Getting Impossible Deals on Used Cars - Advice?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by MICHAELSD, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. MICHAELSD, Aug 5, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2013

    MICHAELSD macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #1
    So I'm looking at buying my first car in a few months. I enjoy vehicles that stylishly stand out on the road -- which prompted my attention to look at sporty vehicles mainly. Sure, they're not the best choice as a first car but I can afford a nice used sports car on my own. I'm looking into high-performance brands just for the wow factor, and even though many are under $10k from 1999-2002 (I'm open to older though) it seems that repairs over 4-5 years can more than double the cost.

    How do you get an impossible deal on a used car? I've gotten impossible deals on practically everything I own just from time and diligence. I'll be religiously checking Cars.com, Craigslist (yes, I'm familiar with the amount of scams on here, so I'll throw in my own advice: copy and paste emails into Google -- chances are they're copies somebody else exposed as a scam already. This is simple enough though: just don't buy a car without seeing it in person.), eBay, etc. Is there any site I'm missing? Let's say a car is already being sold for 20% under KBB value: would it just be offensive to offer 5-10% less? Thanks, can't wait to either get a more mid-level sports car for half my budget or a top-of-the-line car for it (up to $9k).
     
  2. AppleCruncher macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    #2
    I flip quite few and the best deals I get are from auctions or private sales usually off craigslist. Ebay has never produced a "deal" for me.

    Auctions are by far the top producers.
     
  3. MICHAELSD thread starter macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #3
    Great tip there. I've been trying to find repossession auctions in NJ but haven't really looked. Any sites to check would be even better.
     
  4. Squilly macrumors 68020

    Squilly

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Location:
    PA
    #4
    Time. And patience. And a whole lotta luck. I've been in your situation too, sometimes you can strike a deal, other times you can just negotiate them down a lot (I negotiated a $9k list price down to $7k). Good luck.
     
  5. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere!
    #5
    I also say auctions. Search them out or ask around. Next thing I do is look on the web every day. Sooner or later a deal will show up, but be quick to contact them. Deals usually never stay around for long. If fact usually only hours before they are gone.
     
  6. AppleCruncher macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    #6
    That's the problem. Many times the auctions with the best deals are either closed to the general public or they are very quickly published. I usually get an email or a text alert on an auction no more than 2 or 3 days before. Most repo auctions are closed auctions meaning invite only or dealer license only. But not all of them.

    Other auctions are monthly or every couple of months and are on a schedule. You need to find your local auctioneers ow auction houses. Yellow Pages is the best place to start for that.

    Another outlet is the government surplus sites. Now, these places aren't ruled by the actual government. Most of the sales are from school districts cutting costs or....if they are lucky...upgrading. And sometimes there are vehicles that the school auto shop is selling after it has been donated to the school and fixed there. Those sales are usually well short of the blue book because all they have to do is recover repair cost and make a little profit.
     
  7. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    #7
    If you are in NJ, be careful it's not a hurricane Sandy flood car. There may be ways for scammers to alter salvage titles.
     
  8. designs216 macrumors 65816

    designs216

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Down the rabbit hole
    #8
    If you don't have experience sniffing out these kind of deals, I wouldn't try for my first vehicle. Set a reasonable budget but don't shoot for finding the cheapest car out there. You'll end up with lots of scammers and dubious vehicles. Set a reasonable budget somewhere between $5-8K and make sure the seller understands having the car checked by an ASE certified mechanic of your choosing is a condition of the sale.

    Also, I probably wouldn't put time/expense into searching/inspecting cars outside of a 30-45 minute driving radius. Cars in your price range probably won't come any remaining factory warranties but it might be worthwhile to purchase an extended warranty if it comes from the manufacturer. Owners who can supply full maintenance records go to the top of the list. Obviously you'll want to run a title history and CarFax report on your finalists.
     
  9. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #9
    I'll just leave this here... click it... might actually help. Remember to do your own research as well. This guide will help out a bit, but only you can know what you want and can afford.

     

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