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  #1  
Old 04-03-2003, 08:53 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: SW Chicago Suburbs, IL
Posts: 263
Opinions Needed on these eBay W140's

What do you think of these? I'm not real easy about the buying sight unseen idea, but maybe with your guidance, I'll find something worth buying...

32k mile 93 500SEL

Higher Mileage, Much Cheaper 92 500SEL

I've been looking at some 140's here locally and have found prices MUCH higher in the Chicago area. There also seems to be a big difference between prices on similar cars.
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Lance Allison
Lance@LanceAllison.com

Sold: 1987 MB 300SDL, 320k miles, Astral Silver, Blue Leather, all books and records from day one.

Totalled: 1998 VW Jetta TDI, 488k miles, Classic Green/Gray Leather, loaded, E-Codes, "Slightly" modded, "Slightly" faster than stock, arrived 11/07/1997.

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  #2  
Old 04-03-2003, 10:08 AM
I told you so!
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,791
My buddy and I have each bought cars from eBay twice this past year (02 SLK, 03 Audi, 95 E320, 91 Taurus). We believe we got good deals this way. Each was a positive experience. Each car was either almost new or had relatively low miles. Both my cars were from Florida, where there is a HUGE market for good used cars. I understand your feeling of buying sight unseen. You may want to limit yourself to low mileage cars.

It is all important to check out the seller's pedigree, that is, their buyer feedback rating. The successful ones sell lots of cars to happy buyers. Some of the sellers are small time used car dealers that find eBay a good venue to sell specialty cars they bought from auction houses to a wide market, rather than just in their local area. Many lease cars are traded this way.

Some buyers pay to have the car shipped. Others fly down to pick it up and drive home. Some arrange their vacations around their purchase where they fly down and use the car to drive around Florida, California, or wherever they are.
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95 E320 Cabriolet, 140K
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  #3  
Old 04-03-2003, 11:19 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 1,006
Early 140's may be money pits. My advise is to do your homework and be sure you're committed to spending money on it before you buy. Evaps, auto door closing, on and on. If the car has not had regular oil changes you may be in for a surprise. My mechanic had one this week, intermittant no oil pressure, no oil at cams. Switched out pressure relief in oil filter housing then pulled the oil pan to change the oil pump. Found a LOT of sludge in the pan. The next step is a new engine, this 3 days after the owner paid for a new evap.
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  #4  
Old 04-03-2003, 01:29 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: SW Chicago Suburbs, IL
Posts: 263
Unfortunately, I'm aware of the early 140 problems.

That's why I was thinking the $9k higher mileage car may not be a bad deal, provided the seller responds to my inquiry. I sent a message to the sellers of both cars and asked specifics about the evap, close assist, suspension, and maintainance recs.

When I purchased my SDL (8 hrs from home), I did my homework and still ended up putting a huge amount of $$$ into the car about 30k miles after I took ownership of it. It had the service records and paperwork from an MB dealership to indicate top end work, but I ended up with a cracked head anyway. However, at the time of purchase, everything checked out okay.
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Lance Allison
Lance@LanceAllison.com

Sold: 1987 MB 300SDL, 320k miles, Astral Silver, Blue Leather, all books and records from day one.

Totalled: 1998 VW Jetta TDI, 488k miles, Classic Green/Gray Leather, loaded, E-Codes, "Slightly" modded, "Slightly" faster than stock, arrived 11/07/1997.

MBCA Member, Chicago Region
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  #5  
Old 04-03-2003, 02:54 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 40
w140

I' ve been looking at w140s and have found the same thing...many have lost value due to the expense at the work involved fixing multiple known issues like the evap which is a HUGE job on this car.. I decided if I get one it must have a warranty. I like wrenching on cars but these aren't as easy to work on for a shade tree like me.. and I want a nice one I don't have to work on and on which EVERY LITTLE THING works,, with no worries - otherwise it just isn't worth it.... do a search on best w140s on this board for a great read about them.
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  #6  
Old 04-03-2003, 09:12 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Southern New Hampshire
Posts: 418
W140

I think Jason has it right... if you want a car with no problems and a warranty that will keep everything right, don't buy a car thru eBay or from a private seller.
Every used car has risk associated with it... either you assume this risk, or pay somebody else to. In reality, you pay them to assume this risk anyway... that's why dealer sales are more $$$.
I bought my 1996 S500 Coupe (W140) sight unseen (except for digital pictures) over eBay in December and couldn't be happier with it. I got it for almost $8K below "book" and decided to take the risk. I made out... the car took about $1500 or so to get it right (a number of little things) and I pocketed the difference.
I also have assumed the risk of keeping it right. I've priced a third party warranty on this car (which nothing more than an insurance policy), and the price is rediculously expensive.
So, I think the answer to your overall question is only yours to answer... are you willing to take the risk of buying a car that may need extensive work? If so, eBay, and many other private sales can be a bargain for you.
I've bought two cars over eBay... made out on the S500; about broke even on a van I bought.
Good luck in your decision, KenP
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