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Old 07-15-2008, 07:20 PM   #1
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Beaten Down by Old People

Today I was rung through the wringer by 5 people over 80 (one was two days from 90!) and I'm ashamed to admit that they won. It all started when I responded to an ad in the forum classifieds for a very nice 29' Excella. It's being shown by friends of the owners since the owners are currently visiting in Canada. After being assured that all the paperwork was in order and that the friends had permission to show the trailer, I decided to drive the 100 miles to see it with the intention of buying it and bringing it home. Last evening, while I was readying the pickup and gathering up "stuff" I thought I might need for the trip, the owner phoned from Canada and left a muffled message about the title not being available just now, but they would be sure to get it signed and sent to me ASAP, and, oh, by the way, it's a California title. Since the trailer was for sale in Washington, I has asumed (!!) it would be a Washington title. I tried all evening to phone the friends to discuss this situation, but their phone was busy until 10 PM when I finally gave up. I phoned this morning, Sure enough, it was a California trailer but the title was clear and would only need to be signed by the owners and mailed to me in a few days. I decided to go after the trailer. Three hours later (thanks to construction delays and traffic) I was looking at the nicest used Airstream I've ever seen and I indicated I'd buy it. Well, that set off warning bells all around. First, I had cash and they were terrified. I offered to go to the bank with them, make a deposit, get a photocopy of the title, and have them fill out the sandard Bill of Sale. Second, did I have insurance? Well, of course, I have insurance, but what business was that of theirs? Once the trailer was paid for and the Bill of Sale signed, the trailer would be effectively mine and I would be responsible for it. But, no, what if there were an accident and I came back on the owners for some reason. A phone call was placed to the owners in Canada. They wanted a Notorized original of my insurance addendum, and a Notorized original of some form from the Washington DMV even though the trailer was registered and titled in California and I would be registering it in Oregon so the Washington DMV would have nothing to do with it. After a long conversation that included a third party Canadian/Scottsman who fancied himself to be knowledgeable about lawer type stuff, especially insurance, it was suggested that I should put $1000 down to hold the trailer until they returned from Canada sometime in early August and I should make the trip again to pick up the trailer. When I objected to that plan, I was told that there were "others" intersted in the trailer, specifically two teachers from Florida who were willing to come clear out to NW Washington to buy the trailer, and, of course they would, because they were "Airstreamers." And that's when the light finally dawned in my thick skull - I wasn't good enough for their trailer because I wasn't "WBCCI."
The conversation with the owner ended with my promise "think this over for a bit." I told the friend I was going home, empty handed, a whole day wasted along with $75 worth of gas.
It's a beautiful trailer, well worth the price, but my stack of $100 bills wasn't good enough to get it. Good Luck to the next people who make the attempt! Darol
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:29 PM   #2
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Oh my goodness, that's the strangest thing I've ever heard! Who turns away real money and someone willing to buy your trailer on the spot? That's just bizarre!

Jokes on them, I've not met a single person in the WB who's more of an Airstreamer than YOU!

My WB number is good, shall we drive back up and get it
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:47 PM   #3
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I had a similar experience in my searching days....

Drove out to check out a nice little 68' caravel for sale for $1800....cash in hand. Once I checked it over and decided to go for it the owner told me they were only taking offers.....obviously above and beyond the advertised $1800.........
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:49 PM   #4
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That's just totally WRONG, Darol!! Sounds like they are in no hurry to sell, but you would think in this economy, they wouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. It probably wasn't meant to be, which may be a good thing for you. Who knows, maybe after they sold it to you they would claim it was sold under duress and sue to get it back!!
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:59 PM   #5
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Scam alert

It sounds more like a scam.
1. no title
2. owner not present
3. a plea for cash
4. a threat/pressuyre to do the deal (others will buy it if you don't)

$75 dollars is not pocket change, at least for me. But $1000 dollars and never seeing the people/trailer adain would be a crime.

The search is not free so chalk this event up as part of the process and do not feel that they were looking down upon you but rather they were more than likely trying to steal your money.
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Old 07-15-2008, 08:27 PM   #6
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No, I don't think it was any kind of scam. They are very decent people. I think they are just at that age where they suspect everyone is out to get them and this time it was me. Bad luck, I guess. Darol
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Old 07-15-2008, 08:30 PM   #7
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It might be that they are thinking that they priced the trailer too low and wanted you to up the price a little? Just a thought...
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Old 07-15-2008, 08:39 PM   #8
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They were probably just trying to cover their butts since they were not able to sign the documents. In CA, all you need to do to release liability of the vehicle is to complete and sign the Release of Liability form 138
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/forms/reg/reg138.pdf

Since they were not available to sign this (which is an attachment to CA Title) or the title, they were probably nervous about completing the deal. It makes no difference to them wether or not you have insurance as once they sign the release they are not liable...you are.

You might contact them and see if they will complete the deal when they return from Canada and knock off $75 for the gas for your unproductive 1st trip to purchase the trailer.
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Old 07-15-2008, 08:39 PM   #9
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What a bummer! I can't think of anyone who would take better care of a cherished Airstream! Their loss.
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Old 07-15-2008, 08:45 PM   #10
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I don't think price was the issue, either, although that has happened in the past. I wanted to buy a restorable '46 Chris Craft runabout some years ago. It was listed at $2500, a bit high, but it had all the fittings and a good engine. I went prepared with $2500 and a trailer to haul it home. The Baptist minister who was selling it told me he already had a full price offer and thought that I should offer him more. I went home - boatless. Seems to be a pattern developing here - - - Darol
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Old 07-15-2008, 11:31 PM   #11
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I've been through this buying other "objects" too. And the geriatric couple that had our 34' Excella had some of the same twitches. I see it as a post-80 thing. We'll all find out first-hand in a few years, but by then we'll think we're being "normal."
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:34 AM   #12
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If you don't suspect a scam, then try to make the deal when the owner is available. It doesn't sound like the friends are going to let it go anyway. As the buyer, I would have been very reluctant to take possession of the trailer without the owner present. A notorized bill of sale from the owner and signed title would be in my hand before I ever hooked to it.

My in-laws are in their 80's and I can see them acting like this. My father-in-law would even use his truck to tow it home for you but not until he was 100% sure his butt (and everyone elses) was covered.

Roger
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBolton View Post
If you don't suspect a scam, then try to make the deal when the owner is available. It doesn't sound like the friends are going to let it go anyway. As the buyer, I would have been very reluctant to take possession of the trailer without the owner present. A notorized bill of sale from the owner and signed title would be in my hand before I ever hooked to it.

My in-laws are in their 80's and I can see them acting like this. My father-in-law would even use his truck to tow it home for you but not until he was 100% sure his butt (and everyone elses) was covered.

Roger
Old people equals wisdom.

They may be old, but they usually have been around the block a few times, or more.

As we become older, time, and money, become more precious, and their wisdom sometimes excels.

When your younger, you can be had with the "screwed" word, and still, in time, recover.

Not so for the senior citizens.

But it's also sometimes a lot of fun, being a senior.

We, including me, can easily say, "I don't remember, what I forgot."

As a senior, most of us have worked very hard to reach that plateau, so we plan on using it to the best of out abilities.

Seniors, everywhere, stand your ground.

Andy
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Old 07-16-2008, 06:23 AM   #14
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Sometimes old just means distrustful, suspicious and a little senile.
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