By on March 22, 2012

 

I once had a vehicle that sat on my lot for over 9 months. It wasn’t anything too bad. A 1998 Plymouth Grand Voyager in the tannest shade of brown. But no one wanted the thing.

I couldn’t figure it out. Did it have too many miles on it? Did brown all of a sudden become the new purple, orange or lime green? It did have four doors instead of the three door minivan albatrosses that were common during the pre-Y2k era. But I couldn’t get so much as a nibble on it for months on end.

Denial can be a hard pill to cough up. Lo and behold, this is what I figured out.

Dead Brands Don’t Go Walking: Pontiacs, Saturns and Saabs may have a little issue with public recognition. But a Plymouth? Most folks simply didn’t know what one was by the time Obama got in office. Over the last few years I have also seen Oldsmobiles and Eagles slowly go the way of Daihatsus and Peugeots. Fewer folks remember them, and fewer folks want them.

No One Loves A Large Marge Barge: Minivans have become the automotive version of disco. Not a lot of people admit to liking them, and it’s fashionable to bash a vehicle made for a brood in a Western world where large families are becoming ever less common. Who among you thought Ford and GM would ever throw the proverbial towel in a market that once spanned the seven figures every year? OK, besides you Bertel!

Brown Isn’t Sexy On A Car: With apologies to Sajeev and the rest of the brown gawkers, brown has indeed become the new purple, pink, lime and orange. The only way you can sell a brown car these days is if it’s rare or cheap. Otherwise this color palette has joined the nostalgia circuit along with forest green and beige.

No One Wants Sticks, Unless It’s Sporty: “Yeah! Yeah! That’s what I really want! A base car with no options on it so that I can get a true feel for the road. You know… today’s base car. With power windows, door locks, mirrors, cruise, ABS, traction control, comfortable seating for five, USB port, Bluetooth, Six Speakers, Eight Airbags, and… an Automatic!”

When it comes to commuting in most major metropolitan areas, only hypermilers and tightwads still appreciate the benefits of a stickshift. Everyone else wants to give their left foot a rest.

Base Cars Always Get Stuck In The Back Of The Lot: A leather seat with minor tears on it will almost always sell faster than a cloth vehicle with minimal wear. Even in hot climates like Atlanta and Phoenix, there are countless consumers who still believe that cloth interiors are neither luxurious nor comfortable.

And The Rest: There are countless examples of cars that don’t sell. Too many miles. Too much body damage. The distinct smell of the prior owner (and their pets). So along those lines, let me ask the B&B a question.

What car was the hardest vehicle for you to sell… and why?

If all your cars have sprinted out of your driveway like  O.J. trying to catch a flight to Barbados, then feel free to mention a friend. Or a family neighbor. Or even someone who is more distant from you than a father’s cousin’s former roommate. The day is long. So feel free to share a story.

 

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140 Comments on “Hammer Time: The Unsellable Car...”


  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I had a ’92 Plymouth Voyager with a stick. I didn’t know they sold them in the US through ’99.

    • 0 avatar
      MrWhopee

      I suppose if your Plymouth Voyager is also brown base model with cloth seats… You could bring it to Steven’s lot, tell him you’re a big fan of Hammer time in TTAC and would like his help in selling it, and watch his pained expression.

    • 0 avatar
      econobiker

      I don’t think that this van had a stick shift but that cars with manual transmissions don’t sell because people don’t know how to drive them anymore.

      (that said- on one of the Turbo Mini-van sites there was a guy who ordered new an early 1990’s turbo Dodge mini-van with a manual transmission and had the new car window sheet posted to prove the specs. Apparently his order was the only single (ie 1=one) minivan unit of that year ordered in that combination. And this when the square Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler minivans were selling 200,000+ units per year. Talk about future collectable…)

  • avatar
    redmondjp

    Two 1969 Cadillac ambulances. I essentially gave them away after spending [redacted] on them. This was in 1995, well before it was “cool” to own such a vehicle. Live and learn!

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    I have not sold a car in over a decade. I usually buy new cars and keep them for 9-11 years and then give it to one of the kids or a local charity.

  • avatar
    Caboose

    For my hardest car to sell, I can’t decide between an ’89 Isuzu Trooper which, at 140k, had three working cylinders that I sold in ’96 after two years of trying and the ’96 Saturn SC2 (my first new car, with which I replaced the Trooper) that I finally convinced the dealership to buy back for what I owed on it in 2000 after only a year of trying once the warranty ran out and the sunroof started leaking, thus frying the electrics.

    Ironically, the easiest car to get rid of was my old 1990 Caprice. White-on-tan, pretty base. It had automatic, cruise and a/c. Roll-up windows and a single bench seat on which the only adjustment was fore/aft and you had to have someone sit in the passenger side to move it lest it come off the rails. That Caprice finally succumbed to the fourth theft attempt. Man! I still miss that car.

  • avatar
    highrpm

    For any car, it’s all about the price. In the example of your Plymouth, I would list it as a Chrysler Voyager on Craigslist and Auto Trader instead of a Plymouth. This guarantees that people are looking at your ad.

    The only other thing you can do is lower the price. For any car, even a Daewoo or other dead brand, there is always someone that will buy it at the right price.

    • 0 avatar

      yeah, lying is a great sales tactic.

      • 0 avatar
        Buck_Futter

        And ignorant trolling is a great way to go through life.

      • 0 avatar
        FuzzyPlushroom

        There’s nothing wrong with having “1998 Plymouth (Chrysler) Grand Voyager” as your ad’s headline – the vans were sold as Chryslers after the Plymouth brand disintegrated, after all, and you’re still specifying the badge that’s on your particular example. So long as the ad text makes clear that the van’s badged and titled as a Plymouth, you’re all set.

      • 0 avatar

        “Lying” has been a sales tactic since day one….Everyone uses this…Man is inherently dishonest – one both sides of a sale.
        As to the Chevy S10…
        180K miles ?
        It must be a lot better than Mr Negative claims it to be..And if she had to be pushed to start, the the charging system/battery was not up to snuff.
        As to unsaleable – a man has to know “how to sell”.
        This would make for a good book for all to read…I could contribue a lot to this…

  • avatar
    elimgarak

    brown is a superb color for a car no matter what anyone says.

    • 0 avatar
      dejal1

      If metalic, I would list it as “Root Beer”.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        especially if it has a cream-colored vinyl top

      • 0 avatar
        dejal1

        “especially if it has a cream-colored vinyl top”

        Very good!!!

      • 0 avatar
        orthorim

        Fwiw here in SEA the new Mitsubishi Pajero Sport is sold in brown metallic and it absolutely looks hot!

        And… I love minivans, Id have taken it off of you for the right price. Although a minivan with a shift stick is honestly really odd – why would they even make one? A minivan is not going to be sporty no matter what and if its not then a stick is just cheap.

