Sunday, July 02, 2006

Win-Win

Due to a series of unfortunate events, we came to find ourselves in posession of a rather broken down old truck, and another even more broken down old truck. We also had a car in desparate need of some brake work, and our "nice" car just crossed the 100,000 mile mark. Actually, all told, our sad fleet of vehicles have logged a combined 661,000 miles. And yes, our driveway looks like a very bad used car lot. If only I had a plaid jacket and some brylcreem...

Since money is tight, we decided to get creative. Obviously we don't need two trucks, particularly if they're not usable. We were thinking of selling the little Honda, since we could use the cash a lot more than the extra wheels. But a lot of buyers are going to turn away from a car with brake problems that's pushing 200k on the odometer, even if it is a Honda. So many repairs were beyond my meager abilities, my available time, and our funds, and my one mechanically savvy friend is in an entirely different hemisphere. There's only so much you can convey about auto repairs by email.

I knew that one of the neighbors up the road periodically had old vehicles for sale in front of his house. I could only guess that he was fixing them up and selling them. I stopped by to ask him about helping me out. He and his son both worked on cars, and his son worked at a local scrapyard.

After discussing the situation, we came up with a solution: good old fashioned barter.

In exchange for doing a series of repairs on one of the trucks, and taking care of the brakes on our Honda, and paying for all the new parts, he could have the other truck. I couldn't get more than a couple hundred dollars for a truck that wouldn't run, and there was no way we could repair everything. But if my neighbor's son could get some parts from the junkyard and put some time into it, he could probably sell it for a bit more, and make a few bucks to support his brand new baby girl. Everybody wins.

Less than a week after coming to an agreement, we are officially rid of that stinking, unreliable, smoke-spewing, diesel guzzling, broken down nightmare. (No hard feelings.) We have a quick-starting, smooth-running, non-stinking stuff-hauler with warrantied parts, and a car with working brakes (which we can now sell). Plus I now know a mechanic who lives a few doors down and won't charge me $70 an hour for any new gremlins that will inevitably show up. Maybe I can even learn a thing or two from him at the same time.

At this point, I couldn't ask for much more...

4 Comments:

At 7/02/2006 1:56 PM, Blogger madcapmum said...

Love it! It's wonderful when you can find someone local to exchange services/stuff with.

 
At 7/02/2006 9:08 PM, Blogger ~Lori said...

I love it when a plan comes together....

 
At 7/02/2006 9:24 PM, Blogger Mia said...

Sounds like you're executing Logdson's Contrariness to a "T". That's sensational!

 
At 7/06/2006 12:36 PM, Blogger Suzer said...

Bartering is always the way to go...it makes everyone happy and only costs you time and effort which would probably be wasted on T.V. anyways. Yeah for you!

 

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