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Old 03-25-2002, 03:39 PM
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I am in agreement with Hans. I have bought two Jaguars and a 300SD on eBay and had them shipped. All sellers were individuals. The price in all cases was low enough the repairs needed for items not disclosed still made the prices cheaper than comparable cars locally (Tulsa area). eBay is not the place to fall in love with a car, you have to have an idea of what you want and buy the best car at the best price you can, and expect to have considerable repair work to do.

Also, I do not have time to fly around test driving cars, but if you email or telephone the owner and ask the usual questions, why are they selling the car, what is wrong with it, have them email pictures of the engine, interior and underneath if they have not posted, I think you can minimize your risk. You will also get better at recognizing how and what to bid on over time. Good deals are possible because most people will not bid on more than one car at a time as people do with most cheaper items on eBay. So if the bidding heats up on a car auction ending near another similar one, bids on the other car can be successful as everyone waits to see if they have won the car they are bidding on.

Two stories--the first Jaguar I bought was an 88 XJ6 (110K miles), the seller disclosed the brake pads needed replacement (there is an alarm for that in this model) and mentioned she had trouble driving it on ice in the winter. When it arrived, turned out the car leveling system was out and the power steering was out. Bet it was hard to drive on ice!

Second Jaguar was an 87 XJ6 (117K miles), (after the first one was totalled by a deer!), got a much better price on it. The major flaw the Jaguar mechnic in Tulsa noted was the coolant system had been rigged by sealing everywhere with silicone. After I drove it 8000 miles (about three months driving for me) the head gasket started leaking by and needed replacement. Expensive, but still only raised the price to similar to what I could have bought for locally, and my car looks nicer (for some reason on eBay it seems you can always find cars with interiors in great shape if nothing else!, maybe the pics make it hard to lie about that).

Bottom line, I do not believe you will get show cars on eBay, but you can find good daily drivers provided you are prepared to spend $600-$1000 on repairs as soon as you get the car. If you allow for that in the price, you should have no problem. I think many people sell their cars on eBay because it has some nagging problem they have not been able to get fixed. So if you have some knowledge about the car you can get some idea how much it will take a local mechanic to fix it.
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