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Discussion Starter #1
Do people do this anymore?

It used to be the case that all cars on Exchange & Mart / Autotrader were private sales. There used to even be a little game suggested by car buying advisers to ask prospective sellers about "your car for sale" which would force any traders masquerading as private sellers to ask "which one?". Not sure that ever really worked tbh - but it was symptomatic that not only were most cars bought/sold privately - but that traders would pretend to be private sellers to get business.

Nowadays, you are lucky to find 1% of sellers on Autotrader are private.

It used to be the case that all "bargains" were found from private sellers. You could go to a trader if you wanted a warranty (ha ha) or p/x or finance - but you would pay a heavy premium for doing so.

Also - when selling - you could drive round a few forecourts and see what similar cars to yours were selling for, and then bang in a private add at 10-15% less and have your arm snatched off.

Finally - you would NEVER p/x unless your car was an absolute death trap and you daren't drive it away. The ridicule you would get from admitting in a pub that you p/x'd for 500 quid less than you could have sold it for privately was too much. Real men sold privately and then exaggerated the price they got...

When I was in my 20s and selling a car in Exchange and Mart - I would accept that my weekend was a dead loss as I would be entertaining various tyre kickers and genuine buyers all through saturday and sunday morning before clinching a deal and heading off to buy a new one.

So as none of this seems to be the case now (at least for Autotrader) - Where have all the private sales gone?

Is it all Ebay now? Did Webuyanycar.com kill it all? Does everyone now just do a PCP and hand back?

Both my brother and I over the past 2-3 months have tried to sell perfectly decent genuine cars on Autotrader for at least 1k off the equivalent second hand dealer forecourt prices. In both our cases - in 2 weeks - we didn't get a SINGLE call. Not a case of no successfull sale - actually ZERO calls.

How do people flog privately now? What's the secret?
 

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Do people do this anymore?

It used to be the case that all cars on Exchange & Mart / Autotrader were private sales. There used to even be a little game suggested by car buying advisers to ask prospective sellers about "your car for sale" which would force any traders masquerading as private sellers to ask "which one?". Not sure that ever really worked tbh - but it was symptomatic that not only were most cars bought/sold privately - but that traders would pretend to be private sellers to get business.

Nowadays, you are lucky to find 1% of sellers on Autotrader are private.

It used to be the case that all "bargains" were found from private sellers. You could go to a trader if you wanted a warranty (ha ha) or p/x or finance - but you would pay a heavy premium for doing so.

Also - when selling - you could drive round a few forecourts and see what similar cars to yours were selling for, and then bang in a private add at 10-15% less and have your arm snatched off.

Finally - you would NEVER p/x unless your car was an absolute death trap and you daren't drive it away. The ridicule you would get from admitting in a pub that you p/x'd for 500 quid less than you could have sold it for privately was too much. Real men sold privately and then exaggerated the price they got...

When I was in my 20s and selling a car in Exchange and Mart - I would accept that my weekend was a dead loss as I would be entertaining various tyre kickers and genuine buyers all through saturday and sunday morning before clinching a deal and heading off to buy a new one.

So as none of this seems to be the case now (at least for Autotrader) - Where have all the private sales gone?

Is it all Ebay now? Did Webuyanycar.com kill it all? Does everyone now just do a PCP and hand back?

Both my brother and I over the past 2-3 months have tried to sell perfectly decent genuine cars on Autotrader for at least 1k off the equivalent second hand dealer forecourt prices. In both our cases - in 2 weeks - we didn't get a SINGLE call. Not a case of no successfull sale - actually ZERO calls.

How do people flog privately now? What's the secret?
Ebay auction works well. What was the value of the car you were selling? I find its not very easy to sell high value cars unless you're offering part-ex, credit facilities etc. People seem to prefer to pay for their car related stuff monthly these days.
 

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Over the years I have sold a number of cars, either for myself or on behalf of friends and have had a 100% success rate with ebay. I use a mixture of classified and auction.

I was asked to sell a totally original 42000 mile, 1966, VW Karman Ghia hard top for a friend of a friend. Having researched prices and found they were all over the place. I decided to let the market decide and auctioned it for £6.8k. The friend was delighted as he had no access to a computer and, in his late 80s, had no idea were to start. Needlless to say it attracted an awful lot of attention with well over a hundred watchers at one stage.

Others I have sold on ebay: low miles 10 yr old Civic (auction, doubled the px offer), low miles 15 yr old Toyota Corolla (auction), Low mile 10 yr old Micra (classified doubled px offer), low miles 11 yr old 147 (classified)

With such a good hit rate on ebay I have not considered selling elsewhere.
 

