Advice please........

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by riverflyer, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. riverflyer

    riverflyer F1 Rookie

    Nov 26, 2003
    Mendocino, Ca
    Full Name:
    OK, lets just say you have a deal going with the following circumstance.

    You have found a car in europe, a really nice vintage car that has been in private collection for the last 7 years. It is a fairly limited production model (100 examples made)that is hard to find, let alone for sale in your favorite colors and in excellent condition!
    You phone and email for a month, a member of this board kindly takes a day and goes and inspects the car for you. He has good things to say and nice photos too. You, from this same fchatter, get the name of a trusted mechanic and he does a very full inspection with lots of pics up on the lift etc. Looks good, frame is excellent, no rust etc etc. You ask him for a full mechanical inspection, and once again, its all good, very fine compression and leakdown results.
    You committ to a trip over(actually the car is near Amsterdam so a trip there is hardly a hardship(!) but it is an expense and further committment. You drive the car, spend all day checking it out and give a substantial deposit.

    Here is the trick part, upon leaving you say you will send the rest of the money when a few things on the short list of needs are taken care of. You go about arranging shipping and find that the shipper has an escrow service where you wire the money to the them, they hold and release the money to the seller when they drop the car off.
    PERFECT, yes?
    Well you think so anyway. No risk, very little delay in payment and no need to have the considerable worries of having fully paid for a car that remains in the sellers hand s on foreign soil. You have been very nervous about this, and although you like the seller, he is the son of the owner of the collection and is breaking into the car business selling his fathers collection. With this escrow option, you feel great relief and expect the seller will find no fault as it adds only a few days to his full payment(which is gauranteed by the shipper stating funds are recieved and awaiting delivery of the car) and the car is safely warehoused for shipment in an individual container.

    Seller demends full payment up front. You have never seen the title, don't know what papers contitute Dutch ownership anyway and are distraught that the owner will not be reasonable and understanding concerning your fears about the unprotected situation. You ask once more, stating you do not want to change any fianancial aspects of the agreement, only to have a third party legally holding funds until delivery to the shipping warehouse (less than 1 hour from the seller).Again, he refuses and demands full payment up front.

    What would you do?
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  3. Simon^2

    Simon^2 F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 17, 2005
    At Sea Level
    I'm naive about such things...

    Sounds like you really want the car and may not get the opportunity again...

    Is there any transaction insurance you can buy to protect yourself?
  4. Simon^2

    Simon^2 F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 17, 2005
    At Sea Level
    I'm naive about such things...

    Sounds like you really want the car and may not get the opportunity again...

    Is there any transaction insurance you can buy to protect yourself?
  5. CornellCars

    CornellCars Formula 3

    Mar 24, 2005
    South Florida
    Full Name:
    Could you have the same referenced F-chatter receive a wire from you, then have a legit cashiers' check (from a local bank) done for this seller, then bring it to him and exchange title/reg. docs for check? Might have to throw the guy a bone for helping out, but seems like the safest way. I've always preferred not buying in Europe as protecting yourself becomes more difficult - but it might be worth trying this to make things work out?
  6. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

    Apr 20, 2002
    Full Name:

    Find a relatively local third party, preferable Ferrari authority to authenticate everything before full payment.
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  8. SrfCity

    SrfCity F1 Veteran

    Nov 1, 2003
    Orange County, CA
    Other than going over there again to orchestrate everything first hand then I'm not sure. I'd be curious as to why this novice son is insisting on cash up front? I would not do anything whereby you are not protected 100% no matter how much you want the car. These kinds of transactions are not new, just talk to a pro who's done this kind of thing frequently and see what they suggest and only do that.
  9. switchcars

    switchcars Formula 3

    Jul 28, 2005
    Full Name:
    It is not unreasonable for him to want cash up front, as MANY people get scammed by accepting the terms of payment upon shipment.

