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Pricing / value of used thunderbirds

Discussion in '2002 - 2005 Ford Thunderbird' started by SunnyFun, Jul 1, 2017.

  1. How do you guys determine the value of used cars? I know there are a lot of variables, but in the past I've looked at:

    Edmonds True Market Value (TMV) (some say since it uses county records it is a bit low since some of the deals are between relatives

    Kelly Blue Book (KBB) which I have always thought to be too high, partly becuase I have read it favors more dealer transactions, thus is a bit inflated. Friends in the insurance/salvage industry laugh when they here people use this.

    NADA is supposedly what banks use, and is often between the top two. I haven't used it much though.

    I don't have access to the black book since I think it costs, or the manheim auction reprots (which is just for car dealers).

    In the past, Edmonds TMV has served me well, I've usually been able to get better deals than what it says both on buying and trading in, but I've always used it as a guide. But for these Thunderbirds it is odd.

    TMV is at times higher than KBB, and most listings I come across on cars.com, craigslist, and at dealers are considerably higher than either. Unless dealers and private parties are haggling down 30% off listed prices, who is buying these cars?

    What we want is a car in good to great shape with less than 70k miles. All the books say this should be able to happen for between $10k-$13k. Yet most of the listings for such vehicles start out at $15k (barely) and are mostly $16k-$21k.

    A mint bird with sub 15k miles I'm sure goes for a lot, but how are the pricing sites so far off from what I've been able to find for a 2004 or 2005 with 60k miles?
     
  2. I was at the Phoenix Barrett Jackson auction this year when a mint 2005 that I believe had about 15,000 miles on it went for 21,000. I bought one 2 weeks earlier in excellent condition and 46,000 miles for $15,000. A friend last year payed $17,000 for a 2002 also excelleny condition with 20,000 miles. These are just some numbers to help you in your quest, good luck.
     
    4PacificBird likes this.
  3. That is helpful, thanks for the feedback. Were your purchases from dealers or private party or both? At times I go back and forth on which is the better to purchase from, but I suppose it depends on the entity and most importantly, the vehicle.
     
  4. Keep looking on craigslist, KBB, and Cars.com. Search over a 500 mile area. Unless it is a forced sale finding one in excellent shape will be hard to do for under $14 or 15 thousand.
     
  5. All of the above is true. The range I have seen is 16-21K. I have a 2004, Merlot with light sand interior and top plus a hard top with 23K miles on it, only comes out this time of the year, excellent + condition and the least I would consider selling it for would be $21K, if I could get more or the person was willing to go 23K, I would consider selling it. It all depends on how bad someone wants the car. Supply and demand.
     
  6. I must be one lucky SOB.....I snatched this 2002 one owner with 19,707 miles for $13k. Asking price was $14999.


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  7. You got a great buy at that price.
     
  8. My 2003 Mountain Shadow,45,500 mi was asking $16,500 bought at $15,100. Every penny spent on this car is documented.
     
  9. Purchased my 2002 T-Bird with 129,000 on the odometer last month for $10K. Well-kept, but obviously high miles...
     
  10. We paid $10.5 for ours, 97k miles, but we were looking for very specific features. We routinely came across others with less than 60k miles for anywhere between $13k and $15k from dealers. Private owners were asking $5k more, probably because of the guides. Bottom line is that reality (what owners have actually paid) is a much better indicator of price than any of those guide books. Unfortunately sellers often rely on KBB and others and often over-price their cars which sit around for months with no sale. I prefer to buy from a private seller since dealers no longer negotiate, but sometimes the added benefits like limited warranty and available financing make it more appealing.
     
  11. traveled 500 miles to get mine .a 2004 deluxe but with aftermarket wheels(original wheels included too)SST and heated seats 87.000 miles on it drove it home with zero problems 24 mpg and everything works as it should except the A/C needs at least a charge $12,000. I think away from Seattle I got an average deal, but in Seattle area it was a good deal.
     
  12. tbird

    tbird Super Moderator Staff Member

    Keep in mind, when you travel long distances, the dealer knows you are serious and unlikely to walk and then drive all the way back, so it makes it MUCH HARDER to negotiate at the dealer.
     
    Gus Gutz and John Hayman like this.
  13. I learned this, the hard way, last March. I bought a 2003 from a Ford dealer who told me the car was perfect. Suffice it to say, after a bad transmission and other defects, the dealer refused to stand by his lies, since I was 1,500 miles away. The dealer is Myers No Bull Ford in Seward Nebraska. Bob Myer is the owner.
     
  14. biddle

    biddle Administrator Staff Member

    In all fairness to the dealer, the car was 13 years old. Anything can happen at any time after that many years. Anytime you buy a used car, especially that old, it is AS-IS and the salesman is not a mechanic.

    For those unaware, you can get and OBD-II reader that can read codes and pending codes http://amzn.to/2yFqCLS
     
    John Hayman likes this.
  15. I bought mine from a private seller and used my judgment of character and also saw what he was doing with other vehicles he was restoring he had moved to a climate where he did not utilize the car as it was cold often
    but yes I did take a chance as well...so far it's all good
     
    John Hayman likes this.
  16. I appreciate your readiness to defend an unscrupulous Ford dealer. He wife owns a Bird. He represented to me, three times, from 1500 miles away, that the car was 'perfect' and worth my trip to purchase. I, sadly trusted him. And, the salesman WAS a mechanic, in fact, a Ford dealer. I did not realize the transmission E code meant I owed thousands until someone on this site explained my costly mistrust when I arrived home in Maryland from Nebraska. But, I am so glad that you are on the dealer's side, and not that of the owner of a Thunderbird.
     
  17. tbird

    tbird Super Moderator Staff Member

    I wasn't defending them, but everyone knows you can't trust a used car salesman, especially one 1500 miles away you've never met. The car was also showing the bad transmission code when you bought it as well. All you had to do is Google "thunderbird transmission E code" and a thread comes up telling that is a major problem. Overall it's a hard lesson learned, when you buy a car AS-IS, it's exactly that, and sometimes you can buy one and just have really bad luck and something goes wrong with it right away, but sounds like in this case, the car was already indicating the transmission problem when you purchased it. Always be ready to walk away from a deal! I don't recommend buyers drive more than 150 miles to purchase a car, or even out of state, it makes bad situation for negotiating, and you have too much invested in time and it affects your judgement because you want to make the deal work. I bet if that car had been local and you saw that E code, you would have walked away. Sorry that happened to you though.
     
    John Hayman likes this.
  18. Had I known what an E code was. My mistake was in trusting the owner of Meyer Ford in Seward, Nebraska (not the salesman, but the owner, who stated that the car was perfect, three times). My mistake is that I trusted a man who did not deserve it. Yes, you are right, I was the sucker who fell for the Bird and got the bird.
     
  19. I use Hagerty Car Value Guide. They have a rep at most every auction. They are very Accurate om riceing.
     

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