    • 0 avatar
      jellybean

      Being a designer and artist, I really like the color brown. I was wishing that it would become fashionable again, and indeed a lot of brands (including Nissan, Mini etc.) now have it available. BUT, you know what? Brown just doesn’t look right on a car. Dunno why. Only if it’s a very grey-brown. Hmm.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      I agree. I am a big fan of brown on certain cars especially sporty ones or vintage looking ones like the Flex and New New Beetle. I would love to be able to get a VW GTI in a dark brown with a brown and tan hounds-tooth interior like the Kia Soul. I should mention that I lean to the weird arty type in my tastes though. I am just so sick of black/white/silver/gray cars with dour black interiors.

    • 0 avatar
      Joe McKinney

      The other day I saw a brown New Fiat 500. Of all the colors you could get this car in, why brown? I suppose it pleases the owner (or rental company).

    • 0 avatar
      grinchsmate

      I saw a brown FJ Cruiser the other day. I think they were going for the classic cruiser khaki but with the high gloss it just looked stupid. Imagine an old 60 series Land Cruser with high gloss paint, yuck.

    • 0 avatar
      Farrah77

      Brown only looks good on 1970s Ford wagons and Lincoln Mark IVs. On everything else, it looks awful.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    Fastest thing we ever sold was a Toyota minivan, the add ran in Autotrader 1 day and a lady called that afternoon begging us to hold it so her husband could come look at it at 6. They came, they saw, they bought! Didn’t even haggle on price! We just went with KBB retail for a van in excellant shape.

    • 0 avatar
      greaseyknight

      Thats because all the “hip” and “smart” mothers drive Toyota or Honda minivans. As they have all read Consumer Report’s glowing praise. Of course they forget to mention to short transmission life.

      • 0 avatar
        sckid213

        But let’s not forget — all the “cool moms” drive Ford Flexes! At least that’s what Ford claims in its commercials profiling white upper-middle class housewives that traded in Lexi and Acuras for a Flex.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        Commercials for the Ford Flex? I have never seen one and didn’t know that Ford made any.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        It’s not about “hip”. People usually call something “hip” on this blog when they don’t understand it, so they put the “hip” label on it and assume it’s some sort of socially-driven fad.

        The Toyota thing is about about not having to do even minimal f-ing around with the car to keep it running. After 8 uneventful years in the same Prius, my wife is reluctant to consider anything not made by Toyota for her daily-driving needs. Even if the driving experience tends to be a bit bland, the ownership-experience is excellent.

        I don’t mind some minimal to moderate f-ing around with a car to keep it running, so I’ve been driving driving used Fords while I look out for the perfect car that’s awesome enough to be worth new-car money.

        (As far as my wife is concerned, I’m welcome to tinker with whatever the hell rattletrap I want, just so long as the finances work out. In her mind, she’ll keep her Toyota so that she can run out and pick me up whenever one of my “experiments” doesn’t go as planned. There’s enough history of this actually happening that I have to admit it’s a pretty good system. So, it’s likely that our driveway will have a Toyota and something else for the foreseeable future.)

      • 0 avatar
        JREwing

        The one in my mom’s Sienna has already outlasted the one in her Grand Caravan. Short transmission life is not limited to foreign nameplates.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I haven’t had a lot of trouble selling my cars in recent memory – I take good care of them and neighbors and friends know that. Now? I’ll test that, as I’m going to sell my 2007 MX5. I’ll see what happens…

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    most anything with a 3 speed auto and no overdrive.

  • avatar
    W.

    Upstate NY, mid ’90’s. Somehow we managed to sell a Peugeot 505 diesel wagon in a few weeks, parked along side a fairy busy stretch of road.

    I had my choice between the Pug, a ’87 Jetta four door, or an ’86 Escort 3 door hatch. I remember riding around in the Pug, in the leather seats, with the turbo singing, and even at the tender age of 18 knowing that keeping this Lion on the road was going to be far more trouble than it was worth. Someone else out there in the hinterlands of NY bought it and…lived happily ever after.

    I hope.

    • 0 avatar
      AJ

      Wow, what luck! My dad had a Peugeot wagon. Fun to drive, but boy did that car sit in repairs shops often either waiting for parts to arrive from Europe or for some guy to figure out how to repair it. It broke down three times on family vacations.

      Dad ended up having it towed to a junk yard with only 100,000 miles on it. The body was in perfect condition.

  • avatar
    paxman356

    I’m not a dealer, but I have sold cars for me and my father through Craigslist. Hardest one to get rid of was a Park Ave. It was one of the first I tried selling, and people weren’t even calling, because I believe I set the price too high. Once I put it where it needed to be, it went quickly.

    Fastest I ever sold a car was my wife’s old 95 Prizm. Placed ad on a Sunday morning, got call 2 hours later, had cash in hand 2 hours after that.

    Had a 93 Olds Cutlass POC I had sold at $700, but I noticed the fuel line started leaking the night before the guy was coming to buy it. I couldn’t bring myself to overlook it and take the money, but has gracious, fixed it himself in my garage, and only asked for $100 off the price.

    • 0 avatar
      28-cars-later

      I would have gladly taken that Park Ave off your hands… but yes your right those aren’t in demand cars, if you put 7 grand on an ’01, clean or not, you won’t have many takers. Defiantly the sort of solid car you should pick up used for cheap.

      • 0 avatar
        supremebrougham

        I have a really clean and nicely equipped 1995 LeSabre Limited sitting in my garage that I need to sell. Don’t want to (medical bills are coming in) It’s been garage kept since new and it shows. It’s just a shorter Park Ave really. And no air suspension!

  • avatar
    86er

    GMC Envoy XUV.

    (Back in my salesman days at a GM dealership).

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      We have a busy profitable GMC dealer here in Gallup, NM. I would even wager he outsells the local Chevy dealer. During the time the XUV was available he sold a grand total of… ONE.

    • 0 avatar

      Funny, that was the hardest car to sell I’ve ever seen, too. Our used car manager saw it at auction and liked it, so he paid way too much for it. I think we had it almost a year, during which time it sold and rolled back for one reason or another twice. We were in it so deep that we couldn’t wholesale it.

      Finally someone came in and loved it and took it home. Since then I’ve seen that same vehicle (or it’s twin) at two other lots around town.

      We made fun of the manager for a long time about that one!

  • avatar
    mjz

    The fact that it has white wall tires on the rear (but not the front) and fake non-OEM wheel covers isn’t helping matters.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      That’s not the car. Mine was an SE model with alloy wheels, ABS, and a potpourri of unwrapped prophylactics in the glovebox…

      The later were removed and donated to a LeMons race that somehow involved slingshots and water balloons. At least that’s my understanding.

