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Questions About Private Sale Transactions



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,870
    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.

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  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,303

    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.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,562
    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: 66,849
    If it was a stick, it would already be sold....


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  • 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 Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,870
    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.

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  • Thanks.

    I'll make some adjustments to the ad.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,870
    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.

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  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,562
    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.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 66,849
    That is a good ad, and lots of good pictures..

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


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  • 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 Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,870
    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.

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  • 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: 4,216
    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

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1) / 2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • 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 Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,870
    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.

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  • 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: 66,849
    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....


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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,870
    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.

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,670
    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 & I75 Posts: 21,398
    > "clocked"

    What does that mean?

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,870
    odometer has been breathed upon.

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,670
    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: 19,670
    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: 135
    congrats-its amazing how much value used Toyota's and Honda's retain.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,041
    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 :)


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  • 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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