Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Things For Sale

Now that we are getting closer to moving back to Indonesia, we start to sell our stuff. From the highest price to the lowest price. Our primary worry was to sell our car on time and at a pretty reasonable price. We prayed a lot for this because we are quite desperate now because we do not have much time left.

We use several ways to advertise our cars, we put it on Chinese newspaper, local newspaper, and on CraigsList ( free online advertising ). To know what is the reasonable price, Richard insist on using online car price information. So when Richard met the first person who respond to our ad, I told him to bring the printout of the online car price estimation. Funny thing is, the buyer also brought his own printout and between our and his printout, there is a big different on the price. Our said 18,000 - 19,000, his said 14,000 - 16,000. At the end he offered to pay 17,000.

Then for our second car, so far nobody was interested at all. Richard still insist on using the online quote. But the truth is, Richard doesn't have any experience on selling car. The first car he had, he did not sell it, he donate it so he can cut down on the tax return. Then his second car was sold with the help of his father, so it has nothing to do with him. While for me, I do have 2 experiences on selling my car.

When I bought my first car, a 1988 Mercedes 180E, I got ripped off by the dealer ( even though I was accompany by a male friend when I bought it ). That car was in a big car accident and I did not know it. No wonder one day when I drive slowly and make a slow turn, all of a sudden I lost control of that car and it spun 3 times until it hit the curb and stopped. The axel broke by the impact, but I was left unscathed. Then on another time, when my friend who help me bought that car drive that car for me when we went out with other friend as well, the hand brake stuck and the tire was on fire while we drove!!! And I had a full gas tank at that time! Thank God, for some weird reason that day I bought 2 big bottles of wiper liquid. I have never bought that sort of thing but that day I bought 2 bottles. So I used that 2 bottles to douse the fire! I have no idea what will happen to my car if I did not have that 2 bottles in my trunk!

So finally I decide to sell that car after owning it for only 8 months. Oh yeah... when I bought that car the color was dark blue, but when I washed it, it became grayish blue! Then when I waxed it myself ( first time in my life! ), it became dark blue again...

I bought that car for 10,500. When I went to the dealer, he said he will buy it back for 3500. He suggest me to sell it to individual instead of to a dealer. While I was talking to the dealer ( I went there with different friend ), someone who also looking around to buy a car approach my friend and ask if he wants to sell the Mercedes. That guy, named Carlos, thought that the Mercedes was own by my friend. So Jonren ( my friend's name ) gave him ( by his own good thinking ) his cellphone number instead of mine because he tried to protect me since Carlos looked pretty fierce with his front tooth has gold and his initial on it , a "C"!

Not long after, Carlos called Jonren and asked if he can test drive the Mercedes and he is going to bring his cousin who is a mechanic to see the machine. I thought...well..this is it... no way he is going to pay my asking price of 8500!

Jonren was the only one who deal with them at this point. He made sure that the car warmed up 30 minutes prior to the meeting time with Carlos because my car's AC never works well! So by running the car for half an hour, it has the chance to cool the interior of the car first.

So, when the cousin point out all the obvious signs that my car has been on a major accident, Jonren could only nod. But at the end, Carlos still decide to buy the car because he wants to impress his girl, this car is a gift for his girlfriend. And Carlos paid cash for 8500!

Go to my second car now. I bought a 1990 Lexus LX420. Fast forward to when I want to sell it. I don't quite remember how it happens but I was in a hurry to move to Portland with Richard for our wedding there too and I asked my friend and neighbor Ita, a young girl from Solo to help sell that car for me. Ita has a boyfriend who is also nice to us and his name is Eddy.

It turn out that they sold my car and then pocketed the money. I was furious but I could not fly back to Oklahoma since I was already living in Portland. So what I did was sic a private investigator ( suggested by my lawyer ) to watch them 24 hrs for a couple of days. Beside the investigator, I also asked for help of the property manager ( his name is Michael ) of our old rental place where we used to live and Ita and Eddy still lived there too. Then Richard asked his friend Roger to watch them too.

So you can imagine 3 people are snooping around their house. The PI ( Private Investigator ), Michael ( The property manager ) and Roger ( Richard's friend ). The bushes around Ita and Eddy's duplex are getting crowded with these 3 people who snooped around even at night time!

Then I got a phone call from my lawyer who report that while the PI was hiding in those bushes, he saw someone else was hiding there too. I asked my lawyer was that person name maybe Michael or Roger? My lawyer said no, the other man turn out to be an FBI who was watching Ita and Eddy as well.

When my PI approached the FBI, they shared information and what the PI got from the FBI was that Ita and Eddy were wanted by the FBI since the time when they lived in LA! Ita and Eddy, has another boy also in their group. They like to open an account in the bank using fake ID like fake greencard, fake driving license etc. Then they write many checks to buy expensive stuff. Before the check can be cleared by the bank, they close their account. They kept doing this until the FBI start to ask around about them and they got scared and moved down to Oklahoma to hide and go to University.

