No one sells cars for the asking price


Over the last few years, many of us (me) have gotten bent out of shape because of the supposed prices cars are selling for on sites like Bring A Trailer. However, I was reminded of the reality of selling recently when I spotted an NA Miata for sale in rural Blue Ridge, Georgia, down the road from my in-laws' house.

I see this Miata, with the desirable factory hardtop, in the middle of Nowheresville, Georgia, and assume that such a car with its extremely limited potential audience in this mountain town is going to be sold for peanuts. I was wrong, however, as upon closer inspection, the seller had an asking price of $7,000. 

Is this Miata going to sell for this price? Absolutely not. The seller doesn't even know what Bring A Trailer is, and has no interest in paying $5 to craigslist to list it. The car is sitting by the side of the road, dirty, with a solitary sign in the window and a stupid price tag. The reality is this seller just wants a quick buck and is hoping that one of the myriad tourists floating by is going to think $7K is a good deal. 

This is a micro-level example but on a macro basis, the same thing is likely happening online and in larger metro areas. Sellers ask lofty prices, and they settle for what the car was actually worth. The number a car is bid to may never actually be the price it sells for, as buyers still have to meet the seller in person and decide if they want to move forward. How do we know that both parties don't agree to a price that's $1,000 less? 

So, all that is to say, don't lose faith that every car is out of your price range, and by the same token, don't assume your vehicle is worth the price the online auction indicates a similar model sold for.