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CG172

USA 530i Auction Result...

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Not sure if this is the right location for this thread, but as this is the only E39 specific part of the forum I’ll plonk it here.

 

So i’m a bit confused by the value achieved by this:

https://bringatrailer.com/listing/2002-bmw-530i-22/

 

530i SE saloon, manual transmission, 97,000 miles...

The paint is chipped, the bumper is scuffed and “three dings are evident” elsewhere on the bodywork.

Pixels are missing from the dash.

No mention of any work to the cooling system.

Nice, but not hugely desirable 17” alloys.

 

it’s a Californian car, so probably pretty much rust free, but otherwise it appears to me to be a relatively average example.

A UK seller would probably try this at £3k and end up accepting nearer £2k after 6 weeks of lowball offers from tyre-kickers.

 

So how the **** did this particular one end up selling (on the 15th of March this year) for $18,250?

That’s just under £13,000. Nearly (ropey) M5 money.

 

Am I missing something?  :huh:

 

 

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Rule of thumb for E39 buyers looking for value: 'Never buy an E39 at an auction'

 

Rule of thumb for E39 sellers: 'Always sell an E39 at an auction'

 

Auction prices for E39 M5s in the UK and the the US have become quite overheated this year as well. Auctions for these cars seem to create a bidding frenzy mindset in potential owners at the moment.

 

To be fair, the 530i that sold on BAT looked pretty tidy, was a manual (which carries a premium nowadays) and had a fair amount of documented service history.

 

 

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I think $18k is a lot but Americans seem to go nuts over manual transmission BMWs for some reason. UK used car prices are generally low compared to Europe, being right hand drive limits the UK export market a lot.

 

That said, good condition E39s (and E46s) in desirable configurations have been stable if not going up in value for a few years now. It's very much turning into an enthusiast market like the E38 market already has, where good condition and having the right engine can really drive up the price.

 

 

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Has anyone else noticed that some E39s are advertised for a higher than expected prices?

 

I’ve seen a couple on autotrader between 8k and 13k. 
 

I’m lightly thinking about buying one again but did not expect prices like that!

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I believe some are priced just with hope to get good profit. Can't see diesels rising much in price, even being good and reliable cars, due to ulez getting more popular in big cities. About petrols - low mileage and tidy examples, especially limited editions or rare colours etc will go up in price, but it will be collectors market, so sale with decent profit might last forever. 

 

When I see some 530i with 200+k on clock for 5k, it just makes me laugh. Not a chance it will go for that money. 

 

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I’ve been keeping my eye on Autotrader and the other usual used car markets. I’ve found wild price differences between similar cars on there.
 

Around £3500 seems to be the going rate for a tidy, well looked after example. But this seems to be regardless of mileage, which is odd to me. I’ve seen a car with 77k on the clock go for that price, as well as one with 150k on the clock.

 

Both my E39s came from eBay auctions, which seems to be a good way to pick one up for a reasonable price. 

Edited by wiewiorowski

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I think many “alternative assets” are currently doing odd things.

 

I’m interested in what you might call “modern” classic cars (I’d say that covers mid 1970’s to 2000), and also watches from a similar period, and I think both markets show the typical signs of being in a bubble - and once the general population know (or think they know) that there’s money to be made there, then the smart money is often long gone.

 

The E39 M5 and Rolex Submariner are two examples with similar trajectories. Both were relatively affordable until a few years ago. The M5 was a £5-£6k car for a long time, and the Sub was similarly priced. Many examples of both are now being bought by people who are more interested in their potential for future value gain, rather than on their merit as an interesting piece of engineering. I’m fairly certain there are Submariners on the market that are on their 4th or 5th “flip”, with each person having made a thousand pounds or two on them each time. Prices for a secondhand watch (as beautiful and desirable as the Submariner may be) can’t continue to rise forever, and at some point, something will correct the market, and it’s the same for cars - all but the very, very best (Patek Phillipe / Audemars Piguet watches, Ferrari F40’s, etc...) will lose value.

 

I’m not particularly against this rise in prices, to a point. It’s nice to see my 530i increase a bit from the £1400 I paid for it, and I have a couple of old watches (nothing particularly interesting) that are now apparently worth multiple times what I paid for them (although I paid very little). However, when you start seeing basic spec Fiestas and Mondeos being touted as “classics”, and people asking hundreds of pounds for tatty mechanical watches from long forgotten brands such as Buler, then something is wrong.

 

The saddest thing about markets like this is that the true enthusiasts are often priced out. Anyway. Good luck to the chap in the US who paid a small fortune, I sincerely hope the car brings him a great deal of pleasure. :)

Edited by CG172

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