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232 posts

Master Geek

#207769 13-Jan-2017 09:18
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Hi All,


Just after your thoughts/views/opinions on buying a buying a 2nd hand car privately from trade me (so not a dealer), in particular dealing with sellers and negotiating.  Mainly just strategies or tips to get the best price possible, i.e. from a buyer’s perspective.


Once you know you want to purchase the car, do you all take what it’s listed for as gospel and just offer that amount?  Or do you look at the “or near offer” and do a bit of low balling?


Cars I’ve been interested in are being listed anywhere from 9.5k – 12k ono.  This is for the same model, similar year and k’s on the clock, so I understand the price variance. 


I have noticed that cars are generally cheaper in Auck, which is a pain as I’m based in Dunedin, but could a cheaper car based in Auck be used to negotiate the price down for a similar car say based in Chch?


Obviously will get pre-purchased inspection etc done on any car I buy, so not after advice on that.



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108 posts

Master Geek

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  #1702467 13-Jan-2017 09:44
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I think they have to have 6 months Registration & WOF when sold, worth checking.


Also a full CarJam report or similar. I know of someone whose $69K car was reposed recently because he didn't check finance loan history.

9599 posts

Uber Geek

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  #1702473 13-Jan-2017 09:52
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I think they have to have 6 months Registration & WOF when sold, worth checking.


Also a full CarJam report or similar. I know of someone whose $69K car was reposed recently because he didn't check finance loan history.



Privately they don't have to have wof or rego, thats something you can negotiate and agree on, as it where is and all


4811 posts

Uber Geek


  #1702487 13-Jan-2017 10:01
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I thought only if they had "As is, where is" in the ad could they get away with not having WOF etc within a certain time period.


And if they didn't specify that, it had to have current rego and WOF < 1 month or something.  Poss worth checking nzta, unless you don't mind either way.

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232 posts

Master Geek

  #1702525 13-Jan-2017 10:29
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Thanks for the replies so far guys, will definitely take WoF into consideration when purchasing..  


But I'm more interested in getting advice/opinions on the transaction of purchasing the car itself... i.e. once i'm happy with the car i want to buy, what's next?  How do you going about negotiating a price for it?  


Obviously from my point of view, I want to get the best deal that I possibly can, so don't want to pay a cent more than I have to. 


Say a car is listed at 10k ono.  I'm happy with the car, have done all the checks and WANT TO BUY the car. What's a reasonable first offer to make to purchase that car without taking the p*ss? 


Also, are there factors on private sales from trade me that i should know about?  Do cars that are listed on there, actually sold for the price they're wanting? or do people have a figure in mind and list for a price higher than that to account for lower offers they expect to receive??

9599 posts

Uber Geek

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  #1702548 13-Jan-2017 10:43
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it depends on the price of the car really.


i would normally go in about 15-20% less than they are offering, they will come back with a counter. you could use work needed on the car to get them to come down a little more.


On your 10k car i would go in with 8.5k, they will probably counter with something like 9.25k then use any issues with it to get them to go lower.


It all depends on the seller though.


I list things higher on the off chance someone will pay that but normally have a bit of wiggle room added in there

108 posts

Master Geek

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  #1702562 13-Jan-2017 10:56
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I bought a car from trade me about a year ago. I asked loads of questions via email and on the phone. Asked for extra photos etc. The car was in Wellington and not practical for me to view from Auckland.


The price listed was the price I paid. I made a lower offer but the seller agree to have the car serviced and a new WOF done. She even bought a new tyre for it. It had more than 6 months rego. So a good deal for me.


Once we agreed the price (always negotiate) she emailed me a document agreeing to the sale. I signed and emailed back. Not sure of the legalities here. I had her address & phone numbers & email address. But in the end I had to go on gut instinct. I paid into her account.


It could have been a scam but wasn't.


Rambling, sorry.


If it is the car you want and you have done all the checks you can, go for it. Rather than negotiate on $, ask for WoF, Rego, any spares included, full fuel tank etc.


6434 posts

Uber Geek

  #1702619 13-Jan-2017 12:28
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Say the price is $10k listed


Think about the highest price where you would think to yourself "I got a great deal". (this might be $7k) then think about the price where you'd think to yourself "seems a fair deal"  (maybe $9k)




Start with the first price ($7k), and if they come back with a counter offer that is less than your 'fair deal' price ($9k), take it. If it's more than the 'fair deal' price, either counter offer or walk away.




I would also consider a few things like:  how long has the car been listed on trademe.  If it's been there for ages, you might have more luck haggling.  How does it compare to similar cars selling via a dealer (I would expect at least a 20% discount vs getting an identical car at a dealer)




Personally, I hate haggling. So when it comes to things like cars I tell the seller up front something like this:


"I don't want to haggle or negotiate. Give me your best price and if I like it I'll take it. If I don't there will be no counter offers or negotiations. I'll just walk away."




Of course this only works if you are actually prepared to walk away. You need to make sure you avoid getting emotionally attached.


Ultimately though, a car (in most cases) isn't an especially unique item, so you should always be prepared to walk away.



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Uber Geek


  #1702635 13-Jan-2017 12:43
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20-30 percent less than a comparable model at a licensed vehicle trader.


They need to cover selling costs, warranty, etc. A private sale doesn't

My thoughts are no longer my own and is probably representative of our media-controlled government

4431 posts

Uber Geek
Inactive user

  #1702641 13-Jan-2017 13:06
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Just another thought re haggling... Sometimes there's people like me selling things.


If I was selling a car for $10k and you offered me $7, 8 or 9k, I'd just block you. You wouldn't get a second shot.


I'm not a car yard. I have no need to haggle.


If I say $10k, the lowest I'd go is $10k. 




Just saying.. :D

232 posts

Master Geek

  #1702707 13-Jan-2017 14:02
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Yes that's a good point.  But most of the listings i'm looking at say or near offer... surely if you wanted 10k you'd just say 10k?  So then that begs the question, what's a 'near offer'?


I am conscious of the fact of putting the seller off by offering too low.  The last thing I want to do is waste both our time..

3467 posts

Uber Geek


  #1702712 13-Jan-2017 14:12
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personally I would low ball a 2nd hand car, these so many cars for sale if you miss out no big deal.  But the seller only has one to sell, so they really want to make the sale and have so much competition.


So I would look at similar cars, if they were all around 10k, I would offer $8k and say thats my best and final offer.  If they say no, move onto the next and offer $8k.


Oh and say it depends on fiance history etc, make sure theres nothing owing on it.  

7037 posts

Uber Geek


  #1702716 13-Jan-2017 14:19
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Nothing stopping you from paying for a mechanical check, even a warranty if you want one from an insurance company type arrangement.




As above, just check that no money is owing, and to confirm that the person you are paying the money to is indeed the legal owner and it's not stolen etc.




Personally I'd never buy from a dealer, but I buy a lot from china also.  It's the same product, just you're not paying for the middle man.

167 posts

Master Geek

  #1702728 13-Jan-2017 14:57
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OP, what sort of car are you considering buying?




The approach you might/should take with a Corolla probably wouldn't be the same as that absolute minter 205GTi or e46 M3 you've always dreamt of (as examples).

232 posts

Master Geek

  #1702790 13-Jan-2017 16:09
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Just looking at purchasing something boring for the family.  A small economical runabout mainly used for short trips to and from the city.  Budget is around the 10k mark, so looking for best bang for my buck. 


Liking the look of a 2010+ Ford fiesta, which are being listed around 10-12k. Hence this post and trying to figure out what a realistic price to expect from a listing on TM.

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