BURNED by Classic Car Dealer on EBAY MOTORS
I have recently been burned by a Classic Car Dealer who has a substantial presence on eBay Motors and other online venues. This is without question the most unprofessional and deceptive business encounter I have ever experienced.
The car I bought was supposed to be a complete restoration yielding a car that looks and runs, as new. Through a series of very deceptive advertisement, email and telephone correspondence, Marv Friedman (owner?), consistently hyped the car far beyond its true condition.
In his eBay Ad (which I can produce) the headline read, "Best in World"! Marv repeatedly used extreme hyperbole to describe the condition of his restored car such as "Perfect", "As New," "Showroom Condition" ......Well, Far from it.
The condition of the car was not even close to those lofty characterizations. The net loss for my particular transaction with Cars of Yesterday, Inc.(Pompano Beach, FL) was nearly $9000 over a period of less than two weeks. Heck, I never even drove the car off the lot! I'm not alone here as I have recently become acquainted with two other buyers who have experienced similar problems with this same car dealer.
I request your advice regarding any potential recourse that I may have.
The eBay Auction
After agreeing to pay $19,000 for the car (6/14/01), a 1970 Cadillac DeVille Convertible, I hired an inspection service to check it out. The inspector approved the vehicle mechanically and gave a good report of the overall condition. At this point, Marv induced me to pay in full (not just the 20% deposit as specified on his eBay Ad), using the hook of "other higher offers are waiting in the wings". Since the car passed inspection and Marv assured me of the car's As New condition, I reluctantly wired him the full amount. Stupid move on my part. Five days later I flew to S. Florida from my home in Kentucky to pick up the car. Its condition was in no way indicative of Marv's hype. I hated it! Many, many serious flaws. My discoveries include but are not limited to:
o Oil pooling on top of engine manifold. Marv seemed surprised & could not explain.
o Front seats are split apart badly on both sides. ......ref.: email; Interior As New?
o Nothing about the Dash is New as promised. ........ref.: email; Interior As New?
o Instrument panel is badly faded and very dull. ?
o Wear on steering wheel so bad that it was covered by a cheap wrap. ?
o Metal toggle switch (Like something from Radio Shack?!) on main instrument panel, has been used to replace the power-top button. ?
o Rust on the bumpers and under body side molding. (Ad reads: Car has Zero rust. Chrome done to Pebble Beach standards like surgical chrome.)
o Body side molding (rt.side) bowed, hanging loosely due to rusted out fasteners. Glob of super glue (or equiv.) visible in an unsuccessful attempt to attach molding to body.
o Could not get rear speaker to work.
o Car has many, many obvious flaws throughout. In no way could this car be indicative of Best in World, As New or Showroom Condition.
After my personal inspection I informed Marv that the car was in no way indicative of his Ad or our phone and email correspondence. I then asked for a refund. He blew up. The more flaws I pointed out, the angrier he got.
[He was quick to point out that he has a Ph.D. and is worth 20 Million and what a crybaby I was for rebuking his car and his deceptive tactics.] He refused to entertain a refund of any sort.
At this point I became very concerned realizing I did NOT want to drive this car home. In fact, I was very unsure if it was even capable of making the 1000 mile journey.
I pleaded with Marv to work with me and after apologizing for offending him (regarding the poor condition of his car) asked him to please work with me on this. After calming down, he begrudgingly agreed to re-market the car on eBay and through Hemmings.com, but only after I signed a contract accepting the car and limiting his re-marketing efforts to 30 days.
After that, the car was completely my problem. We went to the copy center where he angrily typed up a contract. Viewing this as my best hope of regaining most of my money, I reluctantly signed his newly drafted contract and flew back home, very disappointed.
After my return home, I became uneasy with passing this car onto the next guy via Marv's marketing tactics and so again focused my efforts on a Buyback from Marv. He flatly refused my request for him to buyback the car, keeping a 20% fee ($3800) for his time and trouble. Obviously, his other higher offers were fictional. Finally, my offer to sell the car back to him for $11,000 was attractive enough for him to bite. We agreed on this price and that is how the transaction ended. In a little over a week, I was out over $8000 plus expenses. My total cost for this mess...about $9000, and I never drove the car off of his lot. BUYER BEWARE!
