Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How NOT to sell a part for a Royal Enfield motorcycle

This guy wrote the world's worst ad.

He is trying to sell the most commonly found Royal Enfield motorcycle part of all — the one bit everybody took off and replaced with a nicer aftermarket part.

Everybody else stuffed the unwanted take-off part in their attic, where it remains forever pristine, if dusty.

Not this guy. He tossed his in the back yard, where it sat in the sun and rain. Birds built a nest in it; you can see the nest in the photo.

Still, he assures you that "it will clean up." Not that he plans to clean it up before he sells it to you.

You will have to buy it "as is, where is." He won't ship it. "Local pick-up only!" he states, firmly.

Nevermind that he lives 20 miles off a back road and across a creek and has to go into town to get his mail because the Post Office won't deliver past the first arroyo. If you aren't willing to come get it, the hell with you.

Oh, and the selling price is firm, too (and approximately twice what you'd pay to get it brand new from the manufacturer, even including tax and shipping).

Our guy isn't going to bargain. He knows what he has, or so he says (he misidentified it in the ad), so don't try to lowball him. If it comes to that, he says he has seen his part offered on eBay by others at twice the price. That must have been in some Alternative Dimension.

As far as what it will fit, that isn't his problem: his ad warns you to "do your own homework" to determine that. But he's pretty sure it will fit any Royal Enfield or, maybe, a Harley.

Still not sure? "Look at the picture," our man advises you. He means the picture in his ad, which is blurry, dark, and shows only half the object for sale. The seller's thumb is mostly there, though.

Luckily he includes a second picture, in perfect focus, of the same part on a beautiful Royal Enfield. He found this photo of someone else's bike on the Internet, but his is "just like it" the ad says.

Still want to get in contact with him? Well, don't respond to his ad by email; he's sick and tired of scammers. "I'll erase all emails," he warns.

So he gives his phone number, in code, to throw off those Internet spies he has heard about. Something like "SIX-EERHT-2-DEUCE-sixty-FORE-NIN-ER."

But don't bother texting him, even if you can figure out the number. "NO TEXT," he shouts, in capital letters. And he's not done shouting.

"No trades. I don't want a rusty Jeep or your dog. This is not CraigsList junk. I don't need your help to sell it. I don't have to sell. I WILL NOT ANSWER QUESTION IS IT STILL FOR SALE."

You don't want the part anyway and you wouldn't buy it, even if you did, from the Unibomber.

My example seller is — mostly — fictional, but sellers like him are common. Reading their ads is like subjecting yourself to a verbal punching out.

Your only solace is that they probably never sell a thing.

Maybe that's why, in his most recent ad, this seller actually uses the word "please." What an improvement it makes.


  1. Whatever it is he's selling I'll buy it. 'Cuz I can.

  2. george2/27/2014

    That's really funny and right on the mark!


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