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SmartieParts

My smart for sale in the great US of A

106 posts in this topic

Sorry Steven, I didn't think you'd actually believe my phone call! ;)

(I kid.)

Sorry to see you end the auction. I was pulling for you, and ready for you to run my campaign.

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Well when they actually start selling these things in the US, I guess all the haters will crawl out of the woodwork. What a messed up place!

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Steve,

If he wants to buy it to import it to the US, or to sell to another Canadian, or to export back to Europe, or even to use it as a trampoline in his backyard... Eddie

I would recommend a cabrio with top up for this purpose. Steven's car has a glass roof...doesn't seem that safe :biglaugh:

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For the record (and to help others from finding out the hard way):

It was my assumption that I was the EXPORTER and the buyer was the IMPORTER, but technically that is incorrect. It turns out if you are acting as either party (Buyer or Seller) then you can not be considered a courier... and only a courier can be neutral. So in this case, whoever crosses the border is, in fact, the importer AND exporter. The only way to have the importer and exporter as two seperate entities is to use a courier (or in a round about way, a customers broker). So point one of where I was wrong: I'm AM the importer.

2nd assumption was that I wasn't doing anything illegal as a Canadian. When you cross that border, as it turns out, your Canadian status starts to mean oh-so-little. You are in their country, you abide by their laws. So skirting the EPA inspection (which won't pass*) is breaking the law, Canadian or not. Not declaring your intentions at the border is smuggling if they can prove you intend to sell it (since the car is not a banned substance and is in plain sight you don't need to declare it except if you intend to sell/abandon it). And that's a felony.

*about the EPA. Here's where the conspiracy theories start to kick in. It is the EPA insisting the car doesn't meet pollution control standards, but aparantly it is an AUTOMATIC rejection - they won't even look at them on a case-by-case basis, which is standard for non-conforming cars, since they don't maintain a database of model specifics, etc and because the customer could have modified it to meet standards. Nope, I'm now told they have a blanket memo that says "no smarts - no exceptions". Is this because too many people were slipping through? Or is it because of Bush Oil? That, I leave up to the tinfoil hat folks.

There are probably legal ways to slip through the cracks and get a car down to the US but its beyond my lawyer budget I'm afraid. So if any of you, like me, had aspirations of legally selling the car in the US - its not going to happen from what I found out.

Ok, so what about not legally? I'm 100% sure that if I hadn't garnered all that attention on eBay that nobody would have complained, nobody would have been alerted, and the sale, for my part at least, would have gone down without a hitch. The customer (at least the one that I had the most discussion with) clearly knew the risks and accepted the fact he may not be able to ever legally register it. So I would have had $26k in my pocket and he would have had his car and nobody would have known anything... don't ask, don't tell. Then again, had I NOT used eBay I would have never had an offer of $26k either - so its a bit of a catch22.

Update for those that are interested: I got tons of offers following the closing of the auction. Out of the 63 emails (so far) only 2 were for reasonable offers (>$20k) and neither have returned my emails. Of the leading bidders before the auction, one responded saying she didn't want to risk the EPA's wrath and one said he'll get back to me.

-Steven

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Not declaring your intentions at the border is smuggling if they can prove you intend to sell it (since the car is not a banned substance and is in plain sight you don't need to declare it except if you intend to sell/abandon it). And that's a felony.

That part should have been a bit more obvious, no?

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