Friday, April 19, 2013

So long old friend...
by Rick Tavel©

 I don't want any of my readers to be upset or think they are on a different blog after I change the title header's background picture of my beloved Daytona Sunset Orange Metallic 2005 Corvette.  I sold the car yesterday in anticipation of getting a new Corvette.  You can read about my dilemma of deciding which new Corvette to buy in my former post, "To Buy or Not To Buy and the Disappointment of Global Marketing" posted here in March and on other sites and publications.

It has been quite a while since I personally sold one of my Corvettes or collector cars and I have pretty much shied away from the hassle and inconvenience of advertising and showing the car.  As some of you know you pretty much have to arrange your schedule around potential buyers who want to inspect the car.  And in the past I have to say that most of those "potential buyers" were simply "tire kickers" and habitual "lookers" that had no intention of buying no matter how nice the car was or how low it was priced unless it was a pure giveaway.  For that reason it was always prudent to build in a few "negotiating dollars" to the advertised price.  This however is a double edge sword  because it can turn away some valid buyers.  So as much as I wanted to get the new Vette I was skeptical about listing it. So much so that I considered just adding it to the collection even though I have no space in the garage and was risking being evicted from the house by my otherwise very patient and accommodating wife.


Interior of my DSOM C6

Of course "trading it in" on the new one was unacceptable by any real car guy.  We all know that trading in a car is fiscally not the right move because as we all know you never get what the car is worth on a trade - either they give you what you want for the trade in and then raise the price of the new car to off set the trade in offer or they simply do not give you a fair price.  You do however avoid the hassles and inconveniences of selling the car outright.  So I was very apprehensive at becoming a "temporary used car salesman".

But I absolutely knew that the time had come to find my new Corvette so due to lack of garage space I had to find my current C6 a new home.  This time however I vowed to make this at least a "tolerable" endeavor.  My first very wise decision was that I would not list the car in the local newspaper, Craigslist, or eBay.  Understand I am not bashing eBay, I have purchased more than a few collector cars there as a "buyer" but know some of the disappointing stories that some sellers encounter and also know that several of the sales do not get consummated and results in having to relist the car.  More than a couple of enthusiasts I have known that used Craigslist to attempt to sell their car report horror stories about the myriad of calls and showings to totally unqualified buyers.
Actual miles 4339

This time I decided to market my Corvette in four specific ways.  First I would show it for sale in local car shows and "cruise-ins" which I regularly attend. Second I would advertise it on local Corvette Club sites.  Third I put an ad on all of the Corvette forums I belong to. And fourth and the most significant marketing tool was placing the car on "VetteFinders".  Deciding on this method allowed me to price the car at very close to the price I wanted to get.  This was decided on after researching other Corvettes of the same age and with the same options and mileage (though I found no others with mileage as low as mine (4500 miles).  The condition of the car was honestly advertised, it was virtually a new car and absolutely perfect for a 4500 mile car.  But I was also honest when I told prospective buyer about the 1/2 inch tiny scratch the car had on the drivers lexan clear headlight cover and had a picture ready to send upon request.  Let me tell anyone selling a Corvette, perhaps the most important feature in selling a Corvette that is in "good to excellent" condition is mileage - plain and simple.  Prices of two cars in the exact same condition will vary by thousands of dollars based on mileage.  As I mentioned my car had 4500 miles on it and had five thousand less miles on it than the closest comparison car so I knew my car would bring a premium. 

At Cruise In

The other important part of selling your Corvette is to price it correctly.  Seek the advice of experienced Corvette owners and sellers.  I was simply amazed at the prices some owners put on their cars.  We all know our cars are special to us but in the market they are Corvettes, and there are thousands of them.  The comparison car I noted above, with more than double the mileage of mine, was priced $5000 above the price I listed mine and my car was priced at the high end of those Corvettes sold for that model year.  It is no surprise that the car had been on the market for almost a year.

Those of you who have never used VetteFinders probably do not realize how "user friendly" and simple to use it is.  I would recommend that you sign up for the premium package which features your car at the top of the listings with a small thumbnail picture.  It is well worth it.  Unlike "free sites" the listings are up to date and manageable and have a reputation of offering decent cars.  And there is a subliminal consideration that if the seller is willing to spend a few dollars advertising the car for sale then probably the owner did not "skimp" on maintaining the car.  Another benefit of using VetteFinders is the fact that a potential buyer must first contact VetteFinders before they can contact you.  Then VF will contact you via email letting you know that a specific person had questions about the car.  This helps weed out "tire kickers" and lookers which often takes hours of your time simply responding to their questions and requests for more pictures. 
Two Beauties

In the two weeks the car was listed on VetteFinders I received four emails from VetteFinders' interested potential buyers. I received two serious and five not serious emails from the forums and two serious customers through "cruise in" exposure.  From these I received four offers to purchase, three of them through VetteFinders clients and one from the cruise ins.  I ended up showing the car five times in the two weeks, two of those were to VetteFinder clients.  The first two offers received were approximately 95% of my asking price, the third was a full price offer based on the customer selling his Corvette and the fourth which I accepted was an immediate cash offer of 97% of my asking price and above the average selling price of similar 2005 & 2006 Corvettes with miles under 10,000.  

I was more than pleased with the professionalism and simplicity of the VetteFinder service and will not hesitate to list my next Corvette sale with them.  In addition to the site being easy to use, if you need any assistance with your listing or even advice on pricing the people at VetteFinders are more than willing to assist.  I know of one example where a VetteFinders' customer was having difficulty listing their car on one of the Corvette forums and Keith, the owner of VF, actually went onto the forum and listed his client's car for him.  I can't speak for other clients but I was amazed that I only got serious, interested potential buyers from VetteFinders.  It isn't very often that I can so enthusiastically recommend any "service" company but I am pleased to have found just such a service in VetteFinders.  So much so I want to provide you with the link, VetteFinders .

It only seems fitting that my beloved Corvette was sold the way it lived, fast, comfortable and trouble free.   Now, as my Sunset Orange Metallic C6 fades into the sunset, all that is left is to allow me a few quiet moments to mourn its passing...Farewell, old friend, you will be missed.

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