The Executive Summary
Saddened by the second van not working out, I found a few for sale in Florida. Later that same day, however, I was convinced (unjustifiably) that I should avoid buying a used vehicle in Florida. So I located a new candidate in Kentucky. Only a couple days before I was set to drive down, the seller sold it to someone else… back to the hunt.
After passing on the second van, I was feeling a little discourage and remorseful that I didn’t take the opportunity to purchase the first one. Sure, it had a little engine trouble, but the body was in far better condition and the asking price was much lower. Did I make a mistake? Each week that passed was another week that I had to delay the start of my project. Of course, this was a silly mentality to have because buying a van was obviously a very critical part of the project, and one that I shouldn’t just rush into. Not buy wasn’t a delay of the project, this was the project. Nevertheless, I was feeling very disheartened about the whole situation. Luckily, I shook this feeling after only a couple hours and some encouragement from a friend who began doing his own online searches on my behalf.
It didn’t take long before I found a couple good candidates on Craigslist down in Florida. One of them looked promising and so I gave the guy a call and asked for more photos. There wasn’t just one in Florida, but several. I could fly down there on a weekend and check out a few of them. If one didn’t work out, I had other candidates to fall back on. My excitement was building again!
At a party later that evening, I was telling a friend about my search for a van. I explained how the van I had looked at earlier that day (van #2) hadn’t worked out, but that I’d found a few good candidates in Florida. He then recounted a car buying story of his own where he was warned to look out for cars in Florida because they get a lot of flooding and private sellers will try to sell flood cars to unwitting buyers. Of course, there are plenty of places that experience flooding and I haven’t spent enough time in Florida to know if Florida is prone to any amount of flooding greater than any other place. This was a new piece of information, however, that hadn’t occurred to me in the past. I’m sure that flooding and dishonest sellers are not specific to the Sunshine State, but I was still a little spooked.
The next day, Sunday, I started searching again. This time trying to avoid Florida. I was still interested in receiving the additional pictures that the Florida seller I had spoken with on the previous day said that he would send me, but I wanted to keep looking for something better. As luck would have it, I found another great looking van down in Lexington, KY that very day. So I called that seller too, asked him a few questions, and requested a few more pictures. Lexington was much closer than Florida. It was a 6 hour drive, but at least I could get there without a plane ticket.
Back at work on Monday and both sellers that I had contacted sent me some of the additional photos I had requested. At this point, I had my sights set on the Lexington van and had almost forgotten entirely about the Florida van. Upon receiving the photos, I called the Kentucky seller to tell him that I was very interested in his vehicle and that I could drive down this upcoming weekend to take a look at it. If all went well, I would buy it from him. Before making such a long journey, however, I asked him for a few more photos. So he sent me some additional photos on the following day. I sat on them for a day, looking them over and wondering if I was making the right decision, before I called him once more on Wednesday. The seller let me talk for several minutes and was very courteous not to interrupt me while I blabbed on about how I would drive down in just a few days and likely buy his van from him. When I finally shut up, he informed me that he had sold the van the previous day….. Sold?!! My heart sank once more. It looks like I would continue to remain vanless.
At this point I had completely forgotten about the Florida van. I’m not sure that I ever even followed up with the seller to let him know that I wasn’t interested. Sorry, Florida guy! With the weekend upon me, and no new van candidates to pursue, I took the weekend off from my search and tried to recuperate from yet another defeat.