Posted by: Abdul | December 13, 2009

Be Knowledgeable

I had a 97 Model Year Toyota Tercel, which I purchased from a friend after my marriage that’s 5 years from now. It was a nice and reliable car. I enjoyed its driving for almost 3 years. But as my family grew I felt the need for a bigger car. So I decided to get a new one. Well, not a new car, but you know what I mean – a new car to me. All I wanted from it was reliability, affordability and spacious. So I started looking for used cars ads on the net and mags.

Just to let you know there are many magazines and journals catering this segment. Anyways, nothing worked so I decided to head for an auction house. All I know about auctions was that there will be lots of cars parked and I have to be smart to find the right one that looks all right and sounds all right, then put a realistic price limit, and put up my hand at the right time. If lucky I will drive away honking as I will motor off along the open road, if unlucky I have to try again.

I went into a large shed where all the action was happening THE AUCTION. The auctioneers were old men with missing teeth, without shave for weeks, soiled clothes wandering around drinking tea and snarling conversationally. After a few sales, the first car on my list came up. It was again a Toyota, but an SUV this time in Black with lots  of accessories like side steps, lamp guard and rear spoiler. Black is not my favourite colour but i have to settle with it as it was the best among the crap.  Furthermore Toyota means low maintenance, good mileage and good resale value.

It was the only first in a line of possible, but needing to get into the spirit of the game I thought I’ d make a bid or two, then walk out if the price kept going up.

The auctioneer started his run. 20000 riyals …20000 riyals 1, 20000 2 …….someone from the crowed shouted 25000. Then he went 25000 1….25000 2, there was another voice for 30000. 30000 1, 30000 2 ……. COME ON its 30000 2, ………It was a mere second or two later that my ingenious strategy began to unravel. I hesitantly put up my hand and shouted 35000.

I don’t remember what happened next except that the bid was closed with the last word “35000 riyals Sold”.

Now one of the two things just happened. I was lucky and smart enough to beat the other bidders or I had brought a car at a higher price than it was worth. I drove that car three times: once from the action to home, once from home to the garage, and once from the garage to the scrap yard. Now obviously, looking back, I might not have bought the car if I had known a bit more about what I was doing. I might not have lost the money if I had known a bit more about what I was doing because it was a piece of junk. A bit of research and a bit more knowledge would have saved a wedge of cash.

The morale of the story is that you should do your research first. And if you don’t have the knowledge, you should find an expert who does.

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