  • avatar
    skor

    Bottom line: You can sell just about anything if the price is right. Unfortunately, too many sellers can’t believe they messed up with an unpopular, or damaged car, and refuse to accept reality.

    Case in point: Neighbor with a 95 Volvo 940.

    The car is suffering from low VOC paint failure. AC is out. The owner tapped someone from behind so the airbags popped and pre-tensioner belts fired. A dozen or so other minor issues. She was convinced that the car was worth $5K because, “A mechanic friend told me that. After all, I paid $40K for the car when it was new.” I offered her $500….which is actually generous considering. She was so offended, she no longer speaks to me….which is a good thing. Car has been sitting for a year with no takers and the tires slowly going flat. It’s only a matter of time before it’s hauled off by the junk man.

    • 0 avatar
      bryanska

      I sold my 2002 STS that was $55k new for $3600 nine years later. It was a chery example too.

    • 0 avatar
      FuzzyPlushroom

      A ’95? Well, it might be worth $750. Hah.

      (Being a later car, the A/C will be an easier fix… although it’s a common issue anyway with older Volvos.)

    • 0 avatar
      Boxer2500

      Just like my friend with the beater-tastic 195k mile 2001 Subaru Outback. Bumper damage, dead power steering pump, broken A/C, non-functional stereo, all-original suspension components, warped brake rotors. He is convinced the car is worth $10,000 as it sits because “It’s a Subaru. They’re all worth big money.” If he fixed everything, he’s convinced that it is worth $20,000. This was a $25,000 car brand new in 2001.

      Everyone likes to think their stuff is special.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        Like a Beetle convertible that a friend tried to buy in the 90s. The owner thought it was worth a ton of cash despite letting it sit there with the top down for nine months… Car went from a presentable driver to trashed over those nine months.

      • 0 avatar
        nickeled&dimed

        Yikes! I’ve got a similar vintage Subaru with similar miles, but working AC and stereo, and had the warped rotors replaced… but I’m under no illusions here. Mine’s a “GT” so that means it’s fast and sporty and worth 2x as much as a regular outback/legacy wagon! Yeah. right.
        Your friend will have a fun time when he goes to sell that car, as I will with mine (since the rear hatch interior panel has fallen off, and the interior is generally stained and matted with dog hair, and the minor body damage is not worth fixing).

    • 0 avatar
      28-cars-later

      Agreed. Getting airbags for one of those at this point is going to be fun.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Isn’t the speed of which things sell mostly determined by the suitability of the price so that one mustn’t wait on a (self-imposed) smaller market?

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    I’m a mechanic, and when I sell my cars I’m very honest about them. I think people are more comfortable buying even an overpriced car with a major issue that way. I never have any problems selling them. Most I’ve sold the very next day.

    One car though, my fully modified 91′ 240sx, took 6 months to get the $11k I wanted for it. Those people that something like this car appeal to simply don’t have that kind of cash laying around. I sold it to a kid who recently came into an inheritance.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    I inherited my father’s 93 Buick Century in 2003. It was fairly clean, but I was lucky to get $1700 for it from the only person who looked at it.

    The man bought it for his college-bound son, who winced every time he looked at its powder blue paint.

  • avatar
    Prado

    1996 Accord LX….excellent condition and only 3 years old when I sold it. It took 3 months to sell and I ended up getting the same amount offered as a trade in. Why? multiple reasons

    – It was a 2dr (coupes are dead)
    – Aftermarket wheels (I eventually put the stock back on and sold the wheels seperatly)
    – Manual transmission ( yep.. low demand)

    • 0 avatar
      thesparrow

      That car would have sold in 3 HOURS here in So Cal if the price was fair. That generation Accord is bulletproof. But yeah I don’t care for cars with aftermarket wheels, spoilers, pinstripes, etc. – just makes them look tacky – keep it stock and you can’t go wrong when it’s time to sell.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    I had a brown (aka “Chestnut”) Saab 9-5 Aero sedan. It was a lovely car, undamaged, had a part of the remaining Saab CPO warranty that I never used except for some light bulbs, and had an automatic trans. I was asking substantially less than KBB or any of the dealers around me for similar cars at the time. It took me months to sell it. It was a brown Saab, what can I say. Good thing I enjoyed driving it.

  • avatar

    My Lada Nivas were tough to sell. Rather narrow market (hard to buy, hard to sell) and Niva people are notorious tightwads. I’d buy another though.

  • avatar
    Darkhorse

    1982 Mercedes 500SL. Gray market car. It ran OK but by the time I wanted to sell it (1988) the word was out on gray market cars being major POSs. I finally sold it for next to ziltch only to find out from the new owner that it had been stolen in Germany!

  • avatar
    Marko

    Aren’t Mitsubishis other than EVOs notoriously hard to get rid of?

    Interestingly, the cars you listed seem to be the kind of car that the student yesterday would find for under $2000. Dead brands, minivans, brown cars, “boring” cars with stick shifts…

    Also, nobody wants a car without air conditioning (outside of collector cars), seeing that even here in MA it is 80 degrees – and it’s only the beginning of spring!

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      I can speak to Mitsubishi, kind of in reverese. I went (this was two years back) to look at a 2004 Lancer Sportback Ralliart…the idea of a small wagon was appealing to me…and apparently ONLY to me. I went back and forth on the decision. Meanwhile, the car literally sat on the dealer’s lot for a full month and never moved. Why? Because two years ago (even today, for that matter) small wagons aren’t a hot commodity, especially when sitting next to big ol’ SUVs and such. The poor car was so out of place. I eventually went back, negotiated a big chunk off of the asking price and even had them replace the brakes for me. Two years later, the car has been great to me. I guess having a small footprint on the market (and then top it off with it being a very, very low-volume WAGON, of all things) kept it from moving off of the lot.

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        Had to reply to this one. I too had a 2004 Lancer Sportback, but mine was the LS. I was not the seller, but the buyer. 14k, brand new off the dealer lot, window sticker of 19k or so, it had sat for over a year. I had a job as a courier and need something newer to run in. 75k miles in two years time and it was only in the shop twice. Was totaled by someone rear ending me in an Impala that bent the car.

        My take on Mitsu vehicles is that they are generally sound cars, but there is a cheapness to them that makes them undesirable unless you are solely shopping on price. The drivetrain in my Lancer was fine. The seats were hard and uncomfortable, the car had a lot of wind and road noise. It was a car I bought on price and need, and if it hadn’t been totaled, it wouldn’t have been with me much longer because I was sick of it (and was no longer using it for work).

        I have a thing for small wagons and hatches too. Had an 01 Focus ZX3 5 speed and an 04 Jetta 1.8T wagon. Once you own a small hatch or wagon, normal sedans just don’t cut it.

