This 1993 Mercedes Benz 500E sedan was traded in here at Sears Imports about a month ago. It was placed on eBay twice, it was posted to Autotrader.com, cars.com, even Craigslist here in Minneapolis. This is a very rare car as you may know, a join venture between Mercedes-Benz and Porsche and good for a little over 160mph when it was new back in 1993. It would be an understatement to say there was a lot of ‘action’ on this car while it was here in the Sears Imports inventory.
My phone rang off the hook with interested parties, my email inbox was constantly filling up with inquiries from across the country. While most people I spoke with just wanted to talk about the car and then explain how they’d love to buy it, but their wife wouldn’t let them, or they had nowhere to store it… a handful of real players were interested in the car and were ready to put their money where their mouth was.
The one thing holding most people back from actually purchasing the car, and understandably, was the lack of any service records with the car, older cars like this are often times sold by their records.
Thankfully, the night before the auction ended I got a call from the independent shop owner who serviced and maintained this car for its previous owner after he saw it on eBay. He was able to tell me all the work he did to the car over the last 4 years or so… receipts added up to almost $13,000. While it was almost too late for anyone to use this information for their eBay bidding, some eBayers did see the updated description and several of them called me.
Within a few minutes of the eBay auction ending I got a call from a gentleman who had a few questions about the car. We talked, discussed other cars he owns and is interested in, I told him about some of the cars I’ve had over the years. We were just two car guys, albeit with very different budgets and amounts of disposable income for our car hobby, I’ll tell you that much! In a few minutes we put a deal together on the 500E. There was another 500E on the market at the same time, a green one in California, which I had seen for sale and heard all about, everyone who called about our silver car made it known they were also looking at “a green one in California.” In the end… the guy who purchased our silver car also bought the green one in California, I couldn’t be happier for him and I’m glad they’re going to a very good home, somewhere where they will both be appreciated and well cared for.
In the end, our car sold between $11,000 and $12,000… an absolute steal according to the mechanic that maintained the car over the past few years, but the market is what it is and in late December of 2011, that is the market value, the amount someone will actually pull out of their wallet and fork over for this particular 500E. My guess is, that in 10 years, even 5 years, we’ll look back on this purchase and think it was a good deal.
I was happy to receive the survey (posted below) that everyone who purchases a Mercedes-Benz vehicle from a Mercedes-Benz dealership gets via email, filled out and offering praise for the car, purchased sight unseen, and the buying experience here at Sears Imports.