Categorized | Car Stories, Featured Cars

Calling All Flippers

Posted on 18 February 2012 by Chris

The vacuum effect. It sucks in the auto enthusiast to that just out of reach automobile. You know the one I’m talking about. It’s the car you always wanted but was just a bit too expensive or the timing wasn’t right or for some reason, you never could acquire.

Then on the perfect day of the perfect year at the perfect moment you type that search term into Craigslist and boom… There it is your dream car at a dream price. It was only listed 20 minutes ago. By the time the seller answers his phone you’ve been beat by another person. That person, you’re sure has nowhere near the respect and love you have for the car. He’s only buying it to flip it and could care less who’s hands it ends up in, as long as he makes his money. He uses special software to get notifications every-time your dream car is listed, anywhere in the world. And even better, though that car is thousands of miles away. He is always “Local” with “Cash”. He’s everywhere, all the time and he’s beating you to your car.

It happens every day. You’ve seen the ads plastered all over Craigslist. “Old Porsche Wanted, Cash Paid”, “1957 Alfa Romeo Wanted”, “Looking for old kit cars” and on they go. Internet savvy flippers with only one conviction, To Make Money.

Does this bother me you might ask? Yeah, a little. Everyone has the right to make money but when I see innocent sellers who are sincerely looking for a good home for their beloved family member (classic car) get wined and dined by the Craigslist Flipping Elite… And, The said “Elite” makes promises to restore and love and cherish the beloved family member fully knowing they intend to flip it ASAP. Even more sad, they lowball unsuspecting sellers who are already selling the car so far below market value it’s a great deal.

You Flipper, have the worlds most impressive garage. You invite unsuspecting seller over to view your collection, you promise to pay him to deliver the car and give him rides in your latest and greatest super cars. You belittle his love for his car, knocking off nickles and dimes with every hurtful blow of automotive verbal critique. But you Flipper, are the self proclaimed “Expert” with the “Stable” to prove it. You win Concours d”elegance events. Yes I said “You” win them. Not your cars. Strange eh?  Then, once you have feasted on your prey, you get your dessert, the classic car. Even though you have millions wrapped up in your garage and your “Stable”, you won’t pay the seller for their beloved car until your “mechanics” check it over. This buys you enough time, maybe 3-4 days to have your Cronies come over and see the car. And you Flipper, do what you do best, Flip the car. Your so called “mechanic” time just made you money on something you never owned. Yes, This bothers me.

Flipper maybe this video will help you understand.

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It’s one thing if you truly were an enthusiast and could use the parts or it was helping to fund a project, or may truly know someone looking for this classic car.

But that’s wishful thinking.

Okay I’ll stop my ranting but I will leave you with this. My life has been lived, almost every breath breathed, times enjoyed and much dismay felt around rolling works of art. I love the automobile. I love transportation. I love the history behind every nut and bolt and panel beaten and on and on. It’s my passion.

Perhaps you’re wondering if I’m talking to you. Let me help.

You are a flipper if:

  • The first thing that comes to mind when you see a car for sale is how much you’re going to make on it when you sell it.
  • You’ve sold the same number of cars that you’ve bought in the past year.
  • You lie to make money. Sure anyone can justify their story and promises but really telling someone you’re going to “Restore” the car when you fully know you’re going to sell it to someone who will restore it or love it… You Lie Flipper.
  • I almost laugh when I hear a “Flipper” explain how they’ve “Owned” this car or that car. Yeah buddy, for 2 days?
  • Even better: Flipper of course doesn’t title the car in his name. He’ll claim something like “Open Title” or “Clear Title Ready To Transfer”. Yet, he somehow know’s the cars quirks inside and out, he knows its history, he know’s everything there is to about this car he’s had in his possession for the last 4 days.
  • Why not get a dealers license and operate a legit business? That would require paying taxes.
  • Or do you and still claim you’re a “Private Seller”?
  • You have to belittle other potential buyers to make yourself look good.
  • (This one makes me sick) You DISMANTLE perfectly good, road-worthy, vintage cars with perfectly good titles because you make more money that way! I’m not talking parts cars. (Remember Flipper, You told me you put your kids through college doing this with Porsche’s)…
  • You have no intention of keeping a car for more than a month
  • The only wrench you turn is to pull parts that will make you more money, and by the way, you still damage them when removing them because of your inability to have the patience to work on a vehicle
  • You use words in your negotiation like “Dreaming of this car”, “Stable Mate”, “Collection”, “Good Home”, “Pay Cash”, and so-on.
  • Why Mr Flipper, is it so hard for you to be honest?

This brings up a good question; Do cars have a soul? Yes. What does that mean to you Flipper? You’re basically a slave trader in my book. I encourage you, Flipper, to pick up more than a spray bottle of Armor-All, even more than a wrench (you know the one you use to pull off the good parts and replace them with your knock-off crap before you sell the car), pick up your morals and rekindle that love you perhaps once, long ago felt for the classic automobile. Title that car in your name, own it, fix it, make it better than how you found it and pass it along to a true enthusiast. Someone with a connection to a fond memory of their past. Someone fulfilling a lifelong dream. Someone with a bucket-list. Someone trying to remember or even someone trying to forget. This is what classic car ownership is about. Set aside your piggy bank full of said “Cash” that you are so willing to pay and enjoy life through motoring.

Sincerly,
Caring Automobile Enthusiast

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2 Comments For This Post

  1. John Straub Says:

    You hit the nail on the head!!!! Two thumbs up!

  2. Ivan Says:

    Your article is 100% on the money.

    Between the all the car shows showing us how to get rich flipping cars, those with too much cash and not enough talent that buy cars only to watch them rot in their garage and the low life you write about, car restoration is no longer for the father and son project. Too bad.

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