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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There's an interesting thread going on in the '69-'70 Cars For Sale forum that was triggered by a dealer ad. Some of the respondents have been less than kind in their assessment of dealers and a couple of members who are dealers have posted their own perspectives. Soooo, rather than ignite a fire over there, I figured I'd ignite it here!

My question is this - When looking for a classic, how many have bought from dealers, how many from private parties, and in the process of finding the car you bought did you notice any obvious advantages in dealing with either type of seller?

My answer is that I've done both. 4 of my last 7 "collectibles" have come from dealers. I got an MGB and 2 C4 Corvettes from dealers. I also got the '69 Mach 1 from a dealer. The Cougar project I currently have and both our current Mustangs came from private parties. The cars from the dealers were generally priced in the higher end of the market range even though they needed things that the dealer didn't disclose but that I found on close inspection. However, they did come with warranties and I used those on a couple of occasions. I also didn't feel that the prices were drastically out of touch with reality and negotiation got things in better balance.

The cars from the private owners varied from a.) generally as described to b.) oops, this is going to cost a lot more than I expected to get this beast restored right. Only experience and lots of self-education has reduced the risks of buying a classic car to something fairly reasonable.

I still tend to favor the dealers because they are so much more likely to have something of interest and they are easier to find. What about the rest of you?
 

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Dealers are OK, they will claim ignorance when you find that the "solid" car you bought is "solid bondo".

A dealer that will allow the buyer to contact the previous owner and will allow a thorough inspection is usually on the "up and up".
Some dealers only buy upper end stuff that they are sure are good cars, you will pay for this bonus...Profit margin is narrower.

Oh yea, you can trust "Big Hearted Eddie" on the corner of 5th street and 23rd ave.

I believe the term is Caveat Emptor
 

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It cuts both ways. Dealers are hearless people who just want to make money selling cars, on the other hand being greedy capitalists they don't want to have the hastle from bad sales. Private sellers tend to be less calculating and more emotional. So one seller you might find a really good deal from because they just want there car going to a good home where the next seller will want a rediculous price just because there including emotional value in the price of the car. A week ago i went to look at an 1986 delta 88 which had a bluebook price of $1,100 and the guy wanted 5 grand for the car! I bought mine from a dealer, not because or in spite of it being a dealer. I bought the car because it was rust free. So my advice is shop for the car you want and be willing to pay a fair price for it. OR spend a lot of time shopping private sellers and offer them lowball prices till you find a fool.
 

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I bought my Mustang from a private party. Guy described it very well. I also hired someone that comes out and checks used cars before they are sold. He told me what was wrong, did the compression and everything else. This allowed me to come back to the seller and show him the results. This ended up letting me get 500 off of the 2500 total /forums/images/icons/smile.gif.

Mike
 

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I find that even if you pay the big bucks for a solid car there are as many or more things to fix as on a lower end car so I tend to go with the pay as least as possible and expect to fix stuff. No dealer's for me.
 

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My T-bird came from a dealer in Mass...probably paid a bit more for it then a private party..but it was in nice shape and came with a warranty..my Vert came from a private party..price was a bit cheaper..but sold as is..I think as long as you know what you are buying and have some knowledge,..you can use either source
 

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they'll both tell you what you want to hear,you find a car like you want and at your price, who cares whose name on the check .main thing is :buyer beware.....
 

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First of all, I AM a dealer of new and used cars. Classic Mustangs are my hobby. I have never bought a classic from a dealer, except a 66 convertible that I BID for trade in on a new car. I study the market intensivly, I buy lots of Auto-Traders, I buy Auto Traders when I am traveling. I even scour the western states local classifieds ads online for good deals. I have just as much fun finding the cars as I do driving them. I have looked at dealers but usually the prices are higher than I like.
And to the person referring to the Greedy dealers, your ignorance of the car business is what keeps you from "getting a good deal" The profit margins on vehicles overall are incredibly small considering the huge monetary investment you have pay. Our interest payment per month to hold all of our vehicles is OVER $100,000...PER MONTH!!
 
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I dont have a problem buying a new car from a dealer,it comes witha a warr + it makes the wife happy ,I am one of the guys who has a problem w/dealers,i think the basic problem is they dont seem to know what there selling?sure its a 69 mach 1 428 cj ,only to fly out and find its a 63B code w/a Q in the vin.and has a
390 in it.[it did have a shaker,and the salesman said it had an R in the vin]
on the phone he swore it was a ramair # match R code mach !!. i asked him 5 times the same thing
he was asking 20k for it[a year ago]
this is not by far the only time this has happend to me,and not just w/mustangs with other classics as well
what pisses me off is the wasted time and money to check one of these missled cars out.
if they would just be up front about what there selling i would not be wasting there time and mine
YES i know not all dealers are like that,but i dont think im the only one whos been thru this
and NO im not new to this hobby,ive been doing this since 1977,ive bought cars from all over the country
and for the most part ive gotten more of a fair deal from priv/party
there i said my deal, thanx VMF and all the quality guys here
Dave
 

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I bought my car from a dealer and one big advantage (esp. with an older car) is that THEY were responsible for getting it inspected and registered. Dealing with DMV on an older car is a royal PITA, so that was one item I found very attractive. The agreement was, any item that DMV deemed necessary was at their cost. I just showed up and her drove home with perma-grin on my face.

Lou
 
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I thought I was doing the right thing going to a mustang only dealer. got the biggest rip off of my life. !!!! Trusted them to be honest and I got a bondoed home paint job rust bucket.
their ad says all work done on premises and all cars stripped down etc etc. well it only took 2 month for rust to come through and paint flake off STAY AWAY FROM DON BARRY MUSTANG
 
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I am not mechanical but always wanted to get a vintaGe mustang as my first car in 68 was a 66 vert. As I am no mechanic I needed to go to a dealer would would hAve restored the car correctly. I found one locally.........they showed me all their bays explained what they do etc. I was SOOOOO excited. Pickup up my car and it wouldn,t start the next day. looked at plugs all years old full of oil.........hmmmmmmmm car fully gone over ????? brought it back and it was fixed with all apologies. a few weeks later painted started to chip off. found it strange to find another colo0r under my fully stripped down restored car????????? bottom line is that I paid 3-4K more to buy the car from a mustang restorer. BOY DID I GET SHAFTED!!!!!!

INSULT TO INJURY cleaned out convert boot months later and found an invoice for fact o bake paint job. they really splurged.............the $299 special !!!!!!!!!!!!! ALL WORK DONE ON PREMISES BY MECHANICS WHO ONLY WORK ON MUSTANG S!!
I WAS TOTALLY RIPPED OFF BY DON BARRY MUSTANG OF JAKSONVILLE FLORIDA STAY AWAY FROM THEM !!!!!!!
 
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I've always avoided car dealers since nearly all the used car salesmen i've ever met were real jerks,everything they have is priceless and everything you have is worthless.It's much easier for me to deal with private sellers,they usually end up being enthusiasts too.
 
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