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Buy your used car from a private party

July 17, 2006 archive
Storyboard a great script to buy your used car:

“Hi, I am calling about the car you have advertised.” If they don't know which car, they're selling multiple cars so HANG UP. Watch for their tonality. Do they appear beleaguered and besieged with phone calls? Does it sound like they do it for a living? Have they ever sold a car themselves? Did they bring the thing to a dealer that offered them $2,000 less than they're listing it for?

Moving along…Are you the one selling it? Great, how long have you had it? Are you the first owner?

I think if everything you told me checks out, I'm interested… would you take X (where X is the offer price minus $500)?

Do you need help making this call? Text message us at 650-283-8008 and we'll help. The cost? A link from your blog, journal or website.

Under no circumstances do I ever…

-buy from a guy selling more than one car

-buy a car from a non affluent male

-buy a car that has a title that isn't clear. Don't do it. How much he owes affects what he want to charge YOU. In a five year loan, the car loses most of its value in the first three years.


July 15, 2006 archive
Interrogate your way into a great used car deal

•  why are you selling your car?
•  how did you drive it?
•  how long have you owned it?
•  if you got a $1000 that you HAD to spend on your car, where would you spend it?
•  do you have maintenance records?
•  is it paid off?
•  are you ok with sharing the cost of a carfax report?

Your best car deal is from a good owner. You're buying the owner first and the car second . Ideally, the pysch profile of the seller is a lot like “a millionaire next door”. He's a married suburban white male in his late 30s with a job that he commutes 35 miles to. He bought a new BMW that is 7 years newer than the BMW he's selling. He thought he was going to sell the car to ________ (cousin, aunt, friend, golf buddy, co-worker) but they __________ (moved, got married, got jailed, or all the above). Now it's sitting in the driveway and he's GOT TO SELL it.

In his ad he mentions OBO (or best offer) and he's NOT a dealer. Ideally he's the ONLY OWNER but sometimes two previous owners are ok. The best person to buy a car from is a person looking for someone to “adopt” his car. He's attached to his baby and that's when you show him a picture of your current car. Don't laugh, my parents neighbor was selling their BMW and I showed him my Buick (that incidentally I bought from another neighbor). He sold it to me for $7,000 less than he had it listed for because he a) was moving to Europe and b) knew that his beammer would be washed, loved and garaged.

I actually don't like Craiglist because the people are NOT as serious as a guy that plops down $50 for an ad. Craigslist has people that still owe money on a lease and would like to sell (they don't list because they NEED to sell. The difference can be about $3,000.) Plus I like the less internet savvy seller is more likely to take a cash offer and the title is free and clear.


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