Friday, February 22, 2013


Mike's Nissan Altima finally died.  The engine still ran well, but the exhaust had fallen off and the front end needed some work.  We got a quote to get it road-worthy for $2000 and decided to get rid of it.  After almost 400,000 miles on the original engine with only normal upkeep, it seemed time to move on.  It was a great car, which we would purchase again.

Mike decided to list the car on Craigslist for $300.  We were inundated with phone calls from people wanting to purchase the vehicle.  The first person to look at the car purchased it.  About 9 years ago the car was fully paid and we received a letter from the bank releasing the lien on the car.  Mike never had the lien removed from the title.  When the purchaser left with the vehicle, Mike gave him the 1/2 of the letter releasing the lien and the signed title.

Three days later, we received a phone call from someone who had bought the car from "Frank".  Frank had sold the car for $1600.  The new owner wasn't able to register the car because Mike had given the wrong slip of paper.  Mike agreed to meet with the new owner and give him the appropriate paperwork to release the lien.  While they were talking, the man mentioned that the car only had 129,000 miles.  Frank had removed 250,000 miles off the odometer! 

The new owner didn't blame us for the problems with the vehicle, but we feel terrible.  This man who didn't have a lot of money was looking for a cheap vehicle and thought that he had gotten a great deal.  Instead he has a car with suspension and front end problems and a shoddily repaired exhaust system.  The new owner didn't  know the sellers name other than  his first name.

The new owner was able to register his car, so we have fulfilled our obligations, but I still feel tainted by the experience.  I don't know if we will be selling any more vehicles from Craigslist again.   

1 comment:

Susan said...

When we listed our van and Camry (intending to sell whichever went first) I was amazed by the responses. We were even offered money to buy it, flat out, without the buyer seeing it, from people in Chicago. It weirded me out. I ended up selling it to a real person, being upfront about the work it needed and how many miles were on it, etc. It would have been a good deal for him even if it only got him through the winter, so I sure hope it did.

Reading of your experience, it steels me in my resolve not to sell to Just Anybody who offers me money for our van. I didn't know why it bothered me to sell a car to somebody who would buy it sight unseen, but now I know.