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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-26-2005, 01:23 PM
SteelGray02ci SteelGray02ci is offline
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Resale Value

From everything I had always heard and read, BMW retains a fairly high resale value as compared to other cars. I'm sure many of you have sold your previous BMWs, so I ask this question: Did you get what was considered market value at the time?

The reason I ask is that I've been trying to sell my '02 330ci for about a month and a half now, and I'm not getting any serious offers on it. The car is in better than good shape, nearly excellent, and has most of the goodies that people want. Mileage is at a little over 43,250. When I decided to sell I looked up the Private Party value at Kelley Blue Book's site. Based on the options, mileage and condition, it was valued at over $28,000. I have the car advertised at $25,000. I've had it on eBay, Auto Trader, Cars.com, the local papers, etc., and there is no interest. I had it sitting out on a busy street for a week or so and got a few calls, but once the price was stated all interest was lost. You'd think with a popular car like this, at $3,000 below Blue Book I'd have seen some results.

Any thoughts?

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  #2  
Old 01-26-2005, 01:38 PM
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Spiderm0n Spiderm0n is offline
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Clearly you need to keep the car.
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  #3  
Old 01-26-2005, 01:51 PM
SteelGray02ci SteelGray02ci is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiderm0n
Clearly you need to keep the car.
If only I had a larger garage. That, and it's hard to justify 4 cars for just the wife and I. After purchasing the latest vehicle, I have no more room in the garage. Unfortunately, it's the BMW that's going to need a new home.

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Old 01-26-2005, 02:03 PM
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I had somewhat the same experience with the last two BMWs that I sold: a '98 M3 and an '01 330Ci. In both cases I sold the cars to the first private buyers that looked at them, but I ran ads in Roundel, local newspapers, on the internet, etc., for a long time before the phone rang.

I think I was surprised each time at how little they sold for. All the guides to value seemed too high.
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Old 01-26-2005, 02:12 PM
jetstream23 jetstream23 is offline
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I think the problem is that in recent years (let's say the past 2 or 3 years) Americans have been stuffing themselves with new cars.....low lease rates, cash back, 0% financing means that just about everyone has a new or relatively new car. There are a large number of cars available via CPO as well. I think that most people either want a brand new car because they can get a good deal OR they are at the lower end of the scale and if they are looking for a used car they probably don't want to spend $25K. Just my two cents.

Have you tried parking it across the street from a high school? On the For Sale sign you could say, "Tell Dad you found what you want for graduation"

One other thing, put it at $24,999 or Best Offer.
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  #6  
Old 01-26-2005, 02:44 PM
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Sorry to hear that. If you have a Carmax near you, give them a shot at appraising it, you might be surprised. I ended up selling my C240 to Carmax for a decent price, but about $1500 under my low target for a private sale ($20,500 vs. $22,000). The price they gave me was actually $1000 over the kbb "excellent" trade-in price. Here's my long story...

I had a similar experience back in September/October timeframe when I tried to sell my '02 MB C240, which was as immaculate a car as you would ever see. 39 months old with just under 30K miles. I've sold many cars privately before, the most recent was a '99 Passat in August '01. I thought for sure there'd be a lot of younger people who would be looking for a nice MB at a decent price. And, mine was a 6-speed manual (maybe that was an issue). I got one call in response to a big Washington Post ad I placed for several weekends, from a person who really wasn't looking for that vehicle type. I also showed it at a busy lot in Rockville where a lot of people park cars for sale on the weekends. A couple of nibbles, but nothing serious. I was very surprised at the lack of interest. I started to realize that while we "enthusiasts" view our cars as "special", the average person looking at used cars puts different cars all in the same category as far as price, for example, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, etc, which might sell for around $25K used are lumped in the same category as superior European cars such as MB, BMW, etc. It seems unless you find a person specifically interested in your car, they don't view yours as anything special.

I also contacted the used car sales managers at 2 local MB dealers, the one I bought it at and a second one. I told one what Carmax offered me and he said he couldn't beat it. I figured why let them make several thousand dollars, so I sold it to Carmax.

Good luck -- keep trying. All it takes is the 1 person looking for it.
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Last edited by markl53; 01-26-2005 at 02:48 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-26-2005, 04:49 PM
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Another stumbling block....*it`s January*, traditionally one of the worst times of the year to sell a car (or just about anything else, for that matter). If you can hold onto it for 3 or 4 months, you`ll be in the peak selling season, where higher prices are the norm. Good luck!

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  #8  
Old 01-26-2005, 05:21 PM
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Manual
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  #9  
Old 01-26-2005, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westface
Manual
Yeah but if you find someone that wants a manual they will scoop it up, I know I would.

edit - I also think the whole CPO thing tends to make people feel "safer" buying a used car worth that much from a dealer. Of course they will pay 3K - 4K more for the same car CPO from a dealer, but they just don't look at it that way. Also, I think that a lot of people who buy a 25K car used, need financing.

