Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Questions About Private Sale Transactions



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    edited March 2012
    Sure--time of year really matters on a convertible.

    Now when you say 'what they're going for' are you looking at asking prices or selling prices?

    Asking prices are basically meaningless to an appraiser. When I'm appraising a car, I'll call up a dealer and push to know "what's your take price"?

    Again, if you're selling in the "pristine" category, that's not what price guides focus on.

    Okay I did a global (national) search for 2002 Honda S2000s, dealer and private party asking prices and got a national average asking price (over 100 hits) of $13,800. (To get this average, there were cars priced more than yours).

    If we presume that selling price is say 10% less than asking, then I'm right on the money here at $12,500.

    Even IF you sold your car for $15000, that doesn't mean that "all 2002 Honda S2000s with 42, 000 miles on them are worth $15,000".

    A good price guide would try to find many many low mileage examples and average them out.

    PS: I priced your car out using Edmunds, and got approx. $11,000 as value.


  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,147
    $12,500 would be dealer auction money if its clean, though. He may be able to go into Carmax and get that kind of money.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Well if a dealer thinks he could flip it for a few thou, sure, but the seller isn't a dealer and doesn't offer financing, showrooming, national ads, etc. Dealers can always get more for a car--that's why price guides have private party AND dealer retail pricing.


  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,147
    edited March 2012
    Of course. And private party is still above auction value. Where exactly on this car we won't know until it's sold, but I would definitely be asking $15k. i can bet a dealer isn't letting a pristine low mileage car going for less than $3k profit.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • Just as another datapoint I called one of the webuycars sites in my area. These guys prey on people who need money fast. They immediately emailed me an offer $1200 over the max mint condition number that edmunds shows. I still stand by the fact that edmunds has a problem here. I don't know if its older low mileage cars or just low volume cars they can't get data on, but they should be up front when they don't have concrete data to back it up.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Again, there's a difference between the "market" and what you sell one car for, one time. And again, it's not the job of price guides to try and value exceptionally pristine, low mileage cars.

    Edmunds is a "guide" and as such, focuses on the 99%, not the 1%.

    It's been my experience that very rare, or very pristine low miles cars are not even reported in sales data available to price guides. Many cars of this type are sold privately among club members.

    I think the problem is that you are holding Edmunds to a standard that it never claims to cater to.


  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,593
    People are funny when they are selling cars.

    They will search high and low, looking at "asking" prices. If they see a number they think is too low, they will discredit that source. If they see a number they like then they will think the one they have is worth at least that much. They think that's what they are "going for".

    The market is funny and S-2000's aren't the best of sellers anyway.

    Some people think the miles on the car determine everything as far as value and this is NOT so. A car can have low miles and be a roach. A car can have a lot of miles and be in pristine condition.

    On S-2000's modifications kill the value. If it's been lowered, has the wrong wheels or it looks like it's had a hard life (as many have) the value go's in the toilet. Color is important on an S-2000 too. If it's white with that beige interior, it'll rot on the lot.

    Like our HOST says, all Price Guides are exactly that..." Guides" Your car may be worth more or less than that number.

    People overpay everyday for used cars...or do they? If they are happy, that's what matters. Sometimes cars are sold for less than they should have sold for.

    No different with houses, stocks or anything else.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,971
    If you have had a wonderful experience using's True Market Value, and you recommend to your family and/or friends, our media relations manager would like to talk to you. Please send your daytime contact info to


    If you have had a wonderful experience using's Used Car Inventory, and you recommend to your family and/or friends, our media relations manager would like to talk to you. Please send your daytime contact info to

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • Hey everyone. I have a 1999 4runner limited with 165,000 miles on it that I am looking to list in the next 48 hours and I am trying to determine a price for it; I'm wondering if you all can help.

    I've searched Craigslist and Autotrader and found the following:

    15 makes and models that are similar to mine are being sold privately within a 200 mile radius. Of those 15, mine has the 4th fewest miles and, realistically, appears to be the 4th best vehicle of the 15. The 3 that seem to be in better condition have anywhere from 2k to 25k less miles and the average asking price is $9,000. Of the 11 that are in worse condition (mileage is, in most cases, about 40k more than mine), the average asking price is $6,000. Dealers in the same radius are asking an average of $9,900 for a similar vehicle. Edmunds lists the private party value at about $5,100.

    It is a mechanically sound vehicle -- not pampered, but taken care of, and is currently in the shop getting a $200 interior/exterior detailing to make it shine. It has a few cosmetic blemishes (front bumper parking garage dings) and the interior is in great condition except that the leather on the driver and passenger seats is showing some wear (no tears, just wear).

    So what should I ask? I'm thinking splitting the difference between the average asking price of the worse and better vehicles and going for $7,500, taking anything above $7,000. Thoughts?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,822
    Try posting in our Real-World Trade-In Values discussion:

    Don't bother with all of the comparables - just list the info requested in red text above the "post a message" box.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Sounds like pretty good market research, but with those higher miles, really, anyone who showed up with $6500 in real money....I wouldn't let them walk away.


  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,147

    Well, I just replied to you in RWTIV, but these numbers are pretty out there.

