Could this be legitimate?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by abacus, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. abacus macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2003
    I am in the market for a used car and had been eying a few Bimmers at various used car sites. Then the eye falls on this...

    Surprised to see the unusually lower rate, I had emailed the owner for more details. To his credit, the reply was prompt, and it reads...

    Firstly I want to tell you that this car is in impeccable condition and the title is clear.I am the first and only owner, it has 29,500 miles.It has no scratch or rust on,the paint looks great, the car hasn't been involved in any crash, it was always garaged and maintained with care.

    I am located in Fort Myers, Florida same as the car, and I listed the car in many areas because I am able to ship it and I have much more chances to sell it faster, and that's good because it's the sooner the better for me. Because of the quite big distance between us (and it's my problem that I listed it in your area to sell it faster) I'm willing to support the shipping costs.

    The asking price is $12400, everyone is asking me: "why so cheap?" ..the reasons for selling it cheaper than others are many: I have worked two years here in Fort Myers at an BMW Showroom in association with another showroom from Germany. This car was made for the US market with US specifications and it comes from a lot made in Germany for selling here in USA, but not all the cars were sold at that time. Being a Showroom employee I had the opportunity to buy this car with a big discount and I can afford selling it cheaper since I bought it very cheap. I also have to sell it fast because I have to leave the country soon for a better job opportunity in UK, this is another reason for selling it - I am going for work to UK(although USA is my home country), and I will not be able to drive the car there since it's driven by the left side. I love this car and I would really keep it if I haven't had to leave..

    2005 BMW 3-Series 325i

    It's almost full equipped.It runs and drives excellent, the engine runs strong, it has a 2.5 liter, inline six-cylinder, five-speed StepTronic automatic transmission.

    It has its original white immaculate paint with no scratches, dings or dents.

    Excellent Brown interior with no damages, never smoked in.

    29,500 miles.


    Sunroof Leather Seats CD Player Anti-Lock Brakes
    Driver Airbag Passenger Airbag Side Airbags Air Conditioning
    Cruise Control Power Locks Power Windows Power Seats

    Please let me know if you are still interested.

    I have heard about a few used car scams before (somebody tried to sell me a used car at dirt cheap rate through "yahoo warehouse" - was a scam obviously). This one smells bad as well to me, as the VIN is not given even after requested for, dirt cheap rate, non-local seller, imported car, "going out of country soon" etc etc.

    Any thoughts? I am new to this market and beyond what I read on internet, I have little idea what are the different ways in used car scams. Any pointers will be appreciated!
  2. technicolor macrumors 68000


    Dec 21, 2005
    The whole leaving the country thing would make me nervous.
  3. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    There are some odd sayings in the email that would lead me to say that something is not quite right. Of course english could be the person's second language.
  4. johnee macrumors 6502a


    it sounds a bit fishy. I would never buy a car I haven't had inspected while I was attending the inspection.

    I wouldn't risk this. Its basically a gamble if you purchase without being there to get it checked out. so the question is are you willing to accept a risk that you could get shafted out of ~13k.

    DO THIS: tell him you have a chance to fly there and personally check it out, and if he will agree to go with you to an inspection at a repair shop. His response should indicate whether this is legit or not.
  5. johnee macrumors 6502a


    You might be right.

    DO THIS: tell him you have a chance to fly there and personally check it out, and if he will agree to go with you to an inspection at a repair shop. His response should indicate whether this is legit or not.
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Wait Wait Wait...

    Please, search for "craigslist" and "scam" here on MR or anywhere else and you will find the exact same wording countless times on scams. "Leaving the country , but I will ship it to you" The next step is they will elaborate on some plan where you can send your money to a 'secure' third party who will ship you the car and not release the money to the seller until you have confirmed you have received the car. Of course the third party is a shill and there is no car and you'll never see your money back.

