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robspeed

*NEVER* buy a car without inspecting it in person first!!!!!

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For sellers, for your own protection, never *sell* a car without the buyer inspecting it in person!!

Exceptions to this include getting it inspected by a *reputable* shop or local-to-the-car friend, whom you trust.

BUYER BEWARE!!! :)

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Common sense prevails.

I am writing this based on my own experiences - not based on a current thread.

Close-up pictures are a good start. Generic pictures that show full views of any vehicle make it hard to determine the actual condition until you see it with your own eyes.

Use the local resources to inspect and drive (if possible) the potential vehicle so you can (hopefully) get an unbiased opinion.

When looking at any vehicle, get ready to get dirty by crawling all over and under it. If possible, bring your floor jack and stands to raise it up for proper inspection (ask permission from the owner and make sure you can do this if the car is rusty). Wear grubby clothing and bring a large piece of plastic to lie on if outdoors or on gravel/grass. Bring a cordless flashlight.

Bring a friend along who is knowledgeable about the car. They can add another opinion and talk you out of a potential bad purchase.

Take notes and pictures, then think about it overnight before deciding if you really want the vehicle. If you are friendly with the seller, they will value your opinion of the vehicle and may lower the price or even "hold" it for you.

To me, looking at all old cars is fun.

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1. Get a verbal description and build a relationship.

2. Request pictures and get a visual to compare to the verbal. If you like what you see, and everything jives, then..

3. Get a third party to physically inspect the car and report back.

3.5 Go see it in person, if you have the means.

4. Make an educated decision.

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An updated version of this to come soon...... currently 10/31/13

 

I don't usually openly offer my services like this BUT feel that it's time to do so.

If you find an '02 or nearly any BMW for sale in Northern California that you are interested in having a unbiased professional look it over, vet, perform a Pre Purchase Inspection (PPI) I will happily do so, for a price...

If I do not have time or the car is to far away for me, I usually know of a shop reasonably close to the car's location that can help. If you find an ad for a BMW and would like my opinion, that is free (for now).

More than a few FAQ members have used my service, all with happy results.

I can be contacted through the FAQ messenger system, or directly at TJones02 AT hotmail dot com

Edited by tjones02

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I picked up a BMW this spring sight unseen. Thanks to Jim Gerock and Bill Riblett I couldn't be happier. It just happened to be the 1st BMW I purchased that ran. Lots of people here on the board to help look at a car for you. Indulge.

Doug M ny country[/i]

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I picked up a BMW this spring sight unseen. Thanks to Jim Gerock and Bill Riblett I couldn't be happier. It just happened to be the 1st BMW I purchased that ran. Lots of people here on the board to help look at a car for you. Indulge.

Doug M ny country[/i]

Gee willikers Doug..

I must clarify that I only provided Bill's name to Doug as a reference. I didn't inspect the car (E46 Touring). All credit goes to Bill Riblett - a much more experienced BMW enthusiast than me.

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I've done it twice... even though I would never recomend it.

Car number 1: 2001 BMW 325it 5 speed full sport package. Flew out to CO after I sent a personal check for full purchase price. When I saw it I knew I had a damn nice car. I then drove it home to Chicago and went right to the local BMW dealer for an oil change. I was told this is a rare car. One of the nicest cleanest one we have seen and it needs nothing. A great expierience for a risky purchase. ( I spent 3 years looking for this car!)

Car number 2: 1984 Porsche 911 ( took me out of the 2002 market.) Had the car delivered in an enclosed transporter. I also created the cardinal sin of no ppi. ( I knew it's a 27 year old car and is bound to need something.) Turned out to be a 74000 mile car that had never been driven hard or abused. Would be truly exceptional if not for scratches in paint here and there. It is 100% rust free and original paint. I've now driven the car 1500 miles without a problem and wouldn't hesitate to drive it anywhere.

I think my experience buying cars sight unseen is the exception rather than the norm. Having said that, I had some sleepless nights before I saw the cars and probably wouldn't do it again.

Dean

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1. Get a verbal description and build a relationship.

2. Request pictures and get a visual to compare to the verbal. If you like what you see, and everything jives, then..

3. Get a third party to physically inspect the car and report back.

3.5 Go see it in person, if you have the means.

4. Make an educated decision.

These are really useful tips and also choose wisely and wisdomly is more important in this manner.

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