  • avatar
    pdieten

    In ’09 a guy living on a fairly busy secondary street whose house I drove past daily was trying to sell a beige Lexus RX300 on his lawn. The car sat for months and months, and finally out of curiosity I got out to look at it. It was nice and clean, but it was a ’99 with 100K miles, and he wanted $10,000 for it. Then I understood why it was sitting – I couldn’t believe any 10-year-old mommymobile with six figure miles could possibly sell for five figures, especially in 2009. Even if it is a Lexus.

    That car sat on that lawn for nearly a year before it finally disappeared. I wondered how he finally got rid of it.

    Of course, if you’re car shopping and run across a vehicle you like that’s been sitting at a dealer for a long time, there’s a great opportunity for a nice deal. I basically paid wholesale for my current daily driver, for exactly this reason.

    • 0 avatar
      28-cars-later

      I have a cousin who traded a babied ’99 RX300 with maybe 90K in 2011 on a fricking KIA CUV because she couldn’t fit two car seats in the back of the Lex to help run around her grand kids. I’m sure they gave her nothing, I would have been happy to pay her reasonable cash if I had known.

      Also had a friend trade a babied Olds Alero V6 loaded up with 101K for a Subaru, gave him a grand because the dealer sucked and it had a bunch of idiot lights (had all kind of bad sensors) on he didn’t want to deal with. A loaded, running car -lights or no- which i knew to be garage kept in rust country like Pittsburgh is worth more than a grand, at least that’s how I feel.

      Come to think of it, my friends and family suck lol.

    • 0 avatar
      gearhead77

      10k,especially three years ago, isn’t that far out of line. Those RX hold their value extremely well. Of course, what it’s worth and what you get is two different things as we all know.

      Just ran a quick appraisal on Edmunds and it estimated 5500 private party for such a vehicle (with no options selected and 130k miles to represent 3 years later) 10 might have been high, but it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    i think brown on the current subaru outback, toyota venza, and f150 is absolutely stunning. :)

  • avatar
    200k-min

    Anything sells if the price is right. If the buyer seems stunned that they are getting it so “cheap” I don’t feel like I got too little, I feel like I didn’t waste a ton of my time trying to get an extra $500. Seriously, I have better things to do than haggle with a buyer as I’m not a used car dealer and no matter what I get it will ALWAYS be more than any dealer would offer on trade.

  • avatar
    SteveMar

    Had an ’83 Mercedes 240D that took about a month or so to sell. Tried Craigslist, Autotrader, etc. Figured out that older “classics” are not always the easiest to sell on CL. Was clean with only a few issues. Thought someone interested in veggie conversion or diesel fanatic would bite. (I’m in Minnesota where there is a generally well-sized enviro/granola contingent.) Still, I got $2,000 for it, which was about what I had paid a year earlier.

    Lesson: sometimes an enthusiast site is better. Selling classics takes long. As for the non-classic van, I really think it’s a matter of price. Of course, sometimes you really hate to give it away.

  • avatar
    supremebrougham

    When I decided to sell the HHR, I couldn’t give it away. It was a loaded to the gills LT model, in an attractive shade of red. It was clean and I asked a decent price for it. It sat on auto trader for close to a year. I was just getting ready to take it off the market and suddenly I got a call from a guy that lived about four hours away. He wanted to offer me $8900 but I countered at $9300 and he came and got it the next day. That was a year ago. Today they are selling all day in that condition and with higher miles for $10-12000. I can’t win. It should be interesting when I put my beloved 1995 LeSabre up for sale soon (I have a ton of medical bills coming in). It’s loaded, garage kept since new. The leather is still like new even! I’m going to ask around $5200 and see what happens. I figure that that price will give me some wiggle room. My mechanic says I shouldn’t have any problem finding a buyer. We shall see…

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      You can’t swing a dead cat around here without finding dozens of HHRs for sale. A search on Autotrader brought back 313 listings in a 100 mile radius of me.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I’ve never had a problem selling a car – I just have sold some for WAAAAAY less money than I probably should have to make them go away.

    I disagree about brown. Seeing ALL kinds of brown expensive German iron around here lately. Will be popular again on cheap cars in a couple years. Green too, it all goes in cycles.

    As to Minivans – they simply are not family cars anymore, Mommys want SUVs. A suburban holds as many as a minivan, and is ever so much cooler…. Minivans are driven by Grandparents, mine included, and are typically in fully-loaded $35-40K spec. Easy to get in and out of, lots of room for Grandkids and dogs and whatnot.

    • 0 avatar
      Squares

      “Otherwise this color palette has joined the nostalgia circuit along with forest green and beige.”

      Ouch, man.

      When I was searching for my IS300, I was searching for Dark Green Pearl (I found it too).

      I sure hope you’re right. I’m tired of silver. I really want to see a few colors besides red and blue. However, I really do have to admit that I have a really hard time imagining Green, of any kind, on most of the new cars out there. IE, I can picture a ’99 Accord in Green, in my head, and it looks great (mostly cause it did, when they made it). But a 2012 Accord? Bleh…

      • 0 avatar
        FuzzyPlushroom

        I’d argue that a ’99 Accord is genuinely a clean, even attractive design, while the current model, at least the sedan… just isn’t. Some colours look decent on anything – black, for instance – while others need a suitable canvas.

  • avatar
    getacargetacheck

    A fully-loaded (Nav, Xenons, Harman Kardon, Sport/Prem, etc.) 4-yr old BMW 3-Series convertible with a stick and about 50K miles. Priced along similar listings/Edmunds private value at the time. Ended up trading it in. Even BMW buyers don’t like manual transmissions.

    • 0 avatar
      econobiker

      “Even BMW buyers don’t like manual transmissions.”

      Yup.
      Several years ago a wealthy female friend of my family was conned into buying a used 4dr 3 Series with a stick. Not an good choice as she lived part time in NYC!!!

      On the upside this car/transmission combo probably kept her from getting DUI’s as she trended to the lush/alcoholic side of the human scale and was not coordinated enough to shift the car while drunk. Luckily she remarried and her new husband was a great designated driver in that car…

      We couldn’t believe that she bought the car with a manual transmission either but figured that she may have had a 3+ Martini lunch that day prior to looking at the car…

  • avatar
    Ubermensch

    2001 VW Passat Wagon

    Going against it: Trying to sell a Furrin turbo-charged wagon in Iowa.

    Apparently, this cars reputation preceded it and I only ever got a few nibbles. Traded it in for fair value a few years later when stuff really started to go wrong with it.

