Author Topic: Best way to sell an expensive car?  (Read 6840 times)

Kriegsspiel

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Best way to sell an expensive car?
« on: February 09, 2013, 07:24:35 PM »
Hopefully the crowd can help me out. 

I am trying to sell my expensive car (2011 BMW).  I've had it on craigslist for a couple months now, both where I live and in the nearest major city, with no bites.  I took it to a dealer today, and they offered me about 62% of what I paid for it.

Is 62% a good deal?  The dealership told me to try Carmax, since they could usually offer a bit more since they can ship the car to a different market.  I tried Carmax's website, and it looks like I'll get slightly more for it on Carmax.

Has anyone ever sold an expensive car privately?  I would doubt it, with a Mustachian crowd.  Gooki said he sold his BMW, but I'm not sure if it was new or oldish.  I just don't know how that would work, could someone take out a loan, then write me a check, and thereby make it a banks problem?  I was looking at selling it to a dealership/car company just to avoid the hassle of people just wanting to joyride and whatever.

gooki

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2013, 07:38:10 PM »
Mine was an old BMW.




tkaraszewski

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2013, 09:46:07 PM »
I am probably going to be selling a 2012 Subaru Outback here very soon, so I'll let you know my progress. I think if Craigslist fails me I might try Ebay.

tdbat

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2013, 06:22:20 AM »
Is the car paid off? I sold a truck once that I owed $11K still. I sold it for $12k. The buyer financed the amount, our banks settled up with each other and then I received my check in the mail for $1000, all on a private sale. There will be some work with connecting the seller to your bank, etc. but worth it if you can get a little more money.

Another Reader

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2013, 06:38:44 AM »
Start with Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com) amd Edmunds.com to get a ballpark estimate of what the car is worth.  Check your newspaper ads and the ads in the nearest big city.  Get the Carmax offer.  Once you have done those things, you will have a better idea of what the car is really worth.  If your asking price is in the range, then you are not reaching willing and able buyers with your advertising.  If you are above the range, then lower the price.

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2013, 07:53:22 AM »
I've bought 'expensive' vehicles privately ($19,000) in cash before, so there are some buyers out there that will be in a position to do so.  However, the higher you get (above about $30,000) the fewer people you'll find willing to part with their $$$.

Do you have autotrader in the US?
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Kriegsspiel

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2013, 09:29:20 AM »
Yes, I own it outright.  I remember my friend and I were both getting BMWs when we got back from our deployment.  I laugh about it now, but I remember being incredulous that he was taking out a loan for his, whereas I was buying mine straight cash (well, cashiers check, but I feel fly [like a G6] saying 'straight cash').

Yes, I checked the blue book value for trade in and private sale.  The trade in KBB was over $25,000, but the dealer only offered me $23,000, which is at the very bottom of the Carmax estimate (I haven't had it appraised by Carmax yet).  He then admitted that they couldn't even see the options I have on it because it was a military sales car that I got in Germany.

I have it listed on CL for the KBB for private sales.  I just wanted to know if anyone had had success selling a car for over $25,000 on craigslist.  It seems like a long shot to me, anyone with enough money and desire to buy a BMW might just spend the extra couple thousand (it's some logical fallacy, I can't remember which, where if you're already committing to spending lots of money, adding a smaller % to the total, even if it's still a lot of money in absolute terms, is more acceptable).

TomTX

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2013, 09:34:10 AM »
I would suggest dropping it a bit under the KBB private sales number - after you go see what Carmax offers. Maybe split the difference between the two. If it's not moving, it may just not be a popular car in your city.

Runner77

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2013, 10:39:41 AM »
I sold my Porsche to Carmax was very pleased with the amount. The price was about $1,000 more than Edmunds.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2013, 11:18:33 AM »
Thanks again guys.  I am driving down to Carmax for an appraisal this week, I'll update afterwards.

michael

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2013, 02:36:05 PM »
Has anyone ever sold an expensive car privately?  I would doubt it, with a Mustachian crowd.  Gooki said he sold his BMW, but I'm not sure if it was new or oldish.  I just don't know how that would work, could someone take out a loan, then write me a check, and thereby make it a banks problem?  I was looking at selling it to a dealership/car company just to avoid the hassle of people just wanting to joyride and whatever.

