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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BIMMERPOST Universal Forums > General Automotive (non-BMW) Talk + Photos/Videos > Chime in if you’ve bought a car online



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      10-23-2019, 09:07 AM   #23
Efthreeoh
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Originally Posted by GOLFFRR View Post
Private sellers can be iffy IMO from what I have seen. I personally would want to see the car in person before I purchased anything from a private seller, but thats just me(Used cars). I know a lot of people though over the years that do it all the time. Some get burned but most have not had any issues. I would just make sure I got everything in some form of writing incase something isn't what its suppose to be when it arrives.

As far as dealers go, we sell a ton of cars online every month (Mostly new however). Its pretty seamless. Its def something all buyers should do IMO. You have all these dealers out there, use that to your advantage and shop around for the best price
About 15 years ago, I found on line a 1979 E21 that was supposedly low-mileage and in great shape. It was about an hours drive, so I went to go see it. It was offered for $3,000, so I brought cash and my wife to drive it home. I went through the car thoroughly and found a bunch of small details that indicated to me it was not as "clean" as advertised. The body was straight and the paint good, but it had been repaired (a near-perfect professional job). The car drove like shit, but none of the issues couldn't be easily rectified by an experienced BMW DIY'er. I am quite familiar with the E21 being they were new back in the day when I started my relationship with BMWs, so I wasn't worried about getting it back up to snuff.

Well, back 15 years ago is about the time people were starting to sell cars on eBay. I was ready to pull out some cash to buy it when the owner pulls the ultimate dick move and said "well, I just listed it on eBay this morning, so I'm going to wait and see what I get for it on eBay." Being not one to buy a car sight unseen, I said "Well that's a dick move on your part, good luck with that." The car wasn't worth $3,000. He probably sold it for $5K on eBay. Buyer beware...
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      10-23-2019, 09:16 AM   #24
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I've bought all of my cars in the past 15 years site unseen other than online ads from other states. Usually $2,000 to $5,000 cheaper than the average selection for similar in my local market.

If it's close or in an interesting destination, I'll fly out and drive it back and make a vacation of it. If it's someplace far and boring, I'll have it shipped. In all of those cases I've been able to find my "dream car" with the exact color, trim, options, etc far cheaper, sometimes with a vacation thrown in!
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      10-23-2019, 10:14 AM   #25
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With all the car finder apps like cars.com, cargurus, autofinder, etc they let anybody advertise as a dealer with them. I found more than a few flaky dealers and one out and out crook who had my dream car. HE gave a long story how the retract roof was broken when he bought the car at auction and even produced BMW receipts for repairs.
He said the repair was so extensive the insurance company totaled the car. I was suspicious and using the vin # I found an auction sale record where the car was sold with front and rear damage from a hwy accident in a different state.
Be careful out there. If it doesn't sound right - it probably isn't.
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      10-23-2019, 10:30 AM   #26
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I bought my Saab wagon from a dealer in Allentown right slap bang in the middle of the recession 9 years ago. Still DD it today, had only 15,000 miles on it and with the currency at par i saved about $15K vs buying here.

Mrs and i drove there and drove it back, spent a weekend in Philly as we were right there.

Discussion was funny with dealer over the phone given the dark financial times;

Me: That Saab, what price can you do me
Dealer: It's listed at 20K but we can negotiate if you have the money
Me: Have the money?
D: Yes, do you have money
M: well yeah I am buying a car
D: Cash?
M: Cash cheque yeah
D: Make an offer
M: 16K
D: jesus H....do you have the money?
M: Why you keep asking that??
D: 4 of my last 5 cheques bounced
M: let me make this clear, i will deliver a cash cheque, in person, no strings attached, right from my bank.
D: Sold ... but has to be cash cheque or deal is off

Man things were bad.
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      10-23-2019, 11:31 AM   #27
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I've purchased two E30s from the east coast. First one I had shipped, 2nd one I had the guys at GutenParts go pick it up in DC and take it back to their shop to get some work done. Then I flew out to New Jersey and drove it.

Traded a Mustang GT in on a Miata that was at a dealer in Paris, TX. And flew to Austin one time to pick up a very nice '08 V8 4Runner. One of the few in the country that had the trim, options, mileage/condition.

