I wasn't going to do this. I had in mind that the previous post about my Mercedes 500SEC would be the last one about that car, but despite the buyer eventually buying it and driving it away by all accounts there is a little more to that story yet, so to re-cap...
And away it goes!!
Or so I thought. A day or so after it drove out of my life the new owner phones me up and says that he wants me to take the Mercedes back and give him his money back for it!! So I asked him why, and he tells me that it needs too much money spending on it to get it to a level where he would be happy about it.
The thing is, as far as I
was concerned I described it accurately on fleabay, here is the final couple of paragraphs from my ad, which I have just copied, and I don't think I've mis-represented it at all:-
"All in all this 1988 Mercedes Benz 500 SEC is quite a nice car that will get you about with a smile on your face come rain or shine. It has 182,000+ miles on it now, and comes complete with some service history. The MOT runs untill Sept next year thousands have been spent on the car over the years. This car is a 28 year old un-restored classic and therefore does have a few small rust blisters, but is by no means a 'rust bucket', and has a few small scratches etc, it is not perfect and upon close inspection, and in areas it is starting to look a little tired now and would benefit from a bit of cosmetic tlc to look absolutely superb again. The interior is in very nice condition with no rips or tears on the leather upholstery, the power seats are heated and electric and work as they should, inside everything is very nice, however the headlining from the sunroof has become detached, and is in the boot. It runs and drives beautifully, and has plenty of power, and is smooth through the gears, it is a very pleasureable thing to drive. I just don't have the time anymore to spend on the car at the moment, or the space to store it and so I am reluctantly selling it.
As you can see from the photos it is a really nice example of an unrestored Mercedes 500 SEC, but remember it is not a new car, and it is not a restored car so please do feel free to ask questions, or better still come and have a look at it for yourself you won't be disappointed. Also remember that although this Mercedes is a good car, and starts first time every time, everything seems to work as it should, it is still a 28 year old car, and not a brand new car, and therefore it is not perfect like a brand new car is. I have this advertised elsewhere and so I reserve the right to end the auction early. I would prefer cash on collection only please, no PayPal. Winning bidder must make contact within 24 hours. Many thanks for looking. Please remember that you are bidding to buy, and not to come and haggle afterwards. There is no reserve, so good luck and happy bidding!"
So much for the not coming to haggle afterwards bit! Anyway he has looked at it, and tested it on two seperate occasions, then I let him have it for much less money than he won it for. But he's said that he took it to his workshop for a good looking over, and he isn't happy about it anymore. It was fine for me, so what on earth could've happened to it in the 24 hours he's had it? Of course, as he'd bought it a couple of days ago, and he seemed happy with it, I have sent the documents off, as I like to send them off on the day the I sell the car incase someone needs to have the documents back really quickly for some reason like for example taking their car to Germany. So as I explained to him that I can't take the car back as I don't have the documents. The thing is, I hate it when this sort of thing happens, it worries me and I never know what I should do. The way I would play it if it should happen to me when I am the buyer is that I bought a car which was sold as seen, so whatever is now wrong with it, it's my problem now, as irritating as that might be, but it seems that people think that this is no longer the case. But according to the new owner of it he says that by law he can return the purchase item without any reason. However in my mind this only applies to new goods bought from a shop, not second hand goods bought from an auction? It even says on my listing "No returns accepted" but still I find myself wondering what should I do, and where shall I go from here as I think that my description, and the photos I put on fleabay were a fair representation of the Mercedes while I had it.
When it ended initially I was chuffed, because he had won it, and therefore he knew what he was geting into. Then he said he didn't want it, and I should offer it to the next guy down the list, which I did. Then he showed up the following morning to buy it, but again he looked at it for getting on for an hour, and had a little test drive. Then he offered me less than it sold for, and for the sake of just selling it and moving on with the story, I let him have it because atleast I got my money back so that was good enough for me. The thing is, that I didn't notice any suspension issues, I didn't notice any vibration at 90mph, although that may well be because I didn't drive it at 90mph, but at 70ish it was certainly fine, and I didn't notice any camshaft noise. Presumably when he was testing it both times he came to see it niether did he, otherwise why would he take it in the first place? Both times he started it from cold, he had the bonnet up looking at the engine while it was running, why didn't he notice any camshaft noise then? I don't know what his game is.
The funny thing is that strangely I do feel a bit bad for him, mainly because I don't like to think that someone isn't happy with something that they got from me, however when he drove it, and when he was signing the documents I did ask him if he was happy, and he said he was. My feeling was that the only problem with the Mercedes was that he took it home and his wife said, "You're not keeping that!" and this is why he wanted to return it. However, over the next couple of days he became more and more insistant that I must have it back. In the end he told me that he was just going to turn up with it. Unfortunately for him I was away working at my brothers house, and so I told him that there was no point in doing that as I wouldn't be home. To which he replied that he was just going to leave it parked in the street, post the keys through my letterbox, and return on a different day to collect the money. To which I replied that there's no way I'll be giving him the money as the DVLA still have the documents, so if he leaves it in the street he'll have to pay for whatever tickets it ends up getting, and he is responsible for anything that happens to it, as by then it will be in his name.
