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Thread: What's the best way to get a car that's a good deal?

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    Default What's the best way to get a car that's a good deal?

    Hey all, just wanted to know what your experiences are. From time to time, awesome private car deals come up so time is of the essence.

    What's the best way to communicate with a seller to give you dibs while giving yourself enough time for due diligence?

    For instance, a 2011 G37XS coupe (62k km) was posted Wednesday for $17500. I messaged the seller last night asking when's the earliest we could meet, he said he was tied up Thursday and would get back to me about meeting tomorrow.

    Just followed up with him but he said he already has a guy coming tomorrow morning with the cash.

    Any experiences or suggestions or is it just a matter of being quick enough, going there with cash prepared to buy and negotiating a verbal agreement with seller to give you a bit of time to get inspections done?

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    As a seller, I'll always give preference to someone who will buy without any delay or inspection. Most buyers who want an inspection will use that to negotiate further and that is annoying to sellers.

    So to be fastest or jump on a great deal, you may need to take some more risk by not asking for an inspection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ExtraSlow View Post
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    As a seller, I'll always give preference to someone who will buy without any delay or inspection. Most buyers who want an inspection will use that to negotiate further and that is annoying to sellers.

    So to be fastest or jump on a great deal, you may need to take some more risk by not asking for an inspection.
    I agree with this. I was selling my old WRX dirt cheap cause it was hailed out, I just ignored all the donkeys that wanted to go get a comp/leak-down done or mechanical inspection at crappy tire.

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    Just gotta be patient for a deal to come along, and ready to jump into action when it finally does come along. And if it's already a good deal, know that you're not going to be the only buyer that recognizes it. So don't get caught up with basic bitch buyer syndrome, thinking that you have to haggle down the price to feel like you got a deal. If the price is already below what you're willing to pay, then just buy it and don't screw the seller around, because someone else will just bring the cash.

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    Tips from a guy that buys vehicles for a living:

    Have access to funds immediately.

    Be able to inspect the vehicle yourself quickly and decide whether it’s worth your time or not.

    Get them to pull the ad down ASAP.

    Give them a small deposit if absolutely necessary.

    If they try to sell it out from under you when you have shook hands, made a verbal agreement or taken a deposit, laying some guilt on them is fair game.

    Be aware many nutsacks will offer whatever they think is necessary to hold the vehicle then show up and beat the sellers down.

    Be mobile and able to get to vehicles asap.

    Be able to do carfax and lien search on the run.

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    Money talks and cash is king. Physically seeing cash makes deals.
    Easy when you're buying shit boxes <$2k but a whole different animal at $20k.

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    Yeah, for cars under 5k, just carry the cash with you when you go to look at the car. But past 15k that gets a bit unreasonable, and past 20k, my personal rule is to use bank drafts.

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    I personally would not grab a 2008-2011 have the sudden death of engine aka oil galley gasket issue.


    Does it have full service records in paper, been in an accident or collision, and how many owners?

    Don't beat yourself up if you miss a deal. Sight unseen, you don't know its history or condition.

    Just let him know if the deal falls through to contact you.

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    Thanks guys. Appreciate the responses. I was definitely too slow on this one and I knew I wouldn't have been the only one looking at that car. Guy's phone probably blew up within the hour and here I was finding the ad a day later

    Quote Originally Posted by Misterman View Post
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    Just gotta be patient for a deal to come along, and ready to jump into action when it finally does come along. And if it's already a good deal, know that you're not going to be the only buyer that recognizes it. So don't get caught up with basic bitch buyer syndrome, thinking that you have to haggle down the price to feel like you got a deal. If the price is already below what you're willing to pay, then just buy it and don't screw the seller around, because someone else will just bring the cash.
    Agreed 100%. If something's a good deal I just take it instead of trying to haggle dollars. Always appreciated it when buyers paid my asking price for something that was fairly priced or better.

    I also learned this first hand last year when I was looking at a 2011 Audi A5. It was in mint condition with 39k km's. The guy wanted 22,500 for it and I offered him 21,000 so he said he'd think about it. Next day he called and said that someone came later that day with cash in hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Twin_Cam_Turbo View Post
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    Tips from a guy that buys vehicles for a living:

    Have access to funds immediately.

    Be able to inspect the vehicle yourself quickly and decide whether it’s worth your time or not.

    Get them to pull the ad down ASAP.

    Give them a small deposit if absolutely necessary.

    If they try to sell it out from under you when you have shook hands, made a verbal agreement or taken a deposit, laying some guilt on them is fair game.

    Be aware many nutsacks will offer whatever they think is necessary to hold the vehicle then show up and beat the sellers down.

    Be mobile and able to get to vehicles asap.

    Be able to do carfax and lien search on the run.
    Thank you, I'll keep this in my back pocket for the next deal that comes up. I was under the impression that you should always have an inspection/carfax done on a used vehicle so I wasn't sure how to reconcile this aspect when time is always ticking and you have other buyers who want the car as much as you do.

    My obstacles are mostly 1. not being quick enough on the draw 2. working 8-4 and taking time off adhoc for sudden deals

    I have Kijiji alerts set up for G37XS but somehow these alert notifications get pushed to my phone a full day after ads are normally posted.

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    If someone else will show up with money and isn't going to do any due diligence, the seller would be an idiot not to sell to that person.