Last edited by Moderato; 01-26-2005 at 08:56 PM.
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  #10  
Old 01-26-2005, 09:35 PM
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fso_BamBam fso_BamBam is offline
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Heh, reading all this makes me a bit nervous. I had posted about this exact same issue a while back, and it was big time reality check. I have an '03 330ci, manual, and no moonroof! I guess I'm really screwed if I wanted to sell, but thankfully no such plans for at least 2 more years.

I agree that you have to find that one buyer who wants to buy your car. I wonder if the coming of E90 will hurt things even more.
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  #11  
Old 01-26-2005, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fso_BamBam
Heh, reading all this makes me a bit nervous. I had posted about this exact same issue a while back, and it was big time reality check. I have an '03 330ci, manual, and no moonroof! I guess I'm really screwed if I wanted to sell, but thankfully no such plans for at least 2 more years.

I agree that you have to find that one buyer who wants to buy your car. I wonder if the coming of E90 will hurt things even more.
I just purchased a 2001 CPO. I personally would not buy a late model from a private party. Reason being, if they are getting rid of a late model car, why? Did the beat the piss out of it? Do they have the service records? Did they do mods themselves (which most do) and if so, how good are they at it. Buying a late modle BMW is pricey for most folks and big roll of the dice when you buy from someone and there is no warrenty. Not sure if the 03 warrenty carries over, but the 01 would not have and that was all I could afford.
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Old 01-26-2005, 09:57 PM
SteelGray02ci SteelGray02ci is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westface
Manual
Spend enough time on this board and you'd think it was a sin to by a BMW that wasn't manual.
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  #13  
Old 01-26-2005, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelGray02ci
Spend enough time on this board and you'd think it was a sin to by a BMW that wasn't manual.
Actually I just sold a 1987 735i for well over book value. I had records, It was imacculate, and people had been trying to buy it for years. Don't know what condition your is in but you may consider getting it in showroom condition mechanically before the sale. Remember what it looked like when you bought it? Get it that way again. Clean the engine and also detail it to the hilt before sale. Then word of mouth spreads very well. Tell others and post it at you local BMW repair shop. Not the dealer. The BMW shop where you get the work done you know the dealer will charge to much for. I have a BMW shop that has BMW trained mechanics and I got calls from them about the 7 series because it was so well maintained. Sold it within in 4 days of putting it up for sale.
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  #14  
Old 01-26-2005, 11:25 PM
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you need to keep your car longer so that the value plateaus a bit.
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  #15  
Old 01-27-2005, 05:13 AM
westface westface is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelGray02ci
Spend enough time on this board and you'd think it was a sin to by a BMW that wasn't manual.

Sorry I didn't have time to explain my blurb last night.

I tried to sell an A4 that was a stripper/manual that was exactly how I wanted it. When it turned out to be a junker with serious control arm issues I tried to private party it. I listed it for private party price and not 1 person looked at the car in over a month (in the heavily populated Northeast) The lack of a sunroof was cited by most callers as no-go. Also, My estimate based on searching autotrader for a used BMW 325Ci/330Ci is that only 15% of those sold are manuals.

I think the value of CPO is perceived as being important. I paid $1000 over private party for a 2003 330Ci that was CPO'd

In reference to the 1980's 7-series; there are no CPO'd cars like that today and a mint one must have been extremely rare, whereas, as people say, 3-series are like Civics in NorCal
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  #16  
Old 01-27-2005, 05:34 AM
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CPO cars are a rip off. The dealer jacks the price up and the buyer gets very little protection if something goes worng.

There have been many horror stories in this board about dealers refusing to fix a CPO car because so liitle of the problems are actually covered.

All cars, like houses have some one out there who think it's perfect....just have patience.
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  #17  
Old 01-27-2005, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dallasfan824
I just purchased a 2001 CPO. I personally would not buy a late model from a private party. Reason being, if they are getting rid of a late model car, why? Did the beat the piss out of it? Do they have the service records? Did they do mods themselves (which most do) and if so, how good are they at it. Buying a late modle BMW is pricey for most folks and big roll of the dice when you buy from someone and there is no warrenty. Not sure if the 03 warrenty carries over, but the 01 would not have and that was all I could afford.
I think everyone has reasons, and they're not always negative. Maybe they lost their job, or decided to buy a house, baby on the way, etc. I thought about it becuse I wanted an M3. It doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the car. My '03 for example has 2 more years of warranty left, so there woudn't be any risk that way either.

I understand this stuff better now. Timing, market conditions, geographic location all play a role in it.
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Old 01-27-2005, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelGray02ci
From everything I had always heard and read, BMW retains a fairly high resale value as compared to other cars. I'm sure many of you have sold your previous BMWs, so I ask this question: Did you get what was considered market value at the time?

The reason I ask is that I've been trying to sell my '02 330ci for about a month and a half now, and I'm not getting any serious offers on it. The car is in better than good shape, nearly excellent, and has most of the goodies that people want. Mileage is at a little over 43,250. When I decided to sell I looked up the Private Party value at Kelley Blue Book's site. Based on the options, mileage and condition, it was valued at over $28,000. I have the car advertised at $25,000. I've had it on eBay, Auto Trader, Cars.com, the local papers, etc., and there is no interest. I had it sitting out on a busy street for a week or so and got a few calls, but once the price was stated all interest was lost. You'd think with a popular car like this, at $3,000 below Blue Book I'd have seen some results.