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The complication of this has turned off lots of private buyers so VW and Mercedes have created a new site which people will find easier to use, selling only their cars!
No mention on the site heycar - Quality used cars
 

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that traders would pretend to be private sellers to get business.
I think the contention was that they were pretending to be private sellers so they could sell you a lemon and avoid all the requirements of customer service and warrantee.

The last car I sold was the GTA. Wanting to avoid the hassle of a private sale, I contacted a diamond fellow on here who I thought might be interested, and offered it to him at a price which I was happy with but I knew was a very good deal for him. Deal was concluded in about 30 minutes. :)

The one before that was the Fiat Coupe. Sold privately successfully - but it was about 13 years ago so not very relevant.

Mrs Bazza's cars we've always part-exed, having checked the price they were offering was reasonable.
 

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I think @Pud237 is on the right track. Mrs Nick’s 2015 Mini a relative bargain when we tried to sell it four years ago. It was up for over £10000.

Just one casual email enquiry and they didn’t even view it.
 

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My friend just bought a Giulietta from a private seller on exchange and mart, I remember the paper version didnt even know they had a website.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think Ebay is probably the answer (I was trying to sell my 2014 Mini Countryman for 7k on Autotrader and ended up taking 6.4k from westealanycar after no single call in 2 weeks).

My brother is trying to shift a 2012 Merc something-faceless-diesel-saloon - so after his fruitless Autotrader attempt I will tell him to try Ebay.

My personal experience of dealing with ebay buyers for non-car stuff has been so painful (it's all in other threads on here - mostly rant room!) that I now try to avoid it, but maybe it's got a sweet spot around motors.
 

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The prices for used cars has risen a lot in the last few years. I think people are just more comfortable parting with larger sums of cash at a dealer because they know that there is some comeback.

Having said that I have sold a couple of cars privately recently, and I bought the current Bimmer from a private seller just around the corner from my house.
 

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I bought the last 5 family cars from the Bay of fleas.. mostly because there are more private buyers on there and I don't want to buy a £3000 car from a trader (where it becomes a £3500 car).

Autotrader seems more chokka with trade ad's so if I was going to spend 5 figures on a car, I'd go that way, since the warranty (for what its worth) and come-back if it all turns out ginger, is better.

A lot of bangers now end up in GumTree and other sites.. but I've never used it.

Ralf S.
 

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I think Ebay is probably the answer (I was trying to sell my 2014 Mini Countryman for 7k on Autotrader and ended up taking 6.4k from westealanycar after no single call in 2 weeks).

My brother is trying to shift a 2012 Merc something-faceless-diesel-saloon - so after his fruitless Autotrader attempt I will tell him to try Ebay.

My personal experience of dealing with ebay buyers for non-car stuff has been so painful (it's all in other threads on here - mostly rant room!) that I now try to avoid it, but maybe it's got a sweet spot around motors.
I think probably 90% of people looking to buy a 7k motor will be financing it. A good proportion of the rest will mistakenly think its a better idea to buy from a dealer where there's some form of guarantee incase it goes wrong shortly after they buy it.

Most of my best car purchases over the years have been private buys. The stuff I've bought from dealers has tended to be problematic and I've had to iron out problems from day 1 - as in, getting the car to a safety level where I am happy to put my Mrs & kids in it.. The last one I bought had a diesel leak from the filter housing, the front suspension was tired, front tyres smooth on the inner edges, the engine wasn't timed up correctly which made hot restarts difficult.. I knocked a good chunk off the price of the car but I bet a less knowledgeable private buyer might have bought it and ended up laying out 50% of the purchase price on resolving issues before being able to get good use from the vehicle. I think people with problematic cars don't want to sell them privately because they are scared about someone coming back around to their house if the car goes wrong. So they punt them in at dealers. Dealers auction them to traders / smaller dealers, and usually the highest bidder is the shadiest type who is willing to do the bare minimum of prep on the car so they still have a margin left by the time it has sold. The difference between auction prices and retail prices has been narrowing for years, so good honest car traders must be getting squeezed if they are just relying on Joe Public and not repeat customers. In the case of the car I'm talking about, it didn't develop all those issues while in the possession of the dealer I bought it from, it will have been traded in somewhere else with those problems, and with current MOT. The imagine the guy I bought it from literally did nothing but buy it from auction, wash & valet it and advertise it from his little portakabin in a carpark.
 

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The other issue that you may encounter when buying from a dealer is that quite likely the car you are buying has been part exchanged against something even more expensive. Often people PX a car when it has things going wrong with it. A dealer won't always sort out those issues, as they would rather sell it as is with a warranty and then let the warranty company finance the repairs...
 

