2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor: Cashing out our Black Chip
August 25, 2011
We sold the Ford F-150 Raptor last night after only 12 days -- not the two months as dwengier77 predicted. We priced the car aggressively, but knew we would probably have to drop the price during negotiations. Buyers aren't afraid to offer thousands less than the asking price.
After the ad was listed on AutoTrader for $39,900, I got quite a few calls right off the bat. The first people to call were the car flippers. They asked a few basic questions like "Has it ever been in an accident?" and then proceed to make a lowball offer, sight unseen. "I'll give you $36,000 cash!" they'd say, as if we might be desperate to jump at the mere mention of cash. I can't really say if they are real buyers or not, because I never got far with them. These are "take it or leave it" type offers. A real buyer asks you questions like "Has it ever gone off-road? Who drove the car? Has it given you any problems?"
After a few more inquiries I realized that the real Raptor buyers were very savvy. They knew a lot about the car and were more concerned about the high mileage, how it was driven and the price. I was upfront with everyone and let them know it had been driven by multiple people and it went off road a few times. This did scare off one buyer who compared our Raptor to a "rental car," since so many people had driven it.
I received advice from the least likely of sources, a buyer who had offered $35,000 and then changed his mind because, according to him, the more he heard about this car, the less he wanted it. "These aren't regular F-150s that you put a bunch of miles on," he said. "These are toys that you drive on the weekend. You're going to have a hard time selling it with these miles and for this price. If I were you, I would list it at $37,900 and hold firm on that price."
He told me that there were a number of Raptors out there with significantly less miles and being offered at a similar price. These trucks were in other states, but he (and presumably other Raptor buyers) was willing to get the car shipped.
He made a convincing case for dropping the price. I was already going to drop it to $38,900 after a week, but I the more I thought about it the more I realized that it wasn't going to be a significant enough drop. Although our price was competitive with the other Raptors on AutoTrader, our mileage was higher. The next morning, I dropped the price to $37,900 and added "price firm" to the description.
We eventually sold the car to a woman who worked for a casino in Southern California. She was buying the Raptor for her son who was about to graduate from high school. After some discussion, we made a deal at $37,000.
At this point I handed things off to my colleague, Phil Reed. He lives closer to the woman so it was more convenient for her to meet him at his home rather than mine. Here is his account of how the sale was closed:
"The woman showed up after dark with her son and two other guys. One of them could have been a pro football player with a hand so big it was like trying to shake with a bowling ball. I gave them the keys and when I got out to the truck they were under the hood with flashlights. 'Why are the fender bolts turned?' one of them demanded. This was another way of saying that body work had been done on the truck following an accident. So I said, 'I don't know what you're looking at, but this truck has never been in an accident and wasn't taken to a body shop.' Then the woman said, 'Why is the bed all scratched?' There was no way to answer this than to say, 'Because it's a truck.'
"The big guy was the designated driver and he didn't hesitate to tap into the power. If you're considering buying a used car, it's important to verify the condition. But I think you should wait until you own it to start chirping the tires. I was getting a little tired of all this but I was pretty sure the woman had a check in her purse and we were close to closing this deal. So I let it go. Sure enough, they all decided the truck was a good buy and she turned over the cashier's check for $37,000."
Here are the final numbers:
We paid: $39,992 ($44,689 after tax, title and license fees)
Current TMV: $37,411
Carmax offer: $35,000
Sold for: $37,000
Ron Montoya and Phil Reed @ 29,573 miles