small rant about the tactics I use and have used.
Good Hunting
 

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The last 66 I sold, one buyer come with four guys, it was uncontrollable. Lots of people opening things up everywhere I finally told the buyer to step off. After that I made it a point that only the buyer and no one else, was to come look at my car. As far as a test drive, 50 km total, I drive half and they drive back, if you want to bag drive it. You buy it first, your car to do with as you please.
 

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Not defending seller but some people are not car people that buy classics and just have no idea about anything. Probably have no idea how to drive and he could be the reason trans is having issues. Not sure if this guy thought you would buy sight unseen?? Maybe he was a scammer though and thought you wouldn’t know what your looking at but in my mind if someone was paying 2k to come look at the car I’m figuring they know what to look for.
Because there are non-car guys out there with deep pockets and a lack of experience who simply must have the latest trend.
That's one reason, it's the buyers that are inflating the prices of driver cars.

It's not even that,

There are many different " levels" of car guys.

What could be "just needs a few things dialed in" to one guy, could be a "list of problems that contained 25 major items" to another.

Some guys will buy a roller shell of a car, and some guys only will buy a finished car.
Some guys will have a shop build an engine and install it, and some guys tighten every nut themselves. (I think you get my drift)
Neither one of the levels of car guy, makes them "less" of a car guy, just that everyone has different skills and time and money and lifestyles to accommodate.

To say that the seller is fraudulent isn't something that's fair without hearing his side of this story.
Maybe the buyer here wasn't truly educated on what to expect from a 50 plus year old car.

I'm not picking sides, no skin in the game, don't care. Just saying I don't think there is any fraud or scam here. Just different levels of what constitutes a problem.
 

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I can definitely see that. I would like to buy sooner than later, but I think I will wait for Bidenomics to fail and let the prices fall accordingly.
Have you been watching the classic car market in the last ten years? Or actually since the last crash in 08/09.

Nothing but going up, up and more UP.

It had nothing to do with our current state of the union. Don't make it political.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Have to say. before deciding to go ahead with my 68... I considered buying one done...But not by ME! that was the key.. I have a hard time being as proud as I am of a car that someone else did.
That said I have looked at cars and not at dealers. They have a bottom line.
they by or trade extremely low and sell Very High! They have a profit margin and overhead like rent wages ETC...BORING Okay?
The private seller(two kinds) usually has built the car... OR was taken to the cleaners when they bought it.
The first knows what they did and why and can answer those questions... The latter not so much.
The thing they both have in common is they want to sell OR need to sell.
No overhead like rent etc... maybe? But still a smaller profit margin if any.. We all know if we sold ours today we may break even? not likely although with the crazy prices maybe make a profit.. But never on your time. We all know this.
So the Home seller is probably the best way to go and you can actually barter with these persons as they want to sell and usually sooner than later.
That is not to say they won't try to take advantage.
Always take a friend who knows what to look for OR a distraction. I take my wife... she distracts and I look at what the owner probably doesn't want to me to see.
And the owner seldom say no to a lady dressed nicely and politely asking... I get her to ask questions that the owner was not prepared for...
Like i see it's been hit before...they usually stumble with yeah that was a while ago... Even if it didn't show damage or repairs I get her to ask... takes the owner by surprise...
Anyway that's my small rant about the tactics I use and have used.
Good Hunting
Great tips, and I DO take my wife along. She has an eye for detail and she reads personalities very well. You are right about overhead and costs being lower with the private sellers. I am in the PNW and there are not many Chevelle's here. Most are in the eastern time zone, which means an In-person inspection of the car is expensive and time consuming.

I appreciate the feedback from you all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Have you been watching the classic car market in the last ten years? Or actually since the last crash in 08/09.

Nothing but going up, up and more UP.

It had nothing to do with our current state of the union. Don't make it political.
Well, if inflation continues and the cost of living goes up, your dollar buys less, and suddenly the kids need braces, the Chevelle will be one of the first things to go. And that may not mean the asking price is lower, but surely more negotiable. I see it with firearms all the time. Household priorities, whether you want to pay attention to politics or not, will determine prices of everything.
 

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Well, if inflation continues and the cost of living goes up, your dollar buys less, and suddenly the kids need braces, the Chevelle will be one of the first things to go. And that may not mean the asking price is lower, but surely more negotiable. I see it with firearms all the time. Household priorities, whether you want to pay attention to politics or not, will determine prices of everything.
I'm just tired of every other forum member around having to make a comment about something political. I come here to talk about cars and nothing more. I use it to get away from the real life.
Yes, your not wrong about it. But the bigger problem is that people over extend themselves In America, never once have i had to sell a gun or even though about thinning out one of my 16 cars to pay a bill. If people truly knew how to live within their means our country's problems don't hit as hard.
Anyway, carry on. I really wish the op could have posted some pictures of the car.
 

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Markdafedman,
I don't live in the PNW but have never heard it said before that there are fewer Chevelles in that area. I do have a suggestion and we are in perfect time of year. Go to car cruises in your area and strike up conversations with car owners there. See if they know of anyone selling. You may find a car that isn't even on the market.
By the way any political references are not allowed in the forums and will get you a warning by the mods. Not defending him but Joe Biden is a car guy as I know he owns a 66 Corvette and had had it since new.
 

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It's not even that,

There are many different " levels" of car guys.

What could be "just needs a few things dialed in" to one guy, could be a "list of problems that contained 25 major items" to another.

Some guys will buy a roller shell of a car, and some guys only will buy a finished car.
Some guys will have a shop build an engine and install it, and some guys tighten every nut themselves. (I think you get my drift)
Neither one of the levels of car guy, makes them "less" of a car guy, just that everyone has different skills and time and money and lifestyles to accommodate.

To say that the seller is fraudulent isn't something that's fair without hearing his side of this story.
Maybe the buyer here wasn't truly educated on what to expect from a 50 plus year old car.

I'm not picking sides, no skin in the game, don't care. Just saying I don't think there is any fraud or scam here. Just different levels of what constitutes a problem.
Yeah, your right.
I like to work with a blank pallette and build so there are many more cars available for someone like me. Others may expect a little more and pay a premium so expectations do play a role. There are plenty of cars out there.
 
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