In case you still go private party, I've been on both ends of buying and selling expensive cars. If you're the seller and the buyer needs financing, you'll have to be willing to work with the seller and his/her bank as you need to get together and sign loan docs with the bank. You'll also be transferring the title to the bank instead of the seller, but the bank should take care of that paperwork for you. Should only take half an hour or hour at the bank with the buyer.

Another option for the buyer is to take out a personal bank loan and deal with the paperwork on their own, then give you a cashier's check. This is unlikely because, in my experience, personal loans have a much higher interest rate than used auto loans, but you could propose it if you dont want to deal with the paperwork.

If the buyer doesn't need financing, I would only accept a bank cashier's check. A personal check could bounce, and in large amounts, I'd be concerned about cash being counterfeit if I wasnt familiar with the buyer. Even if the buyer was using cash, I'd ask them to exchange it for a cashier's check through their bank, as it moves the liability to the bank instead of you as the individual seller.

sfb

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2013, 08:44:35 AM »
I'll add my own experience.  I recently sold my 2011 Tundra to a private party.  I was asking 25k (Edmunds estimated value) and sold it for 23k cash.  I had taken it to Carmax and they offered 22k.  So in my case I think Carmax made a reasonable offer, although I never took my truck to other dealers for comparison.  Selling to Carmax is a really easy way to go for a quick sale.

chucklesmcgee

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2013, 06:11:07 PM »
You could try putting it up on Autotrader.com or a similar site. Not sure if they charge a fee or not. The type of person who's going to buy a nearly new BMW is not the one who will be looking on craigslist for a car.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2013, 07:30:51 PM »
You could try putting it up on Autotrader.com or a similar site. Not sure if they charge a fee or not. The type of person who's going to buy a nearly new BMW is not the one who will be looking on craigslist for a car.

Yea that's what I was trying to say. 

What I'm thinking now, is checking out the Dallas craigslist for a good hatchback type car (I emailed a guy about a Scion XB already).  I'm not sure of the standard procedure for buying a car on craigslist, but I was thinking we'd meet somewhere in the metroplex so I could look at the car, give it a test drive (highway, and regular streets), and make sure the wheels aren't falling off.  Then if it's good, agree to meet up next on a Saturday or something, I can sell my car to Carmax, and pick up his, then drive my new car home. 

I was thinking about doing a Carfax and/or mechanics inspection, that's normal, right?

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2013, 08:13:24 PM »
I would get a mechanical inspection AND a car fax.  Unless you are mechanically inclined, then you can skip the mechanical inspection.

Always get a carfax though.  You don't want any surprises when you go to register it.
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Parkertom

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2013, 10:28:22 AM »
I recently sold a 2012 Buick. Ended up having to go Carmax since I couldn't get any bites privately. They came in pretty close to what the dealer would have given me. I lost some money, but in my Mustachian conversion I am undertaking, I will save much more in the long run.

thurston howell iv

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2013, 11:27:52 AM »
Another option is to go to the BMW enthusiast web boards... People who know and love the BMW's will be your target audience... They will spend the money.

tkaraszewski

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2013, 02:57:48 PM »
Well I listed my car on Craigslist, let's see what happens. If there was a carmax closer I would have at least taken it in for an offer, but I wasn't willing to drive 130 miles each way just to check it out, maybe if it doesn't sell on Craigslist.

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/cto/3612685156.html

Jack

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2013, 04:38:41 PM »
Another option is to go to the BMW enthusiast web boards... People who know and love the BMW's will be your target audience... They will spend the money.

Especially for one bought overseas, if it has any rare/euro-only options.

