We frequently get asked why our service is valuable because, "Can't I just do it myself?" Here is a three parts series on why Yes, you can but No, you shouldn't. What follows is a fictionalized account of what your experience will be like, inspired by true events.
You wake up again to a phone call from Hans, and by this time you’re starting to feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, specifically the day where he stops giving a shit. You’ve stopped counting how much it’s costing you, as you realize you’re totally blowing your budget. Hans says that magically overnight the car came out of the winter position and it’s ready to test drive. A little cheered up, you head back to the farm. And there it is, in all its military majesty, the Renault Torpedo sitting out for you to see. The first thing you notice is that the photos from the ad must have been taken 10 years ago and/or before it was repainted with a drywall roller brush. You reassure yourself cosmetics aren’t everything, and hop in the truck to give it a spin. Of course, you turn the key and nothing happens, the battery is dead from sitting. Hans looks at you like Vinter position, vat do you expect, ya? He brings out his tractor and jumps it to life for you after about 1000 cranks and some black smoke. You start driving it and pure joy overcomes you. Between the high driving position, the sound of the old diesel clatter, and the sheer simple beauty of a metal dashboard, you’re so stoked you barely even notice the loose steering and lousy gear changes. What third gear? you think. I don’t need third gear, there are three other gears. You’ve decided you’re taking this one back to your mountain house in Colorado and that is that. So now comes the fun part.
You come back to Hans and throw out the price you’re willing to pay because of the deceitful pictures and broken bits and the fact that no rust turned out to mean yes rust. €5000, you say. Hans just looks back at you with a blank face and simply says Nein. At this point you’re confused and furious because this isn’t how negotiating works. Okay well what’s your counter offer? you ask. Mind you, this entire conversation is happening through a translator who is Hans' 10-year-old niece who doesn’t know any cars terms and shrugs her shoulders a lot. Hans says 7000. Why does Hans say 7k? Because he knows he has you by the balls and you’re a rich American who just traveled 2000 miles to see a car. He knows you’re taking it home because you already came this far, and it's no effort for him to call the boys and put it back in the winter position. So tail between your legs, you accept because he’s right, you just spent $2640 to go see a car that may or may not be a pile of shit and what are you going to do, go home empty handed with empty pockets? Nein.
So then obviously Hans wants cash only, as this is an old second hand vehicle in a rural area and even in the United States people with old cars start accusing you of criminal activity at the first mention of a wire transfer, which by the way is the SAFEST WAY TO TRANSFER MONEY, but don’t get us started on that. So now you have to go withdraw €7000, the trouble being your bank doesn’t have any branches in Europe, nor does any US bank. So what do you do? You go to the ATM and start pulling out euros only to realize there is a daily withdrawal limit of $2000. If you had called your bank ahead of time they MAYBE would have raised your daily limit, but not before chastising you on 1) buying a car in a foreign country in cash and 2) insinuating you're probably doing something illegal. If you had called, and they had raised your limit, in the best case scenarios you’re standing on a street corner in a foreign country continually swiping your card and pulling €300 out at a time as your stuff your pockets with €7000 in bills of 100, paying €37 in foreign transaction fees each time. But did you plan ahead? No, it's your first time, so you end up having to be there for 3 more days just to pull out the proper amount. And by the way, if you think Hans is holding it after you went to see it you’re dead wrong, some other Hans could walk up at any minute with €5500 in hand and snatch it away. Le sigh.