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  #1  
Old 05-18-2015, 09:59 AM
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Any unrealistic seller stories to share?

Like many of you, when I see an old MB diesel for sale, I like to go and take a look, especially if it's close by. Sometimes I'm just window shopping, other times I'm actually looking to buy one. What continues to amaze me is how unrealistic people are about the value of their cars.

So I go to look at this 1980 300SD. The fact that it was a low miles (107k) W116 from the South piqued my interest. I wouldn't mind owing one of those at some point.

Where to begin? They had taken it to the dealer to get an inventory of what needed to be done. Needs $3500 worth of work...which of course could be done for less (to the owner's credit, he wants the buyer to have an authoritative list of what needs to be done). But the list goes on....needs new alternator, new vacuum valve, driver's window inoperable, various rust spots (though not terrible), etc.... The transmission certainly performed terribly...though I'm sure it is vacuum related. Interior decent but not great. You get the idea.

And they want $8,000. $8,000!!

One hardly knows how to respond....I just wished them well, expressing the hope that they wind up keeping it (because they clearly love the car).

I've not yet figured out a way to persuade people that they live in a fantasy world...perhaps no point in even trying. I guess it's just a matter of reality settling in over many, many months....
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  #2  
Old 05-18-2015, 10:08 AM
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I've written elsewhere on this forum about my experiences over the last decade looking at cars that are essentially either inoperable wrecks, or basket cases literally on their last legs that people inexplicable seem to think are just fine thank you and worth a fortune. I really don't know what's wrong with people except to think that they are probably not the kinds of Benz nuts that hang out on this forum and sort of live in isolation from from the rest of the community. So they get and island view of their situation and can't relate it to reality.

Or they are simply idiots.

- Peter.
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  #3  
Old 05-18-2015, 12:03 PM
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I do not know who flamed this kind of behavior, the seller who listed the car or the tire kicker who went to see it? You test drove the car, asked all kind of questions and gave them a flicker of hope that someone is going to bite. If there is NO caller, NO tire kicker then they know what to do. Any one with slightest intelligence would smell a bad deal from a distance and just ignore idiot sellers. Why bother?
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  #4  
Old 05-18-2015, 12:04 PM
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I divided those awkward or bizarre sales encounters into three basic groups. Easily ID'd when the opening conversation starts with:

(INHERITTED). This was may (Father, Uncle, etc) car and he told me how rare these 300D's were. -Hopeless sentimental attachment.
(MONEY BUT NO BRAINS) I have put $12,000 dollars in this car in the last 2 years (but the A/C and windows still don't work)
(NUTS) The asking price is 4 times the current market value of the car. Keeps throwing the MB status at you but really knows nothing about MB or the Car. Don't know how these people evolve but I assume they buy a beater and have told their friends so many times how valuable these cars are that they start to believe it themselves.
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  #5  
Old 05-18-2015, 12:14 PM
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Would also add people who don't want to sell the car, period. Not just sentimental but overall simply not wanting to get rid of it.


Sent from an abacus
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  #6  
Old 05-18-2015, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbomachines View Post
Would also add people who don't want to sell the car, period. Not just sentimental but overall simply not wanting to get rid of it.


Sent from an abacus
Yes, you are correct. Mostly a person who's significant other is pleading for disposal and they put a brass ring (price) about 4 feet from where you can grab it.
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  #7  
Old 05-18-2015, 12:57 PM
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Join Date: May 2015
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No, I tend to not even look at the cars unless they're reasonably priced to begin with. Anything over $3000 on the 80's Mercedes and I usually just ignore them.

My current 1982 300SD I got for $600. It had 320k miles and some terrible rust spots on the body (doors have 2" holes, rear fenders rusted out, front fenders rusted out), but the frame seems to not have much (if any) rust. The engine ran fine and the transmission was smooth.

I've probably put $1500 into the car (A/C, window regulators, front sway bar, vacuum pump, radiator, tires, brakes, brake caliper, etc.) but it runs very smooth and was exactly what I was looking for.

At some point I'd like to pick up a 300SD with a blown motor and good body, but if not I'll just keep driving my rust bucket.

I have seen lots of crazy people though. Before I bought my '82 I went and looked at about 10 different diesel Mercedes. I recall one being at an auction/repo type place. It was a 1984 300SD IIRC. 250k miles, broken windows, okay exterior (bad clear coat), okay interior (cracked seats, 2 non-operating windows). I think they were asking $5000. I find you can find good deals if you look long enough, but that long enough might be a year or two...
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  #8  
Old 05-18-2015, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shertex View Post
Like many of you, when I see an old MB diesel for sale, I like to go and take a look, especially if it's close by. Sometimes I'm just window shopping, other times I'm actually looking to buy one. What continues to amaze me is how unrealistic people are about the value of their cars.

