It’s thanks to all your comments that I’m actually starting to put together a Plan B

I was stuck for awhile in “what can’t we do” mode, and your various emails today got me thinking in terms of “what CAN we do?” instead. Here’s what we CAN do:

1) take a day off from DH’s job and drive out together, so that my concerns about going alone are laid to rest

2) take DH’s truck instead of mine, so that my concerns about my truck making it, are laid to rest

3) look this beast over in person, rather than having someone else do it for us (which we were having trouble lining up)

4) having cash in hand, ready to go, which either the seller would accept, or he wouldn’t. As my dad has always told me, it’s easy to turn down Monopoly money (ie, a promise to pay). It’s a whole ‘nuther thing to wave Ben Franklins around under someone’s nose, and tell them “this is all there is. Take it, or leave it.” I suspect DR would heartily echo that sentiment, and I believe he spoke about that a while in FPU. While cash is a great way for the spender to keep spending contained, it’s also a powerful motivator for the seller to be more cooperative.

5) and yes, Cindy, you’re absolutely right. If this is so important to our business (and it would be a fundamental part of our harvest plans) then it deserves some in-person time and attention. Kick those tires!

So now the Plan B is to sit down with DH, figure out when we can drive out there together, look this thing over, offer the man cash, and then drive home either with a whole lot of pics and a receipt, or our money still folded over in our pockets. Arranging delivery after that personal inspection and on-the-spot payment would be a much easier thing to arrange than trying to do it remotely. So now, the only two things to decide are: how high do we care to go, price-wise, and how soon can we get out there? Those are do-able items. Thanks, everyone, for getting me out of the “what can’t we do” mode. I’ll keep y’all posted.

So here’s my feelings on the subject for what they are worth

I take it we are talking about the same price range we discussed offline recently. If so I happen to know as a fellow farmer that is a good chunk out of the farming budget. Therefore, I would pay the way that would come closest to guaranteeing that I get what I pay for (but then I’m that way on even a small amount).

1.Get in writing the agreed upon price, the agreed upon delivery, guaranteed condition (or as is if that is the case) etc. A contract, fax back and forth with witnessed signatures on both ends. Faxzero is a free online fax service for x amount of pages in a certain time period so this would cost neither of you anything.

2.Payment if you do a check do a cashier’s check, overnight it and make him sign that he got it.

3.Wire transfer will cost you to send and him to receive, unless he has a special deal with his bank.

4.Paypal, just changed a bunch of their rules and I’m not certain they now let you retrieve money – unsecured personal loans (UPL) if something goes wrong with the payment/delivery for non-ebay items. Check that and find out for certain BEFORE going this route. If they do still have it or if your debit card is a Visa that has that protection on it, then I’d go that route. No extra fees on your end, but it might cost him on his end and you may have negotiate that.

5.If you decide to drive, then get a cheap rental car to just go look, or if you would bring it home right then(not likely with the size of a combine), rent a reliable vehicle to pull it back. I know it would be a long day, but you could do that drive both ways in one day. Pack an ice chest and eat on the road. Doing the rental would be cheaper than a motel and far less nerve racking on driving the “what if?” truck.

6.If you pay for it that day, definitely get a receipt and take your own photos with the time date stamp on of the condition of the unit the day you paid for it—life happens, vandals happens and bait and switches happen. Also get vin or whatever id numbers a combine has on them of the unit you are discussing (to prevent bait and switch) and take a photo of that number if you are there too.

You know, Julian is alluding to some things I was thinking about

I take it this is a lot more than “walking around” money for this piece of equipment. Being a business owner myself, if I were spending a large amount of money on a piece of equipment, I’d have to make arrangements to go see it in person, kick the tires, take it for a test spin–or whatever you do with a combine. Just to make sure that what I see in pics is in fact reality.

The thought came to mind, what if he sent you and 20 other people the same photos? How do you know it’s not sold already? I guess that suspicion that Sharon mentioned is coming out.

Anyway, even if it mean getting a rental vehicle and a motel room, I’d have to go look at it in person before any money is sent. Yes a rental and an overnight stay are an expense, but it might save you $1000’s in the long run. It would allow you time to carefully look over the equipment, negotiate a deal and begin making moving arrangements.