Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
troubledz

Buyer Beware!

Recommended Posts

I have bought sold a few cars on Ebay over the years and have found that for the most part people don't outright lie but just omit details that will hurt the price.

What's the difference? If one know's the truth and omits it for the purpose of potentially achieving a higher selling price, how does that differ from a lie? Dean's honesty is refreshing in this day and age especially considering he wasn't shown the same honesty by the seller.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been thinking about this for sometime, since I got a car via Ebay for $6K that I am not very happy with at all, to be honest I kinda of hate the car, but I could never tell my wife....of course. Mine is in about the same condition as troubledZ' car. It had only 98K miles, perfect dash and looked GREAT in the pictures. I even had family look at it but they are not Z car people so they thought it looked great. When I got it I had to dump almost $2K in it just to be comfortable and I am still not happy. I find new rust everywhere. Not sure if my seller was a liar or just in denial.

I have an idea of a way to avoid these problems in the future. If you see a car on ebay and you want it, don't buy it unless someone from this board checks it out for you or someone you know and trust that lives in the area of the car. I also think that there is a great business idea in all this. Cars listed on ebay could be taken to an inspection station and be certified by someone who is an expert in detecting rust and verifying the condition of the running gear and age and wear of engine parts. If there was certification process I would only buy "certified" cars. Just shooting out ideas "brain storming".

Every day I look at my ebay buy.....I get bummed out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi - I never used it but I thought they did offer, or link you to some kind of certification process. I have read many posts here where members have helped out by looking a car over, if they lived close by.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Montezuma - Your post actualy relates to troubledz's thread very well. troubledz's purchase and subsequent post was the reason for me registering as a member. I was a lurker for years. I registered in order to contact him and offer my assistance. He was contemplating driving it a long distance. I had the ability to supply parts or any tools needed quickly if needed, if he ran into any trouble along the way. Depending on what route he took, I was along the way. Even Carl Beck offered to look it over. Now thats something I would pay big money for. The car seems to be shaping up nicely, just takes time and dedication.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Montezuma, sorry to hear about your unfortunate purchase. but i think you nailed it when talking about the PO "Not sure if my seller was a liar or just in denial".

I guess i just have higher standards then the PO, That being said i think it is a great idea that we get someone in this site in the area where the car is to look it over and give a true evaluation.. being all Z owners - we should know what to look for ie: troubled spots.

As Geezer said: when i posted on here that i was thinking about driving the car for over 1200 miles right away the response i got from everyone was overwhelming with if you run into any problems give me a call.. Thats what this site is so great for.. HELP!!!

So if there is anyone looking to buy a Z in this area send me a PM and i can at least give you a report on the body condition...

Resto is coming along I now have the Z in a two part polyester filler.. and it is looking great.. just giving a final fit.. make sure parts line up perfect then strip it down and start blocking and painting.. Will post some more pics soon..

Cheers Dean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dean and others,

That is a shame about your ebay experience(s). I have frequently been on the buying side of the fence and have regretted a few purchases over the years. I always find that I have quite a bit of work to do to bring the Z or ZX in question back to complete operating condition. For some reason this usually equates to approximately $1500 to $2000 depending on how much deferred maintenance was uncovered.

On the other hand I was the seller this past year of four different vehicles (three '78 280Z's and an '87 Supra) and some of them were definitely not in the greatest shape but I set out to be as honest as possible and threw in some extras to sweeten the pot. In a perfect world I would have kept them all as I seem to drift toward the neglected orphan Z cars.

The problem with Z cars is that they were fairly affordable to begin with which means they were driven alot more than equivalent cars from the same time period. In addition as they depreciated the subsequent 2nd, 3rd owners either modified the cars or used substandard replacement parts and or methods which means that reconditioning one of these cars becomes and expensive proposition for the enthusiastic owner. Couple that with rising values and you have a bunch of fairly dishonest people who want nothing more than to unload their Z car for a hefty sum of money.

One would hope that as the old car hobby continues to draw more people that this would cease to exist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Montezuma, you need to get over it my friend. You spent the money and there is nothing you can really do about it now. Enjoy the car now and chalk up your experience to a lesson in life.

I bought a car from a kid in San Diego for $4000. The car's interior was in good shape and mechanically it was very strong. Enthusiasm clouded my purchase as there were many items that needed replacing and the Ziebart undercoating covered some rust. I have sunk over $3000 into the car already and I just picked up an L28ET that I am going to drop in next fall.

Still, now that the car is back down on the ground and I am able to drive it, I love it despite my earlier reservations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel badly for those of us that have been burned, too. eBay is simply a marketplace for exchanging goods, providing a cyber-venue for buyers and sellers to meet and make exchanges. Patience and caution are your best friends when it comes to spending money on eBay; for that matter, anywhere.