So I go to look at this 1980 300SD. The fact that it was a low miles (107k) W116 from the South piqued my interest. I wouldn't mind owing one of those at some point.

Where to begin? They had taken it to the dealer to get an inventory of what needed to be done. Needs $3500 worth of work...which of course could be done for less (to the owner's credit, he wants the buyer to have an authoritative list of what needs to be done). But the list goes on....needs new alternator, new vacuum valve, driver's window inoperable, various rust spots (though not terrible), etc.... The transmission certainly performed terribly...though I'm sure it is vacuum related. Interior decent but not great. You get the idea.

And they want $8,000. $8,000!!

One hardly knows how to respond....I just wished them well, expressing the hope that they wind up keeping it (because they clearly love the car).

I've not yet figured out a way to persuade people that they live in a fantasy world...perhaps no point in even trying. I guess it's just a matter of reality settling in over many, many months....
If you really want the car, re contact them with what you will pay. An !$8,000! 80 300SD better be in perfect working order.

The sellers in this case ought to 86 with all the associated necessary repairs estimates. That's not helping them get their asking $s. Let the shoppers do the analysis and haggling from the $8K price.
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  #9  
Old 05-18-2015, 02:36 PM
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Unless I know the car to be exceptional, by association or excellent pictures and writeup, I pass right by a car that is significantly over the average price I'd pay. No reason to even enter into conversation with the owner. It is, however, worth bookmarking the add in case the owner ever decides to once again reside on planet earth.

We could also talk about the other side of the coin, the buyer that lowballs the seller with a ridiculous number.....

Jim
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  #10  
Old 05-18-2015, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimFreeh View Post
Unless I know the car to be exceptional, by association or excellent pictures and writeup, I pass right by a car that is significantly over the average price I'd pay. No reason to even enter into conversation with the owner. It is, however, worth bookmarking the add in case the owner ever decides to once again reside on planet earth.

We could also talk about the other side of the coin, the buyer that lowballs the seller with a ridiculous number.....

Jim
I guess it depends on the sale? I had no intention of closing a deal on my used CDI when I offered less than 20% off at a MB dealer 2-years ago, but I drove it away for basically just that.
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  #11  
Old 05-18-2015, 03:30 PM
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300td wagon

i went to look at one a few weeks ago. seller described it in very good condition or possibly even in more glowing terms and asking upwards of $3k. car was rusty, with broken or missing trim on almost every panel including both headlight doors were cracked and missing pieces; someone had also modified the roof (i.e. drilled holes in the car!!) to accommodate a volvo roof rack.

although it started up ok, it was loud (motor loud, not exhaust loud) ......dirty, bad tires....the works....it was sad to think that a person could look at that car and then write the words that were written in the ad
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  #12  
Old 05-18-2015, 04:01 PM
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Perhaps strangest was when I was outside tweaking my 1985 300D and an elderly lady walking by said she could tell I knew about M-B cars. She had an European accent (German?). Her husband had died and she had a 1990's gas M-B in the garage and wondered what it was worth. I told her I knew little of those cars and sure couldn't comment on a car I had never seen. I am sure she hoped for confirmation of a rare treasure. I didn't inform her that many 1990's Euro cars are so expensive to repair that many have negative value.

Realistic and really wanting to sell => ebay auction w/ no reserve. Most people start on craigslist at high price, since free to troll for suckers. I first saw my 65 Dart on the local cl @ $2800, but didn't bother to go look. Later ran across it on ebay @ $700 w/ 1 hr left so jumped in and got at $1000, right at the reserve. When they brought it, it had $4800 written on the window (initial sucker price) and was rougher than described, but still a fair price for for an original V-8.
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  #13  
Old 05-18-2015, 06:21 PM
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My favorite is the one that is immortalized with a sticky at the top of the cars for sale page...

Or the guy on eBay who sells 124s and 126s for the high teens...
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  #14  
Old 05-18-2015, 07:54 PM
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Best CL ad I ever saw was for a 80s 4runner. It had been found in a ditch out in the vegas desert after having been in a driveby. Two bodies had sit in the car for a few weeks. He was selling it because even though he stripped it and pressure washed it, he could not get rid of the smell....
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  #15  
Old 05-18-2015, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay_bob View Post
My favorite is the one that is immortalized with a sticky at the top of the cars for sale page...
Thank you for pointing that one out. I hadn't seen it before. One of the most worthwhile long reads I've seen in these pages.
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