In Marv's defense
o His eBay advertisement (see below) does have a legal disclaimer that basically says that
the Ad is meaningless.
o His Ad welcomes a personal inspection and/or a mechanic's inspection.
o Unfortunately, my mechanic's inspection DID okay the car prior to payment. I later realized he was viewing the car from the perspective of it looks great for a 1970 model whereas I was expecting, a near perfect restoration as advertised. The company I dealt with Inspection Solutions a.k.a. LemmonBusters, does not arrange for a pre-inspection conversation between the buyer and the inspector.
o His photographs of the car were excellent, however, he was careful to omit the front half of the interior which is where most of the obvious problems were. Prior to purchase I asked him to clarify this area with additional photos which he never produced. On the phone Marv specifically told me that the interior (as well as the rest of the car) was just like a new car on the showroom floor in 1970. Balogna!
o I did see other cars at his local that at least appeared to be very nice. Certainly, much nicer than mine.
Lessons Learned, Am I Stuck ?
Attached, please find Marv's eBay advertisement and email correspondence regarding the car. Also, I have a copy of the re-marketing contract that Marv demanded I sign on the very day I had planned to drive the car home. Additionally, I can put you in touch with one or two others who have been burned by this guy. Based on my terrible experience with Marv, I'm convinced he'll continue to operate in this deceptive manner. The company address/contact info is:
Cars of Yesterday, Inc.
1900 S. Ocean Blvd. , Apt. 5T
Pompano Beach, FL 33062
Attn. Marvin Friedman A.K.A. Marvin Allan
Richard Hofberg, President
Phone/Fax: (954) 784-4165, cell:(954) 895-7940
Marv's email(s): Proftailpipe@aol.com
professortailpipe@AutoSmartUSA.com (Marv has some tie to AutoSmartUSA.com)
His assistant Rick's email is LUVDG@aol.com
He presently advertises his cars on eBay as Proftailpipe, Doctortailpipe and LUVDG
Here's Marv: http://hometown.aol.com/proftailpipe/
Thanks very much for any assistance you can provide.
FROM MY eMAIL LOG
Subj: Re: 70 Deville
Date: 01-05-25 07:59:10 EDT
I can go take more photos....Dash & interior is AS NEW...but before I do that, you should know my reserve was $19,975...and the least I can accept is $19,000...this is a 2000 hour restoration...if interested...please give me a call at (954) 895-7940...and thanks for your bids and interest.
Date: 01-06-12 20:00:21 EDT
Regarding his report...The seats are original...and are in incredible condition....they show the use of the actual mileage on this car....57,000....but are NOT worn-out, cut, faded,etc...The dash & door panels are perfect...Carpet is all brand new...the cut on the door panel is 1/4 on an inch...a drop of super-glue...and you'll not even be able to find it.
I already fixed the power steering leak (a drop) All I had to do was tighten the clamp.
The turn signals and back up-lights are being fixed in the AM...just let me know if you want 2...or 3 seat belts in the back seat.
Subj: Re: 1970 DeVille Inspection
Date: 01-06-11 23:52:42 EDT
Congratulations Chris....no B/S...you've bought the best 70 Deville Convertible on the planet...the inspector's mouth dropped when he 1st saw the car...I got a kick out of watching him...he said "I never have seen a car restored like this...the d**n thing is brand new"...lol
here's the transfer info:
First Union Bank
10480 Taft Street
Pembroke Pines, FL., 33026
(954) 985-3570...Bank contact is Margaret Allen, V.P
..................(cont. w/ bank acct. info)
[after they agreed to the $11,000 buyback]
Subj: Re: Revised Sales Agreement
Date: 01-06-26 16:08:28 EDT
Just received the title. I will wire the $11,000 to you tomorrow AM.
THEIR eBAY ADVERTISEMENT
1969 Cadillac : DeVille 69 Cadillac DeVille Conv. BEST IN WORLD!
Item # 5920661095Item located in: Passenger Vehicles:Cadillac:DeVille
Bidding is closed for this item.
Currently $18,975.00 (reserve met)
92000 Miles 8 - Cyl.
2 doors Automatic transmission
Used Clear title
Black Exterior - Black Interior
Time left Auction has ended.
Started Jun-04-01 18:32:25 PDT
ends Jun-14-01 18:32:25 PDT
Seller (rating) firstname.lastname@example.org (11)
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High bid jcbarjuca (0)
# of bids 11 ( bid history )
Location Ft Lauderdale By-The-Sea, FL
Country/Region USA/West Palm Beach
Payment Money Order/Cashiers Checks.
Shipping Buyer pays actual shipping charges. Seller ships internationally (worldwide).
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Air conditioning Convertible Cruise Control
Leather Seats Power Locks Power Seats
Seller assumes all responsibility for listing this item. You should contact the seller to resolve any questions before bidding. Auction currency is U.S. dollars ($) unless otherwise noted.
