I should have known better. I cleaned up my car so nicely that it looked amazing – well at least as amazing as it could have looked given the fact that it was an 8.5 year old car with 115K miles on it that was, let’s just say, heavily enjoyed. Because I was in my own dreamland, I was hoping to obtain a ridiculously high sale price.

I’ve sold my cars for good prices before so I figured I could sell my 2007 Mustang for a premium. All I really needed to do was keep waxing and polishing until my arms fell off. Not everything on the car was perfect but at 115K miles you would certainly expect quite a bit of wear and tear. I think you will agree that my back-breaking detailing work turned out pretty well!

To kick off my car-selling process, I first went to Carmax because I’ve gone there before and we all know that they generally offer you one of the lower prices around – at least that’s what I thought at the time. With my first trip to Carmax with the Mustang, I got an offer for $8K. Going by my previous experience, I immediately assumed, “Oh, if Carmax is offering me $8K, I could easily get $10K from somewhere else”.

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Boy, was I wrong.

So, next, I proceeded to list my car on Craigslist and virtually no one emailed me inquiring about it. No matter how many times I refreshed my email during the day, I didn’t get any responses at all. It was so disappointing. After a couple weeks of reposting, I finally got a lowball offer of $8K which I completely ignored.

After a while, reality set in, and I reduced the listing price to $10K with still no interest. At this point, I considered going to dealers to see if they could offer something closer to $10K than $8K. What you’re witnessing here is the slow torture that is inflicted on someone who is being a greedy pig.

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Then something terrible happened – my alternator conked out. $600 later I was starting to regret the fact that I didn’t take Carmax’s offer. This is what happens when you don’t get slaughtered right away – it is like having your limbs chopped off slowly. “Oh yea, you want more money? Well how about I cut off your pinky finger?”

So I went around to other places with a missing pinky finger hoping that perhaps someone would offer me more than $8K. Not a chance.

After my car was fixed up, I put it up for sale again for $10K when someone emailed with an offer for $9K. I should’ve jumped on it but I was still being greedy and so I thought that I would miraculously find someone to pay me $10K for the car.

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After a few more weeks, I started going around to a couple other dealers to get quotes and I found that the prices started dropping. I was mortified. Now I was getting quotes that were in the $7K range. What?!?

I couldn’t believe that in a month prices dropped so much. Hardly any time passed by before the market started tanking for my car. Everywhere I went I was being offered $7K, $6891, $6900 and so I went to Autohero as a last ditch effort and patiently waited for my quote. The guy was taking paint measurements (to see if it was repainted), and did way more analysis than the car deserved. I crossed my fingers and hoped that somehow his iPad would come back with a higher value.

It was $6800. Noooo!!!

I heard from a couple places that a few of the modifications I had made dropped the value which makes sense. I knew this was going to happen and so I will make it a point to never modify my cars again so that I can get rid of them quickly at a good value.

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Even Carmax was now offering me $7K instead of the previous offer of $8K – I was demoralized. This taught me an important lesson - most dealers will essentially offer you about the same price for your car except for one.

These guys were willing to offer me $500 over my Carmax offer.

Now because I had posted so much on Craigslist, perhaps people pegged me as the desperate one and didn’t bother responding to my ad. In the end, I had no choice but to swallow my pride and sell my car for $7500. I suppose I could’ve kept my car for longer but then again I didn’t want to hold onto the car anymore and run the risk of having to pay for more unexpected repairs. I just really wanted to get rid of it and spend the money on a different car.

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Yes, folks, greedy pigs do indeed get slaughtered. Lesson learned!


Torque Affair is about exploring my fascination with cars; I’m always on the lookout for things that interest me in the car world. Like Torque Affair and follow @torqueaffair!