Drove my BRZ to Indianapolis to trade it in on the 135.
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      10-23-2019, 01:25 PM   #28
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To date, I've purchased five vehicles discovered online, and never drove a single one prior to its final sales transaction. My 'old school' father, whom I greatly respect, thinks it's absurdly irresponsible. I respect his point; however, he refuses to adequately educate himself over the variety and volume of resources available to the 'online' consumer.
To this point, I can say with integrity that I have NO regrets; this methodology has opened up my range of available inventory to pinpoint EXACTLY what I wanted, and it's even elevated my negotiating power on occasion.
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      10-25-2019, 09:32 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M5TUDM View Post
To date, I've purchased five vehicles discovered online, and never drove a single one prior to its final sales transaction. My 'old school' father, whom I greatly respect, thinks it's absurdly irresponsible. I respect his point; however, he refuses to adequately educate himself over the variety and volume of resources available to the 'online' consumer.
To this point, I can say with integrity that I have NO regrets; this methodology has opened up my range of available inventory to pinpoint EXACTLY what I wanted, and it's even elevated my negotiating power on occasion.
Well, thinking about it now, I did actually buy a car on line... sort of. I found my 2008 Z4 Coupe on line at CarMax. The car was in Ohio and I'm in Virginia. So I paid CarMax to ship the car to a local CarMax so I could review it before the sale. The $350 transportation cost is non-refundable. The car looked good in the photos and on paper, 23,000 miles on a then 6-year old Z4, a Carfax report, with all three keys, and full compliment of owners manuals. When the car finally arrived, I went to look it over. Sure enough it was in as good shape as the pictures showed. But that's kinda where it stopped. I bought the car since I fell in love with the way it drove and I'd have been out $350; and it had some type of high-end amplifier/speaker upgrade professionally installed, which sounded great.

However, when I got home, in the right sunlight, I found a crease on the right front fender above the headlight. It wasn't visible in the CarMax pics. Also, there was a rippled dent in the passenger door below the mirror, also not picked up in the CarMax pics. CarMax had a PDR guy fix the body issues with absolutely no fuss. That was the cosmetics...

The mechanicals: I discovered after the car was warmed (over 20 miles or so) the throwout bearing rattled like a paint can (common for the E85/86 Z4 apparently). More, CarMax replaced the battery with the completely wrong size since it didn't fit the hold down mechanism and the vent tubing was missing. Worse, the battery revelation led me to be concerned about the freshly changed oil (CarMax changes every car's oil it sells), and I found the engine had an ill-fitting aftermarket oil filter; God only knows what oil CarMax used. The next day after I took delivery, the low coolant light came on. A few months later, I was changing the air filters. The cabin filter was completely clogged with leaf debris, and worst of all the engine air filter box was literally half-full with a mouse nest.

As a car guy and 30-year BMW aficionado I'm embarrassed to admit I didn't check such simple things as battery condition and coolant level. Also embarrassing to admit is I didn't go over the body with closer inspection to find the dents. I trusted the CarMax BS about their 100-point inspection by its "industry professionals". My point is, even a national used car sales chain like CarMax, which sells millions of used cars a year, can't be trusted.
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      10-27-2019, 01:34 PM   #30
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Patience is the key to getting a good deal and a clean car. Carfax is your friend. And so are vin code decoder sites. A lot of times dealers don't know what they are selling. I was looking for a manual transmission. You won't believe how many DCTs are listed as manuals !?
You can easily become expert on the value and the options that were available for the model you are searching for.
Ask for a walk around video - even if it is a cel phone video a salesperson sends to your phone. You can pause and enlarge any section or thing you want to take a better look at. This is an awesome alternative to seeing the car in person.
I think it is safer to buy from major dealers rather than small 'dealers'. These small used car dealers should be avoided, they usually sell seconds. And as I found they can be criminally misleading. That's something you will not find at a manufactures dealership even if you are buying an off brand trade in like I did.
I think the new car dealers are a much safer place to buy online. They have a reputation to uphold.
I've bought 2 cars this way now. Both are great cars that were not available locally. When you are negotiating with the seller be sure to tell them you will be posting a 5 star rating on Yelp after the sale. They know this goes a long way towards their future online sales credibility and you should be reading reviews on any place you are planning to buy online from.
Do your homework. Learn your car inside and out. Search nationally using every autotrading car.com type site and the bmw cpo locator tool

Last edited by scootr; 10-28-2019 at 07:04 AM..
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      10-28-2019, 03:37 PM   #31
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I bought my last motorcycle off a forum and it was so incredibly easy and guy provided me with other forum members who bought bikes from him. Told me what shipping company to work with etc etc. He was an absolute pleasure to work with and now I send him pics of the bike occasionally on rides.



I bought my slightly used M2 off cargurus from a VW dealer in Houston TX and the sales guy I was dealing with was very very hard to deal with and I had everyhting lined up easily for him . My brother sells used cars at niche car dealer in town and if he ever was this incompetent he would be fired in a heartbeat. Seriously I had all my ducks in a row and this guy shat the bed so hard I just about got the GM involved. They also didn't disclose some damage to the paint on the front bumper but I did also get the car under wholesale because it was on their lot 130+ days
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