I paid 1700 US For a 2001 Chevy Astro Van, with 200,005 miles, 4WD, the inside and outside is great, and it drives perfect. After having it for a couple of weeks, I think the seller using fortwayne.CraigsList.org got a worst deal, and I got a better deal.
As best I can tell, the price of the van should have been 2800 to 3200, and he was asking 2200, but I paid 1700.
To buy the van using CraigsList, I needed to write the person an e-mail, this required me to copy and paste this weird long e-mail into my Yahoo mail account. I then had to wait for him to call or write back.
I had purchased a Verizon prepaid phone for 50 bucks at Walmart, that allows me to call or receive phone calls anywhere in the USA. I included the number in the e-mail.
Now, before I too off traveling 14 years ago, I sold two pieces of Real Estate per week for years as Real Estate Broker and know that selling is about the "Inquiry Handling System." I know to buy a USA Road Trip Van, I am using this system in reverse. I needed to make it easy for the seller to contact me, and I will do better on the deal if seller does not make it easy to contact them.
Therefore, I put my telephone in the e-mail, the seller could either reply back, or call me back. Well, he called me, and arranged an appointment two days out. Well, normally, when anyone is buying, they buy within in 48 hours of the decision to purchase, and it is a very spontaneous purchase.
It was easy for me to not buy spontaneous, I truly despise cars, I am only buying this USA Road Van for the trip, I do not want to own any big asset that I need to watch. Waiting for a good buy was easy for me, I do not want to drive.
Me and my friend Mike walked up the door of the house, he and his wife lived in a yuppie, middle class neighborhood, an addition with the 2-car garage. It was a ranch, there could not be any more middle class than this house. On the window of the door was a sign saying,
Well, this is Fort Wayne, and he lived in New Haven, truly in these neighborhood you do not have solicitors, unless you call Halloween Soliciting. He was way too over the edge avoiding being annoyed.
I gave the man control over calling me, by giving him my telephone number. And because I also always answered the telephone, he called, I picked up. I made the "Inquiry Handling System" in reverse easy for the seller.
When I sold Real Estate, I paid 1500 USD per month for Verizon Cell Phone service, the same service is now offered for 50 per month. I answered every phone call, I did my best to never have a voice mail. I had call waiting, and if it went to voice mail, I called it back immediately. This was the reason I sold tons of property, I was easy to get to, it was easy to inquire.
When I got a Voicemail, I was losing, it was failure.
Well, using CraigsList is not easy for quick contact, it is the opposite, it does not allow for a seller to do a deal in 24 hours easily, it could take up to a week for a purchase. And a seller who does not disclose his telephone number, does not pick up the phone unless he knows the person is screwed,
I got a good deal using CraigsList and the seller got a bad deal.
Sales or buying is about making yourself available, voice mail is losing, caller ID all calls is losing, it is about opening every door, not being secretive.
Fun stuff, but now I have a great USA Road Trip van for 1700 USD, and feel it worth closer to 2700.
Any sales works best when it can happen within 1-2 hours, e-mail is slow, telephone calls are fast.
Well, I have a USA Road Trip Van, I am happy.
mike99 from has written 30 comments
Trust me when you experience your first $500 + repair bill on your van with 200K you won't think you have gotten a good deal. All it all, alot of people are dumping the low mpg vehicles and a few years ago SUVs were going for 50 off when gas prices went up the first time.
Las Vegas or Santa Monica, CA are prime time this year so maybe you should get on the road because you can stake out a 24 hour laundry mat or 24 gym to park your van and get your road trip started.
Phil J from has written 119 comments
Good job Andy. As usual you hit it right on the head. Availability is everything. I remember reading a Dear Abby column. A young bride had written to the column asking about ability. Ann said stop worrying. Ninety percent of ability is availability.
With your ability to fix the small things mechanical I think you will have a nice summer. I look forward to reading your blog about the adventure. Do you still think the DR is a good vacation spot if I stick to Sosua? I like the beach anyway so it should be fun.
I counted all the countries I have traveled in and even worked in some of them. It came to 16. And there is not a single one of them I regret seeing. I worked in five of them and liked it.
Have a grand time.
phil from has written 74 comments
Hello Andy, thanks for the good tips. At 200,000 miles though you may be hard pressed to get $2700 for the van when you sell it. Drive carefully, it might last. 200k is a lot of miles though. If it were a dodge mini van, 50k is a lot of miles, I cant conceive of one of those going 200k
Transmissions were the problem with the Dodge. Id be interested to hear what you friend mike had to say about 200k on the astro.
DeniseSpade from has written 2 comments
had a hobo sighting today!! I was in the mini cooper (red) that honked at you while you were driving on I69 South bound about 8:30 this morning. You were talking on your cell phone...so you must have been making a 'deal' of some kind. I know you don't like communication much...just one sided communication. I saw that mini van and KNEW instantly that was you. (odd) So I passed and sure enough..if I didn't have an apt. I would have followed you so we could have had a chat. Are you still staying in the Fort? I still would love to met up and talk about Grandpa and I wanted to ask you to experience a contemporary church on Caroll Rd. Pathway Community.. about4,000 over three services. We go at 9am and we'll take you for breakfast if you are still in the city this weekend. It's the biggest 'little' church I've ever felt 'home'in. So, I was the nut that honked at you this morning. I felt like I had a celebrity sighting!!
Phil J from has written 119 comments
Hi. Some places I stop at when I am traveling and need to sleep are truck stops. I like Petro, Truck Stops of America, and Flying J. They have a TV lounge and laundry and showers. And it is safe because of all the vehicles coming and going. I also like Pilot and Loves. I regularly stop at truck stops when I am going north and south on Interstate five in California and Oregon.