What Do You Look for in a Seller When Buying a Car?
You want to vet the vehicle, naturally, but sometimes it makes sense to consider who you're buying from too.
When it comes to private party car buying, we car nerds put so much thought into the process. During what seems like an endless search to find the best example of what we’re after, for the budget we’ve given ourselves, we’ve finally found something worth investigating further. A lot of this thought is then dedicated to one crucial aspect: What’s the seller like?
We thoroughly analyze how they put the listing together, and then, if we decide to email, call, or text for more details, have a ton of questions that we ask ourselves. Do they seem friendly? Might they be willing to negotiate on the price? Are they being up-front about everything? Are they enthusiasts themselves, who’ve taken care of the car? And so on.
Did they put ample detail into the listing? Or, did the seller not go into detail at all?
Then, there’s actually, directly communicating with them. Is the seller willing to answer all of my questions? Are they stumbling over some questions about service history? Will they let me test drive and crawl all over and underneath it for my own inspection?
Car Bibles asks: What do you look for in a seller?
Me personally, there are two ideal scenarios.
The first one: the seller creates a listing with very meh photos and barely any detail. But, there are subtle signs that it could be a diamond in the rough. As long as the seller isn’t a flake and is easy enough to coordinate with to see the car, I rely on my own decent mechanical skill to get an idea of the shape of the car myself. Assuming they’re not ultra-firm on the price, it could be a really easy cash transaction.
The second one: The seller created a detailed listing, but the photos didn’t show a whole lot of detail. This is actually what I experienced when I bought my Land Rover Discovery. I could tell it was enthusiast-owned, and when I contacted him, he was friendly, professional, and willing to answer any questions. It was then easy to coordinate a time for me to check it out, give it a test drive, etc. The dude was very accommodating. He could tell I was a serious buyer, an enthusiast who’d drive it as intended off-road, and I’d give it a good home. Because of this, he was willing to negotiate a tad on the price. He even offered to deliver it to my area, a good 25 miles from where he lived. How rad is that?
I think a lot of people would agree with me that these are two excellent scenarios. But of course, it varies quite a bit… that’s why the comment section’s open. Is there anything you look for in a used car seller?