    Manheim tells me that vehicle fetches about $4k at auction, though, which would put fair retail at about $6500 and fair private party more in the $5k-5500 range.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,411
    There might well be a premium on that car due to two facts: It's popular with offroading types, and it's in Oregon. If it's as rust-free as I'd expect for a NW car, that would help the value.

    But even at Shifty's more optimistic valuation of "take $6,500," that's a LOT of bread for a 14-year-old car with a lot of miles. Yeah it'll run another 80k, probably, but it'll have needs along the way, and the 20 to 25 cents a mile in fuel costs ain't going away, either.

    If it can be made to look great in pictures, it might make good ebay fodder. This isn't going to bring top $$ as a beater to a local college students.

    The 4x4 crowd is the target audience. If they're still interested in the later ones, I'm not plugged in...

    Cheers -Mathias
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,643
    If it was a stick, it would already be sold....

    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • acemanhattanacemanhattan Posts: 79
    edited August 2013
    Thanks for the responses everyone.

    Since I'm not in a big hurry and since there is 3 day weekend coming up (I'm just extrapolating that somehow that means more people will be shopping) I decided to put an ad up for $7350. I think that price is outrageous but if I price it too much lower it will be below quite a few 4runners that are 50,000 miles older and/or in nowhere near the condition of mine. If I don't get any calls I'll prob drop it to about $6500 and continue from there.

    For those playing along at home:

    Also, from a tactical standpoint (not necessarily with this sale in mind, but all used car sales), when someone comes right out and asks "what is your bottom dollar" what is a good response? I feel like the price I post is my starting point and that a buyers responsibility (if they want to negotiate) is to make a counter offer, I don't want to post a price and then, without them making an offer, instantly drop it. Should I just say something like, "well I've priced it at what I believe is fair, but I'll entertain offers" ?

    And another question, is there some automated spam text message scam with regards to used cars? I know I've received emails in the past that are clearly automated responses to a craigslist ad, but I received two texts in the night that both make odd use of the english language and, with my exact craigslist title in the message, ask something sort of general about the purchase. For example: "Is it you still have........1999 4runner Limited 4WD - $7350 (SE Portland)"
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    edited August 2013
    I was suggesting $6500 as the "home run price", to take that offer, kiss the buyer profusely and run to the bank.

    High miles is high miles. Statistically, the modern car is used up at between $175K and $225K.

    To say that a vehicle with 160K on the clock is going to run another 80K is, in my opinion, possible certainly but I sure wouldn't take that bet.

    it all boils down to: Do you want to sell it right now, or do you want to market it for the next month or two?

    But as they say "You can always come down in price but you can't go up"

    RE: Your Ad ---nicely done but too much information IMO. Listing recent repairs suggests that the vehicle is becoming needy. Also no one cars about the lid for the sun glasses holder.

    If they like the good parts of the car, right off the bat (excellent idea to have the car detailed), they will forgive all the little blemishes out of hand.


  • Thanks.

    I'll make some adjustments to the ad.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    As you wish---I'm only offering my two cents about it. By all means, try to get as much as you can for the vehicle.

    I always try to focus on "the market" which is not always exactly the same as outlier sales---for every 4Runner like yours falling in the $5500 range, a couple will sell for more and a couple will sell for less. There's geography, luck, emotional buys, careless buyers, clever sellers---all kinds of factors that are much too out of control to pin down.

    My method of selling my cars is to hang it out for an attractive price, and on the other side, to buy at an attractive maybe I "lose" $500 bucks for the sake of a very quick, convenient, no hassle sale to a rational, non-paranoid buyer, but I think I get it back by being an astute shopper for the next car.


  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,411
    I like the ad, mostly.
    The pictures are good; they look they you want to inform, not deceive.

    Shorten the text by half. Cars with too much text are always overpriced.

    Don't list every little thing; "air conditioning" and "power steering" are kind of ridiculous; it's not 1978 anymore.

    "Clean" is wonderful. "Professionally detailed" says "I'm a slob but i paid someone to make it look nice." I don't think that's true, but that's my gut reaction when I read "detailed." The car is clean, the pictures show it, the engine looks good... I'm getting the warm fuzzies in that it looks "taken care of."

    How about "maintained on schedule; records available."
    If true. Never lie when selling a car. It's unsportsmanlike.

    And if I were in the market for something like this, $5 would be the absolute end-of-the-world for me. But there is a market for these, and there aren't many out there any more that look as nice.

    I stand by my "probably another 80k" remark, but of course, if the engine coughs up a lung in a few months, the surprise will be only mild. And there will definitely be "needs" along the way.
    And there better not be **any** rust on this thing.

    >> when someone comes right out and asks "what is your bottom dollar" what is a good response?

    I've had good success with: "I can certainly talk about the price, but you can't: You haven't seen the car yet." That shows there's room for negotiation without committing you to a new starting point for the inevitable chiseling.

    In person, I tell people to find out what I'll take, they need to tell me what they'll give... no haggling without an offer... otherwise you're just negotiating with yourself.
    For details on that particular pitfall, see our president's handling of budget negotiations... he needs help from a car dealer... but I digress...

    Regarding the text messages, disregard.
    Also, make your phone number so it's not easily machine-readable.

    Good luck, and let us know. I'll be watching with interest.

    Cheers -Mathias
  • Thanks a lot for the input. I've made some adjustments to the ad per your recommendations.
Sign In or Register to comment.