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  #1  
Old 01-29-2001, 01:49 PM
Rick S
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Rick & his dad continue our search for a car for Rick - and we thank many of you for advice offered previously. I have purchased nearly 100 cars (primarily used - low $) since I started driving, but have never purchased a used car from a dealer or "wholesaler" (I'll bet this group has some great "if I had only known!" stories). The "wholesalers" appear to be people who purchase cars from dealers (or perhaps auctions or insurance companies) and resell them to retail buyers. I have seen some potentially good deals, offered by "wholesalers", go by on EBay auctions. What experiences or knowledge can you share regarding the general quality and sources of cars that are offered by "wholesalers"?
Thanks as always,
Bob
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  #2  
Old 01-29-2001, 03:29 PM
LarryBible
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The only thing I can offer is that typically the nice, well cared for trade ins end up on the dealers used car lot, and the rest of them go to the note lots or auto auctions.

Have a great day,
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  #3  
Old 01-29-2001, 03:43 PM
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My opinion on the car search is this.

Always try to find a car with full service history and records.

You can find a private seller with maintenance records. You can usually get a very good deal from a private seller.

If going for a car at a dealership, have the car inspected thoroughly.

If buying from a used car lot, definately look up the cars records, and make sure the clock has not been rolled back. A lot of used car lots, not all of them but some them will do things like that.

Check the car's vin number on carfax.com and see what comes up.

Feel free to send me the vin numbers, I have a carfax unlimited plan that expires in several months, and since I already got my car I have no use for it.

Alon
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  #4  
Old 01-29-2001, 09:59 PM
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HELLO ALL. Rick what do you want to know i am a mechanic/overall shop manager for a wholesaler/used car dealer.I have extensive auction,wholesaler,paintwork,mechanical,etc.etc.etc knowledge.
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  #5  
Old 01-29-2001, 10:03 PM
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Once our shop, MB Autowerks, is open, I will have a section on this site of cars that I will call "Benzmac Certified". These will be the CREME of the crop! They will be 100% factory paint and body, all service records and up to date service. I will check them over VERY thoroughly before giving them the nod.

What do you think?
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  #6  
Old 01-29-2001, 11:37 PM
Rick S
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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?
Thanks,
Bob
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  #7  
Old 01-30-2001, 12:21 AM
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Benzmac, When the time comes for me to get my 500E, I'll be looking for a Benzmac Certified one. even if it has 200k on the clock if you say its good I'd buy it.hehe

Alon
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  #8  
Old 01-30-2001, 02:16 AM
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Location: Mark West, CA
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Check The Obit's...

The ideal used car is a one-owner, dealer maintained car being sold by a little old lady that has wisely decided that she's too damn old to drive anymore, or one that's being sold for her at an estate sale after her passing.

I bought my Mercedes from an eBay auction. The pictures were stunning (for low quality pictures), the car was represented as being pristine, with few flaws. I emailed the seller with several pointed questions, he responded quickly with very encouraging answers. It was a second owner car being sold in very good condition. I checked the Blue Book and NADA values, and bid accordingly. I paid a fair market price for my car, and the former owner even DELIVERED it to my door!

All That having been said, there is no substitute for the wisdom of having BOTH a CarFax report, AND a pre-sale inspection done.

I found that his representation of the car's cosmetics were not what I would have expected them to be based upon his description. Don't get me wrong, it's really a lovely car!

When I had the car checked by a local ( very anal) independent garage, I got a report back that detailed repairs they felt the car needed that totaled 1&1/2 times what I paid for the car!

Thanks to MercedesShop, this forum, and my mechanical expertise, I should be able to get the things done that this car needs at a fraction of what Herr Schphinctermacher's garage wanted to charge me.

I wouldn't say that I am totally dissatisfied, but I am also not sure that I would buy another car from an eBay auction ever again without having a local garage in the area where the car is located check out the car for me in advance...

Maybe if Benzmac were here in California?

