2009 Ford Flex Limited: A Quick Sale
December 13, 2010
As described in an earlier post, we knew that having 72,000 miles on a two-year-old Ford Flex Limited could be a problem. But as I explained in the ads, if a buyer didn't drive a lot of miles, then in a few years it would be at a normal level. I don't know if my little tutorial helped or not but I got several responses to my Craigslist ad.
Friday afternoon I got a voice mail message from a woman named Angela to say she was coming to see the Flex and bringing a cashier's check. I wondered if the check was for the full asking price. Earlier we had contemplated listing it for $18,500 but, partially based on reader comments, I boosted the asking price to $19,500. After all, we were basically trying to improve the offer we got from CarMax for $14,000.
I had dealt with Angela on the phone but she arrived with her husband, Sean. We took a test drive and they told me they had rented a Flex while on vacation and fell in love with it. They were impressed with all the options and, sure enough, Angela said she drove less than three miles to work. The Flex would an around-town vehicle.
Finally, Sean said, 'We really like the car but we're wondering if you are flexible on the price.' I asked what he had in mind. He said, 'Well, I have a check in your name for $18,000.' I said I certainly hoped it wasn't in my name and he quickly said, 'No, no -- your company's name.'
This was obviously a trick to coax me into selling the car at the lower price. I was a little annoyed so I said, 'You know, I wish we had discussed this ahead of time. I feel uncomfortable doing business this way.' Sean seemed apologetic and said, 'Just tell us what you had in mind.' I said I wanted $18,500 for the Flex. 'No problem,' he said. He pulled a roll of bills out of his pocket and peeled off five big ones. We shook hands, shot this picture and they took the car's title and left.
In retrospect, I might have been a little overly concerned about the mileage. When Angela saw the car, she was so happy with the way it looked, and all the options, that that trumped her fear of mechanical wear and tear. The last thing she said as she left was, 'I never thought I'd be able to afford this car.'
Philip Reed, Edmunds senior consumer advice editor @ 72,459 miles