2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: A New Owner
March 13, 2015
When our long-term tests are finished, CarMax is usually our go-to source for turning it back into cash. However, this time the CarMax appraisal fell short of our expectations when they offered only $15,000 for the 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG.
Our True Market Value® price and a review of classified ads, showed us that the CL65 AMG was worth about $25,000. It was time to face facts: We'd have to sell this car ourselves.
For a week, we listed the CL at $27,750 on eBayMotors and AutoTrader to see what would happen. Nothing. We then dropped it to $24,900. After about two weeks we got a call from a guy in Las Vegas. He had owned a CL and wanted ours. He also had about 50 million questions about repairs and the condition of this and that part. Every email we got from him speculated about which part would fail next and concluded with, "and that's $1,000 easy."
The strategy for most potential buyers seemed to be, if I can get it cheap enough, I can afford the repairs that I know are coming. So these shoppers lurked in the background, watching the price drop on ads. Finally, the price hit the sweet spot and the calls started coming in.
At about the three-week mark, we got an offer of $20,000 through eBay from a car guy in Irvine. We called him to confirm that he was a real person (an earlier "sale" on eBay came from a scammer in Mexico) and learned that he, too, had owned a CL. He promised to arrive within two hours with the money. We met him at a bank and quickly concluded the deal.
Here is a photo of the new owner, Alex Soliman, who has added the CL to his car collection which you can view on AutoTiq.com.
Each selling experience is unique because each car — and car owner — is different. People shopping for the CL were obviously not buying a daily driver. They were collectors who trolled for CLs every once in a while just to see what popped up. Consequently, it took weeks for them to come out of the woodwork, make inquiries, and finally pull the trigger.
Our take-away from this experience is to be patient and remain hopeful because, after all, it only takes one buyer to make a sale.
Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 72,076 miles