Paul Christ

Questions about advertising and selling a car to Europe from the US

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I own and intend to sell a 1987 DeTomaso Pantera GT5-S. While this is not an antique car, it is a very limited production sports car. It is estimated that only 187 GT5-S models were built. Over the last year or so, the market has really taken off for this automobile. This is especially true in Europe, and this is the reason why I would like to tap into that market. I do have experience selling cars within the US, but have never sold a car abroad. So, I am looking for any advice on advertising a car, specifically in Europe, and hopefully selling it.

 

First, I will also advertise the car in the United States. Hemmings, Craigslist, and Pantera specific forums and web boards come to mind right away. I may even offer the car on Ebay to gain more exposure. Doing these things just might get the car some International attention. My question here is, can anyone recommend European based websites that would be best for advertising a high-end sports car?

 

I live fairly close to the Port of Baltimore and could have the car delivered there if a sale does materialize overseas.

 

Are there any tips or suggestions from others who have done this, about advertising and selling a car abroad?

 

Thank you for any help.

 

Paul

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Between the three outlets you mentioned, I think you will have it pretty well covered.  A serious buyer looking for one will find it.  It will boil down to price next.  If it's the most expensive example and others are for sale that are comparable, it will sit.  If yours is the only one and there is alot of interest then it will still boil down to price.  Everybody wants a bargain and it takes a long time to find someone willing to overpay for a car. 

Good luck.

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Between the three outlets you mentioned, I think you will have it pretty well covered.  A serious buyer looking for one will find it.  It will boil down to price next.  If it's the most expensive example and others are for sale that are comparable, it will sit.  If yours is the only one and there is alot of interest then it will still boil down to price.  Everybody wants a bargain and it takes a long time to find someone willing to overpay for a car. 

Good luck.

A very key word you used is overpay! Everybody wants to underpay and that is of course natural. In order to enter the overpay arena then the potential buyers must exceed the supply substantially! Supply and demand determines price overseas or in the United States. Wayne

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I have a lot of respect for overseas buyers. I like dealing with them and I take their trust very seriously because they're really taking a massive leap of faith. However, overseas buyers aren't stupid, and I often hear that somehow these gullible rubes overseas will blindly over-pay for something that we have in the US. My experience suggests quite the opposite. European buyers are smart, savvy, confident, and they don't mess around once they've decided.

 

I've also learned that they prefer not to deal with individuals simply because there's too much risk. They're sending thousands of dollars around the world and hoping that the car they expect shows up a few months later. Look at all the threads here about how scared we are doing a $350 parts deal across state lines--now imagine there's another country, another language, and an ocean between you, and the dollar figure is several hundred times that big, and the shipping cost is several thousand dollars all by itself. Most overseas buyers naturally prefer to deal with dealers who have a permanent presence, a reputation, and at least some semblance of continuity and recourse if things go wrong. Just think of it in reverse: would you blindly send $100,000 for an exotic car to some guy in Poland who was advertising on the internet? That's essentially what you're asking them to do.

 

And then there's price. If your price is right, they buy. If not, they don't waste time haggling--in fact, many of them look at haggling as an oddly American thing and treat it with the same kind of respect that they might treat rodeos or the Super Bowl halftime show--that is, not much. Don't put a huge figure on your car expecting the Europeans to fight over it and then haggle you down to the right price. If you put it out there, they'll find it, but the messages you receive will simply be asking you for your best price. Give it to them. Don't play games or try to force them to make the first offer (which is a trick everyone seems to have learned watching that pawn shop show). Give them your best price, the lowest price you'll accept. If it's the right price, they'll buy. If not, you'll never hear from them again. They won't haggle and they won't over-pay. They'll expect you to have a market-correct price in mind, they'll ask for it, and then they'll buy or not buy. Their request is not the opening salvo in a protracted negotiation process.

 

Regardless of where you advertise, they'll find the car. Hemmings is international and the Europeans look there just like the rest of us. Start there and if you're priced right, the buyers will contact you. Just remember the absolutely massive risk that such a person will be taking and treat it with the seriousness and respect such a thing deserves.

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)

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The master has spoken ! Great advice from Mr. Harwood and it did not cost you a dime or a Euro! Wayne

Edited by AlCapone (see edit history)

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What a stunningly wonderful , powerful tool this Internet forum is ! Here we all are helping one another out ! So many of us are already in , or about to become old age. Many of us with varying degrees of disability. All of us having lost far too many of our best , oldest friends. And now we have this network of friends , in a very friendly hobby. Old car folk depend on each other for so much for obvious reasons , and now we can be in touch over time and distance like never before. I learn so much from all of you , that I shudder to imagine the loneliness without this magnificent reality check. We oldsters are the luckiest generation ever. Raised with big cars and cheap gasoline , good jobs , and now , like never before , this means of being in touch , and watching each other's backs ! Yeah , that is what we are. The luckiest generation. If our parents were the greatest generation , we indeed are the luckiest. - Carl

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What a stunningly wonderful , powerful tool this Internet forum is ! Here we all are helping one another out ! So many of us are already in , or about to become old age. Many of us with varying degrees of disability. All of us having lost far too many of our best , oldest friends. And now we have this network of friends , in a very friendly hobby. Old car folk depend on each other for so much for obvious reasons , and now we can be in touch over time and distance like never before. I learn so much from all of you , that I shudder to imagine the loneliness without this magnificent reality check. We oldsters are the luckiest generation ever. Raised with big cars and cheap gasoline , good jobs , and now , like never before , this means of being in touch , and watching each other's backs ! Yeah , that is what we are. The luckiest generation. If our parents were the greatest generation , we indeed are the luckiest. - Carl

Carl's post is in itself worthy of a seperate post ! What he states is indeed very factual and with tremendous merit ! Often times after the shop talk has disappeared the thoughts from the heart come to the surface ! You are indeed a caring and compassionate person Carl ! Best regards, Wayne

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Matt nails it yet again.