  • avatar
    texan01

    Hardest car for me was my ’86 Pontiac 6000-STE, wound up basically giving it to CarMax for the princely sum of $500 for a car with a pristine interior, new shocks and struts, bad ball joints and the famous lazy GM power steering rack, and the crappiest Maaco paint job money could buy.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Well, actually, Steve, I did sell a brown car, and a diesel, with a manual tranny to boot. I’m speaking of my unlamented 1980 Audi 5000 diesel, which I sold without much trouble at all in 1987. The car was very clean, had been garaged everyday of its life and ran as well as it ever did (which is to day that it’s absolute top speed on level ground was about 65 mph), thanks to a new head gasket at 50K miles.

    A word about cloth seats for a used car buyer (given that I have bought a number of used cars). The problem with them, quite simply, is that they’re cloth and you don’t know who or what has been sitting in them, permeating the fabric with sweat and God knows what else. They may look clean (but many do not) . . . and one’s imagination runs wild.
    Leather or “leatherette” on the other hand, being reasonably non-porous, can be cleaned up. That’s why it’s nice, even though it is hotter in summer.

  • avatar
    texan01

    Hardest car for me was my ’86 Pontiac 6000-STE, wound up basically giving it to CarMax for the princely sum of $500 for a car with a pristine interior, new shocks and struts, bad ball joints and the famous lazy GM power steering rack, and the crappiest Maaco paint job money could buy.

    Easiest was my Contour, I took it in to get inspected and the tech came back and asked me if it was for sale. sold it that afternoon to him. Never even listed it.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      Funny, for me the fastest car I ever sold was ’87 Pontiac 6000 SE (Canadian version) that stuck at 165K kilometres (which only a Canuck would care about). Had the power front bench seats, four speed auto, cold weather package, a Tachometer (amazing in a GM sedan at that time) and an A/C that actually worked. Bought for $1200, had it totalled when a high-rise F-150 rolled over the front end during a blizzard for $1500 and sold it for $1000 ten minutes after posting a sign on it at the Fort Riley commissary. Man who bought it couldn’t wait to get her home.

      Hardest car to sell, my ’88 VW Scirocco GT in Germany. No one on post wanted to buy a VeeDub with a 4 spd manual. Finally donated it to the MWR.

  • avatar
    tiredoldmechanic

    Back in 1996 I ended up with a 1981 Honda Prelude in partial payment for a debt I was owed and had little chance of collecting. The car was in amazingly good shape with no rust. The only problems were the paint, originally a burgandy shade which had unevenly faded to a pinkish hue, and the fact that it had a “Hondamatic” transmission. The hondamatic very effectively removed any semblance of sportiness from the car.
    Still, it was good runner and I figured someone would need a commuter or a college car. Lots of people looked at it, usually with teenagers in tow, but no one would make a reasonable offer. It sat around for most of a year and I finally ended up giving it away to a niece. She drove it for a year and then tried to give it back!
    She eventually sold it for a pretty decent price, but that was one wallflower of a car. Probably still out there somewhere.

  • avatar
    nikita

    No takers on an Econoline with bad paint. $99 Earl Sheib and it sold in a couple of days. First impressions, and therefore looks, matter. That was before the internet when you just put a sign on it.

  • avatar
    George B

    So far I’ve only sold reasonably attractive 2 door cars.

    That brown minivan would look better with 4 shiny machined aluminum wheels and the white wall stripe hidden on the inside. Try putting 4 nice looking wheels pulled from another car on that minivan to dress it up and advertise it as a “performance” vehicle with a manual transmission that can haul stuff. Take pictures showing passenger seats removed, replaced by a drum kit and a bunch of guitars.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    The 1985 Jaguar XJ-6 I sold this summer. Not a bad car, if you were willing to spend the money and/or time a 25 year old Jag requires. Put it on Craig’s and got one bite, a guy from halfway across the country who barely had enough for my asking price, let alone any repairs. I told him to think about it real hard, guess he did as I never heard from him again. Finally sold it to a friend of a friend, who sold it after a couple months.

  • avatar
    Rday

    2002 Dodge Grand Caravan with 80K on it. Couldn’t get much retail interest from newspaper ads but wholesaled it to a dealer. List around %30K/Cost $23K pretty much loaded. Could have bought a Honda Odyssey for the same price new. Sold it for $8K two years later. Used Odyssey’s were bringing around $15K with similar mileage and equipment. Never will buy Detroit/domestic again. Wanted to buy American but that was a big mistake. My mechanic told me to get rid of it at 80K. I did. The bottom dropped out of the Chrysler minivan market in 2002. Chrysler vans became heavily discounted and still are to my knowledge. Toyota and Honda are the only real quality players in this market. Have a 2010 Sienna and love it. No problems at all. A really nice van.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      Your mechanic gave you good advice. The transmission in those Chrysler minivans are a ticking time bomb. However the Odyssey in those years suffered from the same transmission fragility.

  • avatar
    wiggles

    Hardest was my 1992 Eagle Talon TSI Turbo AWD. Same as the mitsubishi eclipse turbo of the time.
    It had 4 major problems.
    1. Color was “seafoam green” (light metallic green)
    2. Stick Shift
    3. Cloth interior
    4. Unknown brand

    I got just one caller who bought it. An elderly gentleman who sold it just a few months later cause he said it was too fast.

    BTW, Easiest was Volvo 240. It was black 4 door, tan leather, automatic and clean. Took 4 hours on craigslist to sell. I would be suprised if any decent Volvo 240 stays on a dealer lot longer than a week.

    • 0 avatar
      28-cars-later

      In today’s day and age 240s sit around a bit longer than they prob used to, but that’s only because 90% of the ones still running being traded/sold have 100-200K and 20yo high miles cars can only be so clean. I have a friend of a friend who specializes in reconditioning/reselling pre-95 Volvos. He doesn’t make a killing on them, but has developed a loyal following of customers who come back when the last one he sold them is wrecked or if they can upgrade models.

  • avatar
    mopar4wd

    1991 Eagle summit. Bought with 69k drove to 130k incredibly clean I was the 2nd owner and

  • avatar
    MZ3AUTOXR

    AMC Eagle 4X4 with a broken rear diff (it only went forward when set to 4WD. In RWD mode it just made bad noises) Couldn’t keep a valve cover gasket on it so oil leaked onto the manifold.

    And it was puke beige.

    After many months of trying, I brought it to a “Cash for your car” place and got $600 or so for it (this is back in the late 80’s) Of course I cranked the valve cover bolts down really well so it wouldn’t leak for the 5 miles to the place.

    That guy then marked it up to $3500 for the winter – and sat on the car for over a year. I know because I had to drive by the place once a week.

    Do I feel bad? Sort of, but then, he never even drove the car before offering the money. He should have been suspicious when I took his first offer.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    Tie between a 94 Mercury Topaz and 2001 Saturn VUE. I had sold my mom’s Dodge Omni a few years prior on the same day that I parked it alongside a busy road with a for sale sign. So, I thought I would clean up the Mercury until it was spic and span, and it would sell no problem. Wrong. I finally accepted $800 over a month later.