Let me describe to you why I trust Ita. Easy for you maybe to say that I should not trust her at all since the beginning. I think you are 100% right that I am too naive at that time, but let me explain first that Ita has the appearance, the attitude that can pass for a priest's wife! As Indonesian knows, girls from Solo speaks so soft and gentle. Well, she does speaks like that and her whole attitude is so sweet and so trusting. When I found out that Ita was wanted by the FBI, the first thing that come to my mind was, she must be influenced by Eddy. Eddy is the bad guy here! Or so I thought.... It turn out that Ita was the leader of the pack. To cut the story short, my lawyer asked the police to grab Ita. Put her in the jail for several hours to sweat. Then he showed her all of her fake greencards, IDs, driver licenses. Forced her to give my money back and she did. My lawyer has to move fast before the FBI grabbed her first. After she return the money back to me through my lawyer, one day, she went to see Roger because she knew that Roger snooped around for us before then coldly, she asked Roger how am I doing and she wish she can "see" me very soon becasue she "miss" me ....jeezzz....this girl is so cold and creepy!

I do not know if the FBI had enough to build a case on her. The last thing I heard , she married Eddy and she moved back to LA. My lawyer, because he is a good Christian, decide to let her go because he thinks she is too young ( she was only 21 at that time ) and he sincerely hope that she will change to a better person. Because she return the money, my lawyer did not place charges against her so her record is clean ( at that time ).

OK back to current time....

Since nobody asking about our second car I finally forced Richard to accompany me to the dealer just to talk to them what is the right price. Richard doubt that the dealer will tell me. But I told him, let me do it then if he doesn't want to do it and I know that if God can help me sell my car for 8500 to Carlos with his gold tooth, He can help me sell our car easier because our car is in great shape with only half the mileage for a 6 yrs old car.

I prayed before we reach the dealership that God will direct me to the right dealer who can help me find the right price for our car.

At the dealership, I look around, I look at their faces but none felt right until Richard kept asking me when am I going to talk to the dealer. I told him to be patient. All of the dealer is young and they look impatient to me. They all wearing name tag on their chest. Then I saw an old man, going in and out from one of the office room. When I saw him, I saw that he has no name tag on his chest but I can sense that this is the right man so I approached him. When talking to him, we found that he has more than 22 yrs experience as a car dealer. He is open, and he is quite honest with us. He made the manager test drive our car and made a bunch of phone calls before finally he can give us the price if we sell our car to them which is 11,500. Bill ( the old man's name ) told us that if we sell to an individual, we can add 2000 on top of that price. So it's 13,500. Bill also said that he can help us to sell it to an individual for free ( he did called us with an offer from someone at Okanagan ). He is so nice.

So when we return home that night, Richard changed our ad for our car ( Ford ) from asking price of 18,000 to 14,000. Within minutes only we receive a phone call from a person who wanted to test drive our car that night at 9 PM!

At the same time, Richard also places several ads for our furnitures on Craigslist. Again, within minutes people started calling to ask when can they see the furnitures. It' amazing! We were completely caught off guard by this fast responds that we haven't had the time to emptied our furnitures yet!

Again God helped us with His amazing way. While the car buyer trying to bargain with Richard, there is a couple who also wait here for Richard to finish talking to the car buyers ( a father and a son ). The couple waited for 15 minutes. What the car buyers did not know was that the couple were not there to buy the car. They were there to buy my furniture. Richard did not realized this until later. He said that the car buyers got nervous because they thought they got competition so they put down a downpayment and the next day they came here very early to get the car and paid right away too. See... how can we engineer this kind of situation if not because of God's help. We literarily sold our car within one hour after we placed the ads. Same thing with the furnitures. Richard told me that while they were test driving the car, his cell phone rang every 30 seconds and that droves the buyers crazy because they couldn't hear what the callers said. Actually, I made 5 calls that time just to be sure that Richard is fine since it's late at night and he is alone with 2 unknown men.

Today, 2 days after we sold our car to them, they told us how happy they are with our car ( Ford )....that's nice to hear right?

And my other car ( VW )is also sold today. Actually the buyer also wants to buy our car even earlier than the other car but I decided to wait for a few days. So now my garage is empty and my house is a mess because I have to put everything ,that used to be kept inside the drawers or a cupboard , on the floor.

Everything sold out so fast that we are still in a daze right now.... Can not believe how easy and fast things go and all of the buyers turn out to be very nice people. They don't hassle with the price too much.

We still have stuff to sell, but I am not worried. I know that God will help us. He already proof it ...

Today we have to rent a car since now we have no cars. We got a convertible ....Yahoo!!


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