Thursday, June 12, 2008

For Sale: 1999 VW Cabrio Red Convertible

Before agreeing allow someone to come out to look at one of my cars, I ought to interview them, just a little. There was a time when I had less patience than I do now, that I would tell middle Easterners that the car in question was just sold, therefore avoiding a frustrating interaction with someone that I don't want to deal with. However with the economy as it is today, I can no longer afford myself that luxury. These days, I'll even deal with the Asians! ( The Asians are notorious for wasting a lot of your time and then buying from only another Asian.)

Last evening, I got an email from a Dan Dorkman with a Honeywell domain. This is a good clue that Dan is an engineer, another group to shy away from, but since I used to deal in Volvos, I learned to deal with engineers, because that's all I ever got. It would be safe to say that when you sell Volvos, you stand a good chance of dying from second hand pipe smoke. In addition to the signature pipe, they usually have beards and really thick glasses, but I digress...

When Dan wrote, I answered very politely to call me and offered him my cell number. Lately, I've spent a little too much time exchanging emails with people that never call and without the phone call, people don't feel a commitment to come to see the vehicle. About 6:30 PM, my phone rang and it was Dan, however I was in the process of installing a new printer/fax machine and the call was rudely answered by the fax. He was conscientious enough to call right back, saving me the embarrassment of calling him and apologizing for giving him a fax number to reach me at. We chatted about the car for about 2 or 3 minutes when he asked me if I was from the Midwest. I said yes, Chicago but I've been here for 35 years and had hoped my whiny Chicago accent had left me. He told me that he could still hear it, that his wife was from Chicago and sounded just like me.

Dan was inquiring about my 99 VW Cabrio red convertible for his daughter. I took him through the 50 cent tour on the car, but realized that the car was at my new friend's house, Mean Mona. Mean Mona and I had had words earlier yesterday and she was about the last person on the planet that I wanted to talk to about then. It seems that Mean Mona is in the battle of her life against the dreaded hormones and occasionally is not fit for conversation,l if you catch my drift. I explained to Dan that the car was elsewhere in a nice clean garage and I needed to collect it. He agreed to waiting about an hour before coming out and by the way, he was coming from Gilbert,AZ, quite a drive. When someone comes that distance and comes immediately after making the contact, they are usually pretty serious buyers.

Grabbing a bottle of water and calling Mean Mona, to arrange for the car switch, I found her not answering. (More stress) I called no less than 10 times, trying to indicate to her that it was important. She was outside watering her yard and didn't hear the phone, but did call me back about 10 minutes later. By then I had already called Dan back to tell him I was unsuccessful at rousing Mean Mona. My perfect scenario would have been for Mean Mona to drive here while Dan was doing the same and everyone rendezvous here. Mean Mona wasn't in agreement to that plan, so I hopped into the car, after calling Dan back and arranged for me to meet him at my house at 7:30.

I sped down the 101 to Mean Mona's and when I arrived there, Mean Mona had put the car outside and was leisurely watering her front yard, in an extra mean way. She yelled that I look like a fag in that car, flipped me the bird, I flipped one back and split. I TOLD you Mean Mona was a mean one! I was only half way through my road race back to my house to meet Dan the man. I showed up right on time and blown to smithereens, having driven at 75 MPH speeds with the top down. I backed the red convertible into the driveway and got Bogie out to help me wait for Dan. Bogie laid down in the driveway and pretty soon Dan and his daughter Courtney arrived making a big deal about Bogie, my Number 1 salesman. Bogie schmoozed for awhile with the buyers, the first thing I taught him and excused himself to the house.

Any kind of a red convertible is a "passion buy" and poeple buy them because they feel they have to. It's not a "need", but a "want". Knowing this, naturally I use it to my advantage. Dan introduced himself and somehow within the first sentence mentioned he was a Desert Storm veteran, creating a whole new respect for him. Courtney was a chip off the old block and the two of them read the owner's manual for no less than 90 minutes, asking about a gazillion questions that I couldn't answer. The top went up, the top went down, the boot went on, the boot came off. Does it have a pass through for her skis? Has it been washed by a car wash or by hand? How many miles to the gallon. Dan found that it had a power top that was disconnected, but worked. I had to stop him from rolling up his sleeves to repair it, right on the spot. I told him not to, it works fine now, manually. I didn't want to be rude and tell him that the new ones are $35,000, this one is almost 10 years old and in EXCELLENT shape. When he asked me how I want to get paid, I thought it was going in my direction, but then he told me he had to run it past his wife, who is probably the decision maker. I think Dan and Courtney would have stayed all night had I not started making going away noises. They would have cozied up with a lamp and that owner's manual and been good for the night.

It's traditional with that type of purchase, if the buyer doesn't leave at least a deposit, he's not going to buy the vehicle. My guess is that Dan is going to do some more research on the car and call me back with an offer..............Or he might just be happy with that owner's manual???


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