Author Topic: Wanted: Experienced car purchasers/sellers  (Read 1998 times)

Adam Zapple

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Wanted: Experienced car purchasers/sellers
« on: October 22, 2016, 05:59:03 AM »
Hi Everyone,

I buy/sell vehicles so infrequently that I need some advice on selling my 2006 Toyota Tundra.  Blue book value has it somewhere in the area of $12000.  It is in "good" condition...some scratches and stuff...not in tip top shape.  I was really proud of myself for making the "sacrifice" of selling my beloved vehicle for a cheaper, more efficient vehicle.  The replacement vehicle cost me $6800. 

My problem is, as soon as I bought my new car, the truck started making a whistling noise (of course).  After some internet research, I found that this is an emissions fan, buried under the intake manifold, that MAY be starting to fail.  Replacement of this part could be anywhere from $800 to $1800 depending on several factors.  It doesn't whistle all the time, just occasionally.  The fan only runs on a cold start, then turns off.  The truck is also a couple thousand miles from scheduled timing belt replacement...another $800-$900 repair. 

I am in analysis paralysis mode.  My options are:

Sell it as-is:  Lower the price to account for the timing belt and explain to the person that the cold start intake fan is starting to whistle a bit...hope they don't care.

Make all necessary repairs:  Bite the bullet and eat the cost of both repairs.  Hope to get more $$.

Bypass the intake fan:  Someone has come up with an ingenious invention that bypasses this pesky emissions part and fools the computer into never turning it on.  Cost is $200-250 and very DIY.  This fan is not a necessary component, just an EPA mandated add-on for when the vehicle starts cold.  It runs for 30 seconds then turns off...helps with smog or something like that.  This is technically illegal.  The truck would still pass all emissions tests.

Fix either the emissions fan or timing belt and let the buyer know about the other thing.

Any experienced vehicles sellers with some advice?  Looking to get top dollar but still be honest with the buyer while minimizing the pain in the a$$ factor of dealing with selling a vehicle.

plantingourpennies

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Re: Wanted: Experienced car purchasers/sellers
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2016, 06:13:26 AM »
Part of being wealthy is that you don't have to lie, cheat or do other illegal things for money.

If you don't want to fix it, just tell the buyer it's broken and walk them through the options.

If you do want to fix it, do it the right way. Smog controls are there for a reason-we all breathe easier because of seemingly insignificant shit like your whistling fan.

Money Badger

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Re: Wanted: Experienced car purchasers/sellers
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2016, 06:51:08 AM »
Mr JL,   Good post about the typical dilemma of selling vehicles.   If it helps, I buy and sell cars (private party) more often than any mustachian should.   In short, it's this:   "Make all necessary repairs:  Bite the bullet and eat the cost of both repairs.  Hope to (You will) get more $$."

It's a humiliating sales experience to have to start defending your vehicle from the moment a buyer comes to look at it.   They instantly have leverage to dicker sales price below market value.   So if you're mechanically experienced and are certain what's wrong, then fix it.   If there's any doubt on the diagnosis, take it to a good shop and have them check it and decide from there.   

FWIW though, a 2006 Tundra will run hundreds of thousands of miles with regular fluids and brakes...   So just because it's due for the timing belt, there's plenty of life in that vehicle for a new buyer.   To someone else, that truck will be "just broken in for a work truck and well maintained".

Adam Zapple

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Re: Wanted: Experienced car purchasers/sellers
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2016, 07:36:04 AM »
Thanks, indentured.  Good to have an experienced opinion.  The only reason I was toying with not making the repairs is I tried a soft sell on craigslist for a couple days to see how much interest there was.  I got a couple low ball offers from people who didn't know a single thing about the truck.  They didn't even ask any questions.  Made me think why do the work if people are going to low ball me anyway?  I think I will take your advice.  Any other experienced opinions are welcome, I'm sure others will be able to learn from this thread.

I have a hard time with grey area decisions like the fan thing...it is still working fine but could go at some point soon.  I don't want an angry buyer calling me in a month but hate to spend money on something that could work fine for years.  To your point, plantinourpennies, I never considered lying to anyone, but was 50/50 on disabling the fan...I have a deep seated disdain for federal regulations that don't meet real world demands which can sometimes cloud my judgement.  In this situation, I think its a case of the manufacturer cheaping out on a part and failing to properly engineer its function, not an issue with EPA regulation...so point taken.

