Buying an E30 on eBay

I have found what looks like a sweet E30 (1990, Arctic Blue/Silver) on eBay for a good price, but I have never bought anything on eBay before. Does anybody have any tips for intelligent bidding? I'm new to cars but
very familiar with BMW bikes (as you can see in my e-mail address)!
Thanks,
Anthony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
BMWE30 wrote:

always look good in the listing. It's when you actually get it that you should worry about.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My advice for a fellow Anthony is to post this question with a link to the auction on the ebaymotors forum on ebay. The group on that forum is good at analyzing pros and cons and things you may not think of. They will help if asked nicely.
Just be sure and read up on all the scams and ebay policies, put in at least a good hour of study time.
Finally intelligent bidding is called sniping, check out esnipe.com for more info.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I just bought a e34 on ebay. I spent lots of time looking and found what I thought was a good car. I bought from a reputable ebay seller, check the feedback and make sure they are established in selling. If it is a private owner, speak with them on the phone with a list of questions, Ask the same questions if needed to get clear answers. Also, you are about to spend thousands, spend the 20 bucks on a carfax report. It will give you a clear idea of the cars history including accidents, recalls, type of ownership, mileage discrepancies etc.
I live in NH and bought my car in FL. A quick test drive and I was satisfied with the vehicles stated condition. Drove 1800 miles home and right to my mechanics. He did a full inspection and found a few things and did some routine maintanance adding up to about 700 bucks. I am very happy with the car and the experience.
Best of luck.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A cautionary story.
In 2004 (October) I was in the market for a very clean 330i zhp. Found one in an ad (not eBay, Autotrader) for Naperville Motors in Illinois. I live 300+ miles away in Michigan. I called, was told car was mint, negotiated a price pending an inspection by an independent service. Hired a service, paid them, they sent a guy who e-mailed me a report saying car was without a scratch or stone chip and appeared in perfect shape except no spare. Dealer agreed to replace the spare.
I rented a car and drove down. Met the salesman at the dealership who assured me the car was perfect. One second after seeing the car I spotted big gouges in both right side wheels. Turned out that had been done that morning when they ran the car through their car-wash tracks. (The words "completely idiotic" come to mind.) As it happened, there was a wheel repair business gut visiting the dealership that day and he assured me he could do a repair in a couple of hours on-site while we waited. I agreed to see what he could do. While, waiting we looked the rest of the car over.The hood had several stone chips in it and was well short of perfect. I pointed this out, and they agreed to do a touch-up with a brush. The car was supposed to have leather seats (ad said so); in fact they were Alcantara (fake suede). Otherwise, it was in nice shape. Turned out the spare had never been missing; the inspector did not realize it was a space-saver under a tray in the boot.
I was really PO'd at the salesman and the inspector (inspection service later refunded my money after I sent photos of paint chips - excuse was it was raining the day of inspection; dealership said they would have taken car inside and wiped it down if inspector has asked). Dealership ended up knocking $2,000 off price for lack of leather and wheel damage which was adequately (not perfectly) repaired. Bought it and really do like it. Although, this was months before BMW put the $5,500 incentive on remaining 330i's which REALLY pissed me off as I could have had a new car for a few thousand more, as a result.
Moral of story: until you see it, you will not know what you have. You cannot rely on the word of a salesman or even your paid inspector. People lie, are incompetent, and are lazy. Expect to be disappointed and prepare a fall-back position when you are.
By the way, my salesman ended up getting sacked and promises he made (2nd key) were made good on by the dealership after he was gone (the SOB had been stalling me for two months). In other words, I have nothing against Naperville Motors other than I do wish they had not hired this particular salesman in the first place.
Good luck.
- nopcbs

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.