I was hoping it wouldn’t get to this point but sigh, here we are. I’m currently having trouble with quite a few of your users and I’m sure I’m not the only one experiencing this level of confusion, grief and occasional complete bewilderment. Although on a positive note, I may have a solution I’d like to float by you..
Okay Carsales.com.au, the issue is not the sellers
No aside from the occasional astronomic pricing of some sellers trying to wring as many dollars out of their decidedly average rust buckets as possible (thanks again for nothing but high prices on everything Covid, although usually after a few months those sellers are finding they have to drop their prices anyway to get anyone interested), those putting their cars up for sale are not the issue. And if you’ve read this blog for longer than a cup of coffee, you’ll know I currently am one.
It’s the buyers. By a loooong country mile. The buyers, for sure, hands down.
(Actually no wait, if they pay up and the previous owner is happy with the amount, then that’s a good thing.
Okay then a correction, it’s the possible buyers at Carsales.com.au)
Yes like I said, it’s the possible buyers who are the problem.
And this open letter comes to you thanks to last night’s latest addition to the ‘What the hell is going on with your car sale Al’ saga that’s entertaining to everyone but me. You wouldn’t think it possible, but once again I was ghosted because of this damn Subaru I’m trying to sell. And we’re talking a stage four ghosting too, where the hope is high that after months of it being listed, someone will finally come around and actually look at the damn thing, uming and erring while glossing over it while I try to avoid getting my head sun burnt by standing under the closest tree.
-They contacted me at lunchtime ‘Hey I’m reading your ad on carsales.com.au and I’m interested. Can I come and see your car?’ It turns out they’re only a couple of suburbs away, not 600 clicks. Joy!
-I asked them if they read the entire ad and gave a little more detail on the current issues. Why? Because I like surprises, but not in the cars I buy. Honesty, I hear it can be refreshing. They thank me for my honesty.
-They plan to bring someone mechanically minded over for a look. Possibly 5, maybe 5:30.
-Possibly 5 arrives, no sign. Maybe 5:30 passes, then 5:40, 5:50 and 5:55 and I finally give up waiting and go off to cook the kids some hamburgers, grumbling about how much I hate people this year.
-They have the address, my email and my number. And still, not a single message has been sent since they agreed to the time. No apologies, no delay, no sudden emergencies involving the household fish and and bar mixer, no explanation whatsoever. WTF? Another flake! (I should open a fish and chip shop the way I’m going.)
So that’s now four who failed to show up on the time they asked for and who never got back to me after they mysteriously disappeared.
It wasn’t always like this..
No back in 2014 I put my dad’s 1994 Subaru WRX up for sale through Carsales.com.au. Not that I wanted to but at the time that tiny turbo rocket wasn’t suitable for a growing family. It didn’t last 48 hours before someone wanted to come round, cash in hand ready to deal. And deal he tried, only to find that there was so little wrong with it, there was barely any negotiation room so he just gave up and gave me the asking price.
Then more people lined up to try and buy and at the time I wished I’d put it up for a couple of grand more.
Yes the first person who read the ad contacted me, turned up when he said, genuinely wanted it, asked the right questions and took it home the next day with an envelope full of 100s.
Flash forward to now (August 2023) and it’s the tale of the tape:
313 people have saved it
25 people have enquired about it
0 of anyone interested in looking at it have actually turned up to look at it. And that includes those in the same town I live in!!
My tax is going to arrive before someone shows up and I’m not sitting down with my taxman until mid October, so..
But here’s my genius idea
eBay has buyer ratings, Facebook has buyer ratings. Carsales.com.au, I think you need buyer ratings. Or better yet, some kind of icon next to potential buyers account names (as decided by various interactions with other people trying to sell their cars.)
Of course they’re not badges you’d actually want to earn, but I feel the carsales.com.au selling community (like me) would certainly appreciate a heads up ‘Hey, this person won’t show. Don’t wait up.’ Or ‘You’re going to have to explain everything to this guy three times and draw him a map because he couldn’t be bothered reading.’
Of failing that, how about an article on Carsales.com.au about being respectful in possible transactions? Like this possible public service announcement: if you’re not going to show up, don’t book a time, don’t waste the sellers time. Likewise if something happens or you change your mind just tell them.
But then again it’s 2023 and maybe it’s the norm to give up both reading in full and considerate communication. Maybe you’ll never make it to this part of the blog because you tuned out paragraphs ago and that video of the skimpy girl on Tik Tok is far more entertaining (she certainly is more popular than this place at the moment).
But if you have made it this far, can I interest you in an ailing Subaru? Come round when you say you will and I promise not to reward you with a badge.