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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not an Element owner yet but I'm trying my hardest to find a used one for the best price possible :D

I've been looking at several used Element SCs in my local area and more often than not they're For Sale by Owner instead of through dealers which can make haggling a little more difficult.

There are two Elements in particular: one has several mods including wheels and some paint work (painted panels/originally an EX-P) but is priced right only maybe a couple hundred more than KBB. The second is an actual SC and has a few more mods than the first (i.e. aftermarket nav, speaker upgrades, wheels and a two-tone job, all very tasteful) but is priced about $6,000 more than KBB for the mileage (~39k), year, condition etc.

So for the given mods on the second SC (wheels, Avic-D3, speakers and two tone) is the owner correct to think he'd be getting a large return on his money invested by putting the price $6-7k above KBB? I'm just wondering if I'd be wasting my time and his by making an offer that is $6k less than he's asking.

Thanks for any help!
 

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as much as i would like to think my mods made my truck worth 6k more than kbb they are crazy. you can have all that work done professionally and with whatever equipment you wanted for that kind of money. find one that is stock, like a honda certified one and then do what you want to it. i know that i wont get the money i have in mine back out of it but i am ok with that cause i am making it mine for the time i have it and they are insane thinking they can get that for it cause of a few mods, not matter how tasteful or well done. good luck with your search, you'll find one eventually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks Yoda...I'm thinking when he initially listed it he wasn't wanting to sell it. I've talked with him via email a few times and he's pretty sad about having to sell it on account of his family expanding. I've been the exact same way especially when I sold my 01 GTI VR6 turbo that I let go for a measly $9,000 when I'd put $10k+ and $10k worth of car payments into it. We'll see, I'll start a little under blue book and feel it out from there. I've got a high set that I won't go over and if he still won't take it I've got plenty more to choose from.
 

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then you know from experence that the guy is asking too much. you never get anything back on mods. some people even see it as taking away from KBB. good luck, like i said, you'll find one
 

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Maybe he jacked the price up $6,000 so you can haggle with him and chew him down on the price and feel like your getting a good deal ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
He's actually had this car listed that high for a while. But of course I'm going to start under blue book in a "reverse psychology" sorta way, lol.

My final payment for my 03 Audi A4 Avant is en route to the bank so as soon as the account is cleared I'll be hitting this guy with an offer. I'll keep you guys posted.
 

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Well, if the paint was done nice, I can see a paint job running about $5,000. Except the problem is, if you change the car other than the stock color, the price usually goes down... And you're sure the two-tone isn't vinyl? That wold be even cheaper. For all the mods I would tack on maybe $400 to the price. Ask him what he can get if he removes all the mods and trys to sell them, I guarantee not more than $1,000. So that would be the price to meet him at if you had to. No more than $1,000 over KBB>
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
original color was gray but from the windows up it was painted black. I know the shop it was painted at here locally so I'm confident it is a quality job. The audio was done professionally at a local place too.

Agreed on the "parting out" price difference. Thanks for the reminder; I'll definitely bring that up when I get down to haggling for srsly. I doubt his audio equipment would net him much were he to part it out, likewise with the wheels and tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I went and test drove the car that was priced a little high: priced at $23,000 w/ 39k miles, Avic-Z2 headunit, some big ol 19" wheels, Injen Intake and Cat-back exhaust and the two-tone upper. It was pretty nice even though it's been raining out. The two tone upper wasn't 100% at the point of transition (a little over-spray, very very tiny and minor) and the interior could use a shampoo, no biggie.

It drove fine and everything checked out A-OK but when we got to talking price he said he couldn't come down from $20k. I was pretty miffed but sad since I really would like to snag this bad boy and dump it on some Teins like it was asking me to when I test drove it, lol.

So, a little bad luck on this one so it's on to find another SC somewhere else. It's a damn shame because it was so close to my area, too. He even has family in my city so it could've been delivered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
that's where I found it, lol, but thank you. There are very few SCs to be had in a 5 speed manual that are near Arkansas and I'm willing to drive 6 hours away, too.
 

