How (not) to sell a van
I am currently part owner of an ex-Royal Mail van -- it feels rather like owning part of a race horse. To be precise I fronted up some cash for the son to buy HIS share in the said van a couple of months ago, to go round Europe on a tour with his band (that is, George Wright and the Keynote Speakers, if you fancy a listen).
Anyway, now they are back, they want to sell the thing (a proud red beast, as you see in the pictures, which toured the extremities of Europe without the need for garage treatment, they assure me). Needless to say, I too want to sell it and recover my stake.
The trouble is, how? I know exactly how you sell a house: tidy up, grind some coffee for a nice smell, and hope they (or their surveyors) don't notice the asbestos in the garage. Vans are quite another matter. Everyone says that you should do it yourself and not get ripped off by a dealer who will give you £1000 and flog it for £3000.
But actually doing that seems fraught with difficulty.
So fraught with difficulty that there is even a government website warning you of the dreadful pitfalls you might encounter. You should never, it says, let someone test drive the thing on their own, else you are likely never to see it again. Now, I had not thought of that and indeed became convinced that every potential buyer would be wanting to drive off in the thing, and never return -- until the husband pointed out that being in possession of a van without any valid papers wasn't a particularly attractive possibility even for the mildly criminal.
Much more to the point was the warning about not parting with the thing until you knew the cheque hadn't bounced or the cash was in your hand. Could you get them to come into the house I wondered and pay you electronically....?
As you can see, a lot of mental effort has gone into this (and we've cleaned it and made it small nice). But, as it happens, all to no avail. So far, despite an advertising campaign on all the recommended websites, not a single person, honest or criminal, has come to see the damn thing. There have been a couple of no shows, but otherwise not a squeak. Quite honestly I would now almost settle for a criminal.
Anyway, I am scarpering for a few days -- fleeing the country and the inevitable flak about A level results. I fear I can see now what will happen. We will have used that bright new shiny A* grade to help us distinguish, just like we were told it would, the very very very good from the merely very good applicants. When/if it turns out that independent schools have monopolised the new grade, we will get blamed for not being sufficiently committed to access and social mobility.
But that's for another day. If you know something I really shouldnt miss in Havana (sic), let me know.