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Did these classic car dealers criticise my E-Type Jaguar in order to increase their mark-up?

In this, the 50th anniversary year of the E-Type Jaguar, I invited two directors of a Classic Car dealership to view my 3.8 Roadster. On the phone I had described this beautiful car accurately and we agreed on the price: £77,500 dependent upon the 'viewing'. As soon as they arrived, they started a campaign of criticising the car (which was expected) and the visit culminated in a 20 minute drive. During this drive, the lead 'negotiator' announced that the car required a new steering rack and was “dangerous” and “should not have passed the MOT” (carried out days before). In discussion later I was told that they would need to spend £5,000 on the car and I agreed to sell for £75,000.

The next day the car was on their website, described in very glowing terms (of course). To my surprise, two days after the sale it was priced at £99,995 and described as “simply sensational”. Is this just two professionals going around the country buying bargains and telling 'white lies' to achieve that - or is it something more sinister? I appreciate that I did agree on the price and should not have listened to their criticisms. At the very least - a warning to others.

Asked on 15 February 2011 by CA, Brackley

Answered by Honest John
That's the ‘Classic and Collectors’ car business. Margins have to be bigger than for new cars and for ordinary used cars because the market is smaller and stock has to be financed for longer. As it is they only knocked you back £2,500 and there is no guarantee that they will actually get the £99,995 advertised price. But if you were to get a friend to pose as a customer, check the car out, take it for a drive and confirm whether or not the steering rack had been changed, without being too obvious, that would be interesting.
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