Thanks to 500SEC for volunteering to help me.
1) Where do these wholesalers get their cars?
2) I watched a 1987 300E with ~140k miles go at auction on EBay for $4,500. The wholesaler reported that the car was in great condition and included photos of outside & interior that looked super clean. I will not attribute other specific statements to him since I cannot recall them exactly. However, he promised complete satisfaction - or deposit cheerfully refunded (and I have no reson to doubt him). It "looks too good to be true" (and I know what this usually means) that such a car in exellent condition could a) be sold to a reseller at a price that could yield a reasonable return to the reseller and b) fetch only $4,500 at retail.
What perspective can you lend?