    The Vue was my own, and I tried selling it for two months listed at Kelly Blue Book Private Party value, though I would have taken less. Only got two calls and no test drives before I ended up trading it in for less than KBB wholesale. The salesman told me he could buy a VUE at auction for less than KBB wholesale value. Based on my experience trying to sell it, I believed him. Two months after I traded it in, I drove by the dealership, and they still had the VUE on their lot with a window sticker price that was the same as I had been asking when I was trying to sell it (about $3,500 more than they paid me for it).

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Maybe they shouldn’t call the color brown. They should call it “dusky santorum”.

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    Hardest to sell, my 82 Olds Omega. In 88 it had spent most of it’s life in the garage, so the paint was way better than most 80s cars. Had about 45k miles. I sat on it for five month. I guess even though it was one of the better X cars their reputation preceded it. Ended up giving it to a friend when his car was stolen.
    Fastest sell, my Celica. Sold it to the guy in line behind me when I was waiting to place the for sale ad.

  • avatar
    stryker1

    Any car will sell if you kick the price down to jack shit.
    Long as it runs, you can get at least 1000 for it, usually.

  • avatar
    Adamatari

    The stick shift was probably the biggest impediment. Lots of people simply can’t drive a stick now, especially the type that are in the market for a minivan… You’ve already cut your market by 90% right there.

    Also, it bears repeating – “anything sells if the price is right”. YOU may not like the price it sells at, but if you put it low enough, it will sell.

    • 0 avatar
      John

      It’s frightening how many Americans can’t drive a stick. I read an article recently that said a manual transmission was a better auto anti-theft device than a car alarm.

      • 0 avatar
        tsotha

        My high school owned a three-on-the-tree manual pickup truck to support school activities. The school was in the worst neighborhood you can imagine – if you didn’t get there in time to park in the guarded campus lot you had to park on adjoining streets, and your car was in serious jeopardy. That truck was broken into a few times, but none of the thieves managed to drive it away.

        We may be heading in that direction with all manuals. Sad.

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        I’m honestly thinking about making a bumper/window sticker for my cars with a picture of a shifter and “WARNING: ANTI-THEFT DEVICE INSTALLED”

  • avatar
    beefmalone

    They aren’t brown. They’re gold.

  • avatar
    ciddyguy

    The quickest sales for me was the 1988 Honda Accord LX-I sedan I sold back in early 2006 via CL.

    The car was that Seattle Silver metallic color that Honda had and had the brown cloth interior, factory alloys, power everything, including sunroof, FI, top flight tape deck when I got it, but replaced it with a cheap assed CD head unit (a Dual at that) for $900 and sold it in not great shape, some body damage, rear ended though we never said so, missing the muffler, needed new tires, possibly a new clutch and more than likely the front brakes but it ran, great actually and the interior was still in good shape, never mind it leaked water inside (from under the dash, not the sunroof) in less than 24 hours after we placed the ad.

    It told to a guy who had the exact same car, color and everything, but it had a blown motor. That car was replaced with the 1992 Ford Ranger I recently had to replace due to it dying.

    My best friend has had a problem selling a 1985 Mercedes 300D WAGON, automatic, AC, power windows and locks, turbo diesel and had the cast metal wheels and it has the saddle brown leather interior and beige non metallic paint who’s clear coat was pealing off in places and showed major signs of having been sun baked for 25 years as it had been a SoCal car since new.

    One of the evidence were the AC/heat vents, several were sunken in but it now works.

    Don’t know if he’s still trying to sell it or not and had been trying for a couple of years now I think to sell it, hoping to get a good price for it since he rebuilt most of the mechanicals since he bought it in 2005?

    I came close to borrowing it back when I bought the Protege5 and it STILL has a vacuum leak so it doesn’t shut down properly sometimes without having to fiddle with it. :-)

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    Back to the Plymouth minvan collecting dust. My theory of ‘end of decade used cars seeming way old’ once time goes by.

    A $3000-4000 range used car buyer will look at an early 2000’s vehicle as somewhat ‘newer’ than a late 90’s. Shoppers say “I could get a 2001-02 van for a bit more than that old ’99!”

    • 0 avatar
      chicagoland

      Oh, it’s a 1998, even ‘older’! The next gen Mopar minivans were out for 2001, so used car buyers want as new as they can afford.

      The obsolete Plymouth name hurts too, and the color is ugly, not really brown so much as ‘huh?’.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    1999 Suburban, clean loaded average mileage, and brown. Couldn’t move it because it was a small town and it was a trade in from a local funeral home. They’d used it to pick up their, um.. clients. All the locals knew it and wouldn’t go near it. Finally sold it to a guy from out of town who was desperate for a replacement for his suburban, sold-with the promise to never divulge who traded it in to the new owner’s wife.

    Worse than that is my son’s 76 F150, it’s been rolled, and has more rust holes than a sunken U-boat. Been for sale on Craig’s list for a year and a half.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Back in 1986 I was selling my 70 Mustang coupe base model w/ 302 a/c, vinyl roof and interior and not much else. I had owned it for 8 years and got 220k out of it. High mileage for it’s day. When I bought it w/ 80k it needed an engine rebuild which I did and over that time suspension work, paint and the usual maintenance. The floorboards were starting to give way but the outer body was still good. I was only asking a few hundred for it. Numerous ads for a couple of months but few bites. Finally some teens wanted it as a project car were happy campers and took it away.

    Late 70’s early 80’s north of NYC. Local used car dealer sold every thing malaise era from Corollas to Cordobas to 210, F-10’s, Z’s,280 and Z28, T/A’s etc. All sold within weeks of sitting on the lot. For some reason he had a 64 Chrysler 300 4dr htp in Navy blue, buckets, console etc. Nice shape for maybe $800 tops. For months, even years, no bites. We are talking a 300 here not some dowdy geezers Newport. What was it? were people offended by the Exner era styling? The fact it was a 4 dr? The thirsty 413 wedge under the hood that got highway mileage in the teens when gas was peaking at $1.09 gal? I think the owner ended up keeping it.

  • avatar
    drvanwyk

    Oh, I would so drive the living dickens daylights out of this thing. A brown, stick-shift, base-model 13-y-o minivan from a dead brand? Sure, they eat transmissions, but who cares when you can get two or three from a junkyard and replace them yourself! It is on the very advantageous part of the depreciation curve, so my smart money isn’t evaporating. Reasons I’m not buying this right now:

    1) I have no money
    2) I have no idea how much Mr. Lang wants for it
    3) I already have a station wagon, 14 y.o. with AWD and a stick
    4) It would be impractical for me to own a second car in college

    Doesn’t matter though, I still want this thing, it is boss!

