In all my experiences of owning cars (from 1953 to present day), I have taken very few risks and only a few mild gambles – but never have I risked thousands of pounds buying an old car within 5 minutes on EBAY without seeing it.
Owning a 1933 Austin 7 RP – which you may read, I am converting to full battery power, I was searching EBAY for minor parts and spares. EBAY is relatively new to me, but on the bottom of any item you may see there – are prompts concerning the subject matter or similar products to what you started searching for. So why on earth did an AUCTION of an Austin 10 – with only a few minutes left!!!! – come my way????
£3200 for a 1933 Austin 10, LOOKING like it did – with the last bid 5 days prior – was very cheap but interesting. I had paid twice as much for the 7, so if I could add this to my own stable, I would be very happy……… knowing how the ‘maximum bid’ you are prepared to offer works – and with literally a few minutes to spare – I placed my first MAXIMUM in – with a 2nd unposed (to see of the last bid was to be ‘topped’)……sure enough “You have been outbid” – so with three seconds to spare I posted my final maximum………YAHOO!!!!! I won the auction – but that’s where the weird stuff started……PayPal simply didn’t work (5 times!!!!!) NOW what was I to do? With not paying for it, you can’t contact the vendor except through EBAY……. I left a dew messages……
Sometimes you just have to take a punt, be brave and follow it through – despite perhaps ‘Buyer Remorse’ setting off the alarm bells. OK, the car was in Southport. Having a very good friend living just 5 mins away from the vendor, I agreed by indirect messaging to pay CASH for it whilst seeing it for the first time [Sometimes you just have to take a punt], but at least I had a friend and a witness to any hiccups.
Uh oh……. the vendor texted “Yep come along, no prob’s” – except the time agreed and visited – he wasn’t there….but his Dad was…..[Oh no!!!!]. 1 hour driving to Southport, collecting my fiend, we hunt for the address……… Cars, Vans, more cars, a Camper Van, A sports Car, more cars……..and tucked at the back of a dark garage – MY AUSTIN.
‘Dad’ didn’t know anything about the history or have ANY details at all. The vendor was miles away…. but looking over it, it seemed very very solid, genuine and complete. Thankfully the vendor would deliver it for me, so I shelled out the cash……. A very very weird experience to say the least…. A 1973 tax disc, the older green folded log-book, after 47 years in a dry garage the Austin was a true ‘find’ (and it would have been a lot more had it been running AND at a classic car auction).
I will NEVER buy any car ever again on EBAY – well not without seeing it.