    Rule: If it is someone outside your area advertising on your local craigslist, it is a scam, you don't even have to ask

    Don't even bother replying, report them to Craigslist and to the internet fraud hotline or in Canada

    johnee: thanks for the advice, but really, there is no point in pursuing more information from the seller, it only opens the OP up to additional scams or potential identity theft. Never assume that a scammer won't change the game.

    and seriously, abacus? If it is such a good deal, the seller would be able to sell it within a day locally in Fort Myers, right? It's good you posted before making a move, but apply a little logic here.
  7. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    all good reasons to forget about buying this car!!

    and seriously, if he's selling it at such an astonishingly cheap price, why would he even need to advertise it outside of his home area???
  8. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    i have a bridge to sell. it's out of your area but i will ship it to you.....

    sorry, but the wording of this listing is too similar to the many ebay and craigslist listings for mac pros.

    i'm afraid canadaram is absolutely right about this one.
  9. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
  10. adk macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
    If this guy really worked as a BMW salesman like he says there's no way he would let go of the car that cheap, with no haggling. After all, he's a car salesman!
  11. j/k/Andy macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2007
    Now I haven't priced BMW's lately, but i think they were around $40k new, today worth around $25K, and he wants to sell it for $12.5k, sounds like a good deal to me :rolleyes:
  12. abacus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2003
    Thanks a lot guys - a collective opinion has less chance of going wrong, I am sure!

    Well, I had a strong feeling to avoid it right at the start, however, I could not let a BMW go without doing this much at least. The journey goes on, in lookout of a good used car (still preferring bimmers!)

    While we are at it, is the BMW 3 series a good choice for mildly spirited and more laid back driving? I am drawn between a 330I (or 325I), Acura TSX and Mercedes C320. What do you guys think?

  13. Frisco macrumors 68020

    Sep 24, 2002
    Yeah that scam has been going on for years on Craigslist. A few years ago I saw a similar ad: $100,000 Mercedes for $10,000.

    Sad thing is these scammers are making money.
  14. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Yes, a car salesman selling something cheap, is the day he enters the looney bin.

    Usually they will sell you the lubricant cheap, rape you for the service call to apply said lubricant, then go to town on you.

    If it is cheap, it is stolen, or doesn't exist.
  15. Leareth macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2004
    not to support scammer or anything...

    But a four years ago , one of the business men here had a nasty divorce with his wife. He told her to sell all of their assests and give him half - while he took off on vacation with his mistress.

    She sold his car - a Bugatti no sure which model - for $1,000 Canadian.
    She sold a bunch of his stuff at ultra low prices, golf clubs for $10, Rolex watch for $100 etc. Made the news locally. Basically a few million of assets ended with her handing him a cheque for $10,000.
    Wanst a scam - sometimes people are desperate.
  16. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Jan 14, 2007
    God there are threads like this on a weekly basis.

    Rules of Thumb:

    (If you are smart)
    - If its too good to be true it probably is
    - If you think it's a scam then it probably is

    (If you are not)
    - If the country of Nigeria is in any way involved haha
    - If lots of personal information is included- brothers, sisters, money, moving out of the country
  17. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    Not related to scam or not (though I think scam)...

    I'm a firm believer of seeing a product in person and trying it out before buying. Especially if we're talking $1k and up. :p

    Out of those three main choices, I'd personally opt for the TSX. When it came out, it rocked that niche market. It still does IMHO. Every business and car magazine had an article praising the TSX. My uncle, super BMW enthusiast? Owned at least 4 BMWs in the last decade? He opted for the TSX over another BMW. This was soon after I got my Cooper S (which many liken to a 3 series) and while I haven't personally sat behind the wheel and driven the TSX? Given the overall feel of it? Very much so laid back and luxurious, much smoother ride (no clue about how the handling feels in comparison though).

    Plus, fantastic reliability and should the need ever arise? You can bet that repairs and parts will be cheaper than a BMW/ Benz.

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