    –d.r.v.w.

  • avatar
    Burger Boy

    My 1985 Toyota MR2 surprisingly enough. Perfect shape, low miles, red. The buyers that wanted it, (young) had no money,this was before mommy and daddy automatically buy their kids whatever they want when they turn 16. And the people that had the money wanted a more versatile car.

    I eventually sold it to a 17 year old kid that knew exactly what he wanted and believed in working hard and saving.

    I still miss that car, it was one of the most fun ones I’ve ever had.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      I actually just went through this, but some of this was my own doing.

      I had an 04 Acura RSX Type-S with the 200hp vtec motor. It was modded (mildly) but had low miles for it’s year and was mechanically and cosmetically in clean shape.

      I live in middle-to-upper-class DC suburbia. It took me 6 weeks to sell, ,partly from being modified I know. My biggest problems were that a) it was a stick, b) Kids who wanted it couldn’t afford it on their own, c) parents test drove it and thought it was too fast for their 16-year old.

      Eventually sold it to a early-mid 20s girl who had her own money and thought it was cute, and liked the motor noise. Replaced it with an older S2000, so even though I got rid of my old project/toy, I now have a faster, convertible, RWD one.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    My 04 Mazdaspeed Miata took like 5 months. Cars like that have a niche market. The people just looking for a Miata ask why it is priced higher than the one they just looked at so you are left with people looking specifically for an 04-05 Mazdaspeed Miata. I could probably unload my 90 with a leaky water pump much quicker.

  • avatar
    JMII

    I bet I’ll have problems selling the wife’s current car: a Volvo C30, 6 speed, non-leather, cream with a brown factory areo package. Volvo can’t sell them new so they sit on the used market for awhile. Plus its a stick but only has a small bit of dreaded brown… sorry “java” color on it.

  • avatar
    schaferbr

    This is good information for me. I bought a new base model Jetta in 2000 and still have it. Cloth seats, no power windows, manual transmission, etc.

    When it comes time to replace it in three years or so, I’ll defintely low-ball a similar type vehicle.

  • avatar
    audiphile

    It took me MONTHS to sell a 2002 Passat W8 4Motion Wagon with 128K mi. I ended up selling it for less than an equivalent 1.8t FWD would sell for just to get rid of it. And it was a 100% car with zero issues, perfect interior, and no funny business.. never touching W8’s again.

  • avatar
    dvdlgh

    Many years ago my Dad had a weird brown Dodge Monaco (I think it was a Monaco). Nothing as plain or uglier existed before or after. ANYWHERE!

  • avatar
    onyxtape

    I used to write ad copy for a newspaper, so I always sell my cars on Craigslist instead of trading them in. I price them so I end up spending $1000 or less per year in depreciation.

    87 Accord – sold to an overly enthusiastic 16-year-old getting her first car from daddy. Daddy futilely tried to negotiate while daughter was just about jumping up and down the whole time.

    89 Plymouth Reliant – paid $2000; sold it for $500 2 years later. Total POS. Literally died right after a car wash right before an appointment with a buyer.

    93 Legacy – sold it to a teenager as a pizza delivery car. Sold at 180k for $3000.

    94 Grand Cherokee – sold it at 43k (total POS) for $7000 right before the demand dropped off after the financial crisis hit and gas hit $4.

    94 Corolla – sold it at 130k for $4000. The guy brought it to a shop for a pre-purchase inspection, but they made us wait for 3 hours. The guy felt bad about the wait and did not negotiate even though they had found a few fix items.

    05 Corolla – bought new and sold at 97k for half of the purchase price 7 years later, even with minor rust from neglected rock chips on the hood. Amazing how well these things holds their value.

  • avatar
    EchoChamberJDM

    Just sold my 2000MY Echo, 5 speed 4 door. 188k miles. Priced it at Kelly Blue Book Private Party value, excellent condition. Have all service records and runs like a top. Really nice shape. Clean carfax. Posted it Saturday night, late. Ebay and Craigslist.

    Sunday 9:30 am. phone starts ringing.

    Second phone call..I man I will call Mr. J wants to come see it. Sure, I gave him directions, tell him to come after lunch.
    Between 10 and 2…receive about 15 phone calls. Including one girl who practically starts crying because she needs a cheap small car thats good on gas. I tell her I am setting up test drives in the order of the calls, she tells me she can’t find any cheap small car under $3k and has been looking for weeks.

    2:00….Mr J shows up. Tells me he is in a rental and his car broke down. Says he delivers prescriptions for old folks in New York. Takes a look at the car, starts it up, and says I’ll take it. Doesn’t even drive it. Tries to work me on price, I show him my cell phone with all the calls. Price is firm. Doesn’t want a bill of sale. Pays me cash. Starts taking pictures of the car with his blackberry,

    Phone calls keep coming in, I take down the ads and still get callback from folks who called earlier wanting to know if I sold it. Oh yeah one guy called 3 times.

    Mr J shows up again later, puts a dealer plate on it, his brother drives it home. So I ask TTAC crowd..where will this car go? Select 1:
    1. Mr J is legit..I will soon see it delivering needed medicine to the old folks homes.
    2. Closest auto auction
    3. On a boat to the carribean
    4. Buy Her Pay here lot
    5. Other?

  • avatar
    owlafaye

    I had a slant 6 cylinder, full sized Dodge Van with nary a dent or broken window….everything worked. My sign started out at $1800 and over two years it went down to $100.

    I finally gave it to a needy neighbor. The next day he set it on fire somehow. Another neighbor took it, fixed the damaged wires and got it running. It has sat in his driveway, undriven for 3 years now.

    Some cars have a “rut hex” on them that never goes away.

  • avatar
    SportyClassic

    I have a 99 Dodge Caravan 3.3 with the 4 speed trans, the input? and speed sensors went out at around 40k in early 2000s fix was $200 at dealer. Chrysler paid half no issue since 180K now. I have flushed not changed the fluid whenever it starts to turn color. For me that has been around 50K. Ensure you get the correct fluid I have it done at the dealer so I am not wondering what they used. I think the 3 speed that came with the 3.0 engine from Mitsubishi was not strong enough for he job and had a higher than normal failure rate but I am just guessing. The internet has many posts about issues where relays and sensors are not diagnosed properly and or the customer gets told the tranmissions has failed and pays for a rebuild when it is not necessary.

    • 0 avatar
      John

      I owned a Plymouth Voyager of a similar vintage. You couldn’t win. The Mitsubishi 3.0 had problems with valve seats and seals and turned into a “mosquito sprayer” burning oil at 98,000 miles. Apparently re-manufactured heads from Chrysler solved the problem but the vehicle wasn’t worth the repair. On the other hand, the 3.0 (which was strong enough), came with the bullet-proof 3 speed transmission. The 3.3 was a bulletproof engine with the 4 speed transmission that was a constant expensive headache. All of them had the clear coat peel off the color coat if you left them in the sun – and I washed and waxed mine faithfully.