I bought my '72 through eBay. It was far from the first one that I considered for a purchase. In every case I made contact with the sellers. Their "responses" can tell you a lot about them and their goods. No response = no bids. Actually "speaking" with them can tell you a lot as well. A seller playing dumb, or too polished and practiced, should throw up caution signs. You can tell a lot about how "genuine" someone is by having a conversation with them. If I'm spending several K, I will speak with them at length first. During those conversations some ground rules can be laid, too. Bottom line is if I can't see it, touch it, poke & probe it with magnets, etc., I am buying a pig-in-a-poke (southern expression for something assumed to be as represented by the seller but you haven't actually seen it..... you are going on trust / faith / hope). There is where we can all get into quicksand. I'm pretty trusting, making an assumption that most other people are as honest as I wish to be. This is not the case. There is the old saying "caveat emptor", Latin for "let the buyer beware". There is no substitute for a hands-on inspection by someone who knows what they are looking at and what to look for. The network we have here is strong and wide; there is great potential for us to serve each other when it comes to buying a car that is too far away to put your own hands on personally. I'm in south-central Pennsylvania.... very few for sale around here in the last decade, but if you find one, I'll be pleased to try to arrange a look-see on your behalf.

For my purchase I resolved to wait until there was one available that suited me that was within a 4-hour drive so that I could go see it. A few hours on the road was well worth the time spent. If I can be of assistance, let me know. Is it worth starting a "register" of names and locations of people willing to take a few steps to help out a club member who is a potential buyer? Does anyone have a list of inspection points available that we could agree upon as a "standard" of sorts? I think there is some potential here for us to serve each other. Thanks - Sorry for the long winded post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Caveat emptor" or "Let the buyer beware" also applies to body shops and mechanics once you purchase a Z and need to have work done. As we all know, there are a lot of slime bags out there that will take advantage of you if you're not careful. This hobby isn't an easy one to get started in when you first consider how difficult it is to find a good restoration candidate then to find a reputable mechanic, if you're not too mechanically-inclined (like myself) and/or a good body & paint shop. I think all of us has been burned one way or another at one time, but like KTM said, you have to "chalk up your experience to a lesson in life".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a quick note that I now have my Z on the road.. Took it for a spin this eve..Wow this car is fun.. just a few bugs to work out - trouble with the fuel pump, and a few wiring issues, but Wow!

Here is a few pics..

Cheers, Dean

post-12903-141508004868_thumb.jpg

post-12903-14150800487288_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my '88 300ZX was purchased after finding it on auto trader. after several phone calls with the seller and emails with lots of pictures, i flew out with an agreement that if it was not as represented, he would refund my money that i had given him to hold it. the inside door handle was broken, and the windshield had a crack in it, which he forgot to mention. i had purchased a one way plane ticket, and went ahead with the purchase, but i should have asked for my deposit back to cover the repairs.

when i sold this car on EBay, i listed every little knick and scratch, along with problems i was having with the ac at the time. the buyer wanted it worse than me, and everyone else, because he paid my buy it now price, which i had set, based on my cost of the vehicle and and all up grades that i had done. the buyer was very happy with the purchase, and has even emailed me with up dates and pictures of the car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...snip... I now have my Z on the road. ...snip...

Congrats. Your Z looks great. Can't wait till my project looks so good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow Dean! It sure turned out to be a beaut! I didn't realize you had finished it until I spotted your gallery pics. Love the color scheme you picked. It just plain works! I've been wondering about the Raptorliner Sound Deadener. Now that you are driving it, what are your opinions on this material? Have fun with it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The car looks great Dean. How much of this work did you do yourself, or did you farm the whole thing out? Let's see some engine compartment and interior pics when you get a chance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my '88 300ZX was purchased after finding it on auto trader. .....

.......the buyer wanted it worse than me, and everyone else, because he paid my buy it now price......

.... the buyer was very happy with the purchase, and has even emailed me with up dates and pictures of the car.

The SS's are sought after, so i'm not surprised. They're fairly rare aren't they?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The SS's are sought after, so i'm not surprised. They're fairly rare aren't they?

To contradict what Vintage stated there were only 1000 "SS" models built. The correct title is actually "1988 Nissan 300ZX Turbo SE" as pritned on the window sticker from Nissan. They were only built from January 1988 through March 1988 and there were no specific VIN# sequence; rather they were randomly selected chassis numbers.

The rarity of these cars is only to increase over time and our member '240ztt' used to own a very nice one. At one point another friend had two Shiro's (another name for this car) and sold them both before being PCS'd to Germany.

Now back to the thread and by the way Dean that is one great looking 240Z and the driveway shot is very impressive witht he Cobra replica sitting in front of the Z.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dean,

The car looks great. We should get together and have a beer to commiserate. Bought a "rust free, ready to go" '71 Z out of Michigan (should have been first watch out).

Got it back here (I'm just north of Toronto) and needed to patch frame rails, battery. Bottom of both door are rotted out (passenger side can be fixed), and the bottom of the floors have surface rust (but no rot yet...). Also needed to redo (brace yourself): complete front end, brakes (master cylinder, brake booster), cooling system (water pump, rad), clutch (master cylinder, slave culinder), u-joint, horns. Bought for $4,300 US. Put in almost another $5k to date in the work above. Still have to paint and do the doors.

