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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for an E39 and searching Craigslist, Cars.com, and Autotrader.com and it seems most of the ones I see are being sold by some sort of small independent dealership. Ideally would like to buy from a private party as these dealers either buy at auction and mark them up or get at trade in and mark them up for resale.

Did most of you that picked one up in the last year get yours by a private party sale or dealership?
 

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Thats the way I started out too... but eventually I found that this site is your best bet to find a privately owned M5. Keep scouring the for sale section and one will certainly come up.
 

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Private party in August 2010. He listed on Craigslist, but not Autotrader or Cars.com. The car had 13,000 miles on it when he listed. He did not seem to be in a rush--he just did not want to deal with tire-kickers and a ton of emails requesting info. and pics (hence, he only listed a phone number). I got really lucky, I suspect, because the car had only been listed for 1 week when I came across the listing. Mind you, it was 1000 miles away from me, but I had expanded my search because I knew that there would be nothing close to me. So, I checked, NY, NJ, Mass, Fla. and other Craigslist listings for regions 1000 miles or less from me and blindly stumbled upon it. Hang in there and do not settle for an inferior vehicle. It may take some time, but you have to be vigilant and patient. Being the former is much easier than the latter...Good luck, mate.
 

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I had horrible experiences with independent dealers and they do mark up a lot. They also don't know what the trouble spots on these cars are, so they just exclaim "great condition" and the vehicles I found had issues. Your best bet is to use this board as a resource, watch Craigslist, and Ebay; and try to contact the owner directly. It may take up to 6 months or more but price will be better and you'll find someone that was in love with threir car and took care of it. Best of Luck!!!
 

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Yeah, definitely check the For Sale section here, too (and Ebay). But, here's a funny (not necessarily "ha-ha" funny, but interesting shall I say) story. When I was looking last Summer, I came across an Autotrader ad for a 2003 with less than 30K miles. I studied the ad and scoured this Board to see if the owner was a Board poster. Turns out he was and, based on his posts, the car was a gem. I quickly called him, but the car had already been sold. But, despite the fact that he was/is a true enthusiast (he has owned multiple beasts) and was active on this Board, he did not post in the For Sale section. So, look EVERYWHERE.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I really like this one:

m5 on SearchTempest

My favorite color is black. Car is 600 miles away. How have you had dealt with non-local cars? Do you simply go by the pictures and find an independent shop to do the PPI and pay for it then have them call or fax you the results and based on that you would purchase or not?
 

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I really like this one:

m5 on SearchTempest

How have you had dealt with non-local cars? Do you simply go by the pictures and find an independent shop to do the PPI and pay for it then have them call or fax you the results and based on that you would purchase or not?
Exactly. Go by the pics, the description and your conversation with the owner. If that has reassured you, have the PPI done and go from there.
 

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Check with your local bmw dealers as well for trades. I was sitting in iraq dreaming of what car to get and decided to call the dealer in Tucson, turns out they'd gotten their first ///M5 all year the day before. Wasn't even on the lot. I put a down payment on it with a credit card 2 days later and picked it up while on leave.

Talk to the sales geeks and see if they have any around that dealership and that you're interested if one comes in from a trade.
 

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Bought mine private party. I think anyone worht their salt with an M5 to sell would come here first. People on this site know a quality car and will pay a premium to an individual for a well kept car...
 

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Seems there are so few because the prices are so low! People may as well keep them!

PM me, I may have an option for you.
 

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I bought mine in October. Private party is nice because (at least as far as I found) the private party sellers had much more in terms of maintenance records and car history whereas the independent dealers don't always have much to go on.

I got lucky because although the seller was private party, he worked at a BMW dealership so had access to the complete records since new - I found out every service visit, inspection and even the in-service date.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ca is a bit far for me and being that it is a 2002 and with those miles is probably out of my price range.

I am looking a 2000 on Sunday with 72K miles locally.
 
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