You may want to sit back and open a beverage before reading, this post got away from me a bit....
First some background. I try to buy low, but not be a lowballer. Appreciating a good deal, I also try to sell low when my needs change. Not liking breakdowns, I usually put a lot of time and some money into my equipment. So I buy low, fix it up, use it, then sell it for what I originally paid, or a little more to cover my expenses if I had to spend a lot in the process.
I consider the work the tractor did for me to be the true "profit" in the deal. As well as the learning experience fixing it up, not to mention it keeps me out of trouble.
I'm not trying to be a saint it's just that I know the market value around here in the sticks, everyone's either poor or pretends to be, I guess the trick is trying to tell the difference, and help out the poor guys needing a good tractor while avoiding the scrappers or quick-buck flippers. plus I don't like haggling, and I don't like trying to squeeze out top dollar by reposting ads to the top every day, or dealing with tire-kickers or missed appointments because the price was too high and the guy got cold feet.
Plus I have this honesty problem where I tell people what's wrong up front, both in the ad and on the phone, before anybody takes the time to drive over and look at what I'm selling.
Knowing a little about old machines, I try to make sure the tractor's going to a good home, and vice-versa.
So having said all that, recently my little Case tractor puked out the shoulder bolt that holds the governor gear inside the block. I just bought it last month, it wasn't what the seller claimed but after 4 days and a hundred bucks at the Napa store I got it working pretty good, cleaned up after the big blizzard and a couple smaller storms. It had a weak blower bearing, which is a bear to replace on the Case blowers, so i was nursing it along, not wanting to do major surgery when it's 10 degrees outside and a steady storm cycle all winter "if it ain't broke don't fix it." Then I would clean up behind the case with my plow tractor.
So with the weak blower bearing, general "rode hard put away wet" condition of the tractor overall, and now with the governor screw backed out that I couldn't get back into place, I figured the worst and put it up for a quick sale.
It quit running right in the middle of the driveway with a storm coming the next night, I needed it out of the way of the plow truck, the banks are piling up pretty good and if we have a heavy March could be in trouble with nowhere to put the snow.
So I put the Case up for sale dirt cheap, although if the engine needed rebuilt I figured the next guy would be maxed out as far as ever getting his money back out of it, along with replacing the blower bearing. From what I've seen even with a rebuilt engine it is a $700 tractor around here, and this one was definitely tired, only a matter of time before it needed a pump, travel valve, drive motor, etc, although all that stuff was working strong currently but it's 38 years old with a lot of run time.
I should have known it was priced too low when i got around 10 emails right off the bat. Got so overwhelmed I pulled the ad down, asked for advice here, called an engine shop, tried to fix the gear myself, no luck, I figured it needed a rebuild.
Reposted the ad next day, within 10 minutes a guy calls, I talked to him a couple years ago, he's a well-known Case guy from up north, says he definitely wants the tractor. He had also sent me an email on the original ad the night before. I tell him all the problems, he says he's going to use it for parts, doesn't care about the engine or the blower bearing or the other things I mentioned, he needed the pump and some other parts.
At this point I'm glad, it was a great little tractor, at least it's not going to scrap, it needs to be retired, and this guy in the past had decent prices on the smaller Case tractors and attachments so i figured it's going where it needs to go. Heck, maybe he can use the parts on a newer machine that i might want to buy from him at a later date.
I didn't get to meet the guy, had a VA appointment, told him where the tractor was and to leave the dough in the door, he sounds honest on the phone. When i got home the tractor was gone and the money was there.
No problem, right?
The next day my old tractor shows up on Craigslist for a thousand bucks more than he paid me for it. It's my old tractor, it has the dealer sticker on the side, now out of business. It's one-year only decals as well. The seat was rotted out, and he put a new seat on it, which of course he mentions in the ad.
His ad doesn't say anything about having a loose governor gear in the engine, obviously he knew how to replace the screw and never bothered telling me I could have done it myself. Which is weird, we talked quite a long time on the phone, and I had talked to him a couple years ago with a different Case question, he seems like a helpful guy at least on the phone.
Just grab the tractor from the dummy and make a cool grand in a day. And i'm out around 500 bucks in a month's time of owning the tractor. I put in a new battery, blower belt, changed all the fluids, etc etc etc. Plus i paid the previous owner his asking price, didn't try to haggle, he said he was losing money on the deal, it was fair market value only after i finished working on it but i didn't mind, he was a nice old guy and it was doing a good job moving the plow banks back in a heavy winter.
Anyway, has anybody else ever tried to do the right thing and get flipped by a wheeler/dealer?
Don't even get me started on what he says over the phone about his daughter and disabilities, i'm disabled myself and don't want to give the rest of us a bad name.
Sorry for venting just had to get this off my chest