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Filtering Out Noise

Sunday, March 22, 2009
So I've been browsing craigslist lately looking at cars, because I'd eventually like to replace the Dentmobile with something less... dented. Okay. However, I'm still of fairly limited means, so I'm not looking to spend that much. Still not a problem, but then I'm getting REALLY picky: I don't want a sedan (useless for carrying anything other than people, which I rarely do), I want a manual transmission (I like driving stick), I want a moonroof (now I'm just getting picky, etc. But I've been seeing a lot of ads and finally I have to say something.

Category 1: "Like New"
This is a phrase that just kills me every time. Sir, you can't have a 1986 Toyota MR2 for sale with "only" 145,000 miles on it and say that it "runs and drives like new". I can almost guarantee that it doesn't. You see, "runs and drives like new" implies, to me, that the car would be virtually indistinguishable from that same car if you were driving it when new. Yet I can't think of a single automobile with almost 150k miles on it that's been sitting there for 23 years for which that claim could honestly be made.

Category 2: "Low Miles"
Oh, here's one: A 1993 Honda Civic with "Low Miles" - and in the post, he describes the vehicle as having 12,000 miles per year (right around the average). A bit of basic math tells us that a 16-year old car driven 12,000 miles per year has roughly 192,000 miles on it, which is not even anything remotely close to "low miles". I really think "low miles" should be reserved for anything with fewer than 7,000 miles per year on it, with a maximum cap of 80,000 miles. That's just me, though.

Category 3: No Info
Without having one to show specifically, I'm giong to say that these are all over the place. They're the ones that don't tell you anything about the vehicle that's being listed. I understand that abbreviations can be helpful, but you're not exactly paying by the letter. Go ahead and tell me how many miles are on the car, what kind of transmission it has, and all that fun info. Not listing it is a good sign that you're hiding it.

Category 4: ALL CAPS
FIND THE CAPS LOCK KEY AND TURN IT OFF. THANK YOU.

So that's the noise I have to filter out when looking at vehicles, and trust me: there's a lot of noise.

1 Comments:

Anonymous alex said...

http://portland.craigslist.org/clc/cto/1087253511.html

I failed to realize how low quality craigslist pictures are. This explains why we keep getting asked how many miles are on it. I thought I had that covered. :(

5:46 PM, March 24, 2009  

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