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Before asking "What is my car worth" Read FIRST!

Old 02-19-2009, 09:49 AM
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Before asking "What is my car worth" Read FIRST!

We are getting a ton of questions about what a car is Worth, and honestly none of us can really tell you an exact dollar amount. No one on the boards that I know of can look at a bunch of little pictures and say your car is worth $20,000 or $200. It is JUST NOT POSSIBLE. The following is really intended to give people an idea of how to approach getting an estimate for how much a car is worth.

NONE of this is scientific. Values of cars go up and down as fast as the economy, and the time of year. Ultimately the value will depend on many factors, not limited to the following.

Some factors to consider:
1) ECONOMY, how are things in the world, are people spending money? When the economy is good chances are the values of the car is more.
2) Time of year generally speaking the time to sell a TRUCK is in the fall or winter and the time to sell a F-body is in the Spring and Summer. You will get more car for less in the Fall or winter and sell a car for more in the Spring and Summer. It is like this EVERY year. Basically do not intend on buying a car for the summer and sell it for a profit at the end of the season.
3) Factory Options Options Options, Options are a BIG factor when buying or selling a car. A V8 will always outsell a V6, unless the V6 is a Turbo car. People like creature comforts and will usually pay for them. The contrary to this is those few "Factory Race cars" AKA 1LE.
4) Condition & Miles One of the biggest factors for most when comparing one car to another is the condition of the car and the miles on the car. A low miles perfect condition car will always be worth more than a high miles good condition car. A low miles horrible condition car can be found for about the same price as a great condition high miles car. What you decide as high and low mileage will ultimately depend on the purchaser, but anyone saying a 100K car is a "Low miles car" is simply trying to sell you a line. From the standpoint that the car was only driven 4K miles a year, for 25 years, does indicate that the car was not driven all the time, but the fact is most people in this day and age would expect that a low miles car (as far as third gens are concerned) would be anything under 50K, 50K to 120K would be about average, and anything over 120K I consider them to be a high miles car. The expected (longest) life of a third gen engine & trans would probably be typically 200K and that is considering that the car was not beat on and reasonably well taken care of. There are thousands of third gens with more than 200K and some of them are really nice condition, very few of them have the original engine and trans. Eventually things will change as these are not lines in the sand, a low miles car 20 years ago would have been a car with only 10K on it, so this is not a static number.
5) Region Camaros tend to sell for more in NC, but Firebirds sell for more in my area of MI. THIS is actually going to eventually diminish as thirdgens become more rare & Desirable and people are willing to travel 2000 miles to get the car they want, which honestly is happening.
6) There are some other factors such as the impulse factor of selling your car to someone that REALLY ALWAYS wanted the car just like that, but I will not go into passion. Buy you can consider Papa John, he bought back his 70's Camaro for $250,000, + $25,000 which the car was worth no where near one tenth that amount but it was an act of passion.

HOW TO APPRAISE A CAR
1) Go to www.nada.com, www.edmunds.com, www.kbb.com. There you will find most of what you want to find for what to sell or buy a car for. Unfortunately they are usually a few years behind in their research and what people are really selling and buying third gens for. So take them with a grain of salt. www.nada.com has almost all of our cars in the classic section, and the collectible cars section. A few years they skip so I usually look at the next year and the previous year and average them out to get an estimate.

2) Go to www.autotrader.com, www.autorv.com, www.cars.com, www.craigslist.com, www.ebay.com etc. and simply look at cars that are just like yours to get an idea of what other people are asking. There are a ton of places to look even look in thirdgen.org's Wanted and for sale sections.

Once you do all these things then you will get an idea of what a car is worth.

I want to say that this is not to try and discourage anyone from asking questions on value, but it will answer many of your questions and a great place to start.

John

Last edited by okfoz; 11-12-2009 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:09 AM
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Re: [b]Before asking "What is my car worth" Read FIRST![/b]

Originally Posted by okfoz View Post
We are getting a ton of questions about what a car is Worth, and honestly none of us can really tell you an exact dollar amount. No one on the boards that I know of can look at a bunch of little pictures and say your car is worth $20,000 or $200. It is JUST NOT POSSIBLE. The following is really intended to give people an idea of how to approach getting an estimate for how much a car is worth.

