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Have you ever been "Flipped"?

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#1 Oldford OFFLINE  

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Posted February 27, 2015 - 11:33 AM

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

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#2 Auburn David OFFLINE  

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Posted February 27, 2015 - 11:43 AM

We live and learn.

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#3 KennyP OFFLINE  



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Posted February 27, 2015 - 12:01 PM

I know a guy like that here! Sorry he did that. Bet you'll be more careful with him!

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#4 tater195 ONLINE  


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Posted February 27, 2015 - 12:06 PM

I have sold tons of stuff on CL. I price it fair but I dont give stuff away. The only thing that ever showed back up on CL was a turd of an atv that my son traded for guns and cash, for the same amount as the original ad. Not sure if there was any funny business going on , but my son was happy with the deal

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#5 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

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Posted February 27, 2015 - 12:23 PM

I can understand your frustration exactly. I had a 1954 John Deere 50 farm tractor that I wanted to sell, and my asking price was $2,500.00. The tractor was complete, ran very well, the sheet metal was straight except for a dent in the corner of the grille, and the tractor had the 801 3pt hitch. I took into consideration that the tires would need replaced as well as the seat cushion and backrest, and the tractor should be restored. I, like you, checked around to see what others in this condition were going for, and seeing how restored 50's without the 3pt hitch were selling on average around $5,000.00, I thought my selling price was fair.


I had a cousin that was very interested in buying the tractor, so I never advertised the tractor as being for sale. I figured I'd give him the opportunity in buying it, and it would be an added bonus to keep the tractor in the family. After about 6 months of telling me he wants, then saying he couldn't afford it, then telling me he wants it again, we finally decided on a date of pick up. When he shows up to see the tractor, he has a guy with him that is going to finance the tractor for my cousin. Seemed like a nice guy, didn't know anything about the tractor, but was willing to give my cousin the money. However, the guy tells my cousin he will only finance $2,000.00 for the tractor, as he didn't feel it was worth the $2,500.00 asking price. A little baffled as to how this guy knows the worth of a tractor that he doesn't know anything about, I agreed to the counter offer anyway, again, happy to know that the tractor will be kept in the family.


About a month and a half ago, I find out that my cousin sold the tractor to a guy for $2,800.00. How do I know this? My cousin actually had the guts enough to call me and tell me! Jokingly, I said that's great, you not only sold the tractor, but you even made enough to reimburse me the $500.00 that you talked me out of. He then proceeds to tell me that he had a lot of money he had to put out on the tractor, as the transmission was bad, he had to replace the clutch and both brakes, and the water pump was no good. Now I know for a fact that the transmission and clutch were both solid when the tractor left my place that night, and even though the brakes weren't the best, they still had a lot of life left in them. So needless to say, I did a little investing, not so much to see if my cousin was lying to me, but to find out if I may have been a bad seller. I'm an honest man, and I have a reputation to uphold.


After a week and a half of research, I find that my cousin was using the tractor for sled pulls, and was weighting the tractor down heavily in order to pull in the higher classes. This tractor wasn't made for that kind of abuse, so yes, there will be things that brake, but that's not my fault. A 3,000lb tractor isn't made for pulling in a 10,500lb class. With that kind of abuse each week, something had to give. 


Anyway, I didn't mean to steel your thread, but to answer your question, yes, I feel your pain. Cheated out of my original asking price, and find that it sold for more. Also finding out that you have a no good cousin to boot!!

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#6 Sawdust ONLINE  

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Posted February 27, 2015 - 12:43 PM

Been there, done that, cried over it but I like to sleep good at night. Being honest doesn't always seem to pay off but it does in many ways. Being self employed & dealing with people every day I have to wonder sometimes myself. Pay backs for honesty come in many different ways. Just be glad you done the right thing & maybe don't put such a low value on your items, you can always come down. Your rewards will come back to you sooner or later.

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Posted February 27, 2015 - 12:49 PM

It wasn't mine, but I was after a pair of Carlisle lug tires, guy had them on CL for I think $50. I tried to call, email, etc, no repsonse. that was on Saturday. I them see the exact same tires on CL on Monday for sale for $150. I put my own ad on CL in a

RE: response to the effect "are these the same tires that were on CL Saturday for $50?"  Obviously they were cause his emails were not too nice to me. Normally I would not have said anything, but I was wanting them to use, not to just try for a quick flip. Now, I could care less. I have bought and sold 2 tractors in the last year and a half for a profit myself, not much more than a hundred dollars on each. As long as I get what I want, the next person can do with whatever they want. If that's make a few hundred or more, so be it. It can be frustrating but oh well, not worth my sanity.

Actually, come to think of it, the one tractor I sold was for sale over double what I sold it to him for.

