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The Economy of Sales PDF Print E-mail
Blog
Written by Colin Brassington (aka Brash)   
Monday, 26 June 2017 21:57

It's tough selling a car in this economy. Wait, is it really the economy's fault? Well people blame everything else on it so why not. (Fuck you, Rudd Gillard Swan Abbot Hockey ScoMo!) And while I didn't expect my 180SX to sell straight away, I did expect that I'd have a bit more interest than I have had. I also didn't expect the sheer number of time wasters that I've had to deal with.

Victory

The first person who came to look at it met me near home, took one walk around the car and decided he didn't want it. And that's fair enough. Yes my thing is a bit rough, but it's relative - describing the condition as being "good for a 180" means something completely different to "good condition". But the Evo V he turned up in was in better than mint condition, so I figure his standards were high.

The second one came to see it, then offered his Subaru Liberty B4 as a swap. And while this doesn't seem like a bad deal, swapping a great track car for a car that kinda works ok on a track wasn't really my plan. He then changed his mind after he found out that he couldn't insure it, making my comment to the guys at work of 'I'm off to let some guy waste my time and not buy the car' somewhat correct. A little bit self-fulfilling prophesy too, but whatever.

But while I've had these two legitimately come to see it, I've had literally dozens of messages from people offering swaps for all sorts of weird and wonderful things.

And I suppose a few of these shouldn't surprise me, as I've seen dozens of cars advertised over the years with "would swap for turbo import" but I've never really understood that. If you're driving an automatic V8 Commodore - and enjoying that - then this isn't for you. You can't just put your foot down and expect that the car will go fast, you need to work for it. Up a stretch of your favourite winding road, an S-chassis is a very rewarding car to drive, because they're so hard to get right. I've always maintained that this isn't a fast car, it's a quick car. Get it right, and it's a huge amount of fun. Get it wrong? Well you're either slower than the single cam Honda Civic behind you, or you're up for a hefty parts bill.

Still, the sheer number of V8 Commodores being offered is disturbing - and all of them automatic; VX sedans, VU and VY utes, they have by far been the most regular swap offer. And if any of them had been the 6-speed manual, they might have been with considering. Not for an auto though.

A couple of people have offered Mazda RX8s too. Now this is at least interesting. I honestly consider an RX8 as a potential next car, but if I'm to go that way, I'd buy one with a blown engine for cheap and build a turbo 13B REW for it. The Renesis engine, in my opinion is a bit of a lemon and not something I would pay actual money for. (And yes, while a straight swap isn't really paying money for it, it's still the exchange of something with value for something that I perceive to have very little value, so it amounts to the same thing)

RPS13-180SX
Notice most of the photos of it are of the left side. That's the good side..!

Somebody else offered a Subaru WRX and that certainly interested me. I spent a lot of time with my mate's WRX when I lived in Sydney and have since driven other friend's cars here and there, and a WRX suits the whole drive to work Friday, drive to track Saturday vibe that I really want to retain. But they lived over an hour away from where I work (and my office is an hour's drive from home), so an inspection needed to be organised on a weekend...unless we can meet somewhere close to the CBD straight after work. 'No we can't' I was told, 'car isn't registered and I don't want to register if it's not being sold...' Fine, what about Saturday morning? No? Sunday? It got very hard very quickly and soon enough neither of us were could be bothered anymore.

Somebody else offered a Cordia Turbo and a shorty diesel 4x4. While the Cordia would have been pretty cool, I don't even know what a shorty 4x4 is, or what you do with them. Can they tow things? What are they even worth? But the Cordia – there’s an awesome idea. A Cordia was the first turbo car I ever rode in. Scared the crap out of me that thing did. This way I could also continue the ownership journey through cars I’ve always thought were kinda awesome, as well as owning another modern classic. But again, this got way too hard very quickly.

A few others have offered dirt bikes. Again, fun things to have but not something I can take to work then to the race track. Off the beaten track maybe, but that's not something I'm particularly interested in at this point in time.

Seriously, when did it become acceptable to offer somebody swaps on cars? I've lost count of the number of times I've been speaking about my car being for sale and people have asked if I'd be interested in swaps. And literally every time I’ve responded in the affirmative I’ve regretted it.

Then come the ones who seem interested and ask all sorts of smart questions, then get held up on minor things, like does the air conditioning work. "Does it matter?" I respond.
"Yes" they say. They are wrong. This is a dedicated driver's car, not something for you to cruise Hindley Street with. No air conditioning? Really? When they ask why this hasn't been rectified, it takes everything I have to not respond with "because I'm not a gigantic pussy". Seriously, wind the windows down and get on with it. You don't drive these things because they're nice, you drive them because they're fun.

Oh, I nearly forgot the low ballers. The thing is advertised for $9,500. I’m negotiable on that, with the theory being that a prospective buyer can make an offer and we can wriggle back to somewhere close to what I actually want for it. But no. I’ve had a bunch of offers for significantly less. One asked a bunch of questions, then asked if I would accept $7000. I said no and they thanked me for my time as that was all they had to spend. But the last one was a brief message of “hi, I’d like to offer you $5850”. And perhaps was too harsh in my response, but when you offer me 60% of my asking price, you’re not doing me a favour. You’re not even being reasonable, you are throwing me a stupid offer and hoping that I am desperate. And I’m not desperate to sell it.

Most of the time when people try to sell these sorts of things, it’s for outside circumstances. People want the cash for an overseas trip or to buy a house or because the missus is pregnant and they need a four door car. My reasoning is simple, but none of these.

I’ve achieved everything I set out to do with it, and have enjoyed having what I deem to be the perfect specimen of a 180SX. I simply consider the 180SX as a toy, and after a few years of playing with turbo Nissans I would like to play with something else. 

Maybe the thing is too rough. I could put some better (read: less dented) guards on the front to tidy it up. And I could work on a couple of the little gremlins that the car has - insignificant things like the fuel gauge always showing between half and a third full despite actual fuel levels (ask me how I know!), and the interior lights only working when they feel like it. But these items have always been surplus to requirements. They don't effect the way that the car drives so I've never bothered with them. It’s an old car and old cars always have weird personalities. However one of the reasons I'm trying to sell the car is so that I don't spend any more money on it. And spending money on it to tidy it up for sale kinda defeats that particular purpose.

So for now at least, I've scribbled for sale notes on the side windows and I'm trying to keep it clean. Soon, I hope, the right buyer will come and I'll be able to move on to something else. People always ask what I plan on doing next, and the only answer I can give is that I want to replace it with something equally as stupid, impractical and fun as the 180 has been.

But until then, I guess I will just keep playing with this toy.

 

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