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I went and test drove the car that was priced a little high: priced at $23,000 w/ 39k miles, Avic-Z2 headunit, some big ol 19" wheels, Injen Intake and Cat-back exhaust and the two-tone upper. It was pretty nice even though it's been raining out. The two tone upper wasn't 100% at the point of transition (a little over-spray, very very tiny and minor) and the interior could use a shampoo, no biggie....
If there was ANY overspray, I'd deduct $4,000 from the price to have the entire car fixed, because any quality job... there should be no overspray anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The fact that it was there and he was STILL asking for $20k was pretty shocking to me. And I guess all the speakers were actually stock but the ad said touch screen nav AND upgraded stereo so I'd incorrectly assumed that maybe some components had been installed. So the high price was still a WTF moment.

He said the AVIC-Z2 w/ back-up camera, GPS and Bluetooth had cost ~$5,000 with installation which made me double-take. I looked up Z2 pricing and it's a $1,800 HU were you to buy from the most expensive retailer, which is pricey but I don't see how they charged him double the cost in installation.
 

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this guy is a clown.

When you are selling a car, aftermarket parts and PARTICULARLY an aftermarket paint job hurt the value of the car. Dealer accessories and factory accesories obviously being different (these can help). Cars that have "custom paint" means they've been in an accident most of the time. Anytime I see a car with huge $ put into mods, I have to wonder "did he have any $ leftover for proper maintenance?". Don't give him a penny over KBB for the car.

This is why when I mod my cars, I keep all the stock parts. The way to get $ out of your mods when you sell a car is to put the car back to stock, sell the car stock, and sell the parts individually.

The only reason you should ever give someone over KBB is if you the mods are something you would do to the car after you buy it anyways. If so, then yes, you are saving money (assuming you pay only a slight premium for the car). I would RUN away from that car and go find yourself a nice, stock E and make it your own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The car was exceptionally maintained by a dealer so I wasn't worried about maintenance. I doubt much could happen to it that I couldn't fix myself, anyway, being a student of the VW/Audi way of working on cars, lol. He was a nice guy, though, so it's not like he was trying to screw me or anything he just may value the accessories more than most of us do.

Now worries, though! I've found a very interesting prospect up north and can't wait to put an offer on it seeing that I may be able to scoop it up at a fantastic price!
 

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I doubt much could happen to it that I couldn't fix myself, anyway, being a student of the VW/Audi way of working on cars
so what you are saying is that you are used to working on cars that are a total electrical system failure and no matter how well they are taken care of they leak fluids all over the place? :D sorry, but i have one of those turds in my driveway now and i cant wait for it to be gone. oh and it isnt some old rattle trap either, it's an 07 GTI. you wont have nearly the problems with an E that we have had in the short time we have owned that car that constantly yerns to go home (the dealership)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
man, I haven't seen any bad MKV GTIs yet. Well, not withstanding the 06 year model because of the ghastly FSI/T-FSI motors and the HPFP issue with the cam and sh!!t.

Trust me when I say they worked all the bugs out in the pure TSI version. They are absolute monsters when modded up on just the stock motor (twintercooler (yes! TWINtercooler, intake, exhaust and all the Forge goodies plus Stg2 tuning).

My VW/Audi experience has actually been pretty good but my VR6 turbo was a bear to work on after the turbo conversion but the 17psi of boost and 400whp made up for that :D. My Passat and A4 Avant were 100%. Resale value plummets with mileage though.

And I've never brought a car, even under warranty, to the dealership. A Vag-Com and the Bentley were all I ever needed since dealerships will never give your car the attention like you would since it isn't THEIR daily. The rule of thumb, imo, is to do oil and fluid changes BEFORE scheduled intervals (life-time manual tranny fluid? yeah and if I had wheels I'd be a wagon) and never follow that fuggin' break-in guide or the actual maintenance manual, period. The inspection periods are too far apart for my own comfort and better methods and procedures can be found online. The only good suggestion is "Use Mobile 1 0w40 and G12 coolant".
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I just put a downpayment on a black 07 SC in texas so my search is over. unfortunately it has something like 20" wheels on it, chrome, so if anyone wants to trade their sc wheels straight across for some big ol wheels and tires i'd be glad to....
 
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