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Old 12-18-2017, 01:46 PM   #1
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Newbie needs help please!

Hi everyone,

I've been a lurker and I'm new to the skoolie lifestyle, but it's something I've fantasized about and researched for years now...

I finally have enough money to purchase one, but I have no absolutely no handy skills whatsoever.

So I hit craigslist, and found a beautiful mostly converted Bluebird that used to be a mobile blood bank.

Anyways, I need some advice before I buy it because I'm having serious doubts about going to check it out. (As in buying a plane ticket and going out of state to the middle of nowhere to meet total strangers)

Potential red flags:

1. I've only seen the photos on craigslist and after a few days, the listing expired. This was a few weeks ago, but I just texted the owner again and he says he hasn't sold it yet.

2. I've only texted the owner. We have not spoken on the phone.

3. The owner says the title is not in his name?! How can he sell it then?!!! I asked him who the registered owner was and he said he hadn't registered the title in his name yet, and he just bought it. (Which brings up more questions, like why sell it, how long ago did you buy it, etc, etc.)

4. He says all we would have to do would be go to the DMV to get it transferred over (but again, if he doesn't hold the title, how can he even sell it to me?!)

5. He says he doesn't have the money for the taxes on it. Am I missing something here? Are there monthly taxes on a skoolie?! Maybe different states have taxes? I'm not understanding this statement.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I was really interested in this bus, and initially it looked like the owner was interested in my offer too but now I'm wondering if this is some sort of scam.

Sorry for the novel. Any help would be appreciated. As a single woman, you never can be too careful.
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Old 12-18-2017, 01:58 PM   #2
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Never buy a vehicle unless the title is free and clear and in the person's name you are buying it from.
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Old 12-18-2017, 02:05 PM   #3
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Never buy a vehicle unless the title is free and clear and in the person's name you are buying it from.
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Old 12-18-2017, 02:13 PM   #4
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This is just an opinion, but ebay is where you buy buses from people that are trying to double their money after they've purchased a bus from the auctions. This guy sounds like he didn't even want to spend the money to register the bus in his name, which in a way makes sense if you know you're not going to keep the vehicle. The DMV does limit the number of title transferes that can be put into your name without you having to buy a car dealer's license. As a sub-car dealer he also doesn't have to claim the profit as income on his personal taxes.

It sounds like you should text the owner again and find out what his bottom dollar is, then push him for a better price. If his listing expired without a sale, his price is to high.

Bloodmobiles and bookmobiles are usually a good score. Without saying where this bus is, would you mind telling us what the price is as well as engine and transmission models? Mileage? Tire condition/age? I know you haven't looked at it in person yet. Make the seller take some pics. Not enough information provided to judge horseflesh here.
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Old 12-18-2017, 02:13 PM   #5
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Thanks guys!

I didn't even know you could sell a bus if you weren't the owner and the title-holder!!!!
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Old 12-18-2017, 02:17 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
This is just an opinion, but ebay is where you buy buses from people that are trying to double their money after they've purchased a bus from the auctions. This guy sounds like he didn't even want to spend the money to register the bus in his name, which in a way makes sense if you know you're not going to keep the vehicle. The DMV does limit the number of title transferes that can be put into your name without you having to buy a car dealer's license. As a sub-car dealer he also doesn't have to claim the profit as income on his personal taxes.

It sounds like you should text the owner again and find out what his bottom dollar is, then push him for a better price. If his listing expired without a sale, his price is to high.

Bloodmobiles and bookmobiles are usually a good score. Without saying where this bus is, would you mind telling us what the price is as well as engine and transmission models? Mileage? Tire condition/age? I know you haven't looked at it in person yet. Make the seller take some pics. Not enough information provided to judge horseflesh here.
Thanks so much for your replies, everyone!

So...initially this was going for $8K but I countered with $5K expecting a haggle, but he was open to $5K. He says his girlfriend is out of work and expecting, hence the motivation to sell.

Like I said, our conversations have been limited to texts and not in depth at all.

I don't have information on the engine, machine, mechanical stuff and he took down the ad and hasn't reposted it but I did see photos and it's gorgeous.

Has a shower/tub, wood stove, sink, toilet and wood floors (from what I can see from the photos). There was even some sort of horoscope/astrological ceiling tiles I found unique and would have kept. I wish I had saved the ad or taken a screenshot :-/ If I remember correctly, the ad said the bus starts and drives without any issue.

I want to believe this is not a scam and that I could potentially get the skoolie of my dreams...
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Old 12-18-2017, 02:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ThoreaulyCurious View Post
Thanks so much for your replies, everyone!

So...initially this was going for $8K but I countered with $5K expecting a haggle, but he was open to $5K. He says his girlfriend is out of work and expecting, hence the motivation to sell.

Like I said, our conversations have been limited to texts and not in depth at all.

I don't have information on the engine, machine, mechanical stuff and he took down the ad and hasn't reposted it but I did see photos and it's gorgeous.

Has a shower/tub, wood stove, sink, toilet and wood floors (from what I can see from the photos). There was even some sort of horoscope/astrological ceiling tiles I found unique and would have kept. I wish I had saved the ad or taken a screenshot :-/ If I remember correctly, the ad said the bus starts and drives without any issue.

I want to believe this is not a scam and that I could potentially get the skoolie of my dreams...
I'd say the seller dropping his price to half the asking price without a fight is a red flag.. lots of red flags on this one, I don't think I'd be comfortable buying a plane ticket even if it was my dream bus. If it was local and you could scope it out, that would be different.

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Old 12-18-2017, 03:15 PM   #8
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Too many unanswered questions. Engine? Transmission? Rear gears (partly determines top speed)? Title status?

The title not being in his name is a red flag, but not necessarily a deal-breaker. Either he bought it to flip it (resale for profit), or had intentions to use it but plans have changed. If it's an "open title" (usually not legal), which was signed by the original seller, but not dated, nor signed by the current owner, then it's a simple matter of putting your name and a recent date on the title (and as far as the tag and title office goes, bypassing him altogether). It would explain why he hasn't paid the taxes (and is perhaps why he didn't title it in his name).

If he has signed the title, then I would insist he transfer the title in his name before going any further. Clearing up a mess like that can turn into a nightmare. In any event, I would *NOT* separate with money until I had a title in my name headed my way (or one I know I could transfer with no difficulty).

Again, I would find out what engine, transmission and rear gears it has. Last thing you want is to regret the decision by finding out (too late) it has an undesirable drivetrain.
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Old 12-18-2017, 03:29 PM   #9
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Yeah, all of what has been said. However, you haven't asked what his bottom dollar is yet. He didn't bat an eye at going down $3k? I say $5k is not his bottom dollar. Get it cheap enough and the title issues may be worth it.

At the same time you haven't seen that bus in person. The seller had better get real good at taking pics. I agree, something smells like fish here. Make it worth your while to put up with the sellers hassle.
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Old 12-18-2017, 03:34 PM   #10
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Man, I sure hate the weird sketchy people that come out of the woodwork on CL.
I'd run from this bus. Too many red flags.
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