TomTX

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2013, 06:39:45 PM »
You could try putting it up on Autotrader.com or a similar site. Not sure if they charge a fee or not. The type of person who's going to buy a nearly new BMW is not the one who will be looking on craigslist for a car.

Yea that's what I was trying to say. 

What I'm thinking now, is checking out the Dallas craigslist for a good hatchback type car (I emailed a guy about a Scion XB already).  I'm not sure of the standard procedure for buying a car on craigslist, but I was thinking we'd meet somewhere in the metroplex so I could look at the car, give it a test drive (highway, and regular streets), and make sure the wheels aren't falling off.  Then if it's good, agree to meet up next on a Saturday or something, I can sell my car to Carmax, and pick up his, then drive my new car home. 

You meant to say " ...meet up next at the county tax office and file the appropriate paperwork to register the transfer...."

http://www.txdmv.gov/vehicles/titles/title_vehicle.htm


Kriegsspiel

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2013, 06:57:17 PM »
Good call Tom. 

Wait, do I register the title in MY county, or the county I buy it in??? 

mc6

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2013, 07:16:27 PM »
I've had positive experiences selling to Carmax in the VA area, although they were not "expensive" per se. 
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GoCubsGo

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2013, 12:48:21 PM »
I've sold a 3 year old Infiniti to Carmax  and tried to sell a 5 year old Audi on Craigslist.  One thing you want to keep in mind is if you buy your next car at a dealer (and trade in the BMW to them).  If I recall correctly, you will only pay tax on the sales price MINUS the trade in (here in Illinois at least).  In places with high tax rates that could be big.  Definitely keep that in mind when deciding.  I did sell the Infiniti to Carmax after turning down a couple of offers.  Very smooth transaction and they paid more than the dealer.

tkaraszewski

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2013, 04:49:05 PM »
I sold the Subaru on Craigslist in one day at full asking price so I'm going to have to go with Craigslist still being the best option in the bay area.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2013, 04:51:55 PM »
*sigh*

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2013, 06:56:42 PM »
A small business-owning SWAMI working herself towards FI.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2013, 07:04:47 PM »
I just miss living in an urban area (referring to tkar)!

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2013, 09:09:47 AM »
Ah.
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rtrnow

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2013, 07:18:58 AM »
Over the last couple of years, I've sold two expensive cars (2012 Mazda for 19K and 2009 Infiniti for 29K). I used autotrader for both. It took b/t 4 and 6 weeks for either car. One buyer was financing and one payed cash. I didn't have a lien on either car. Personally, I've always had great luck with autotrader. It does cost about $75 for a run-til-it-sells ad but it's worth it to me. I took the mazda to carmax and was offered 15.5K.

It may also depend on how unique your car. My infiniti was the only sedan 6-spd manual listed for sale in the southeast US. So it just took waiting for the right buyer to show up. BTW, I look forward to ER but damn I miss that car.

Good luck.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2013, 11:32:05 AM »
Over the last couple of years, I've sold two expensive cars (2012 Mazda for 19K and 2009 Infiniti for 29K). I used autotrader for both. It took b/t 4 and 6 weeks for either car. One buyer was financing and one payed cash. I didn't have a lien on either car. Personally, I've always had great luck with autotrader. It does cost about $75 for a run-til-it-sells ad but it's worth it to me. I took the mazda to carmax and was offered 15.5K.

It may also depend on how unique your car. My infiniti was the only sedan 6-spd manual listed for sale in the southeast US. So it just took waiting for the right buyer to show up. BTW, I look forward to ER but damn I miss that car.

Good luck.

Hmmm, I'll look into it.  I would be pretty comfortable with carmax if they offered me the top end of their range, if they lowball me like the dealership I might give autotrader a shot.

