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1st Time Selling Car. How should various minor issues affect pricing?

secondcalderasecondcaldera Posts: 2
edited September 2015 in Mitsubishi
Hey everyone. I'm looking to sell my 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse. It's got about 94,000 miles. It's hot red and still looks great. The car runs nicely, and I've spent plenty on repairs to ensure it will continue doing so. Unfortunately, there are a few small issues that potential buyers might not like. I know these flaws are things I personally was able to get over and I still enjoyed driving this vehicle, but I'm curious if a combination of these problems may diminish its value a bit. So I thought I'd ask the fine users of this forum. Here's what I'm talking about:

*The car stereo volume knob is weird. There's no issue turning volume higher, but if you try to turn it lower, sometimes it will still turn higher. I learned fairly quickly that gripping down hard usually solves this problem, however...
*Now there isn't a volume knob. The little black knob fell off one time when I was desperately trying to turn down volume. You can still change volume, in fact it's probably slightly easier now, but the stereo is now kind of aesthetically displeasing...
*The windshield wipers are poor. I probably should have replaced them a while back but never got around to it. They get rain off but your view is just never as clear as it should be. I think it just kind of jams up and doesn't wipe as fast it should.
*The A/C unit isn't cold enough...It technically works, and it blasts air, but that air isn't cold enough to get the job done on a super hot day. I've made a habit of never using it and always opting to put the windows down instead.
*The Car Key has a lock, unlock, and panic button, but the unlock button fell off. (Don't ask me how, one day it was there and the next it wasn't) This means that unlocking the car has to be done the old-fashioned way: using the keyhole in the doors. The lock button still works fine.
*The engine has a lot of rust. This was something I knew when I bought the vehicle. The previous owner used this car on the east coast, so I guess it had its fair share of snow rides before it made it's way to California.

So what does everyone think? How drastically does this change the value of my vehicle and is there anything I can do about it? It's hard to use a website like Kelly Blue Book to get an accurate price because I don't know how to account for things like this. I'm selling this in the San Francisco Bay Area if that helps at all. I'm trying to sell this ASAP so any other tips and advice on selling this would be appreciated! Thanks!


  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    edited September 2015
    You can appraise it here. A GS 4 speed automatic in average condition with 91k comes in around $2,260 for a private party sale. You can use my link to dial the number in a bit.

    You're getting a lot of "credit" for the low miles. The condition off-sets a lot of that. And if you knock it down to rough condition (to allow for the AC, buttons missing and the engine rust), your number is closer to $1,960. Not a huge difference, but you're talking a 15 year old car.

    Quick sale? Clean it up and list it for $2,000 or $2,100 and come down to ~$1,900.

    Most bucks? No running used car is cheap these days so you could check craigslist in your area and see what similar Eclipses are selling for. Then get your asking price in line with those and be flexible. Not sure that people will be that concerned about engine rust but it may be worth it to visit an AC shop and see if a recharge will help or if you have a leak or worse.
  • thanks so much for the help!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,350
    Very good advice!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    I think in this price range that most (reasonable) people do not expect a perfect car. These "issues" may bother person A but mean nothing to person B. It's up to the buyer to fiddle with everything and try it out---radio, AC, wipers, etc. You are selling a car "as is"---of course, answer their questions but don't belabor it. If you start reciting a laundry list of these small defects before they've even driven the car, that could be discouraging. It's better to respond to their little disappointments with an incremental drop in price. So start off asking a bit more than you'd like to have.

    "I like the car but the AC doesn't work"

    "OK, I'll knock off the price of a service---$200"

    things like new wiper blades and a radio knob and the remote key---they can deal with that. You aren't building them a brand new car.

    Besides if the car is going to live in San Francisco and be parked on the street, it's going to be subjected to further torment anyway. :)

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,350
    If you get a fussy buyer that makes a big deal out of these little things, just say...

    " Well, it may not be the right car for you"

    Works almost every time.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    A reporter is looking to talk with a family in either the San Francisco or Los Angeles areas that is currently looking to sell one or more of their cars for maximum value. If you fit the description, please send a message to [email protected] by no later than Friday, September 18, 2015.
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