There comes a time when the prices for used cars at the auto auctions go the way of an exuberant bubble.
A small army of consumers get their tax refunds. The car lots wake up from their winter slumber, and values for vehicles go the netheregions of the human imagination.
I sell cars during this time, not buy them. In the last three months of every year I will usually buy a lot to avoid the tax time market prices. Sometimes as many as 12 vehicles in a day. But when tax season comes, I buy a chosen few and sell them by the dozen.
Then, after the buying frenzy begins to ever slowly ebb, there will be a welcome break in those hedonistic valuations. Where instead of winding up $1000 to $1500 behind the selling price, I wind up second to another bidder. Almost always to a guy who has been buying cars for a long time. Today was that day.
What percentage of new cars sold this year in the United States have European badges?
This market has ceased to make sense.
$7300 (plus auction fee) for a 2003 Honda Accord EX coupe with 220k and a bad rear bumper.
$8800 (plus auction fee) for a 2003 Chevy Tahoe with 102k and scrapes along the side.
$23,800 (plus auction fee) for a 2003 Corvette Z06 with 16k and some really crappy plastic add-on’s.
Keep in mind that last price was well over two grand higher than on Ebay. Same miles. No Wal-Mart quality chrome add-on’s. No interior detail needed.
What the hell has happened to the car market?
The BMW Z3. In my mind this model is the only convertible of the late-90’s that made the 2nd gen MX-5 seem… a bit plain. Even with a near 10k premium when it was released, this car was quite a hot commodity for those willing to pay for the privelege.
But what if we could turn back time just a bit? What if right now I could get you a forest green 1997 BMW Z3 with the 1.9L four cylinder, all the options and only 21,000 miles on it? Would you be willing to pay.. say… $10,000+? Well guess what…