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Evenin' from Pensacola,

I'm new to the Forum and looking forward to the future. My question is simple. I want your experienced feedback on an eBay deal I'm in the middle of...Buying my very first 1999 STS with 96K miles, a very detailed CARFAX, clean check with Cadillac Customer Service, beautiful pictures of the entire car indicating two mature owners that had the vehicle serviced since Day 1 at only Cadillac Dealerships, All books, records, RKEs, etc...

My current dilemna is one of commo and mileage, both email and telecommunications and is 96K properly service miles unreasonably high for a 7 year old STS? The email commo with the selling Dealer is lousy at best and the reasons are unknown. I am receiving about 1 out of every 5 emails. The phone commo is lousy becaus his Nextel service stinks.

His feedback rating is 100% but several people have had commo problems and noted it. The guy wants me to buy some fax time at a Kinko's and standby for a 'bunch of paperwork'.


Do you continue to march or do you stop and realize you are about to buy a 7 year old beautiful Cadillac STS, your first, and you have never even seen it much less test driven it; step back and wonder why are you getting all of these little roadblocks thrown at you? Is 96K miles approaching a gate with most STSs' that says within the next 20K miles plan on a new everything???


My big sister says go for it...My younger brother says Caveat Emptor....A one way ticket to South Florida is $118 bucks with Delta and my gut says go for it. I've been researching ALL CTS and STS eBay ads for the past 45 days and even though this isn't my number one color choice the car shows right and the service history trail shows right.


Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?


JP

Stephen JP Ingley

CW4, USA-Ret.
 

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I have bought several cars on e-Bay. Most of them have been fine, but two of them needed major work. The price on these two was cheap enough that even after repairs the deal wasn't too bad.

It all depends on the price. You will need to sign paperwork for the dealer, so a fax machine would help. Ask if he can e-Mail you the documents. Ask him specific questions about the condition. The last Seville I bought had bad head gaskets. These cars will idle fine but bad gaskets will make them overheat when going up hills. This repair was almost $3000, but I got the car for $6000. e-Bay offers a 30 day warranty, but it does not cover pre-existing conditions.

If the dealer makes you nervous, buy another car. There are plenty of them on e-Bay.
 

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1995 ETC, 75 Deville, Cad500 powered 73 Apollo, 94 Mark VIII
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I picked up my ETC sight unseen 2200 miles from my house from a private seller, not even a dealer. The trip itself bit me right on the ass, hard. But the car itself is great. If you're the adventurous type, and as long as the price is right, go for it.
 

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GMan and Dave,

Thanks for the feedback. It's tough being married to a very 'perceptive' woman who looks to the surreal for answers...Jaana doesn't like the fact that everytime we have communicated there has been a 'problem'...email or telephone.

I won't be able to check out head gaskets in South Florida so other than preflighting the car patiently I'd have to look at the risk factor of no warranty per se. I did read the details of the 3mo/3K mile eBay warranty and could not find anything related to pre-existing condition. What it clearly states is a $500 deductible which should cover the handshake, cup of Starbucks, and the diagnostic.

Today should be the judgement day...Big Sister says go to Wallie World and buy the friggin' fax...ughhhh...

More to follow...

JP
 

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I purchased a '97 Eldorado on Ebay with 48,000 miles. It looked great and drove fine on the 1500 mile trip home. However, for whatever reason, the head gaskets blew two months later. My mechanic speculated that "sealer" had been applied before I got the car because nothing I did would have caused the problem. I got the car for a good price, took it to a great shop here that specializes in Cadillacs. They "reconditioned" the entire car mechanically replacing all gaskets, half case seal (that was leaking I might add), stabilizer links, resurfaced pads and rotors, etc. The total cost was around $4,000. If I had not purchased the car for such a good price, that would have been out of the question for me. 96,000 miles would be a concern for me. Not just for the mechanical aspects, but for the car itself. Is it tight with no rattles or does it show and drive like 96,000 miles. Pictures can make a car look great, but remember the car is 7 years old and has almost a 100,000 miles! My advice is to pass on this one and try to find one with low mileage. :thehand:
 

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I would recommend to write a private message to the previous buyers and ask them. Some eBay sellers use f***g policy they don't give you a positive feedback until they receive positive feedback from you. So sometimes seller's feedback profile does not reflect the real situation.
When I am in doubt, I always write to several previous customers (you can find action numbers in seller's history in Advanced search by seller, check Completed items only). I often get nice replies with so much details about the purchase uncomparable with 60 characters long feedbacks.
 

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Here is how the e-Bay warranties work:

The standard warranty is 1month/1000 miles. It covers the powertrain only. When you activate it after purchase, they will send you the contract. Big red letters: Pre-existing conditions not covered.