NONE of this is scientific. Values of cars go up and down as fast as the economy, and the time of year. Ultimately the value will depend on many factors, not limited to the following.
1) ECONOMY, how are things in the world, are people spending money? When the economy is good chances are the values of the car is more.
2) Time of year generally speaking the time to sell a TRUCK is in the fall or winter and the time to sell a F-body is in the Spring and Summer. You will get more car for less in the Fall or winter and sell a car for more in the Spring and Summer. It is like this EVERY year. Basically do not intend on buying a car for the summer and sell it for a profit at the end of the season.
3) Factory Options Options Options, Options are a BIG factor when buying or selling a car. A V8 will always outsell a V6, unless the V6 is a Turbo car. People like creature comforts and will usually pay for them. The contrary to this is those few "Factory Race cars" AKA 1LE.
4) Region Camaros tend to sell for more in NC, but Firebirds sell for more in my area of MI. THIS is actually going to eventually diminish as thirdgens become more rare & Desirable and people are willing to travel 2000 miles to get the car they want, which honestly is happening.
5) There are some other factors such as the impulse factor of selling your car to someone that REALLY ALWAYS wanted the car just like that, but I will not go into passion.

HOW TO APPRAISE YOUR CAR
1) Go to www.nada.com, www.edmunds.com, www.kbb.com. There you will find most of what you want to find for what to sell or buy a car for. Unfortunately they are usually a few years behind in their research and what people are really selling and buying third gens for. So take them with a grain of salt. www.nada.com has almost all of our cars in the classic section, and the collectible cars section. A few years they skip so I usually look at the next year and the previous year and average them out to get an estimate.

2) Go to www.autotrader.com, www.autorv.com, www.cars.com, www.craigslist.com, www.ebay.com etc. and simply look at cars that are just like yours to get an idea of what other people are asking. There are a ton of places to look even look in thirdgen.org's Wanted and for sale sections.

Once you do all these things then you will get an idea of what a car is worth.

John
Couldn't have said it better John, one only has to look at the asinine rise of Mopar muscle cars in recent years only to see them collapse. Same cars are selling at auction for less than they were the year before. STICKY!

Last edited by L695speed; 02-19-2009 at 11:10 AM. Reason: Sticky
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Old 10-01-2018, 02:21 AM
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Re: Before asking "What is my car worth" Read FIRST!

Just to add another tool to the arsenal of EITHER a buyer OR seller, https://www.hagerty.com/apps/valuationtools/search is a VERY realistic and useful place to help figure out the value of a 3rd Gen F-body car(provided the condition and details are known or truly stated in an ad). I have used this site MANY times and the database is quite extensive. Another GREAT feature is that along with the 'valuation' process, one can see the trends of the market on a certain car over a certain period of time- for example, what today's 'worth' is and then going back up to the 10 years previous in 4 different 'condition' categories for this make/model/year of car. All on a bar graph. IMO, it is very helpful in 'averaging' the value of a car by using other tools(edmunds, KBB, etc.) and factors(such as location, seasons, etc. as stated by the above members)
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Old 10-01-2018, 08:12 AM
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Re: Before asking "What is my car worth" Read FIRST!

Originally Posted by LC2Formula View Post
Just to add another tool to the arsenal of EITHER a buyer OR seller, https://www.hagerty.com/apps/valuationtools/search is a VERY realistic and useful place to help figure out the value of a 3rd Gen F-body car(provided the condition and details are known or truly stated in an ad). I have used this site MANY times and the database is quite extensive. Another GREAT feature is that along with the 'valuation' process, one can see the trends of the market on a certain car over a certain period of time- for example, what today's 'worth' is and then going back up to the 10 years previous in 4 different 'condition' categories for this make/model/year of car. All on a bar graph. IMO, it is very helpful in 'averaging' the value of a car by using other tools(edmunds, KBB, etc.) and factors(such as location, seasons, etc. as stated by the above members)
Hagerty needs to make some improvements for our 3rd gen cars - example: They dont even list a third gen Formula 350 - only a Formula (305)
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Old 10-03-2018, 03:05 AM
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Re: Before asking "What is my car worth" Read FIRST!

Originally Posted by BizJetTech View Post
Hagerty needs to make some improvements for our 3rd gen cars - example: They dont even list a third gen Formula 350 - only a Formula (305)
I'd have to agree with you there! They do list the 88' model year w/350- although it does either one of us much good at the moment(but fortunately, they DO add unlisted cars and update/expand on existing stuff, like on what you mentioned). I've got a 90' with the 350 as you do in yours. Ironically enough BizJetTech, I live a bit down the road from you in Jupiter Farms- small world LOL. I've been wanting to hit the Tues. nite car show at the Lowes up by you with my new toy/daily driver. Sometimes the local car shows can help to get a better grasp on 'values' by the attention it pulls or if others may have similar vehicles 'For Sale'. Who knows... that may be a decent place(depending on the crowd) to find a potential buyer?? I've heard of a few guys having decent luck finding fair deals(or at least I thought they were) at a couple of 'reoccurring' larger shows between here and West Palm Beach too!
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