[Edited by longston on 01-30-2001 at 01:20 AM]
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  #9  
Old 01-30-2001, 11:39 AM
Rick S
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Thanks for your thoughts. I'll keep my guns in my holster until I am willing to pay for a one-owner, documented car!
Bob
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  #10  
Old 01-30-2001, 01:35 PM
MedMech
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rick S
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?
Thanks,
Bob
I purchased my wagon on e-bay and had a company called lemon busters do the inspection. I would grade them about a C- they missed things like the tailgate shocks, faulty oil pressure sensor I mean real simple stuff. If you do buy e-bay I highly recommend they have a good profile CHECK THE ITEMS FOR CARS there is one guy selling with a profile of 700+ and it only includes 2 cars and he had negative feedback on both. Don't get me wrong even paying for a little work I got a steal! Another thing you can do is pull a Carfax and call the previous owners. I agree however with all the previous post on e-bay you can save double the money I shopped 9 months for mine and paid for 2 failed inspections on other bids, but be quadruple careful there are a lot of losers out there that only want your money.
Good luck,
Jeff
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  #11  
Old 01-30-2001, 01:42 PM
MedMech
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Oops I missed a biggie. If your are in a northern state and the car is in a southern state make sure the coolant and others are ok to bring into a freezing enviroment. I found taht out the hard way to.
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  #12  
Old 01-30-2001, 01:57 PM
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Why is the Yukon a big mistake, I always thought that they were good trucks. My friend has a 98 Tahoe and its a great truck. If I had a choice of any kind of truck to buy I'd buy a Tahoe, except for a ML or G Wagen.
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  #13  
Old 01-30-2001, 03:13 PM
MedMech
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My previous trucks were a 4-runner T-100 and a land cruiser if you are used to the tightness and handling of a toyota you will not be happy with the GMC. I hear they are great trucks all the time, my friends love it when they drive it. The only thing I can think of is they don't know any better
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  #14  
Old 01-30-2001, 03:58 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Northern California/Western Washington
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Rick S - another idea....

I have had experience with three car brokers and have been happy with the service provided by each. These brokers are people who either cruise the dealer lease-return auctions or consign autos for people too lazy to run an ad in the paper. The lease-return auctions generally focus on newer cars (just off lease return), but many dealers also bring in older trade-ins to see if they can unload them. All cars at these auctions have been inspected by dealer service people and the broker is given access to the write-up on needed or suggested repairs. I have had a couple of searches run by brokers for specific cars. You have to be quite specific about the model, year, options, condition, even the color, etc. The broker calls you from the auction if he/she thinks he has a good example in front of him. You've already discussed bidding (and his fee) and if his phone description sounds good, the broker will bid on the car. He will keep you on the phone during the bidding in case the bids get higher than your max - and will ask you if you want him to continue. If successful, he will bring the car to his lot, or office, or whatever, and permit you to take it to your mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection. You only buy the car if you're satisfied. If not, the broker sells it to someone else and continues to search for you. Some brokers ask that you sign an agency agreement with them which asks that you give the person the exclusive right to operate on your behalf (all sorts of legal implications) for a defined period (I did a month once). Others don't ask. There are good, honest brokers (I found two here where I live) and they can find stunning cars. The price that you will pay is the wholesale bid price plus the agent's fee, which can be much lower than at a used car lot or even from a private party who knows the value of their car.

Had I not had a career turn awhile ago, I might have closed the transaction I had going for that 2-year old BMW M3....(sigh).... My wife is happier I have the 300E.

As to a Benzmac Certified program, sign me up. I want a 500E at some point.
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  #15  
Old 01-30-2001, 04:00 PM
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Location: Chesapeake, VA
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A word of caution about Carfax reports. I learned recently (from a major insurer) that not all states have the same rules regarding a salvage title. Sometimes a car that is a total loss can be sold back to the owner, thus in effect never change hands, and therefore never be salvaged. Many poorly, even dangerously repaired cars are being sold to unknowing buyers holding a nice Carfax report. It is a good tool, but needs to be used with caution. As far as buying a used car goes, I apply the same rule that goes for buying a classic car: take the time to research and buy the best car you can possibly afford. Then the inevitable repairs that go with a used purchase will at least be manageable.
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