If the dealer is a Square Trade dealer (there will be a logo listed in the add) there is a 3month/3000 mile warranty on the powertrain. This one covers pre-existing conditions, but it does not cover gaskets.

I was able to file a claim with e-Bay Fraud protection. They offer insurance against misrepresented items such as undisclosed major defects. The repair cost has to be over $1500 for them to cover it. The problem with this coverage is that no work can be done until they aprove the cost. They want to give the seller a chance to take the car back. My repair shop had already disassembled the motor to confirm the problem, so I could not get paid from them. But they did negotiate on my behalf. They got the seller to refund 50% of the repair cost.

E-Bay does not make all of this information very clear. I think they do this on purpose. It took a lot of phone calls and e-Mails for me to get the refund that I got.

All transactions on e-Bay are a leap of faith. You have to go with your gut feelings.
 

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Stephen,

Greetings from Ohio. I just went through almost your EXACT delema. I bought my 99 STS on EBAY from Ft Lauderdale. (ok...the city is not the same) Just to give you an idea of functionality and price, mine had 42K on it, has the wood trim package, the massage seat, and pretty much everything else except for OnStar. I wound up winning the bid for $12.7K. I was already in Tampa for business, so I just flew my wife down to Ft Lauderdale, and we drove it back to Ohio. It was a great trip, not just to get the car, but to have some time alone with the wife without the kids. The seller was more nervous about me than I was of him, even though I had financing from 3 different banks. He was threatening to not let me leave with the car until the check cleared his bank...like I could stop payment on a cashier's check from a bank!!? Anyway.



If the car is a good buy, despite the mileage, take the wife with you, and have a great trip.

The Piper
 

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Disclose the name of the eBay seller and I'll tell you if he or she is reputable. I know pretty much about reputable ebay sellers because all I do is help my friends buy cars off ebaymotors, so I deal with the same sellers on a monthly basis.

I purchased a car off eBay about 4 + years ago. Around the same time that eBay started 'eBaymotors.com.' The seller had 2 feedback and he was new. Now he is suspended. Anyway, the pics of the car looked great. The pics didn't agree with actual car. Upon delivery of the car, the car was crap and it gave me hell for a couple of years. The windshield was cracked really badly, motor mounts were gone, water pump was gone, catylitic coverter was gone, struts and springs were gone, uato level height sensor and compressor was gon, ac compressor was gone, headlights were cracked, abs was gone, tranny was gone, engine head gaskets were gone, brakes and calipers were gone, the leather seats had rips, the interior had a foul odor, the trunk leaked water, moonroof leaked water, lumbars didn't work, the wheels and tires leaked air. The wheels were badly rusted, but one couldn't tell that they were unless you removed the tire. There was so much 'undisclosed' problems with the car. The seller rook me and subsequently took a lot of other unsuspecting victims. But, also, I got the car for cheap, so what did I expect??? $3300 for a 1991 Seville STS. However, I didn't expect for the seller to lie and deceive in order to sell the car. Well, that's basically what you should expect from unreputable eBaymotors sellers. However, if you deal with a reputable eBay seller, you should have no problems. Just ask any and all questions before placing bids and pay a mobile mechanic to inspect and test drive the car before you place a bid. I think they charge around $500. Trust me, it's well worth it and you will have piece of mind. In most cases, a CarFax and maintenance records aren't nothing by itself. Have the car inspected before taking the plunge. All car accidents aren't reported to the police and CarFaxes can't tell you weather or not the previous owners abused the car, etc. My answer is to do an inspection and a CarFax!

BTW, the car that I bought off ebay over 4 years ago was given away to a nonprofit organization several years ago.
 

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The answer is very simple. If it is $118 - one way, fly down, have the heads checked (at your expense at a local mechanic) and then either buy the car or walk. Be sure to bring the written procedure and watch over the mechanics shoulder as he does it. The buyer and the mechanic should understand. You are there to buy a car - not have fun.

If the car has good head gaskets and runs out OK with no stored or current codes, its a keeper.
 

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Under $300 to fly round trip would be cheap insurance to test drive.

Another thing, the dealer may have the right to presell the car. My brother bought his last one by flying down unannounced and test driving, then buying the car. I know he talked to the dealer before going but didn't tell the dealer he was coming (took a cab to dealer). He took a chance but felt it was worth it. He must've had a price set or negotiated. Not sure of the purchase details.
 

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All the misgivings you have about the car and the seller seems to go against your gut instinct to buy the car. I myself will not buy a car without seeing it in person first and test driving it. I would wait a while, and find something local. You will eventually find the exact car you want, color and all, if you wait for it.

With all the rising gas prices, and glut of trade-ins (due to the employee discount programs and such) you shouldn't be too hard pressed to get something you like. Just watch out for flood-damaged cars from Louisiana, they will invade the used car market.

Just my 2 cents.
 
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