Craigslist retail prices for used cars by owner

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Scanning "for sale by owner" car section, the prices are generally insane. Seem like retail prices you mind find at a dealership and an increasingly poor deal. 1997 Suburban for $6000, 2006 Crown Victoria with gazillion miles (and probably bought at an auction for $1000) for $4000, 15 year old Tacomas for $7000, etc. etc. etc. 1993 Ford Tempo for $1500, just keeps on going, except a dealership might give you a 30-day warranty and the private CL sellers don't care if the engine falls out of it 20 minutes later once you are gone. I've noticed that CL auto are seriously overpriced lately. I mean if I tried to sell a vehicle, I would never get that kind of money. Is the idea here to inflate the h3** out of it, leaving room for negotiations? I don't know if this is specific to Wash DC area but other areas don't seem to be any better. A little cheaper but still in line with dealerships which are also a little cheaper than here. some guy recently tried to sell me a 17 year old parts car for $1400. All the parts stashed all over, engine in pieces, but the POS Subaru "only" had 97000 miles. it was basically $400 in parts at most.
 
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A old man once told me "A car is worth whatever someone will pay for it." Some doorknob has to be out their paying these prices.
 
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I think it's highly market-specific. We're in the northern Shenandoah Valley, on the OTHER side of the Blue Ridge from the DC market. Craigslist prices on vehicles here are quite reasonable in my opinion. Examples: 2005 Odyssey with 190k for $2400: https://winchester.craigslist.org/cto/6041833339.html 1999 Ram 4x4 with 249k for $3500: https://winchester.craigslist.org/cto/6041227828.html 2005 Grand Prix with 125k for $3500: https://winchester.craigslist.org/cto/6040857043.html 2008 Town & Country with 72k for $8900: https://winchester.craigslist.org/cto/6030270630.html I think all of those are reasonable, especially the Grand Prix. Trucks tend to ask for higher here due to the rural area and desire for 4x4. Cars tend to sell for much lower than in other areas. Here's a 2006 3-series with just over 100k miles for $5,700. https://winchester.craigslist.org/cto/6005433593.html Could probably buy it for $5k cash in hand. Probably not a bad deal for what looks to be a well-kept Bimmer. A 2000 Civic in the DC area for $1,500: https://winchester.craigslist.org/cto/6040142794.html It has some miles (177k), but that's a good price on a good commuter car, if the condition is accurate.
 
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There's a simple solution. If it gets your panties in such a twist, then find another way to buy old junkers.
 

pacem

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Well, it's a much lower cost of living area so in terms of lower COL, the prices are the same. People don't have "DC money". I wouldn't buy any of them. How I see it: 2008 Town & Country with 72k for $8900: --- Chrysler is known for having major auto transmission problems, $8900 is nuts for a 10 year old car (almost). Especially for a Chrysler. IMO it's on the verge of turning into a major money pit. Just check out carsurvey.org or similar sites that review cars. 1999 Ram 4x4 with 249k for $3500: --- That kind of coin is nuts for a 18 - Eighteen year old truck with very high miles that's at the end of its life, I surely wouldn't pay it. Again, Chrysler products like Dodge have major automatic tranny issues. If stick shift, then better but no way in *** worth $3500. I mean the vehicle is worn out at 2490000 miles, plain and simple and will need major attention with suspension, front end, maybe engine and maybe tranny, fuel pump, et cetera. It will probably need 2 grand right away. 2005 Odyssey with 190k for $2400: -- might be reasonable to talk down to $2000 - again very high miles, most people discard cars at that mileage. That would depend on what has been done to it. 2005 Grand Prix with 125k for $3500: -- sort of "Meh". Again 12 year old plain jane car with no warranty, as is, probably not too far off from dealership prices. Nothing special unless you are set on a 2005 Grand Prix. $3500 might be ok if work has been done to it like front end rebuild, water pump, maybe a new transmission. If zero work, not so hot. Reading your example just reinforces my opinion.
 
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Not sure where this rant is going. Cars are expensive. Hokie's prices are inline with what I'd more or less expect. Perhaps you can peruse CL in other states and see if you can find a locality that has prices in line with what you think are the proper prices for cars?
 

pacem

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Hm, no, it's not "me", it's craigslist, period. you see a lot of the same cars floating out there for weeks if not months. And when they get sold, pretty doubtful it's for the asking price. Not that I do surveys just a feeling. you are expected to negotiate down to 75% of the price. As the standard operating procedure. Craiglist car buying rule #1: Never accept the first offer. Actually works both ways for sellers and buyers. Wash DC economy is one of the best in the country. The average income is high xx,xxx and people generally have expensive cars. As opposed to CL, you have your favorite Ebay.. prices are better but might have to travel 500 miles. And 2/3 of listings are not auctions but BIN deals.
 
