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#2 of 238 But, But.....
Sep 25, 2003 (9:40 am)
how can you say that RX8 is a good deal when you don't know how much it will end up going for?
Plus you have the problem of arranging transportation, inspection etc.
I don't know what this car satickers for but $28,5 doesn't strike as a low starting bid.
#3 of 238 It's basically dealer advertising
Sep 25, 2003 (9:45 am)
It's basically a dealer advertising that they are willing to sell the car for $600 off MSRP. Exposure can go a long way in a local/regional sense. However, it would not make sense for everyone else in the U.S.!
Sep 25, 2003 (11:24 am)
Well the dealer has an opening bid of $28.5 K and a "buy it now" price of $30.5K which means anyone off the street can have it for that. How does a Mazda dealer "win" in a contest the same car he is selling? Seems quite the coincidence.
And that's true, shipping is expensive. And I"m not sure you want to put your brand new car on an open trailer without the usual protective features that the manufacturer uses when shipping (bumper tape, padding, sometimes heavy waxes, etc.). Closed transport is REAL expensive.
#5 of 238 Potential danger, too
Oct 15, 2003 (9:10 am)
Not that you'd have this problem buying from a dealer on ebay, but there have been quite a few stories lately about nasty ebay (and other auction site) fraud going on for the higher-priced items (like cars). No way I'm spending $30K without physically inspecting the car first...
#6 of 238 bidding & choice
Oct 16, 2003 (3:06 am)
I have been doing a lot of bidding on ebay in the last month.
The downside is that you are bidding against other people which ususally drives the price up.
The upside is that you get a much better choice than you will locally.
I am looking for a Lexus, at any one time there are 80-100 LS 400s for sale.
If Packards are you thing then there are usually 14 for sale.
The selection is unbelievable.
You will never find that locally, unless you live in LA or NYC.
There are a lot of excellent cars with very low miles out there.
Recently there was a pefect '90 Lexus LS 400 with only 77K miles (5500 miles a year!!!). It went for $8100!!
That bidder didn't get a deal but he got an incredible car. If i have to pay a few hundred more on ebay and get the exact car i want with low miles, I don't mind driving 5-600 miles to pick it up.
I recently drove to Augusta GA to look at a Toyota Land Cruiser that a friend was going to buy.
While we were there we stopped at the local Lexus dealer in Martinez.
They had a '96 LS 400 with only 51K miles that had a perfect interior.
Unfortunately it was an ugly exterior color. They wanted $19,999 for it.
When we got back that evening I got on ebay and there was the same car with a "Buy It Now" price of $21,995. Won't be doing business with them.
There is quite a bit of shill bidding going on also.
The key is to buy from poeple who have high seller feedback ratings (over 98%).
And buy from the people who give a lot of detail and show a lot of pics.
Especially look at the front seat wear. Call a dealership with the vin# and get the service history of the car.
Lastly if you are the high bidder but did not meet the reserve price the seller will contact you to ask if you will buy if for X price.
Oct 16, 2003 (6:58 am)
Prices are usually very high on Ebay. That '90 Lexus is $1,000 over top retail, even with the low miles.
But, as you say, what Ebay does offer is selection. I think I could find a low miles Lexus where I live, in the Bay Area, but people in other places would be hard put to find that car, so maybe "convenience" is worth paying over retail?
On the other hand, buying a car you can't see is scary. People lie like rugs on Ebay, and what you see with a digital camera is hardly the "truth".
Another problem is that if you have a squabble with a seller with a car you buy out of state, you might have to take legal action in the state of sale, not in your state---and that is an extra hassle and expense.
I've sold on Ebay very successfully but wouldn't buy on Ebay without a thorough real life inspection. I tried twice and both cars were conspicuously misrepresented. So that kind of reveals my point of view.
I think there are righteous sellers, however. My friend picked up a very nice car recently, (Jeep Wrangler) but it was inspected beforehand.
Oct 17, 2003 (12:08 am)
The best thing about eBay are the photos of the cars. Often you see detailed photographs of dream cars unmatched by any magazine review. If some hot new exotic car comes out and I really want to take a good look at it, I don't go and buy the latest issue of Car and Driver. I don't surf over to edmunds.com. I go to eBay and window-shop the ads.
#9 of 238 ebay steals and deals
Oct 17, 2003 (4:42 am)
As a few folks here have already pointed out, there are many times that the bidding on something like a car can get out of hand.
However, I have seen the occasional odd car go for an absolute steal on there and just wish I had been the one to get it. I've never seen it with anything new or even a few years old. Its usually the 10 or 15 or 20 year old garage queen with low miles that, for some reason, gets overlooked.
Just this past summer I saw a real nice 1984 RX7 GSL-SE (pretty rare find - i think it was in washington or oregon) with no rust, low miles, and not even a tear in the leather and it went for what I thought was a REAL low number (wish I could remember what that was - i only remember wishing i had a job at the time and could spend the money on a toy like that). Also saw a mid-60s showcar (really blanking on this one cause it was a car I never heard of, but it was beautiful) that had less than 10K miles and was seriously like looking at something sitting on the dealer showroom floor in the 60s. It didn't sell. Problem was it was a straight six version instead of the V8. Again, though, if I had the money at that moment, I would have gladly bought that car.
So it takes some patience and probably even some flexibility as to what you want to buy, but the deals do exist on there. It might be just someone like me who is willing to give a home to one of a thousand different makes and models from the past 40 years that this applies to, but at least it works to some extent.
Oct 17, 2003 (6:04 am)
Well, easy to explain. A 1984 RX7 isn't worth anything, that's why the price was low. It's a $1,000 car all day long. My old Benz diesel for instance, is worth what it's worth (not much). To someone, getting a very clean old Benz for $1,250 is a "steal", but that's what the market is.
so what I"m saying is that if some cars are bargains on Ebay, it isn't because of Ebay, it's because the cars are bargains no matter where you sell them.
But yes, you might not FIND those bargains elsewhere so easily, you're right about that.
Ebay is driven by supply and demand just like any other market, with the added externality of bidder competition driving prices up I think.
Really you'd have to see the car in person to know if it were a "steal" or not. You simply can't tell from the photos, it's very tricky.
Is a clean low mileage WHATEVER a steal if the transmission acts real funny when you get it delivered to your house? Or if that digital camera hid the brush marks in the paint?