Adventure box

A roof box on a car. Easier said than done.

I’ve discovered that buying a second hand roof box is an incredibly complicated thing to do. I had to learn so much about said items that if there was a degree course, I think I could walk away with First Class Honors. My dissertation would focus on how to extrapolate information curtailing to the dimensions, fittings and fixtures of the beasts. There are some many options and variables to consider.

A frustrating lack of useful detail has, on several occasions meant that I’ve had to tease out information from the seller as to what it is they actually had on offer. An example being “large roof box”. Large? What sort of large? A size 15 shoe is large, but I don’t think I’d fit a weeks worth of luggage in there. Another example, that made me remove glasses, pinch bridge of nose and exhale slowly was “roof bars for sale”. As a result of my now expert investigation methodology, I discovered the hint to ‘universal’ in the description was fine, so long as your universe stopped at 120cm and cars didn’t have fitted roof rails.

For the past week I’ve been phoning, emailing and messaging a dazzling array of the human race – mostly with a request for elabouration on the dimensions of bars and boxes. I may well have asked the same people the same set of questions several times – but – as a result of my perceverance, I finally tracked down (through as much luck as judgment) a suitable roof box. It is a massive thing, made by a reputable manufacturer and I only had to drive to Wakefield to get it. Nice fella who sold it, helped me fit it and drive it away for a fraction of the new price and given that it I used to buy whole cars for that sort of money when I was a teen, I feel my efforts have paid off. 

The other interesting learning I gained was the difference in user experience between ebay, gumtree and preloved. The latter two are much less likely to have detail but are much more ‘traditional’ in the sense that an actual conversation is ‘the norm’ as part of the transaction – unlike it’s ebay counterpart. Ebay sellers tend to give the highest detail – but the prices tended to be higher. Preloved was the hardest to use as a buyer owing to it’s clunky website and no app. Gumtree’s app was OK, but for someone who’s geographic location straddled two of their pre defined regions, it became a pain to use, as I had to flick between North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire for every single search I made. Ebay has the best app although the iPad app is better (imho) than the android app (I’ve used both extensively), even though the apple app seems a bit buggy at times. As it happens, it was Gumtree who came up trumps with the goods at about half the price of similar product offerings (that I’d missed out on) on ebay. Gumtree and Preloved are often unsung options, as ebay is undoubtedly the ‘big boy’, of the second hand ecommerce world, but others are worth exploring.

I think I need a lie down after all that. It does look awfully quite and out the way up there…    

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Blogger. Photogger. Walker. Talker. Experience designer based in Dubai. Co-founder of 4 kids.

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