2009 Dodge Challenger R/T: Goodbye, Old Friend
June 28, 2010
On the way to deliver the 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T to the buyer, I stopped to have it washed. The only problem was, there was no spot-free rinse so I arrived with a dripping car that was soon to have driving marks all over it. Before we even signed papers Matt, the new owner, grabbed a towel and dried it off. As the water disappeared, the luster of the black paint began to gleam. "This is so awesome," Matt said more than once as he lovingly rubbed down his new car. When we were done he signed quickly and I slid two sets of keys across the table to him.
Yes, sadly, the Challenger is gone. It didn't quite fetch the high price we had hoped but we still feel pleased with the result. We might have done better but there are other cars to buy and we need to keep moving forward. So here's a quick rundown on the selling process.
We began by offering the car at $29,900 -- $800 over TMV. I got several calls but no serious action. So after two weeks we dropped the price to $28,900. I immediately got two calls. Strangely enough, they were both from guys named Matt.
On Father's Day, Matt #1 arrived with his father. They took a long test drive, enjoying driving the Challenger and remarking on the shift action, the suspension and its great looks. I felt an offer coming and I hoped it was a good one.
"Here's something for you to think about," Matt said. "I'll give you $26,500 for it." It took me a second to realize that Matt had undercut the asking price by $2,400. I didn't respond at all, hoping that Matt #2 wouldenter the fray and make a better offer. So for now, I just thanked Matt #1 for coming to see the car.
Matt #2 never called back so the next day, I called Matt #1 and talked about how the Challenger's trunk was plenty big for his golf clubs. This led to a friendly little chat about golf, his handicap and what courses in the area are fun to play. As we talked I felt he would open to a strong counteroffer so I told him we could be convinced to part with the Challenger for $27,800, an $1,100 discount from our asking price. He bounced back with $27,500 and I accepted.
Later, when I looked at the numbers, I realized we had done well to get that much for a one-and-a-half-year-old used car with 26,800 hard miles on it. Unlike many American cars, it only depreciated 20 percent from our purchase price of $34,600 a year and a half ago. That means it lost $7,100 of its value. That's a whole lot of fun for a small price tag.