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A Terrible Way To Sell A Van

July 1, 2019

I have 13 children. People often ask me why we have 13?

Well, it’s all we could fit in the van.

But, we’ve had some move out. We have seats open!

We are down to 5 children at home. And we decided that it was time to downsize our vehicle. We recently bought a Yukon Denali. It seats 7. That’s nearly half what our 15 passenger van could hold. The Yukon gets better gas milage.

Vans are very popular in Utah: minivans, cargo vans, 15 passenger vans. It would not be hard to find a buyer for our van. I wanted it to be sold. But, I didn’t want to go through the process of selling it.

Our van was a 2014 Chevy Express 3500. The blue book was somewhere around $12000, depending on the condition of the van. Ours was in fair to good condition. We owned the van outright. We make it a habit to stay out of debt. We borrowed money to buy the Yukon with the idea that we’d pay it off when we sold the van.

Part of my hesitation was my neighbor. His family has been good friends to us since the day we moved in. He has helped me fix cars and stoves, computers and Christmas lights. His family owned a van, but it was older and tended to rattle the faster it went.

But, they weren’t in a position to buy our van. And I wasn’t in too much of a hurry to sell it. So, it sat in my driveway. And my lovely wife used it to run errands.

It sat there until last week. During a routine errand, my lovely wife ended up hitting the truck in front of her.

The collision was at a low speed, but the damage to our van was extensive. The truck that got hit rolled into the truck in front of it. The damage was greatest to our vehicle, to the first truck and only slightly more to the second truck.

Police and paramedics arrived and took statements and examined the victims. The other cars drove away. Their drivers armed with our insurance information. Our van was loaded on a tow truck and headed off to the insurance adjusters.

My daughter drove to pick up my lovely wife as I made my way home from Salt Lake City. That began several days of convalescence and phone calls with the insurance company.

Was the van repairable? Or would it be written off as a total loss?

I was torn by the thought. If it was repairable, I’d get a check from the insurance company and have a broken van. I’m not sure I’d want to fix it. On the other hand if it was totalled, they’d give me a larger check and I wouldn’t have to worry about what to do with a smashed up van.

Today we headed to the body shop. The decision was made. The van was totaled. The insurance company handed up a large check. In fact, larger than the most ambitous sale price we had considered.

So, at the end of the day, I’d “sold” our van for a very good price. But, it’s not a sales tactic I would suggest anyone consider, and not one we would have attempted given the choice.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2019 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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