I've sold a few cars overseas, and the closest the negotiations ever came to haggling were on a 65 Mercedes SL. This was a number of years ago, I'd gone to an estate auction to bid on a Mustang and ended up buying the SL. Great driving car, but I never looked over it closely, couple years later advertised for 10k, fellow in Germany contacted me that he wanted it. He asked that I get it on a lift and take pictures underneath. I did so and yikes, the car was very rusty underneath, holes and all, not apparent from the top view at all. Sent him pictures and description, he was almost apologetic when he said he could only go 9k in that condition.

Needless to say it went to Germany....

Pre- and PostWarCar are good places to advertise if you're seeking overseas buyers.....

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Thank you all very much for the thoughtful responses. I'll take everything that was said here to heart as I continue with the sale of my car. The "old car" community truly is the best.

Thanks again, Paul

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I have sold or assisted in the purchase of about 25 cars and a lot of parts to Europe. I have a bunch of parts in the garage that need to go out with the next one.

One has to understand that some risk is always involved. A person who makes the "Oh, I would never......" give out personal information, bank account numbers, and the like can't participate.

 

One other thing; I've never sent a Ford over there. These are GM guys. I had a deal on some Ford car once and the answer was "Oh, no, after that trip in the salt air all we would get in a little pile of rust on the floor of the container.", not a reflection on the car, just how they think. Chevy Biscayne four doors are popular. It took a year for a buyer to decide on a '65 Impala SS convertible because it had bucket seats. They wanted a bench seat so they wouldn't have to leave someone at home. Bucket seats were a detractor.

 

Same hobby, different nuances and values.

 

If I was selling a Pantera I would seek out an uninformed buyer in a high $ per capita area. Use the New York Times or L. A. Times, then recent growth cities in Ford Country, Tennessee or the Carolinas. The east side of Cleveland has a very high per capita, a broker in that area might be a good choice.

Bernie

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Have sold half a dozen cars to overseas buyers-only advertised in the forums mentioned and found the overseas buyers much easier to deal with. very little haggling and I explained up front that I would help load the car here, but would never take it to any port-even though I am near both Balt and Newark. In any case, wire transfers were the way to go.

Nice easy sales and often, better economies then here...................

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There aren't many shiny collector cars lined up at the ports. Most look like late model junkyards with wrecks piled all over the place. A lot is heading south. 40' containers to Europe have been around $2500 and hold two cars. It is best to contract your own container.

 

Those old pictures of the Rolls-Royce being off loaded by a crane are bone chilling today; not the way to go.

Bernie

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I am stationed in Germany so I may be able to help. There are unique characteristics when selling over here (most importantly a working vehicle, especially for Germany) but to answer your question more specifically-

Mobile.de and autoscout.de are the websites you can advertise on (free). If you use google chrome, it will translate the website to English for you. You can type your ad in English as those interested will translate to German for their needs.

Of course, don't forget eBay.de or eBay Kleinanzeigen (eBay classified).

good luck with your sale.

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Just remember some things have changed over the past year. Probably the most significant is the currency exchange rate. There is virtually no currency whose value has not fallen in relation to the US dollar. The soft dollar of a few years ago produced real bargains for the overseas buyer. In contrast, the strong dollar makes it much more expensive for overseas buyer today.

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Another thought is that you should take into account not only the shipping cost, but also any taxes or fees that might be assessed by the country into which you are exporting the car to understand what the total cost to the buyer might be.  And like any buyer anywhere, buyers normally need to get a car for something less than the market rate to take into account any hidden damages or repair needs that may not be easily seen in some photos or videos of the car.  Selling to someone overseas makes returns pretty much impossible so they need to have enough comfort that they will not be buying a car that will wind up costing far more than it is worth to put into good condition should they discover something serious.  And this would likely go double for a sports car where the expectation is that it has been driven hard - like a sports car - for many years and miles.

Edited by Kimo (see edit history)

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the "strong" dollar is still incredibly weak in relation to the euro.................. as evidenced yearly by the crowd at Hershey.

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Mercer09, I guess the two us have a differing view of the OSD/Eur trading value dynamic. From about $1.60 per Eur in 2008 to about par today, and seemingly on track to go beyond par in the near future, I think the strength of the USD is obvious.

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the "strong" dollar is still incredibly weak in relation to the euro, as evidenced yearly by the crowd at Hershey.

 

A weak U. S. dollar would have been an accurate

description a couple of years ago--but not now.

While the general public was busy with their routines,

the American dollar has greatly strengthened,

as Buffalo Bill pointed out above.  That means Americans

can buy more from, but export less to, foreign countries.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that some

European countries are on the verge of recession.

 

Also, countries with ample natural resources

(e.g. Canada and Australia) have seen their currencies fall

25% to 30% compared to the U. S. dollar

as commodity prices have fallen.  If the American government

raises interest rates from historically low levels, that means

the American dollar would be even more desirable (valuable)

for the time being.

 

These are just the normal fluctuations of foreign exchange,

interest rates, and various economies--but it helps

to understand your customers' situation if you're exporting

to them across national borders.

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)

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