What's the best way to determine the value of your car? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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What's the best way to determine the value of your car?

I have a 1981 380SL roadster and plan on selling it. I'm wondering if the usual care value estimators are accurate in determine the real value of a classic car?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 10:53 PM
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From my experience, a car is only worth what someone will pay for it. It doesn't matter what an estimator kicks out.

To quantify that statement, I'd take averages of sell/ask prices from all sources - autotrader, cars.com, ebaymotors, craigslist, etc. That would honestly give you the best street value of a car short of having it appraised.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-02-2011, 10:40 AM
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Like any car it also depends on how fast you want to sell it. Lower asking price=faster sale.
If you are in no hurry you can start at the upper end of the scale and see what happens.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 03:54 AM
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Take a look in Hemmings.com, Cars.com, and Autotrader.com. Sadly this SL was one of the least desirable models of the early ones due to several issues. One needs to be almost perfect to bring anything. Several around the area ranging from 6-8 thousand dollars. If you are the original owner and have the records that will certainly help. If the car has had multiple owners and no records, plan on the lower end of the scale.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 10:05 AM
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280SEBENZE is right: "a car is only worth what someone will pay for it. It doesn't matter what an estimator kicks out."

But... how do you know how to price it or where can you get an idea?

eBay motors "Completed Listings" is an excellent place to see what is REALLY happening... real auctions and transactions, on a national level.

AutoTrader, Craigslist, Cars.com all of the other big sites will show you what people are ASKING for cars... but what are they really selling (or NOT selling for?)

eBay motors completed auctions is the best place to see... you'll see actual sales with prices (in green), you'll see tons of cars that didn't meet reserve, but you get to see the high bids, even if the car didn't sell. That should give you a great idea what people are 'willing to pay'.

On eBay, go to the cars you want to look at that are for sale in your case, SL models.

Then scroll down the page, you'll see a link on the left side of the page that says "Completed Listings" click it.

It will show all the completed listings back a while... you'll see unsold cars in red, sold cars in green and you get to see the high bids, the unrealistic reserves, everything.

The truest, most Darwinian way to find the true 'value' of your car, in my opinion, is a NO RESERVE eBay auction... with a good, honest description and tons of photos.

I just sold a 2011 SL on eBay the other day... (link to auction here) the guy lfew in this morning to pick it up. Didn't meet reserve, high bid was just shy of $70k, I called the high bidder after the auction ended. We put a deal together just shy of $89,000.

I've attended several eBay seminars put on by eBay corporate set up for car dealers, they say more than half of car sales on eBay happen OFF of eBay... meaning... a deal is struck after the auction or someone calls up and a deal is put together on the phone, that's where the whole 'car is available locally as well, we reserve right to end auction at anytime' comes in. eBay knows that. They're happy with their $50 (or $57 with reserve) listing fee if dealers list a bunch of their cars. Tought to build a feedback score that way, but you're selling the car.

I love eBay... great place to see tons of cars... you just have to know where you're buying from / who you're buying from and as always, pay for the PPI, it's aLWAYS worth it and caveat emptor.
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