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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings all,

I am helping a little old lady (no joke) downsize her life. She is in financial trouble and moving to a small apartment in a retirement community.

She has two Mercedes, one of which she would like to sell. I have only had a brief look at the car but cannot find a blue book value on it. I also know it is a fairly rare vehicle so want to get the best value I can for her. If you are familiar with this model and can give me some advice on pricing it and where the best place to sell it, I would greatly appreciate it.

The car is a 1987 300 TD wagon. As far as I can tell it is in fair shape and in good running condition. I don't believe it has ever been in an accident and the odometer reads slightly over 119k miles. The paint is good and I did not notice any rust (but I did not look to closely). The inside shows the wear that you would expect from a car this age but no glaring defects. She has not had much money in the last few years so I would expect car might need some mechanical work to bring it up to top road condition.

She is located in the Washington DC metro area and that is where she will be marketing the car.

Is this a difficult car to sell due to its rarity?

Any advice would be a big help.
 

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Yes, you are correct. That is a very rare vehicle with low mileage. I'd get what ever needs to be fixed done first (otherwise buyers are going to deduct it out of the sale price), then get it detailed by a pro, THEN list it for sale. Run a CarFax on it and keep it with the car. Be sure to keep it as clean as possible during the sale, be available for test drives, take lots of professional style pictures and write up a good listing. Be sure to post it for sale on this website. NADA price guides should list this car. You can sometimes look on ebay motors for comps, but those are usually on the low end.
 

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An '87 w124 diesel wagon is worth quite a bit - they're desireable because of their rarity. You really have two options:

1) Sell it on an ethusiast site and one of us will repair it
2) Fix it up to running condition, document its history with service records, take some excellent photos, post it on ebay, and watch it climb.

I'd recommend #2, but you might not be the sort to take a task like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I did not realize how desirable the car would be. Perhaps I should buy it from her.;)

This car is certainly not in the mechanical or physical condition as that one on ebay but that helps me get an idea. Unfortunately she has not a nickel to put into this vehicle. I suppose that we will get a mechanic to look at it and then she will have to sell it as is.

But the low mileage, if it is indeed correct and I am pretty sure it is, will be a factor. As long as the engine is sound. I will post back here if and when it goes on the market.

Thank you all for your help.
 

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I did not realize how desirable the car would be. Perhaps I should buy it from her.;)

This car is certainly not in the mechanical or physical condition as that one on ebay but that helps me get an idea. Unfortunately she has not a nickel to put into this vehicle. I suppose that we will get a mechanic to look at it and then she will have to sell it as is.

But the low mileage, if it is indeed correct and I am pretty sure it is, will be a factor. As long as the engine is sound. I will post back here if and when it goes on the market.

Thank you all for your help.
If you can buy it from her at a low price and throw some of your money into it, to get it where it needs to be, then do that! That is the best option.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If you can buy it from her at a low price and throw some of your money into it, to get it where it needs to be, then do that! That is the best option.
Well, I probably cannot do that due to the conflict of interest.

Here is the skinny on the vehicle. I inspected it more closely today. It is an 87 300 TD with the 6 cylinder engine. I drove it and the engine sounds fine (I admit that I do not know anything about diesels) The odometer reads 116,900 and some change. Considering her driving habits I have little doubt that this is an accurate reading. I believe that she is the second owner but has had the car for quite some time. There is no rust on the car. A couple of minor scrapes and one small piece of trim missing. The front plastic grill has a minor break. The car has not been garaged and the paint is intact but faded and scratched from weathering. A serious collector would want to repaint the car.
The tires are worn and need replacing. I did not test the heater and AC but it seems like most of the power options work-except the rear right window. Sunroof works fine and there is a third seat in the rear that looks great. Interior is OK with some sun fading in the dash area. Seats are fine but the wood console around the shift is heavily cracked and needs restoring. Brakes and alignment seem fine on the road.

I expect to be placing this car on the market within the next two weeks for her but cannot be sure.

She also has a newer 2001 ML 320 which I have advised her to keep as that car is in excellent condition.
 

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Expect to take a BIG hit on the price if you plan to sell as-is. It sounds like its needs $1000's worth of work.

Make her an offer and buy it. What conflict of interest do you have? She doesn't care who she sells the car to, as long as its gone.
 

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Putting money into a car before selling is much like a house - some things you get your money back, others you don't. Generally money spent to get a car running is well spent, because no one wants to pay much for a car that doesn't run. And money spent to detail a dirty car should be a good investment. Beyond that you need to be very judicious about it especially if you're paying shop rates. Many a DIY buyer will discount the problems far less than the full cost of shop repair. You might want to try Ebay - rare desirable cars can do well there.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Gentlemen,

I am back after three months. I am going to offer this car for sale and post it on the for sale page of this forum. It will be sold as is.

Please let me know if you are interested in this car. I have no financial stake in the vehicle and my only concern is to get a fair price for the owner. I might be back here to ask about any offers I get.

I have confirmed that the elderly owner bought the car new and is the only owner. The good news is that the engine has only 118,000 miles on it. I will post photos of the body and interior.

Here is a link if you want to see photos.

Picasa Web Albums - Cristopher - mercedes benz...

Thanks,
 
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