You know the story…sell a car, buy a car, buy a car, sell a car. Easy as
pie, right? Well, have you ever tried to sell your car to someone living in
Canada? I did, and what an experience it was. Let's just say both sides
have to really want to complete the transaction. Here's the chronology of
events and some color commentary.
- We decided to sell my wife's car, which apparently is very rare. It's a
2000 C43 AMG and not very many were imported to the U.S. Mileage very low
for a 10 year old car, 79,500.
- I wrote a blog about the car several months ago on a Mercedes Benz
website. Someone read my blog and contacted me asking if I would like to
sell it. Good timing. His phone number indicated he was in Toronto, which
is a fabulous city if you've never been.
- He asked for a bunch of pictures, which I gladly sent.
- He asked for the VIN number so he could check which year the car was put
into service. No problem. Now it gets tricky.
- Apparently not every car is allowed into Canada permanently. It has to
be on their approved list of cars. And a 1999 version of my car was not
allowed in. Thankfully it was manufactured late enough in 1999 that it was
considered a 2000 model.
- Next, the car had to have one particular feature that would prove to be
the deal killer if it were missing. Anti-lock brakes, nope. Air bags,
nope. Emissions system, nope. Snow tires, nope. The car had to have the
"tether system", which is what you would use to secure a child seat.
Thankfully my car had it, which was news to me.
- Price negotiated, no problem.
- Pick up date, no problem other than he wanted it really quick. So, I
told him as long as I had clear funds before he picked it up then we'd be
- He wanted to send me a guaranteed check, which is a reasonable request.
Problem is my bank wanted 6-8 weeks and $120 to process a guaranteed check
drawn on a Canadian bank so that idea was no good.
- Next we looked at wiring the funds. I thought about it and giving a
complete stranger in a different country my bank account info just wasn't
appealing. Looks like we were stuck with Paypal for the deposit.
- Then he wanted to come down on a day I was out of town on business. He
had a non-refundable ticket so we were stuck. So, I asked a buddy of mine
(who is an avid member of the NRA) to facilitate the transaction. No
- So he flies down, hands my buddy a wad of cash and takes off Northbound.
I live in Atlanta, he lives in Toronto. And, he needed to get the boarder 3
days after the title and bill of sale arrived at the boarder. And he needed
to get there during normal business hours, which I assume he did.
Here's where the story ends. He now has a car that in about a month I'll
start regretting selling. Sellers remorse. At least the Labatt's Blue will
go down colder now that I know my old car is enjoying cooler weather.
John Ulzheimer – Credit scoring and credit reporting expert and author, John is the President of Consumer Education for Credit.com. Formerly with Equifax and Fair Isaac, John shares his unique insight of the inner workings of credit scoring models and the credit reporting industry on CreditBloggers.com.