Anyway, he was pretty persistant and started yelling at me down the phone, and telling me that I needed to come home now so I could sort this out. I said that as far as I was concenered it was sorted out, he had bought a second hand car from me, and now it was his car, and if for whatever reason he no longer wanted it that had nothing to do with me and was his problem. He hung up on me, so I turned my phone off for the couple of days I was at my Brothers house.
Irritatingly turning the phone off so that he can't get hold of me hasn't really helped put my mind at rest, and strangely I've not been able to sleep. I find myself lying awake in bed wondering what could be wrong with my old car, I never had any trouble with it, it was great. The stupid thing is, the buyer seemed like a nice guy, and for all I know he probably is, but for whatever reason he decided after buying it that he didn't want it, well really, after winning the auction it would be too late to back out of it, the contract is made, and it's his. I've had a couple of people who have won the auction, and not even shown up, and I've had a couple of people who have won the auction, then came and looked at he car and decided for whatever reason that they don't want it. This, I will admit really urinates me off, but I just let them go, because I don't want to make someone have something that they don't really want. However, what I don't understand is winning the auction, collecting the car, driving it away, and then wanting to bring it back for a refund, I'd never do that, it just isn't the done thing in my opinion, once its yours, then it's yours until you sell it. I tried to put my mind at ease by thinking that hopefully the only problem with it was that he took it home and his wife said, "You're not keeping that!" and this is why he wanted to return it. I hoped that during the couple of days I was working at my Brothers, and the so called buyer wouldn't be able to get in touch with me he'd use that time and see if he can talk her around. In my mind I wished him well...
A couple of days later and I was driving home from my Brothers house. The unhappy sale of the Mercedes was still playing on my mind. I decided that I'd not turn my phone on when I got home before I'd had a cup of tea, checked my emails, and checked the inevitable stream of messages left for me on fleabay.
I sat at my computer with a cup of tea and a couple of digestives, and quickly scanned the inbox in my email account, one message caught my eye from my insurance company, it just read, 1988 Mercedes 500SEC F335 MRT URGENT! I thought that was a bit odd, I've not had an email from my insurance company like that before, I thought I'd better see what they wanted especially as it was urgent, and they sent it five days ago! I opened it up, and it said that according to my insurance it would appear that the Mercedes was involved
in a hit and run accident on Saturday morning less than 24 hours after I had sold it on
Friday morning. I called my insurance company up and said that if they checked on their database they would see that I cancelled the cover on that car 24 hours before this accident had occured because I had sold the car to somebody else. My insurance company wouldn't go into
details about what happened, who was at fault, or whatever, they just
said that it had been involved in an accident, and wanted to know if I
still had it, which as I'd already told them, I didn't. The insurance agent asked me if I could give him the name and address of the new owner, which I did. He then said to leave it with him.
After a bit of a chat with the insurance agent the pieces started to fall into place in my mind. I finally knew why the chap who happily bought it from me on Friday morning phoned me up on Saturday afternoon adamant that he must return it as he no longer wanted it. It wasn't the wife telling him that he couldn't have it after all, it was the fact that he'd crashed it, and driven away from the scene! The thing is, if it's a bit stuffed up, why would he think that I would want it back? Strange... Very strange... And a bit sad really. I know that it wasn't perfect, but it was very nice.
Anyhoo, with this new information on why the new owner no longer wanted his Mercedes coming to light I decided that it was about time I turned on my phone. I gingerly turned it on, within about five minutes it was ringing, and it was Mr. Hit'n'Run. Apparently there were no longer any need for pleasantries, and he launched straight into a torrent of abuse about how I've got to take the Mercedes back immediately. I listened to what he had to say because frankly I wasn't able to get a word in edgeways, and finally he stopped. During this pause I told him about my phone call from my insurance agent, and how they knew it had been in a hit and run accident, and that I had fowarded them his contact details in order that they can send the details on to whoever the other person involved in the accident was. I then went on to say that if he continued to harass me further then I would have no choice but to have a little chat with the police about it all. His tone of voice changed quite a lot, and he apologised profusely before hanging up.
With that call done I logged onto fleabay to check my messages, as I expected, I had about ten from Mr. Hit'n'Run, I gave them a cursory glance over, but they pretty much all said the same thing, I had to buy the Mercedes back immediately. With all the messages read I was just about to close fleabay when I noticed a new message from Mr Hit'n'Run, it was another apology, he would make no further contact, and that good feedback had been left.