Know Thyself - when buying and selling
Know thyself - a classic. Apparently it's Greek and been around for a long time. The quote is commonly known in English, which in itself is an indication of importance. Occasionally I will be selling some car on craigslist and I will have to step back and think - how much should I sell this thing for? What's the bottom line? Both those questions seem innocuous enough however when you dig deeper they are not trivial even slightly.
For instance: you have a classic car, you've spent years going to school and neglected it. After college you managed to get it back up and running to tool around for a while but you realized that you want another project so you have to sell your "baby."
On the one hand if it were up to me and I had infinite money, I would never sell this thing. I would put it on blocks in my mansion's garage and maybe go in and drool at it sometimes late at night. On the other hand - I have already been in the engine and under the dash every month or two for about 6 years, and I wanted to rinse and repeat this process with another car.
So I am selling the baby. Now how much should I sell it for? This immediately breaks down into 2 categories - how much I could get for it and how much it is worth to me. If it is worth more to me than what I could get, then I have to keep it. After all, we have principles in this life and one of them is to never get a raw deal correct?
How much I could get for it
After perusing craigslist for several months I determined the market would sell it within a week at any list price below 3000$. I could upwards on a really good day maaaaybe get 4k for it but it won't happen immediately. So Bam my listing price is revealed at 4300$.
How much is it worth to me?
This car and I have seen many a thing together. 2 colleges came and went. 3 or 5 places of residence in that time frame. Pets died. Family moved away. It taught me how to work on carburetors in depth. It also taught me how to properly break in a camshaft by failing me the first time I tried it with a worn lobe after 3k miles. I painted it, saw the paint fade and crack after years in the sun, but it kept the rust off. Does any of this add sentimental value? yes it does. Does any of this add monetary value? you bet! A rust free Plymouth is a rare find even in California. This car also has the benefit of being pre-smog year in the state with a clean title and registered. Not too shabby if I do say so myself. I bought the car for 1300 and that was a package deal for it and another vehicle a 1963 Chevy nova 4 door. The Nova is a story for another day though. I invested probably a couple thousand bucks into it over the course of the years (not including gas.) So lets say the physical cost of the vehicle was 3000$ total. It would be waaay too much of a brain exercise to itemize all the things I did but since I did all the work myself it was fairly cheap. Even to paint it I didn't even spend 300$ since I did all the work myself.
So to answer my own question how much is it worth to me. The hard part. I had spent years with it and would always have memories of riding in the night with the windows down listening to all the exhaust leaks and growls. Multiple burnouts in random parking lots with my bros. Multiple people kept awake at 3am because I wanted to run it when nobody was on the road. Those kinds of things are priceless and you know what - they are staying with me no matter what so I will not be losing any of those killer memories when I sell this baby of mine. That was a hard question to answer but there it is. I would go as low as 3000$ with not a penny added for my bleeding heart which will heal.
I ended up selling it to a local fellow who loved the way it looked and wanted a cruiser that he could tinker with and still drive. He was sold after immediately after I hit the slapstick from 1st to 2nd and the tires almost came off. I got 3500 for it and I would have taken even less because I knew by the look in this dude's eye that the car was still living and breathing and in it's prime and he would take care of it in the same way I had. Which is exactly what it deserved. Hard questions need hard answers. Know thyself right?