    However, you need to take you necessary precautions as well. The way I see it, you have two options. One is to go over there with a cashier's check, and do all the paperwork then.
    The second, and probably better, option is to have a local (respectable) dealer purchase the car, giving them a substantial deposit, and have them handle all the paperwork. That way you have very little risk of getting screwed on the deal, plus they would know how to handle everything.
  10. Stackhouse

    Stackhouse F1 Rookie

    Feb 14, 2004
    Full Name:
    CT.. AKA Pimp Daddy
    Move on. Unless you have some good “Legal” connections to protect yourself in that region. I suggest you move on. Its too risky, the cost of a sour deal will exceed that of the car.

    Just my .02
  11. riverflyer

    riverflyer F1 Rookie

    Nov 26, 2003
    Mendocino, Ca
    Full Name:
    Scott, I agree. I do not have time or willingness to return again right now. I have talked to several "pro's" about this and they all reccommend some kind of protection. I just cant get past his unwillingness to use the shipping escrow. His answer is that is how he wants it and its his car. We had decided it would be that way, but at that point I had not really thought it through. And a couple of calls to people who do it a lot made me even more nervous about committing full payment without the car being delivered.
    And yes, I do have to protect myself and can't let the desire for the car cloud things!

    Switchcars, I agree, but with the escrow, his payment is guaranteed simply by bringing the car to the shipper, which he has to do anyway.
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  13. Newman

    Newman F1 World Champ
    Professional Ferrari Technician Consultant Owner

    Dec 26, 2001
    Full Name:
    I agree that if I were the seller, I would want the money up front so Im not wasting my time making arrangements to deliver the car for shipping to find the buyer is a knob and holds back something if he feels like it or whatever reason the buyer can find to hold up the sale. Thats the downside to buying long distance. I understand both sides but thats the headache you get if you want to make a deal like this. I would rather buy it through a broker so Im paying him for his headache and I get my car - deal done.
  14. ILuv4Res

    ILuv4Res F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Aug 8, 2002
    Full Name:
    I don't know how much money is involved, but perhaps another flight/trip over is worth the investment?

    If all doesn't feel right, you can always walk away. I know it's tough to do when the purchase is hard/impossible to duplicate. I recently fell in love with a Stradale at a local car dealer. It was exactly what I wanted & near impossible to duplicate. However, when it came time to sign the paperwork, the dealer's buyer order had terms & conditions that were rediculous. They wouldn't discuss the intentions of the wording, nor were they willing to rewrite, revise or clarify. They insisted that I either sign it the way it was, or they wouldn't sell me the car. Needless to say, the entire process made me uneasy. I passed on the car. Although I somewhat regret not buying the car, I don't regret the fact that I wasn't burned.
  15. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 6, 2003
    Las Vegas, NV
    Full Name:
    Ryan Alexander
    How prominent a figure is the seller (seller's father)? Is there reason to think they would steal such a sizeable sum of money?

    It's a difficult choice though, I'm in an eBay/paypal dispute right now over an expensive camera I paid for that hasn't arrived in over a month. The seller was very responsive as things lead up, but after the payment cleared has disapppeared. My spider sense was tingling (large ticket item from zero feedback seller), but I reviewed paypal's policy, and went through with it since I've had nothing but good experiences with eBay. Until now.
  16. Ronbo

    Ronbo Formula Junior

    Aug 2, 2005
    Morris County, NJ
    Full Name:
    Perhaps you could find a reputable, English-speaking attorney both to serve as escrow agent and to confirm the validity and sufficiency of the ownership documents.

    Best of luck.
  17. lukek

    lukek Formula 3

    May 2, 2003
    San Francisco
    Full Name:
    Option nr 2 below gets my vote. Perhaps the seller does not want to worry about an accident on the way to drop it off at the shipper, or to be out of cash if the shipper/agent drops the car into the ocean before the funds clear...

