We got fooled into buying a Lemon instead of a Peach in 2005! …is the plot of this blog.

And, the main characters are:

  1. The buyers – My husband and I
  2. The seller – the owner of so-called Peach, an American citizen of South Asian (Desi) Origin
  3. The Peach that was actually a Lemon – A second-hand Nissan automatic car manufactured in 1994/5, which was bizarrely ‘Peach’ in color!

So, how did we get fooled?

Here are the simple steps undertaken by the seller:

Step 1: Attract the buyer by suggesting that he/she resembled a Bollywood actor/actress

Step 2: Distract the same buyer by narrating their numerous personal problems and struggles about living-alone in America without family/friends’ support

Step 3: Pretend to forget mentioning about the problems with the car’s brakes that were supposed to be amended (by the seller) prior to its sale.

I know! Step 1 should make anyone squeamish and Step 2 should make anyone concerned … but Step 3 was unacceptable as per Akerlof’s paper on Hidden (or asymmetric) information and the Lemons Market!  

We confronted the seller and argued about the price of the car to be $1,995, instead of the $2,500 that we’d paid, as suggested by Kelley Blue Book. Oddly, the seller shrugged and brazenly repeated the above mentioned Step 1 and Step 2, invariably making us feel stupid about ourselves.

Sigh! Dejectedly, we paid the extra $275 to the mechanic for transforming the Lemon into Peach again. But when the day of our road trip befell, the transformed Peach ran remarkably across the beautiful Californian wine region to Santa Clara where our family yearningly awaited our arrival.  Peach went on to serve us very well until it broke down in early 2008… same year when we relocated to India.

Bhakti Joshi is teaching assistant at Meghnad Desai Academy. 

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