Real waking life story: This is the prequel to my A Visit From a Sprite posting. As you may know, my 88 year old father had this old Austin Healey Sprite that he wanted to fix up. I tossed around the idea of doing a Kickstarter to fund the project, but first I needed to know the car’s actual value. Would it even be worth it to fix it? I knew how much my dad loved that car. It was a shame to just let it sit there and rot.
So this is where my story starts: It is early November and I am standing outside in my dad’s backyard discussing the car with my dad’s friend Nacho. He tells me that if my dad wants to sell that car he wants first dibs on it.
I mention it to my dad but he is determined not to sell the car. He really wants to fix it up even though he doesn’t think he will drive again. He had hip surgery in May and walks with a cane. I am only visiting for a few days, so I’ll have to continue the conversation when I come back for Thanksgiving in two weeks.
Back home, I look on auto sites and Craig’s list to see what price other people are listing similar cars. On Ebay, instead of watching the auctions, I just bid on a car when the bid is low. When it ends, Ebay sends me a “You lost” email with the amount of the winning bid. How fun is that! This gives me a good idea of what these cars are selling for without doing a lot of research.
Here are some of the cars I found:
This one did not sell for the highest bid because it never met the reserve. I also saw one like this on Craig’s list for $20,000. Jeez! It is totally cherried out. A bit more than what we want to do with Dad’s car. I don’t like the fancy rims. I like the classic look better.
This one is more like what my dad’s could look like, but it doesn’t have any top: I like the rims better..Not a bad price. Cheaper than we would spend to fix his up.
And then there is this one. Oh, man! THIS is how I want my Dad’s car to look. AND it has a hard top. Look what it sold for! My “cheap bid” just to watch it was $3500. I figured it would sell for at least $6000. I never thought it would sell so dang cheap. And it is in Southern CA about an hour or so from my dad’s.
I have to admit I am a bit bummed that I hadn’t bid higher and just won the darn thing. Heck the PARTS are worth $3650. But as you can see: You didn’t win this auction.
Out of curiosity, I click on the 18 bids link and mine is the 4th one from the top. There are 3 higher bidders above mine. The November 10th bidder who also put $3500 bumped me out as soon as I bid since his bid was placed earlier.
I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if I had bid $4000. Would I have won, or would they have outbid me and the car sold for a lot more? Well, no use thinking about it now. Too late.
At least it gets me thinking in a different direction. What If I just buy my dad a car that is already fixed up? If I can find one for under $5000, it would be worth it. Then we can just sell the other one to Nacho. That is, IF my dad will part with it.
I look at some more Ebay listings and do some research on delivery costs. Ouch. Looking at $2000 for shipping depending on where some of these cars are. I am so kicking myself now! I should have bid higher on that last one! It was in Southern CA already. CRAP!
Now three days have gone by since my missed opportunity and I don’t see anything else as appealing on Ebay or Craig’s list. I still get my “you lost” emails from Ebay, but the cars are either too much or too far away.
And then I get this email from Ebay:
WHAT!!!!!!??? This has got to be a scam. This can’t be real. There are 3 other bidders higher than mine. Even if the highest bidder backed out, there are TWO more people in line before me for a second chance offer. WHAT!!!???
I check the link. Yes, it is real. It is from Ebay. I look at the pictures of the car again. Should I? Shouldn’t I? . It looks pretty in the photo but what if it is a piece of junk in person?
Here is what the listing:says.
My normal reaction is to hesitate, to really think this over, to weigh all my options, to not jump into something without thinking it through. But this time I say: to heck with it, go for it! I have been kicking myself for the last 3 days. What is there to hesitate about! HIT THE DANG BUTTON!
CONGRATULATIONS! JUST IN TIME! ACTUALLY, I GOT A RESPONSE AND QUESTION FROM THE OTHER BIDDER. BUT YOU DID THE BUY IT NOW. YOU WON!
Whoo hoo! I am sooooo glad I did not hesitate. I would have lost it TWICE! Evidently the original winner couldn’t transport it and the other bidders above me didn’t respond to the second chance offers until AFTER I did. So I WIN! I WIN! WHOO HOO!
So very cool! And that isn’t even the best part. If you haven’t read the post about the day it arrived to my dad’s home (and did Nacho ever buy the old one) please read A Visit From a Sprite. There’s a video! And if you have read it, read it again now that you know the prequel!