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Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking about buying a ML320 Benz '99-'01. I do see a few on ebay but will probably rely more on cars.com or autotrader.com. I have purchased smaller items,$100-$200 range but a car would be a major investment. Does anyone have any positive or negative experiences from buying vehicles online, preferably ebay. I am from the Southern Louisiana area, currently planning on taking a trip to the dallas/houston areas to check out some vehicles on cars.com/autotrader.com. Also, what about 3rd party car inspection company experiences.
 

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2001 ML 320
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The key to making a successful purchase on eBay (or anywhere)is the ability to go and look at the car before bidding. I am in the New York City area so I had a number of cars to look at within 100 miles. I had a very good experience with my purchase but I did not let myself enjoy the experience until the title arrived from Motor Vehicle with my name on it. At every turn I expected to get screwed.

Bottom line is that I got the car I wanted, in the condition I wanted, still under warranty and at an excellent price.

Would I do it again?????
Yes, and exactly in the same manner!

That includes worrying that I'm gonna get screwed over at every turn.
 

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2001 ML 320
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273 Posts
I personally don't have experience with eBay motors but a friend of mine both buys and sells on there. He has had mostly good, but a few bad deals. He has never had a problem buying a vehicle - once you win a vehicle, you go look at it and if it is not exactly as it was described, you don't have to buy it. My friend's problems have stemmed from selling on there...alot of these people win the auction, then come to look at the vehicle and try to knock $$$ of the price because they don't like this-or-that even though his descriptions and pictures are right on the nose accurate...everyone tries to low-ball you in one way or another. My best suggestion is stick to a seller that has little or no negative feedback. If that seller does have negative feedback, is it a high percentage? I don't expect a seller to be perfect - you can't please everyone (I've found this out selling items myself - people post negative feedback for the dumbest things). If they do have any negative feedback (even a low percentage), look at what the feedback says and make a decision wether you want to deal with that seller or not. I buy and sell on eBay alot and have only been screwed by 1 buyer and 1 seller...the seller eventually resolved my issue. Best thing is to just make an educated "does this look legit"...
 

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1999 ML 320
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I bought 99 ML320 last week on ebay, turned out to be real good vehicle and I drove back 500 miles without any problem, but I also heard a lot of horror stories too. This would be my second vehicle that I bought on ebay. Just be cautious, try to buy it from establish dealers and look into their feedback and make sure they got all their feedback from selling and buying cars, not from buying cd’s and other junk. If you cannot go and inspect the vehicle visually, make sure you get a lot of pictures, talk to seller on the phone and of course get the carfax report. Good luck
This the ml I bought :
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=4546112919&ssPageName=ADME:B:EOAB:MT:6
 

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190e 2.3l-16v
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I bought a used 00 ML55 for a tad above $20K on Ebay a couple months back. I told myself i would never do something like this. However the same vehicle with same miles here in SoCal was running about $28-$32K range, and even on Ebay the other ML55's with same mileage were also $25K-$28K range. Probably for a good month i checked autotrader and cars.com frequently looking for deals.

The seller had quite a few pics up, also he had all original documents such as all the manuals, window sticker, print out from dealership w/ all the service intervals and codes they fixed. Had all the keys. I ran carfax, was very clean. (Carfax may not be 100% accurate keep in mind)

The guy was a small time car dealer who bought the car at a Benz auction. The ML was a lease return so it was a 1 owner vehicle. (Long lease). This guy bought what Im assuming to flip it, but he swears he lost a little on this deal with me. His wife only drove it around for about 5 months. He put brand new Nitto tires and it has new brakes too. The ML passed Calif emissions w/ flying colors when I smogged it.

He was very honest about the condition and anytime i called him he answered the phone quickly; he was really easy to deal with. Im not saying everyone is honest I feel i got lucky on this one and ended up happy. I threw the dice and won this game.

He arranged shipping the car to me, (I never flew to see it. He was in IL, Im in SoCali.) The only problem with the ML Im taking care of now is that the rear shocks are shot but its normal wear and tear and im not being picky. While its in the shop im having my mechanic friend change all the fluids, do a check on hoses, belts, etc.. Otherwise it drives great and everything is operational perfectly. I could of not had a better experience.

If you have the means and time I would recommend you fly out and check out the vehicle. The main reason i proceeded is that this was basically a 1 owner lease return and from viewing the records I noticed the car was serviced as benz dealerships up until 60K miles. This ML55 had exactly 70K on the odometer, so i took a risk assuming it was maintained pretty good at the benz dealer. My other advantage is I have friends that work on Eurpoean cars so its pretty inexpensive for me to have something fixed or installed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I would like to thank everyone out there who responded to my inquiry. It was very rewarding to hear others experiences and give myself more confidence in purchasing my new vehicle. I actually purchased a 2000 ML 320 from D.C. Friday... flew up there on a one-way ticket and drove back to new orleans on saturday....I feel like i got a good deal 63000 miles silver/light silver int. (would have preferred the darker charcoal but i'm satisfied.)$16K one or two minor scratches and nicks but definitely workable. Thanks everyone.
 
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