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#8 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 27, 2015 - 01:07 PM

Allways be honest, it will confuse people. I don't cheat people but, I don't let them cheat me either. There are plenty of scammers, just don't let them talk you down from what you know to be a fair price. I push for the good price these days. Remember: no good deed goes unpunished. Good Luck, Rick

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#9 David Brown OFFLINE  

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Posted February 27, 2015 - 01:14 PM

It's happened to me before but it didn't really upset me.  I got what I wanted.  Had I wanted to hold on to it longer and get more, I would have.  Didn't want bothered.  Now, on the other hand, I usually pull the seller aside when I am getting an unbelievable deal and I let them know 1. that it's worth more than what I am giving and 2. I tell them that I sometimes fix them up, sometimes sell them for profit to help support my hobby or part them out.  I just want them to know my intentions up front and give them the chance to say that they would rather try and get more.  Everybody is happy.  Was I always like this?  No, but I've learned over the years.  Besides, I know most of the people I am dealing with and I really don't want to screw them over.  I'm in negotiations for a tractor that I have been looking for for the last 25 years.  I'll get it at a good price (probably) but whether or not it will be good enough remains to be seen.  Just have to wait until he is ready to sell.

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#10 farmer john OFFLINE  

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Posted February 27, 2015 - 01:51 PM

yes I hate scammers, I had a decent jd 140 h3, and lots of guys were looking for parts, I did not want to part it and it was a running machine, no smoke, I finally sold it for $500 to a guy who swore he wanted one as his dad had one restored and would be a nice project for them, within a week my tractor is on ebay in a few hundred pieces, my only consolation is that he lives 3hrs away and about 6 months later hes down at my place wanting to buy 3 jd round fenders for another father son project, he offers $700, I counter at $2000 firm and inform him that I saw what he did to the 140, I hope he enjoyed his ride home empty handed

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#11 T Guiles OFFLINE  

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Posted February 27, 2015 - 02:20 PM

I sold a 08 kx 450 to a guy for a decent price only to see it on cl a week later for kbb value. All I can say is I treat people the way I want to be treated. I also sleep very well at night. It seem like the more American pickers programs you see on TV the more shady creatures come out.
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#12 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted February 27, 2015 - 02:42 PM

I have seen that a few times locally.  I saw a Ford tractor that wouldn't start.  A month later, a similar tractor was listed for about a hundred dollars more.  I bought it.  It runs great.  I didn't want it not running, I have too many of them.  I was glad to pay for him to have fixed it and make it reliable.


I'm sorry you got hosed over by that fellow.  There are plenty of people like him around.  I'm glad they are not on here.

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#13 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 27, 2015 - 02:51 PM

Oldford, You and I are the same way it seems. On the rare occasion I sell something I go over every minor flaw and blemish and sometimes people say I talk down about my equipment too much :D but that's just the way I was raised to be honest and fair to people you deal with.


There's all kinds of people out there. It is America however and they can do what ever they want when selling but if it was me I would not buy something only to sell it for an insane profit. Most of the things I have sold over the years were either what I originally paid or close to it, sometimes less. But being a collector its not about the money for me and would much rather have something go to a good home for less money compared to have something like this happen or someone part it out. I usually ask alot of questions on what their intentions are when they want to buy something from me before I sell it.


Hope your next deal turns out better!

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#14 Bolens800uk OFFLINE  

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Posted February 27, 2015 - 03:07 PM

A few years back I sold my Agrati Capri scooter to an enthusiat for £200. He told me he wanted to restore it and I gave him some parts I had accumulated for my intended project. A wek later I see it advertised for £650 plus the parts for separate negotiation. I was well teeded off with him.

That's market forces for you.....

Edited by Bolens800uk, February 27, 2015 - 03:07 PM.

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#15 Oldford OFFLINE  

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Posted February 27, 2015 - 04:33 PM

Sorry for such a long-winded post.  Thanks for reading it and for the replies.  I knew I was giving it away but also knew that, to do it right the new owner would have some work to do.  There are a lot of poor people around me and I guess I just take inflated prices and profiteering too much to heart. 


I don't know if i'd call him a scammer, i don't know him, it just surprised me to see it listed the next day for a grand more than he paid me.  That really is over-priced, I've seen him sell those tractors, newer ones even, for $500 with a mower deck.  Around here a small Case blower is around 300, mine needed a bearing so i figured it was worth 200, so 700 tops.  He is asking almost double that, with no mention of the gear having been loose inside the motor.  And the tractor had other issues that I told him about, and he's not mentioning in the ad.


Maybe he is just trying to take advantage of the snow that is piled up around here, maybe people are desperate for snowblowers.  Either way I won't deal with that guy again.


I have heard stories from other Case owners about the guy, didn't believe them until now.  Well live and learn... and no good deed goes unpunished, ha.


I'm not upset to have sold it for cheap, or that he's going to make some coin off my loss, that was my choice, and I wish him well, he has some health issues.  I just hope someone doesn't pay too much for it to start with, being misled, then something inside the motor related to that governor gear comes apart, and just lost a thousand bucks because of somebody else's greed and coverup.


Anyway thanks again for your replies, it helps to get other people's ideas and experiences, good perspective for the future

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