I didn't get anywhere going after the guy who sold the vehicle. Still not sure if he mis-represented the car intentionally or was just an idiot (or both...a distinct possibility).

But I have a car that drives, goes straight and pulls strong. (Picking up some cool vintage JDM racing wheels tomorrow f95f_20.jpg ).

I'm still schizophrenic about the car. When I take it out, it gets noticed and people genuinely like it. I love driving it, but when I find something that was misrepresented, ugh...

As an aside, are you a member of the Ontario Z Car Owner's Association. You should come check out one of the events or meetings. (Big tour of Z's up to Huntsville and back this Saturday).

PM me and we'll grab that beer.

Mike A.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All the horror stories make me feel better about the $250 that I spent on my car. (Ignoring the thousands that I have spent since...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I keep reading the posts and the common theme seems to be that everyone starts out by purchasing a "bargain" and then is disappointed to commit to a much larger budget than was originally planned for? I have made this mistake a few times in my past but over the years I have adjusted my expectations and while I try to stay away from rusty pigs when I do buy a less than stellar Z car I know that over time the cheap bargain will end up costing as much as a much more expensive purchase in the long run.

Along the way the car becomes not original anymore and most collectors don't like to hear such things. The problem with Z cars is that if you can stomach the visible rust the lack of available sheet metal for the strange areas (i.e. inner rocker panels, toe boards, battery tray etc..) are not available. There comes a time when it is not worth trying to restore such a car regardless of whether it is a Z or not.

It is a steep learning curve and hopefully there are newer members to this hobby that will read this thread and think twice before buying that "great deal" before fully understanding what they are getting themselves into. When I was in my early twenties I wouldn't have listened to any of this advice either but maybe there are some who will heed this advice.

My solution is to invest in plane tickets to the west coast and at least there is a better chance of finding a fairly rust free car with which to start with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I keep reading the posts and the common theme seems to be that everyone starts out by purchasing a "bargain" and then is disappointed to commit to a much larger budget than was originally planned for?

On an off-note, I sort of had the opposite happen. Over the phone the seller made it sound like the car was way rustier and in a lot worse shape than it was. When I went to go see it in person I was so surprised to see it in such great shape and drove it home two weeks later!... granted the condition of some components has deteriorated a bit since then, but I'm working!

[/hijack]

Dean, your car is gorgeous. I'm sorry to hear you had such lousy luck with the infamous echo-bay, but I suppose in the end everything turned out allright.

Oh, and that picture is truly amazing, you must be that guy in your neighborhood.

I must also chime in and say I'd love to see some more pics of this fabulous vehicle!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just a quick note that I now have my Z on the road.. Took it for a spin this eve..Wow this car is fun.. just a few bugs to work out - trouble with the fuel pump, and a few wiring issues, but Wow!

Here is a few pics..

Cheers, Dean

Looks great! How did you black out the bumpers? I had mine powdercoated in the late 80s...the treatment held up well but the current cost to redo is higher than I recall paying back in the day...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Guy's

Thanks for all the positive feedback. The Z is alot of fun.. still have a fuel problem though..? I quite can't firgure it out.. I change the filters,blown out the lines flushed the gas tank..IT WILL RUN GREAT FOR A ABOUT 15 -20 MINS THEN IT GOES TO CRAP..

Not sure if its a carb problem ? once if seems to warm up it seems to starve for fuel..if any of you have hads this problem PIPE UP.. I want to know..

I will have more pics up soon..

Bigoak, I am a member of the Ontario Z Car Owner's Association. Hopefully we can hook up for that pint!!

Remember if you have any body or paint ?'s I do have a shop in the city..

Cheers,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Montezuma, you need to get over it my friend. You spent the money and there is nothing you can really do about it now. Enjoy the car now and chalk up your experience to a lesson in life.

I bought a car from a kid in San Diego for $4000. The car's interior was in good shape and mechanically it was very strong. Enthusiasm clouded my purchase as there were many items that needed replacing and the Ziebart undercoating covered some rust. I have sunk over $3000 into the car already and I just picked up an L28ET that I am going to drop in next fall.

Still, now that the car is back down on the ground and I am able to drive it, I love it despite my earlier reservations.

I mulled it over since this was written....I am VERY over my purchase BUT, I do find new things all the time. I was going to resell the car for what I paid for plus new parts....I been watching Ebay, watching the trends and can clearly see that I can't get my $$$ back so I am keeping her. The biggest reason I want to sell is because my friend who is VERY meticulous wanted to sell me his 72 with a Chevy 383 stroker. I guess I will have to wait until next summer. I did get lucky, I got a TON of parts at my finger tips, plus a rebuilt L28, E88, E31 or N42 head. I got a great JDM header, wantanbe or SSR wheels etc....so I can get it looking and running great BUT the body is still crap, even thought it looks like it is perfect. Let say this: The pictures that my seller sent me where pictures of the car when "HE GOT IT" not when he went to sell it, in other words it was not as nice and clean anymore, not sure if he did that on purpose or not. Like the title of the thread: "Buyer beware".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.