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It does seem these days that pretty much everyone, regardless of income, drives a nearly new car, usually with a prestige badge. If you earn not much more than minimum wage and you're spending £13k on a car, you're not going to have actual cash. You've probably also still got 2 years left of your finance deal on the old one that needs settling as part of the arrangement.

When I was a kid there were a few flash gets on our street with newish cars but most were driving old bangers like my dad did. There were certainly no Mercs or BMWs.

The other weird thing I've noticed is that when you do see cars listed privately, they often want more than dealers do. I assume this is due to them mistakenly correlating value with amount of outstanding finance.

Private ads also tend to be full of:
A/C (just needs regas)
Timing belt changed (can't find receipt)
New tyres (jingaling sunshiners)
Small rattle from engine. (Definitely not the timing chain)

Have we ever had a car buying experiences thread?
 

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The prices for used cars has risen a lot in the last few years. I think people are just more comfortable parting with larger sums of cash at a dealer because they know that there is some comeback.

Having said that I have sold a couple of cars privately recently, and I bought the current Bimmer from a private seller just around the corner from my house.

Depends what you mean by risen....unless they are classic cars or very rare they don't ever go up. But if you mean that generally the cost of cars has gone up then of course you are right....but as a percentage of what they cost new they are certainly going down....and its going to get worse. Such a high % of new cars are now bought on PCP that almost anyone can afford a new car if they want one....but most will never own it as they cant afford the optional final payment....so it goes back to the dealer as a PX most or which pays off the "final Payment" lump sum and if you are lucky you might have a bit left to go towards the deposit on the next one and off you go again. PCP are only available on new or very new second hand (usually ex demos) cars. So the folks who might look at a used car will have to find the cash...not many can do that.... or put it on used car Hire Purchase. Used cars attract a higher interest rate and of course with no final payment to keep that monthly bill down so its often more expensive to finance a used car than a new car...plus the warranty wont be as good and you have to hope its been looked after. Because of this used car prices go down and new cars are sold instead of used. PCP was around in the USA long before here so they are further forward in the process....used cars there are really cheap just for this reason....no one want them....why pay more (per month at least) for a used car???
 

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Good summary from Alfaitalia there. The increasing complexity of cars also helps dissuade someone from buying a used one, why pay more a month for an older car that has the potential to throw expensive problems that you, rather than a main dealer, will be responsible for fixing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Depends what you mean by risen....unless they are classic cars or very rare they don't ever go up. But if you mean that generally the cost of cars has gone up then of course you are right....but as a percentage of what they cost new they are certainly going down....and its going to get worse. Such a high % of new cars are now bought on PCP that almost anyone can afford a new car if they want one....but most will never own it as they cant afford the optional final payment....so it goes back to the dealer as a PX most or which pays off the "final Payment" lump sum and if you are lucky you might have a bit left to go towards the deposit on the next one and off you go again. PCP are only available on new or very new second hand (usually ex demos) cars. So the folks who might look at a used car will have to find the cash...not many can do that.... or put it on used car Hire Purchase. Used cars attract a higher interest rate and of course with no final payment to keep that monthly bill down so its often more expensive to finance a used car than a new car...plus the warranty wont be as good and you have to hope its been looked after. Because of this used car prices go down and new cars are sold instead of used. PCP was around in the USA long before here so they are further forward in the process....used cars there are really cheap just for this reason....no one want them....why pay more (per month at least) for a used car???

I don't agree.

I have sold a few cars in the last couple of years, and the used prices they are being sold for now for identical models now is higher than it was two years ago.

I also got a valuation on my current car from webuyanycar just after I bought if (Out of interest really) If I get a quote now the price they are giving me is £500 more than it was back in September.

A good guide was that a 10 year old car with average mileage was around 10% of the price that it was when it was new, currently they seem to be selling for a lot more than that, especially if it is a family/desireable model that has good fuel economy.

In 2010 I bought a 12 year old BMW E39 528i for £1800 with 100k on it. I have been looking at the E60 models today. One I looked at was a 525d that was 12 years old and it had 120k on it. The valuation for it now is around £5000

There must be a demand for older cars from somewhere as inflation alone doesn't account for that much of a price jump.
 

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It’s probably the eligibility for credit and the nature of work such as zero hours contracts along with consumer confidence that is bringing used car values in line with other countries. In Spain, France , Italy people look after cars and don’t replace them every two years. At one time Germans were keeping their cars 7or 8 years.
 

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In Spain, France and Italy at least they don't salt the roads in the winter, so cars are going to last longer there and be worth more as they get older.

No matter how well a car is rust protected it will still go rusty over here, and newer cars seem to have less protection than they did 15 or so years ago.
 

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You see ten-plus years old cars in Switzerland. And they go for good money as looked after cars long after U.K. folk would’ve given up on them.
 
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