If your Ford had a Matthew McConaughey, it would be a Lincoln

How to sell a car? A open debate between my wife and I

I'm throwing an entire wheelbarrow of money at the new (to me) Tercel, so it's time to sell my old DD that is going to waste just sitting around.

This will be the first car I have ever sold, having lost two previous cars to untimely demises. My wife hasn't sold a car since she was 18 when she left for college. We went out for some beers last night, and I proposed my plan of action and she offered her cautious rebuttal.

This was my plan: park the pickup along the very busy street a block from our place with a For Sale sign. I would prefer to sell locally and to actual human beings who are not Nigerian Princes. I may eventually post a craigslist ad, but frankly, I'm hoping to do this ye olde fashioned way. c.l. is the damned wild west. Flakes, tire-kickers, and people who try to knock down the price without even seeing the damn car yet. I will not do "meet you halfway" nonsense. This is an old high-mileage pickup, not a collector's car, nor a barn find.

My wife has the following concerns: we live in an... interesting area. Bordering on semi-sketchy, but with the usual low income single recreational drug users. Yet we're 10 blocks from a yuppie area. Things like that. So my wife does not want potential buyers to know where we live. She is scared of some dunce taking revenge on our property should something go wrong with the pickup after sale. I pointed out that this is an AS-IS private seller's state, but she is right to say that people can still cause us trouble. I remember a post here on Oppo about a gentleman who basically sold his car to some woman who abused/neglected the hell out of it and SHOWED UP AT HIS WORK and demanded satisfaction!

But that is what helps MY point. My name and address are on the flippin' title... Anyone could figure out where we live with minimal effort, because after all, you can't sell cars anonymously. But she believes that people around here are more likely to cause trouble than say a stranger from out of town. Maybe so, but I don't really think that's fair. There are plenty of normal people... maybe even seven GOOD people... in the area.

Anyway, she wants the car to be shown away from our house. I think that's fine. Where I have parked the car will be the natural meeting place. But I'm not going to propose meeting at the shitty local grocery store where I think people are even less likely to trust me. Also, who knows the kind of company that strangers will bring with them unannounced? These are general risks of dealing with strangers.

Every car I have ever bought (a whole five cars) has been at the owner's house. I have paid the amount and signed over paperwork IN the house, every time. Every time I have met someone at so-and-so rendezvous point has, anecdotally, been a clunker or wholly untrustworthy. I just feel that people should have a positive car buying experience. She's worried about us being scouted for a future robbery, which is actually a thing that pops up around here... On the other hand I'm worried about being stabbed in a Safeway parking lot.

My brother in law, the car guru and master negotiator, has NEVER sold anything from his own property, let alone his vehicle. I know many people like this. So there doesn't seem to a definite answer...

Basically I just want this car sold with the minimum of fuss and smallest amount of drama...

Any input from you guys?


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