Any thoughts?

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Had a very similar experience with my 2001 330ci,in the papers, magaines,on the street and on the web for close to 2 months with only 2 calls.Finally I was running out of time so I had to trade it in.IMO I thing that CPO,s make it hard to do a private sale.I know the dealer had no problem selling that car for a few thousand more than I was asking. Good luck.
vern
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Old 01-27-2005, 02:17 PM
SteelGray02ci SteelGray02ci is offline
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I'm pretty sure that the time of year is the biggest problem I'm dealing with, but I'm still surprised at the lack of interest. This car is in as good as shape as it could be seeing that it's 3 years old, and has 43,000 miles on it. I don't think any car with this many miles can be perfect, but this one is not far away. I have all the service records showing maintenance, etc. It's discouraging knowing that the reality is that KBB and Edmunds are no more than an estimate as to what you'd get in a perfect world.

I'm in no hurry to sell, other than I have to park something outside until it's sold, and I'm paying for registration and insurance. It's paid for so there's no problem there. I want to keep the miles to a minimum so I'll only drive it once a week or so to keep things fresh.

Maybe I'll take it up to Carmax just to see how pitiful of an offer they'll make. Couldn't hurt.

Mike
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Old 01-27-2005, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelGray02ci
Spend enough time on this board and you'd think it was a sin to by a BMW that wasn't manual.

It is a sin.
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  #21  
Old 01-27-2005, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelGray02ci
I'm pretty sure that the time of year is the biggest problem I'm dealing with, but I'm still surprised at the lack of interest. This car is in as good as shape as it could be seeing that it's 3 years old, and has 43,000 miles on it. I don't think any car with this many miles can be perfect, but this one is not far away. I have all the service records showing maintenance, etc. It's discouraging knowing that the reality is that KBB and Edmunds are no more than an estimate as to what you'd get in a perfect world.

I'm in no hurry to sell, other than I have to park something outside until it's sold, and I'm paying for registration and insurance. It's paid for so there's no problem there. I want to keep the miles to a minimum so I'll only drive it once a week or so to keep things fresh.

Maybe I'll take it up to Carmax just to see how pitiful of an offer they'll make. Couldn't hurt.

Mike
Time of year is probably what's hurting you....I was looking for a used 993 for a while (don't ask, it didn't happen) and I was shocked at how high their prices were. However, I called some of the owners and they all were ready to discount their cars significantly because no one was interested...mind you these were Carrera S and 4S (with coveted air-cooled engines) with under 20K miles, all services records. Just hang in their and don't let anybody get too good a deal--spring is around the corner and I'm sure the demand for coupes with summer tires will heat up again....
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Old 01-27-2005, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fso_BamBam
I think everyone has reasons, and they're not always negative. Maybe they lost their job, or decided to buy a house, baby on the way, etc. I thought about it becuse I wanted an M3. It doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the car. My '03 for example has 2 more years of warranty left, so there woudn't be any risk that way either.

I understand this stuff better now. Timing, market conditions, geographic location all play a role in it.
Ditto -- I only keep cars 3 or 4 years max, and put on less than 12K/year. When I sell my cars, they look brand new, no dings, scratches, etc. If my last car was an automatic I'd have friends and relatives lined up to buy it -- they know my car is pampered. I'll only buy cars for myself and my wife which have 4-year warranties (she has a TL), and my plan is to sell them while part of the transferable warranty is still in effect so a buyer will feel somewhat covered. I agree that CPO is an issue, and I also agree that I think it's pretty much bogus as far as what the dealer has checked and what they will cover.
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  #23  
Old 02-01-2005, 08:14 PM
SteelGray02ci SteelGray02ci is offline
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Just an update. Sold the car after leaving it parked outside of the office over the weekend and got $1,000 above Blue Book. Worked out after all!

Mike
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Old 02-01-2005, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelGray02ci
Just an update. Sold the car after leaving it parked outside of the office over the weekend and got $1,000 above Blue Book. Worked out after all!

Mike
ALLRIGHT! I just love a happy ending
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Old 02-01-2005, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetstream23
I think the problem is that in recent years (let's say the past 2 or 3 years) Americans have been stuffing themselves with new cars.....low lease rates, cash back, 0% financing means that just about everyone has a new or relatively new car. There are a large number of cars available via CPO as well. I think that most people either want a brand new car because they can get a good deal OR they are at the lower end of the scale and if they are looking for a used car they probably don't want to spend $25K. Just my two cents.

Have you tried parking it across the street from a high school? On the For Sale sign you could say, "Tell Dad you found what you want for graduation"

One other thing, put it at $24,999 or Best Offer.
Good point. New cars are so attractive because manufacturers have been offering tons of incentives and also keeping prices relatively stable. In some cases, makers have been removing content making cars even more affordable.

In any case, you have a great car. I have the same year and model. Hummm! Maybe after the 05 3 series mystique wears off things will return to normal?

I'd be interested in what media type offers the best visibility. Yahoo cars is pretty good, supposedly.

Good luck...

Lansing
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