Clean Shaven

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Re: Wanted: Experienced car purchasers/sellers
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2016, 08:16:46 AM »
2WD or 4WD? If 4, PM me. I know some people looking for one of these.

Adam Zapple

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Re: Wanted: Experienced car purchasers/sellers
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2016, 02:35:43 PM »
4wd.  I'm on the east coast though.

Sjalabais

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Re: Wanted: Experienced car purchasers/sellers
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2016, 03:41:01 PM »
There's not much to add to I4N's advice, except that a little bit of effort goes far in preparing cars. You mention scratches - spend an afternoon doing a thorough polish and shineup (YouTube knows how to), and - most importantly - clean the interior. Make sure no surface is sticky to the touch. Small things like that, basically a Sunday's work, can make a huge difference. Last but not least: Take proper photos. People click through ads quickly and you have to have something on offer to make them stick. I am a bit of a low baller myself (mustachian, after all), and I buy the cheapest cars of people with the worst photos.

GLWS

vegasdude

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Re: Wanted: Experienced car purchasers/sellers
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2016, 05:43:31 PM »
Very few car buyers have more than $2,500 in cash, that's why they finance. So it could take awhile to sell it. It may sell faster if it runs perfectly, but you'll make more money overall selling as is. Part of the advantage of keeping cars until they almost die is you can sell them cheaply at a fair price, and it's GONE in one day.

Clean Shaven

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Re: Wanted: Experienced car purchasers/sellers
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2016, 06:47:35 PM »
4wd.  I'm on the east coast though.

That probably won't work...  the two I know who are looking are in CO and UT.  Thanks though.

Money Badger

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Re: Wanted: Experienced car purchasers/sellers
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2016, 08:58:30 PM »
@Mr JL, Glad to help.   Another trick is to run a CarFax on the truck to have printed out for a buyer to show them the service history.  Or at least it shows a buyer that the truck wasn't in a major accident.   Of course, the buyers may already be doing their own search, but it's one of those details that will make your truck stand out.

Last time I sold a car, I was able to run a CarFax on my license plate for free (though it was only after I paid for a number of 5 or so searches for my new wheels that were based on VIN number).    Good luck!

omega13

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Re: Wanted: Experienced car purchasers/sellers
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2016, 10:12:55 PM »
Personally, I would err on the side of selling it as is. From my experience, you are not usually able to recuperate the full cost of the repairs in the sale price. It will actually make you more invested in the truck and make it more difficult, emotionally, to get rid of it.

And if it doesn't sell? Then you're stuck with an additional cost. So you're better off assuming you won't get full asking price for it.

In my opinion, the buyers will try and find issues to lowball you no matter what you do. That's the nature of the beast.The only way to prevent that is to be upfront. Show that you have done your due diligence and are being fair. I would:

1. Finalize what you think the true value of the truck is. I use 4 sites typically: KBB, Edmunds, Craigslist and AutoTrader. The average of KBB and Edmunds would be a fair price I think.
2. Call a mechanic or two and ask how much fixing those items would cost.
3. Write an ad where you state your reasons for selling the truck. Eg. got another vehicle, need the space etc.

I would also provide any paperwork you have had from previous work done to it. As a buyer, this builds confidence, and tells people that they are dealing with somebody who doesn't have anything to hide. You are selling your trustworthiness as much as your car. Other top things I look at when comparing used vehicles and that can help you make your ad better are:

* Is the title clean? Any liens on it?
* How many owners has it had?
* Why are they selling the car?
* Mileage
* Paperwork
* Any issues e.g leaks?
* Amenities

4. I would state in the ad that there a couple of issues that you have gotten estimates from x number of mechanics. You don't have the time to fix them but you are deducing them from the fair value of the truck.
5. With regards to people calling you afterwards ...I always have people sign a sold-as-is statement when selling a used vehicle. There are plenty of templates online. I then go over it after they have checked out the vehicle and filled out the title transfer. Have not had a person call me back so far.

When I decide that it's time to part with the vehicle, I don't want to waste any more time on it. I want to sell it and use that money in ways that make more money :).

Hope this helps.