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I agree with the guy who said that cars, (and everything else for that matter) are worth whatever someone is willing to pay. If they never sell they must be to high, if they do sell I guess they were priced ok according to someone. I Advertised my 95 Ford Ranger on craigslist about 3 weeks ago, and sold it 2 days ago. It was a std cab, 4 cyl 2 wheel drive, 5 speed trans, with 197000 miles, ran and drove great, no rust, and fair paint, good interior. I sold it for $2500 .
 

pacem

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That's true but kind of an obvious statement and I already stated that I see these automobiles for sale for extended periods of time. You only get good deals when the owner is leaving the country or something and has to sell in 48 hours, which is very possible since DC is a very transient, international city. Yeah, worth they are willing to pay - and they are not willing to pay, hence the ads get relisted week after week - and that's what caught my attention. They come up with high prices and cannot sell the thing. Analogously, the same with real estate, watching a few items on the market for 6 months and no movement. Nobody is willing to pay the price.
 
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Originally Posted By: pacem
Reading your example just reinforces my opinion.
I guess you'll have to focus on in what you prioritize. Of course that $2,400 Odyssey has high miles -- it's only 2400 bucks! You're not going to find a recent Odyssey with 50k miles for pocket change. Of course the Grand Prix is nothing special. It's a $3,500 sedan. It's likely reliable, and likely only half-used in terms of its useful life in miles. Probably a very good buy at 15% of what it cost new.
 

pacem

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I thought about upgrading my 2006 chevy silverado 1500 HD with something lighter and cannot decide which route to go. Initially decided on a Subaru Outback but nothing stands out at all, major head gasket situations, so not worth it, 10-15 year old cars about $4K that will probably need a couple of grand soon. Thought about a Suburban and not sure either. Domestics seem to be the best value out there - not necessarily the "best". I scored the 2006 1500 HD Silverado at an auction for $7,000 3 years ago. With 200,000 miles. Today that's a $50,000 truck equipped similarly. I think I could easily resell it for $5K. All the options, towing package, etc. I see my truck go close to $10,000 today with close to same mileage. Nuts. Yes I get it - cars are expensive. I got frustrated with CL and also Ebay, might do the auction again. They have a 1000 cars but then you take what you can get.
 
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What you have to remember when it comes to buying and selling on CL is that for every ten low-ballers there is at least one sucker. Eventually that one sucker will offer at or just above high BB and drive away thinking they got a good deal.
 
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I always get entertainment out of someone selling a 20 year old diesel pickup - often with the engine spelled CUMMINGS - for $20K. I'm not sure your 20 year old Dodge/Ford/GM 1 ton truck with 400K miles, rusted out bed, colapsed body with no cab corners is worth $20K
 

pacem

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There is this CL phenomenon, at least here, some guy has a full time job calling people and offering about 60% of the listed price. Even given inflated prices, it's still lowballing. No matter what you list. List a 6-7 year old Camry for $5700K, he will offer $3500. And there is more than one. I get the impression its their full time day job. He goes through the list and calls *everyone*. I am thinking about 2006 Suburban - I like my 06 Silverado but has a smallish tank (26 gallons vs 39 in Burb) and rust issues. Ideally 2500 Burb. Maybe 5-6K. That's kind of at the bottom of the price pyramid I think. Or a 06-09 Outback. Same price. They are either nice but overpriced (or not) but they are worn out junk that needs major cash infusion soon. I know what they do, with a repair on the horizon, they sell it. Let the sucker deal with expensive head gasket issues and maybe engine damage. That's the SOP. I am very suspicious about Subarus unless they explicitly can document HG repair. I recently got an Outback for a family member -- 1998 Outback but with not so high miles like 140,000 and a new, documented engine installed several years ago for $2200. New water pump, timing belt, accessories, everything, about 2-3 grand in work. I felt that was a good deal. Outside it looks most plain but with half the car replaced.
 
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pacem

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Originally Posted By: john6974332
A lot of dealers post in the owner section. I flag them, not that it really does anything..
that explains a lot then.
 
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