Old Dog in 21st Century
Lots of you computer literate guys and gals may get a chuckle out of this, but the past two months has been interesting to me. First of all, I'm on the back side of 65 years young, and have been trying to learn more and more about this computer my wife and son forced on me. (Instructions were written in a foreign language as far as I was concerned) Hotrodders.com that I fat fingered onto about 18 months ago is about the most complex thing I do.For the past two months, I have been surfing autotrader.com and other sites for a car for my wife and truck for me. We do not buy new cars 'cause I can't bring myself to leave all that money on the table when I drive off the New Car Dealers lot. Also, I tend to drive a car/truck until it drops so driving a brand new one does not turn me on. Well, the wife's 88 Eldorado is about dead, and my 68 Bronco half cab is getting to valuable to keep on the road. Have followed up on numerous vehicles within 200 miles of my zip code and missed out on what appeared to be several good deals, but were gone by the time I would/could make my move. Thursday, I was able to close a deal on a 3 year old Eldorado for the wife and feel good about it. That Northstar engine seems to be amazing. I have been watching the mileage closely, thanks to the on board computer, and after 410 miles, it is getting 28.3 mpg (mostly Interstate driving) This car depreciated 60% in 3 years and 30,000 miles and I expect my wife will put another 130,000 miles on it to finish off the remaining 40% depreciation.
Now for my truck: after a bunch of research and talking with different owners of different trucks, I narrowed my search to a Toyota Tundra, V 8, access cab, and 4WD. I was side tracked on the new Nissan Titan after seeing how JD Powers rated it in comparison to the Chevy Silverado, Dodge Ram 1500 with big engine, Ford F150 with big engine, and the Tundra. It sort of beat them, in most categories, according to JD. Well, I drove a new one and was impressed with the performance, ride, handling, the bed package and the general lay out. I did not like the bigger size over the Tundra and the jury is still out on the all aluminum engine. I was looking thru the drivers window as the sales rep was demonstrating all the bells and whistles when I happened to notice daylight coming thru a crack between door and pillar on the drivers side rear door. Yep, the door was closed securely, but I must say my old 68 Bronco seals better than that!! Back to the story line: my son sent me a link to an ebay auction involving a new, unsold 2003 Tundra that had every thing I was looking for. I have never bought or sold anything on ebay and normally get totally lost in it. He came over and set me up with an account and qualifying me as a valid bidder. He had emailed the seller with some questions I had about the listing and he responded, providing us with a name and email address. Dumb me did not ask him for a contact phone number for more questions in case they arose late in the bidding. One hour before the bid was to close, I entered a bid and became the 18th bidder. My son was up on his computer and we were on the phone making sure I was following along ok. With 15 min to go, I was still the high bidder (reserve not met) and I asked my son if I should enter a maximum bid in case there was a last minute feeding frenzy and I could not get a bid in fast enough. He thought that was a good ideal so I upped my bid $2000., but was still below what I was willing to pay. Well, no frenzy developed and I ended up high bidder, but was below the seller's Reserve. I contacted the seller this AM, only to find he had sold the truck $500 dollars under his reserve right after the auction to a buyer that had been trying to get the truck before it was put on ebay. Turns out, if I had put in my full maximum bid, I would have gotten the truck for the seller's Reserve which would have been a $1000 below what I was willing to pay!! The seller and I both lost on this one.
All's well that ends well: this after noon, I followed up on an autotrader listing and found the same truck that was on ebay, but had 7400 miles on it and I have tentatively bought it for $4000 less than I was willing to pay for the new one!! This is $8000 dollars below the MSRP
Am I the only one that got a rush out of their first ebay experience? I'm not sure this is a good thing. Now I am going to start bidding on some under $10.00 items to gain some experience so if a big purchase comes up in the future, I will fully understand how the system works and not miss out again!!!
If any one has any good tips and pointers they want to share, I sure would appreciate any and all of them!!