  • avatar
    firemachine69

    I’d buy it!

    For a hundred bucks.

    I just traded in my Yaris (2007) the other day. Every possible “lazy man” feature – PS/PW/PL, AC, auto, hitch, remote start/lock, SAT radio installed… etc etc. All service records and fuel logs. 45K’ish miles.

    $7500, with both summer and winter tires as a trade-in.

    I would have been lucky to sell it for a net of $9000 myself (it had about $1k of work).

    Which means on the 20K I spent on my ’09 F-150, I would save a grand total of… *drum roll please* $500! When you trade-in a vehicle, you only pay the taxes on the net amount owing. Up here at 13%, that’s some pretty significant change.

  • avatar

    Strange..
    We live in a mass media computerized age, with surveys every day.
    But far too few know what to do with all this.
    Surveys….the right questions are not asked.
    Computers rely on the right questions and the right input….but this is not done…
    We should know more than ever, but I think we know less than ever.
    We need a better people.

  • avatar
    classicnigel

    The hardest car for us to sell was an ’03 Mini Cooper S with ~45k on the clock. Everything on it was stock and it came with the 6-speed manual.

    It took nearly a year for us to finally get rid of it, and we sold it for $9k.

    Conversely, when we sold our ’91 Ranger (which had more miles on it and was 2WD) about a decade ago, we wound up selling in a matter of weeks.

    My suggestion? Get a car that is useful, even if it’s not particularly fun to drive.

  • avatar

    I used to be a car salesman in Claude Short Dodge in Santa Monica, back in the eighties. The Diplomat was one tough car to sell at the end of its shelf life.

  • avatar
    kake

    I have sold exactly one car. And sold is the wrong word. It was an ’85 S10 (with the world’s worst 2.8 V6) with the annoying problem of not starting 75% of the time. You had to push start it. The starter worked, the engine was turning over, gas was flowing, just nothing happened. I got tired of it eventually and got a vehicle that actually worked when I needed it to.

    Some months later, my neighbor asked me if I was interested in selling it as her son was going to need a vehicle in a few years. I told her that it didn’t work, it had 180k miles and I didn’t like it enough to maintain it very well, the tires were bald, the driver side seat was broken, I had removed one of the rear little fold down seats and I had taken out the radio and speakers. She didn’t seem to care. 500 dollars later and it was hers. Ten years later and her son is still driving it, and it’s never had any problems for him. He bags my groceries and doesn’t deserve such a POS.

    So apparently I can sell cars that don’t work to people who don’t need them. I think I’m in the wrong line of work.

  • avatar

    Over 10 months in inventory. 2001 Chevy Prism… 72k miles, $5,495. I tell customers that its the SAME car as a 2001 Toyota Corolla and no one cares. I had a 2000 Corolla with 124k on it parked RIGHT NEXT to this and I sold the Corolla after only 4 days.

    Buyers have this idea that a Corolla is “better” than a Prism or a Toyota Matrix is better that a Pontiac Vibe, even though the powertrain is identical.

  • avatar
    amac

    Several years ago someone in my neighbourhood was selling a white ’75 Citroen SM with a Maserati engine for $15,000. Not surprisingly, it stayed in his driveway for an eternity—and It was still there when I moved away. It was a beautiful car in pristine condition, but to buy it would have been madness. Not only because of the asking price but the sure-to-be astronomical maintenance costs as well. Financial armageddon on wheels. I’d hate to be burdened with selling a car like that.

  • avatar
    jastereo

    Tough time trying to sell a 2005 Civic SI (the hatchback one) I think it was in 2008 when I was trying to sell it. I had bought it very gently used (it was maybe 1.5 years old with almost no miles – older guys who had had a kid) and realized after a year that my wife and I didn’t really both need to have almost new cars so mine needed to go. Absolutely perfect condition, pretty low miles, no mod’s, etc. – great deal for the right person. Like stated above…most people who want that car don’t have the money to afford that car, certainly in a private party sale. Dumped it at carmax for a few thousand less than what it was worth. I have no doubt they turned it around in month or 2 for a couple grand more than they gave me. Live & learn.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Odd. Summer of 2008, my local CarMax had two 2006 Civic Sis for more than MSRP as the gas price spike caused Civics to suddenly be worth more than gold. They claim they don’t negotiate price too, or did so at the time. I though it was noteworthy because they wanted $2,500 more than I’d paid for my 2007 Civic Si sedan brand new a year earlier.

  • avatar
    louis

    I once had a 1999 Mercury Mystique (yes, the Mistake!), with a manual transmission. It was actually a quick car with a 2.5L V6 and a 4.10 final drive ratio, just stay in a straight line because that Mercury suspension was completely mis-matched to the powertrain. I expected it to be a dog to sell, but it went right away and the buyer said he couldn’t find a used car with a manual transmission anywhere. Maybe you shouldn’t always be afraid to buy a manual trans car because there are so few out there and the people who want those seek them out. I also moved my Stratus Coupe with V6 5-speed within a week at a very fair price. A lot of the posts on this blog are stories from a time before the internet. Nowadays it’s easy to find people who have interest in that. Thanks all for the great stories, I laughed.

  • avatar
    AJ

    You just have to sell it for for cheap enough. Someone will show up. I once sold an old RX-7. The former owner had put a cheap silver paint job on it and after five years it was primer gray. The body was okay, good tires, but it didn’t run well (it had a vapor lock problem).

    Well I had a car load of drunk college guys show up at night and they bought it for $400 (I was up front about the vapor lock problem). But still I figure it must have been a shock the next morning.

    Plus I still had people calling me the following week asking about it…

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    I would certainly not classify brown with purple, orange, lime green, and pink. Brown, while not being nearly as dull as black, white, silver, gold, or metallic gray, is in a different category altogether. I have owned an orange car, and would like to have something in lime green. Purple and pink? My daughter would like either, but right now her car (and mine too) is yellow. As for the particular Voyager in the picture, the unpainted bumpers don’t help – although it came from the factory that way, it cheapens the look. It’s a Plymouth, it’s a minivan, and it’s a terrible color. Enough said.

  • avatar
    Cardealerjim

    I have a 1995 Lincoln Town Car that I purchased for $1675 including buy fee on 3/26/13. In the past 379 days we have sold right at 300 cars at my two lots, and that Lincoln was not one of them. One owner, 122k miles. Nice original paint. Spotless red leather interior. Runs & drives perfect. I thought for sure it would find a new home during “tax time” this year, but sadly I was mistaken. Now priced at $2250. It’s so nice I might just have to keep it around till next year.


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  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States