    If you want time to do your due diligence on a popular car, you will need to leave a significant non-refundable deposit. Otherwise the seller has absolutely zero incentive to turn away other potential buyers while they give you time to try sniff out any issues with it.

    Best case scenario you can ask to be next in line if the deal falls through if it's true that he's already got someone coming. If it's on Kijiji though, the chances of that person showing up are almost zero, so you might be in luck haha.

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    One thing you can do to speed up your process is to get the VIN number ahead of time and do your lein check before you see the car. Hell you can even get your insurance set up and bring the cash with you. Then it's a ten minute process to purchase the car right then and there. If you decide not to do it, you can cancel the insurance the next business day and you are only out the cost of the lein check.

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    Some good info posted here.

    I have found its always best to PICK a vehicle specifically and then become somewhat of an expert on it - even before you purchase. That way you know what the common issues are what to specifically look for/ask. In most cases I am more knowledgeable than the seller is on the vehicle.

    Forums for the specific vehicle are absolute gold mines of good information (eg. stay away from MY 2xxx with trim level X). You can quickly rule out a vehicle sight unseen, or if onsite - a specific issue shows up.

    This will all help you with the speed of the decision.
    Last edited by revelations; 06-07-2019 at 09:44 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Misterman View Post
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    Just gotta be patient for a deal to come along, and ready to jump into action when it finally does come along. And if it's already a good deal, know that you're not going to be the only buyer that recognizes it. So don't get caught up with basic bitch buyer syndrome, thinking that you have to haggle down the price to feel like you got a deal. If the price is already below what you're willing to pay, then just buy it and don't screw the seller around, because someone else will just bring the cash.
    Yea this - so many people are into negotiating/haggling when the price is ALREADY good. I have done this several times - walk up with cash and walk away.

    No questions, no haggling. Time and energy saved.

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    As mentioned above. Timing, cash and doing your own research inspections beforehand helps a lot. Patience too.

    One thing I would say that has not been mentioned is change how you word your questions when you call. If you are asking them when they are free, you are giving them the power. If you say 'I want to see the car today', you are pretty much telling them you are coming and they are less likely to say no.

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    Quote Originally Posted by revelations View Post
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    Yea this - so many people are into negotiating/haggling when the price is ALREADY good. I have done this several times - walk up with cash and walk away.

    No questions, no haggling. Time and energy saved.
    It's the good ole haggle for the sake of haggling to try to get a better deal no matter how good it already is. It's not even about the item at that point, it's just pride in trying to get the upper hand. It is alright to haggle to try to save a bit of money, but if they don't budge I wouldn't walk away from a good deal.

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    I doubt I am the norm, but if I am buying a used car through a private sale it's a 6-12 month process. After educating myself appropriately, waiting for that perfect sample can take a very long time as most people do not treat their cars very well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitsu3000gt View Post
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    I doubt I am the norm, but if I am buying a used car through a private sale it's a 6-12 month process. After educating myself appropriately, waiting for that perfect sample can take a very long time as most people do not treat their cars very well.
    This is why I buy new these days. I'm too anal to deal with the neglect of the average owner. A mint car to me by definition seems to be totally different than a mint car to the average person. I went looking at cars with my brother as he's been shopping for a car in the $35k range and every advertised "mint" or "immaculate" car we have come across comes with door dings, paint scuffs, curbed wheels, etc. The only truly mint cars I ever see for sale is when I'm selling which is why typically the first person to look at one of my cars buys them on the spot.

    I remember when "Lady driven" was supposed to make for an attractive auto advertisement. To me that means; skip to the next car.
    Last edited by heavyD; 06-07-2019 at 12:47 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by heavyD View Post
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    This is why I buy new these days. I'm too anal to deal with the neglect of the average owner. A mint car to me by definition seems to be totally different than a mint car to the average person. I went looking at cars with my brother as he's been shopping for a car in the $35k range and every advertised "mint" or "immaculate" car we have come across comes with door dings, paint scuffs, curbed wheels, etc. The only truly mint cars I ever see for sale is when I'm selling which is why typically the first person to look at one of my cars buys them on the spot.

    I remember when "Lady driven" was supposed to make for an attractive auto advertisement. To me that means; skip to the next car.
    Same here. The dealer kept saying my mother in law's lease return (C350) was in such nice condition and "mint". That car had scuffs all over the interior, especially with her kicking the door open and just door dings and small scuffs on the exterior. It still fell within the acceptable wear and tear though, and she wasn't charged a dime extra.

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    Its all in the first message.

    If there is a number then always call, don't text (unless it specifies text only). People answer calls sooner than they will response to a text more often then not. Email should be a last resort. If they don't answer then I'd send a text shortly after.

    The most annoying thing as a seller is when people show up and try to haggle on a already good deal. I typically mention that I think its a good deal and assuming there's no huge red flags that I'll pay their asking price.

    Have cash on hand (and a bill of sale) so that you can give a deposit on the spot if you are going ahead with the sale so someone else can't swoop in
    Nolan

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    Have money set aside, always be looking, be ready to move quick.

    EDIT: I got my M5 for $10500 because I had the cash and moved fast, and at the time was searching multiple times a day for M5s. This was 4 years ago when their prices were bottomed out just before they started appreciating in value.
    Last edited by Sentry; 06-07-2019 at 01:17 PM.

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