FS - 1985 500 SEL - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-10-2014, 03:14 PM
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Vehicle: 90 350SDL, 98 S420, 97 SL500, 94 S420, past owner of W108/W112/W114/W123/W124/W126/W140 & W220 cars
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I think you're getting a little sensitive about the comments. You should understand a few things relative to the folks around here:

1.) Most of us are pretty knowledgeable about these cars, some more than others. We know the weak points and strong, and if these aren't revealed in a listing, the questions are going to come out. It only makes sense.

2.) Likewise, those of us who have been around MBs for many years (myself over 25) have a very good handle on the market for cars we are familiar with.

3.) There are a lot of commonalities in for sale postings, whether they be here or elsewhere, such as eBay or Craigslist. "ICE COLD AIR" and other such things are a trademark of such ads. They don't necessarily imply the seller is not being truthful, but are hallmarks of those who want to "puff" the ad description with phrases that are, for the most part, meaningless. The absolute worst thing I see in ads like this are repairs that have been delayed or ignored but are "cheap" or "simple to do". If this is the case, and if the seller is serious about getting top dollar for the car, why don't they take care of these items before they bring it to market?

4.) If you are not the owner, please say so as you did when asked. Don't take this as an offense, but understand that there are many out there who claim "one owner car" only to be the second owner, who is often trying to flip a car or turn it over quickly for a profit. This is deceptive, to say the least, but understand the reasoning for the question, that's all.

5.) You are asking what I would consider an astronomical price for a car that is far from the desired value. What is the basis for the asking price? Have you researched sales of similar cars? Where is this number coming from? If you do your due diligence, and the Search box here is a wonderful resource for such things, you would realize that a car such as this, to command that kind of a price and get it, would need to be a garage queen in near perfect condition. This car is not. While my current experience with W126 chassis cars is a bit dated and skewed more towards the diesels, I would say in the current market this is a $5000 car.

6.) The suggestion to sell elsewhere was probably misunderstood by you, I'm going to assume. I have to believe it was made because this is the farthest place from where you want to be if you want a premium price for the car. eBay and Craigslist (mainly eBay) are places where people will pay stupid money for vehicle for a lot of different reasons, some of which I have never fully grasped. This forum is full of people who know these cars inside and out, and have a good solid grasp of their actual value.

You are not alone. There have been many before you who have joined up and posted something to sell thinking that this would be the best place to do so and would allow you to command a premium price. Sadly, it's exactly the opposite.

To say that people here are "bottom feeders" would be disingenuous and untrue for the most part. We are people who know these cars well, understand their inner workings, and have a good grasp of the cost of maintaining and keeping them in running condition. Prices here for the most part are fair and reflect the true value of a vehicle based on its condition and provenance.

Good luck with the sale.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-10-2014, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Jul 2014
Vehicle: 1985 SEL
Location: Western Massachusetts, USA
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Thank you for your kind, respectful explanation. As I said, I've never posted to a forum before nor have I ever tried to sell a car before. I thought I did my due diligence..searched many sites and with the condition of the car and the care that has been given to it since he's owned it, I found the price listed to be the lowest end of retail (poor restoration, bad body/interior condition) which is not the case with this car as this particular car has always been his favorite, always garaged and covered, maintained, only driven very rarely (maybe 4 times in the winter) has no rust and the interior is in excellent condition. He does not have all the service records for the entire time he's had the car but the car had a transmission leak when parked for long periods (during the winter) so last year the the transmission was removed and resealed, and had new front brake rotors installed and bearings greased, and new lower balljoints installed and power steering pump replaced, new valve cover gasket installed and engine and chassis degreased, removed and replaced drivers front door window motor and a new emblem installed on the bonnet. Also had new guide rods and mounts and bushings at front of guide rods. The alarm system malfunctioned so the wires were cut to get the alarm to stop and he never had it repaired as it was always in a locked garage.
I have to question why you say this car is not worth the asking price and why you say it is not in near perfect condition? Just trying to learn and appreciate any help.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-10-2014, 05:06 PM
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LWB250 is pretty much spot on. And sorry that you took my message so negative. Wasn't my intention and looks like some others didn't see it that way.

Anyway... If you would have written the info you just wrote in the original posting, things would've been a lot different.

What comes to price, yes, you are shooting for the stars and might be sitting on it for quite some time. Seriously. As suggested, with that kind of price, your best bet is Ebay.

Just look a few pages forward here in the FS section and you'll find a literally pristine 89 (I think...) 560SEL a fellow member just sold for $7xxx. It had service records, properly working AC and what not. It did have about 20K more miles than yours, but still. And overall, a 560 is generally considered a more desireable model.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-10-2014, 05:37 PM
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I would question the sources for your price values.

The definitive sources for values on cars like this are Hemmings or better yet, CPI, or Cars of Particular Interest.

I have a CPI book from 2000 when my subscription ran out. Even then, a 1985 500SEL had an "Excellent" value or $9750. This car would not qualify as "excellent". This is CPI's description for "excellent":

"Nearly perfect condition. The vehicle has been professionally restored to the current high standards, but a few exceptionally well cared for original cars may qualify. All components are original or exact replacement. Most "excellent" cars are not driven more than a few miles per year, if at all. There are vehicles, usually due to an interesting history or special circumstances, which will sell for more than CPI's "excellent" figure, but these are extremely rare and would require extensive documentation. Some buyers are willing to pay more than the current market value for a specific vehicle. CPI cannot determine how much of a premium over market value an individual is willing to pay. Conversely, some sellers need to sell their cars immediately and may take less tha the prevailing market value."

The CPI scale translates to a 1-5 scale as "Excellent" being a 2 and "Good" being a 3.

This car would fit the "Good" condition in CPI. In 2000, that was $7350

Here are some data points from completed (sold) eBay listings:

1980 500SEL with 123k on it - $4200

1985 Euro version, much more desirable than a US spec model - $4550

1985 500SEL with 92,000 miles - sold for $6100

1985 500SEL that's a little rough, but only has 63k miles: $3256

This is the sort of research you need to do, which took me all of 5-10 minutes. And these are actual sales - not advertisements with outrageous asking prices which mean nothing, because there is no indication if those cars ever sold, and if so, for how much.

Look at this data, I think my numbers were pretty realistic.

I'm not being critical, but based on the factual data out there, your asking price is unrealistic. You can try to sell the car for that amount, but it's not going to sell, at least not in our lifetime.

As a comparison, and someone mentioned this as a data point earlier, look at the sales on 560SELs from the same time period. A much more desirable car, and the values reflect it. If this was a 560SEL it might command $10k.

The only real value in the 500SELs came in the Euro versions, as they had the nice bumpers if the car wasn't Federalized and much higher horsepower output due to the lack of smog hardware and adjustments.

Again, I think you need a dose of reality or you need to convince whomever came up with this price that the car is going to be in the garage for a long, long time if this is the price point they're looking for. The market data simply doesn't support it.


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