  18. Oengus

    Oengus F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Sep 29, 2004
    Between timing belts or OH, SC, CO, CT
    Full Name:
  19. mark328

    mark328 Guest

    Jul 30, 2005
    Full Name:
    I would tell him to have a nice day and forget about it.
  20. jungathart

    jungathart Guest

    Jun 11, 2004
    NoVA, AmeriKa
    Full Name:
    Komrade Jung
    I hear that wooden F-50 is stateside.
  21. LetsJet

    LetsJet F1 Veteran

    May 24, 2004
    Full Name:
    I would not loose a deal because you can't agree on terms. I would hire an attorney over there to execute the transaction. It seems moderately reasonable that he would want a cash transaction from an overseas buyer. Esp. if he is "new" as you said.

    Good luck...
  22. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 6, 2002
    Houston, Texas
    Full Name:
    With a deposit down, you are a little bit pregnant.........

    It got complicated with the 'fix it' details, sounds do need a local agent at this point or it's like most of my deals...

    Show for it away......he just wants to count the money in exchange for "the package', not unreasonable but he needs to work with you.

    Intent is obviously there, from your side, after all!
  23. hardtop

    hardtop F1 World Champ

    Jan 31, 2002
    Full Name:
    I would go again and find someone to help with the paper work. You can have money wired while you are there and take physical delivery of the car, bring it to the shipper and go home with no worries (other than shipping damage).

    Good luck,
  24. robert biscan

    robert biscan F1 Rookie

    Sounds like the seller wants the same deal as if selling to a local. I don't blame him for that. I say return and do the stuff yourself or find someone who does this all the time and pay him to line it up for you. This will cost more than a plane ticket and hotel I'll bet. Do you need to worry about importing restrictions or making it a US car?
  25. riverflyer

    riverflyer F1 Rookie

    Nov 26, 2003
    Mendocino, Ca
    Full Name:
    Well, as always, lots of thoughtful and hopeful responses.
    I know there have been some long posts recently about how fchat is going downhill, but for me, this board remains very positive and constructive when asked to be, and I thank you.

    Big Tex, I love your line about being a bit pregnant! Well worded and very true. But as my dear mother always reminds me, "never throw good money after bad." So that is what I most want to avoid, adding to the problem, if indeed there is one.

    Its hard even when europeans speak good english, we have different cultures and customs and bridging them can be tricky.
    I agree with many of you that maybe I should go back myself, the problem is I have obligations, both business and family that take me until almost the end of January, and I doubt the seller will wait that long. He has just now promised to email copy of registration/title and also to send over a contract outlining the agreement, so things are looking up.
    I will see if there is someone who can act as an intermediary, accept the wire and deliver it to the seller at the appropriate time. NOw all we have to do is agree when that is!! With the holidays coming on hard, its unlikely anything will really happen until after the new year and I would prefer the car to remain in its heated, controlled home until the "ship is ready to sail".
    I will update the thread as I know more, but in the meantime, thanks to all for your ideas and help. John
  26. lukek

    lukek Formula 3

    May 2, 2003
    San Francisco
    Full Name:
    I have used Arie Mandemakers, of AME Engineering in Kesteren, Holland to do the inspection on my 250 GTE and to coordinate the first phase of the transport. If you need someone you can trust, he is your guy, even if you do not need an inspection. Another fchatter, rijk, happened to be at his shop, and did me a great favor translating from Dutch (I am not allowed to be get back in touch with my Dutch ex-girlfriend, Daniella)

  27. roceja

    roceja Rookie

    Aug 11, 2005
    I agree wit hardtop, go there and you do all, that way you will never be sorry, and get some one there to help you with all the legal matters such as title transfer, etc etc and you arrange your own shipper too.
    buena suerte
  28. fletch62

    fletch62 Formula Junior

    Mar 8, 2004
    Fairhope, AL
    Full Name:
    Larry Fletcher
    I would ask your banker for a contact at your bank that deals with a bank in amsterdam, then you would have a lead on a local person to deal with atty's and so forth to make sure every thing is in order and the seller should be happy because it is all local. I asked my gf, she is german, but she and her banker do not have contacts in the netherlands.

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