1970 Cadillac DeVille Convertible Black Exterior/Black Leather Interior White Convertible Top 1970 was the last year of production for the DeVille Convertible...really an end of an era. With the ending of the fabulous cars produced in the 1960's....1970 was a very important year of production.....Most of the cars produced from 1971 and on...were subjected to new standards by the EPA & DOT.....and performance began to take a steep downhill slide.....Cadillac still had the Eldorado and it was produced in Convertible form until 1976....but cars would never really be the same. Over the past 25 years...I have been priviledged to own many, many fine vintage cars.......but this 1970 DeVille Cadillac Convertible is really in a very special elite class ......it is one of the top 10 convertibles I have ever owned....and that is pretty significant as I have had 1000's of collectible cars over the years. The pictures....although good...just don't give the car justice.....and I would VERY strongly urge that anyone who is looking for a car of this caliber and quality, to please come to Ft. Lauderdale and inspect this car...or have it inspected by an expert. You've got to see & drive this car to really appreciate it!!!! Over 1500 hours were put into restoring this car to the very HIGHEST of standards.... The body, paint, and chrome on this car are done to "Pebble Beach" concur standards. The body is arrow straight...it really is PERFECT! I've never, ever seen better! The paint is flawless...just unreal!!!!!
It looks like you could put your hand inside the paint. The chrome is done to the highest possible of standards (like surgical chrome) There is ZERO rust in this car.......0! The interior (seats) are original and are gorgeous. The dash, convertible top, and carpets are new......and beautiful. As is the trunk...it's magnificent! The only thing that doesn't work 100% is the clock...but it is right twice a day...LOL. Under the hood....well...just study the pics....it's FLAWLESS. The engine was removed (472cid) and totally rebuilt. It has new pistons, rings, crank, bearings, water pump, fuel pump, hoses, belts, carburator, camsharft, lifters, valves, pulleys,wires, starter, distributor, coil,etc., etc. and it only has approx. 500 miles on it. The trans. was also rebuilt and the car drives "AS NEW" It doesn't leak ANYTHING nor use any oil, etc. The underside of the hood and engine compartment are painted to concur standards...GORGEOUS! The first time I laid my eyes on this DeVille I couldn't believe me eyes....this car is that nice. It's not inexpensive...but I will state without any qualms that you couldn't begine to restore one anywhere near the cost of what this car can be purchased for.... But this car, is for someone who only wants the VERY best there is......a restoration that took 2 years to complete and well over $35,000 in labor and parts. The AC system is NEW.... New Compressor, Dryer, Evaporator, Condensor,Lines, etc.... All the light work, Radio, Power seat, Power Windows...even power door locks. It's a car that only needs a driver....nothing else....nothing to fix or work on...just an incredible car to enjoy and have fun with.....hopefully..it won't turn into a "Trailer Queen" Equipped as follows: Automatic Transmission Power Windows Power Seats Power Door locks Cruise Control AM/FM Radio (original) Front & rear seat speakers Spare tire with tools and jack 472CID Cadillac V-8 engine. Power Convertible top with new correct top and interior pads New correct convertible Top Boot. Please don't e-mail me and ask me the reserve...If you want to discuss the reserve, money, or a trade...just give me a call (954) 895-7940. Good luck on bidding on one of the finest 1970 Cadillac DeVille Convertibles on Planet Earth! We will entertain the possibility of accepting a car (or cars) in trade. However, we would not be interested in any vehicles that need to be restored or cars that are kits, reproductions, or clones. I can be e-mailed at:Rick Thanks and good luck! THIS CAR IS A 1970 CADILLAC DEVILLE, NOT A 1969 This vehicle is being sold without a warranty; it is sold AS IS and WHERE IS. The description above is for informational and narrative purposes only. Information contain regarding serial numbers, engine numbers, trim numbers and other codes with reference to the authenticity of any vehicle offered is guaranteed to be the same as contain within a vehicle's ID plate or trim plate or any other numbers as stamped into a vehicles engine block, cylinder heads, transmission, differential or other mechanical components which make up the vehicle.The seller has made a diligent effort to accurately describe this vehicle but does not expressly or implicitly guarantee the accuracy of the above description. Bidders and prospective purchasers are cautioned to conduct their own due diligence, including a physical inspection in person or through a qualified third party inspector or appraiser, before contemplating a purchase or making a bid on this vehicle.In fact, we would welcome such an inspection, and will make every effort to make the above described vehicle available at a time convenient to the perspective purchaser or their agents. Please be sure you have the ability to send a 20% cashiers check within 48 hours if your the winning bidder and be able to pay the balance within 7 days thereafter.(also a bank check)
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