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Questions About Private Sale Transactions



  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,708
    That is a good ad, and lots of good pictures..

    I think you can get $6K... It's the best model 4Runner, ever..

    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • acemanhattanacemanhattan Posts: 79
    edited August 2013
    In addition to selling my vehicle I am also looking into purchasing a used vehicle from a private party seller and I have a couple of questions about the process.

    The first would be about arranging pre-purchase inspections; is there a type of shop or mechanic that is better suited for the sort of "spur of the moment" inspections that might be needed should I spot a car on Craigslist that looks like a winner? What is the most efficient way to arrange the whole inspection transaction between the seller and myself? Obviously they aren't going to wait for my appointment date for me to come pick up the car and have it looked at and if it is a good car it wont be there in a few days to look at anyways, and if it's still there, it's likely that my mechanics inspection is going to find that there may be some things wrong with it (so on average I'm paying for inspections that tell me I probably don't want to buy this car).

    The other question is about price; I find that the cars, sort of across the board, are priced about 40% above KBB or Edumunds suggested price, should I expect to pay higher than those suggested prices? It just seems like it will be hard to get that price without making offers that are almost insulting (IE I offer below suggested price and I'm offering them like half of what they are asking).

    Thanks in advance.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    you never know how someone will react to an offer. The trick is to let them know that you are *really* going to buy it, right then and there. Naturally, on the first day the car appears, it's less likely that someone will take your offer, but after 2-3 days of the ad appearing on CL, sellers often start to bend.

    Remember, sellers don't set the market. Price guides don't set the market. BUYERS set the market. What you offer in good faith (presuming you aren't doing extreme lowballs) is reflective of what most people are willing to pay.

    I looked at a used truck yesterday. Very nice but it needed a few things. I think I know what it's worth, based on comparisons, age, mileage, etc. No way I'm going to pay his price. Somebody else might but that's their problem.

    Remember, a $5000 car that needs tires, plus the registration fees and sales tax, is really a $6000 car, or more.

    Pre-Purchase: you should line up the repair shop beforehand, but you will be the first "inspector". The idea is to only take a vehicle that performs well on your test drive, in for the inspection. You don't need a mechanic to tell you when a car isn't running right, making terrible noises, or lighting up every warning light on the dashboard.


  • Just had what appeared to be a savvy vehicle purchaser come and look at the 4runner. He gave the vehicle high praise and offered $6000 without test driving. I told him that I wouldn't feel comfortable letting it go for less than $7000 and he kindly told me that he hoped I got it. No counter offer, just a handshake and a little casual 5 minute conversation about New York.

    I have had about 4 people show interest since I put the ad up about 36 hours ago, one possibly coming by this evening, but he was the first one to come out and look at it thus far.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,626
    You actually turned down $6000 cash with no test drive necessary? Wow...I'd think quick cash in hand would be a winner. What happens if things don't work out the way you want? Good luck sir and I hope you get what you think you might but I think ya passed up something really good here! Hopefully I will be wrong...and I hope I am!

    The Sandman

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • I did, Sandman. Perhaps it was a gamble, but I don't think it was an excessively risky one given how short the car has been on the market. I hear what you're saying though.

    If things don't turn out how I want, then I will have learned a valuable lesson about selling vehicles.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    Ah well, I think I would have "worked" that guy who made the offer---split the difference I mean. I believe I pontificated a $6500 target price, but then again, I'm pretty free with YOUR money--LOL!

    You still have his number? Call him up.


  • I think that would have required a degree of salesmanship I don't possess; I did drop the price by roughly 5% in response to his offer, and this was with the hope of getting something near $6,850. I did expect (I think this would be what anyone would expect in a negotiation) that $6,000 was simply a starting offer, and I thought that countering with $7,000 was the best way to get close to $$6,850 and I was a bit surprised that he didn't counter.

    I will say that, as a student, I am actually happy that he didn't purchase because I know I'll get to process more "data" as I have to continue with the selling process. But, I do have his number and, I think, a friendly enough relationship with him that I could (maybe at a loss) reach out to him if I start to think better of my decision .

    He did mention that at 6:00pm tonight he was going to look at a similar make and model that was offered for $6,000. Should I send him a text with some sort of adjustment to my counter of $7,000? Something that would get us closer to a price of $6,500+ in the event that he absolutely hated the vehicle he looked at tonight and has some regrets about leaving mine?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,708
    You really have to get them into the car for a test drive... Anyone that makes an offer without driving the car, has to be taken as an unserious buyer..

    Refer back to what to say to those who make offers over the phone...

    Otherwise, it's just noise....

    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    Yeah, that's good advice. Don't start any negotiation with ANY buyer until they have driven the car.

    I like to use this analogy. Think of a pyramid, Inside that pyramid are various "floors" or levels, each one with a price. At the bottom of your pyramid is say the $5000 floor, and at the very tippy top, squeezed into the point, is the $8500 floor.

    Now visualize buyers on various floors---the higher the price, the fewer buyers there will be to occupy that space, and the longer you will have to wait until some of them, in theory, make the climb all the way up there.


  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,610
    You were being set up by the guy who didn't want to drive the car. Had you agreed to his offer, THEN he would have wanted to drive it and THEN he would have picked it apart or "found something wrong" and dropped his original "offer". The guy was a typical Craigslist flake.

    If you are asked what your bottom line is, NEVER suggest a number to the buyer..NEVER EVER DO THAT!. They will use THAT number against you.

    If they gripe about the miles just say.." I agree and that is why I priced it the way I did...if it had lower miles, the price would be higher"

    It looks like a nice Toyota. If you can find someone not afraid of those miles, you'll have a deal.

    Back in the bad old days, that car probably would have been "clocked" for an easy sale! A lot of cars were.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,055
    > "clocked"

    What does that mean?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    odometer has been breathed upon.


  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,610
    Speedometer shops were everywhere and they did more than "repair" speedometers.

    In the "old days" there were no real laws much less enforcement.
  • I adjusted the price down $100 every two days and listed it today at $6,950. Guy offered $6,500 cash and I accepted. He was the second person to come check the vehicle out.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,610
    edited September 2013
    Good deal!

    Yep, for 6500.00 I would have taken his cash and ran like a thief in the night!

    Sounds like a win-win for both of you.
  • jprocjproc Posts: 133
    congrats-its amazing how much value used Toyota's and Honda's retain.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,824
    Good job! Step 1 of your process is complete. As much research and feedback-seeking as you've done here, I predict you'll be in this discussion offering advice to other newbies soon :)

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

  • Thanks! This forum has been invaluable and I'm grateful for all the help.
  • When looking over a car prior to purchase, how can I tell if it has ABS and Side Curtain Air Bags?

    Of course I can ask the owner, but if they don't know how can I tell?
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