Sunday, February 19, 2012

Craigslist "For Sale By Owner" fails

Remember "back in the day" when you wanted to get a cheap car so you looked in the Saturday classifieds of your local newspaper? Spread across your dining room table were hundreds of cars for sale by owner, described in cryptic language like "92 Frd F-150, V6, PS, PL, A/T, VGC, nds engine, great trk" or something along those lines.

Then Craigslist happened.

Craigslist is basically the mecca of shady used car sale ads. You can find anything on that site: newer cars, older cars, cheap cars, expensive cars, wrecked cars, previously "barely wrecked cars," and everything in between. I've bought several cars off of Craigslist, and I peruse the ads on a near-daily basis just to see if there's anything out there that I can "rescue." I don't always find cars worth buying, but I always find something that's good for a laugh or three.

Click after the jump to continue reading this article.

"Engine rebuilt at 100K, odometer stopped working soon after."
This ad covers two of the most common CL catchphrases. First, the "Engine Rebuild." Many cars claim to have engine rebuilds, but the owner curiously can't produce any documentation, or they just say "Yeah, the guy who sold it to me told me it was rebuilt." 
Second, we see the mysteriously broken odometer. You will find that on craigslist, the odometer never, ever stopped working more than two weeks ago unless there are extenuating circumstances like an engine rebuild.


"Burns a lil oil when u give it hell but what honda don't lol." And "Body has a good bit of rust where salt can get to it."
This ad also covers more than one Craigslist descriptor. First, the rust. "Has a good bit of rust where salt can get to it-" aka EVERYWHERE. I mean, look- half of the body panels now have the "ventilated" option. And then we have the infamous "Burns a little oil" comment. This actually means that the car burns a shitload of oil- at least a quart a week. If you see "Car doesn't burn any oil," be careful. The shitbox might not burn oil, but you can bet it leaks oil. If it doesn't leak, it just might be out.


"Gets 30mpg unless your a lead foot."
Whose Chevy Lumina with the 3.1 V6 gets 30mpg? This guy's, apparently. 

We'll give him the benefit of the doubt and let the "reliable" sales pitch slide: maybe nobody ever told him that the 3.1 V6 might just be the biggest piece of shit produced during the last decade. But claiming that a 12-year old car that the EPA rated for 21mpg combined gets 30mpg- that's just a load of BS if I've ever seen one.

The way people sell cars by owner might have changed, but the junk being sold is just the same. If you browse Craigslist, you see these same lovely sales pitches. If you find something especially great, send it in or comment below and I might post it! If your submission is chosen, you will receive a special prize.

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