And I don't think I'll really miss my car at all.  I'm not really a car person at all (I didn't know what a V6 was until I read MMMs article).  The only reason I got the BMW was because I was in Germany with a bunch of money in my checking account, and I knew that I was fucking sick of having my Maxima that had mechanical problems for the couple years I owned it, so I wanted a car that had that German-Reliability!  I was just planning on owning the BMW forever, little did I know that it only takes high octane fuel, and that after the warranty is up, it's the most expensive car to maintain. 

rtrnow

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2013, 12:46:25 PM »
Over the last couple of years, I've sold two expensive cars (2012 Mazda for 19K and 2009 Infiniti for 29K). I used autotrader for both. It took b/t 4 and 6 weeks for either car. One buyer was financing and one payed cash. I didn't have a lien on either car. Personally, I've always had great luck with autotrader. It does cost about $75 for a run-til-it-sells ad but it's worth it to me. I took the mazda to carmax and was offered 15.5K.

It may also depend on how unique your car. My infiniti was the only sedan 6-spd manual listed for sale in the southeast US. So it just took waiting for the right buyer to show up. BTW, I look forward to ER but damn I miss that car.

Good luck.

Hmmm, I'll look into it.  I would be pretty comfortable with carmax if they offered me the top end of their range, if they lowball me like the dealership I might give autotrader a shot.

And I don't think I'll really miss my car at all.  I'm not really a car person at all (I didn't know what a V6 was until I read MMMs article).  The only reason I got the BMW was because I was in Germany with a bunch of money in my checking account, and I knew that I was fucking sick of having my Maxima that had mechanical problems for the couple years I owned it, so I wanted a car that had that German-Reliability!  I was just planning on owning the BMW forever, little did I know that it only takes high octane fuel, and that after the warranty is up, it's the most expensive car to maintain.

Yeah, being a car guy is most of my money downfall. I never financed them, but I have certainly spent too much money on cars. I sold the Infiniti for the same reasons you're looking at. Premium gas, low mileage, summer tires that last less than 20k miles, special oil that's $15 a quart, etc. etc.

You can always beat what carmax will offer you. It's worth checking out bc more info is always good, but they will almost always come in below what you see as trade-in on edmunds or kbb. So with a bit of effort on a car like yours, you will end up with a couple K more doing it yourself.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2013, 04:01:32 PM »
I was surprised when the dealership guy said that the "color was unusual" on mine, and that would make it harder to sell.  I didn't even bother responding to that, because I'm sure someone would dig it, and it was just another attempt to get me to accept a low offer.  I'll just get one of my CL pictures...

Is that for real?  This color combination would be hard to sell?

tkaraszewski

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2013, 04:30:06 PM »
I think it looks cool, but a lot of people would rather have black or tan seats. And for the amount of money you're going to ask for the car, people are going to want to be able to get it in the color they like best.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #33 on: February 19, 2013, 07:36:15 PM »
Ok, I was just curious if that was a legitimate concern from a dealer.

JamesL

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #34 on: February 19, 2013, 08:37:32 PM »
In regards to the interior color, I think the red looks badass. I think it adds more value to the car because it's more exotic. I think the dealer would use any tactics to make YOU feel like the car is worth less. Don't listen to him. It's just a buying strategy; point out a defect in the item as a reason for it to be less expensive.

If i weren't in MMM mode, I'd pay more for the red leather. With that said those seats probably cost more than my car :). I'm interested to see what you get for it.

pianista

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #35 on: October 10, 2013, 05:07:05 PM »
I came across this old thread today, and was wondering if you had any updates Kriegsspiel! My boyfriend has a 2011 335i we're playing with the idea of selling...

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #36 on: October 10, 2013, 05:15:00 PM »
Yea I sold mine to Carmax. It was very easy. I was apprehensive about using a company, thinking I was going to get super-lowballed, but it was right around the KBB price. Took a couple hours in total.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Best way to sell an expensive car?
« Reply #37 on: October 10, 2013, 05:16:35 PM »
Oh, BTW

SELL THAT SHIT!

I am so happy I did. I can buy the cheapest gasoline, cheaper insurance, I don't have to wash it all the time, I don't have to worry about people dinging it or anything. I have much more peace of mind driving my Scion than my BMW :) Plus, you'll sell it before you have to start in with those expensive maintenance costs.