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View Full Version : Can't sell the cobra - any useful advice or tips?



liamm83
23-07-13, 08:26 PM
Hi all

I've had my cobra (AK Sportscars - 3.5l V8 ) for sale for a couple of months now and simply cannot get it sold. I can't even get people to come view it although I've had lots of offers online, but none that I could accept. The car is immaculate, starts first time, runs beautifully and had just been MOT'd when I put her up for sale (no work - first time pass, same as last year).

It is significantly cheaper than any other comparable AK that I have seen advertised. I keep comparing it to others that come up for sale and can't believe the price difference between some. I get emails saying 'I want to buy your car but it is in Glasgow and I am in London / South Coast / France / Kent...' but surely that isn't the only reason? It's £100 for a return flight, max.

Mine is £18k (just reduced again to £17.5k in the last day or so) - and the next cheapest on Pistonheads is £22.5k (with 5.7l Chevy engine to be fair), but another one is £25k also with a 3.5l Rover engine. The engine bay in mine is show-car condition, comes with full wet weather gear and an interior that was replaced 2 years ago, and yet I have seen poorer examples come up and sell within weeks.

I guess the responses will say lower the price and 'it's only worth what someone will pay' but it is so frustrating as I did all my research before buying and expected the value to hold. Over 10,000 page views on eBay and at least 20 people saying they will fly to Glasgow to buy it, but then decide not to because they don't want to spend money on a flight. I'll pay your flight! You're getting a cheap car!

Mine: Used AC Cobra 427 replica by AK Sportscars V8 for sale - PistonHeads (Ref 1489023) (http://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/kit-cars/cobra-replicas/ac-cobra-427-replica-by-ak-sportscars-v8/1489023)
Comparable year and engine: Used AK 427 Cobra Replica for sale - PistonHeads (Ref 1329891) (http://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/kit-cars/cobra-replicas/ak-427-cobra-replica/1329891)
Next cheapest AK available: Used AK SPORTS CARS AK427 1998 for sale - PistonHeads (Ref 1485955) (http://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/kit-cars/cobra-replicas/ak-sports-cars-ak427-1998/1485955)

Anyone know someone who is looking? I don't know whether to re-list on eBay for a 4th consecutive time. I'm not sure I can handle the daily emails from timewasters! Have used Pistonheads and Car and Classic too, and also this site but got no emails through here.

Not sure what my next step is.

Liam

nealgs
23-07-13, 08:49 PM
Speak to Warren re time taken to sell cobra, his took ages, but did eventually go - time wasters gallore apparently.

I think it means that you are also meant to keep it ;)

Good luck either way

Gary

liamm83
23-07-13, 09:00 PM
Thanks! I know, would be nice to keep it but I really just won't get much use and it seems like a waste.

Tempted to put her to eBay auction starting at £16k with no reserve, and just take what happens. Just not sure that will really help as people won't be able to come and view her so probably won't bid and I'll be back in this position. It's starting to wear me down a bit!

Thanks again

shadow
23-07-13, 09:26 PM
First thing pops out is why is it that much cheaper!? nothing wrong with it by the sound of it, but thats my first thought. (only cos im blanketing for a new tintop and ignore the low comparable priced ones). But there are some under exposed pics in the add which you should retake in the nice sun we have. Forget the distracting backgrounds, nice but that's not whats for sale.
Would FaceTime or Skype be a good tool to offer instant video viewings providing you have a phone to do it with?

Just an idea.

Oh and don't ebay it. Buyers for these cars are few and and far so someone may be in a position to look and find yours in a few weeks time. Youre unlikely to get a good price in such a short sell time that eBay give, hang on in there. Unless your in a real rush.

liamm83
23-07-13, 09:37 PM
I wondered if it was now starting to look too cheap but I can't really increase the price back up so feel a bit stuck. It was initially on eBay for £19,200 as it could do with new rear tyres so I figured I would price it at £19.5k less a few hundred for that, and was hoping to get close to £19k. Got lots of interest but it is just the same thing over and over again - people on the south coast who aren't prepared to travel to view it - so I have reduced the price £500 a time and now find myself way below AK's own valuation of the car (£20k) but still can't sell.

Skype might be a good idea, hadn't really thought of that - thanks. I'd taken a video of it starting up, and it's been at a couple of shows here so I have photos of it in different locations.

It's been for sale now for 3 months and I've had one viewer... Although I wasn't desperate to sell I am so frustrated now that I just want it done rather than spending more time trying to get her sold.

shadow
23-07-13, 09:40 PM
I'd start afresh, new add with new pics in the sun and revise the price to a more comparable price! There doesnt seem any reason not to. There is a thread on here about taking pics of cars somewhere.
Fit new tyres, and recoup that in the price, I wouldn't want to spend extra on it a week or month after spending £££££ on a car.

Remove negatives from the add, (HEAVILY REDUCED....in upper case too) (bulky folder with receipts for suspension....) keep it short and positive and informative.

Just my opinion from trawling my searches.

tonym
23-07-13, 10:02 PM
Why not speak to Antony at absolute horsepower and see if he'll sell it for you for the right price plus his commission, may be easier??

Andy76
23-07-13, 10:12 PM
Liam

I think it will generally be a little harder to sell the car up here for various reasons, smaller population (less customers), weather not so good etc etc. Just as a thought- do you have any friends south of the border that would be willing to try and sell the car for you, or at least let people view it so as to avoid you paying a trader to do it?

Also I know you said you were busy but the Classic this weekend is probably a good bet. I noticed someone has tickets they aren't using so you would at least get a couple of tickets and an infield pass for club prices. Either that or try and get it out to a few more shows/events where there is some passing trade.

Another, possibly risky option- consider taking part ex, if you were selective and only offered trade price for the part ex (lots of private adds offer this) you may sell something a little more conventional on more easily.

Andy

TINKA
23-07-13, 10:14 PM
You could also have a chat with AK as they are having an open day in August this could be a good opportunity, to sell it plus Antony will probably be there if that is the way you want to go.

ian_uk1975
23-07-13, 10:45 PM
Lack of side pipes probably counts against it given that most (esp. 1st-time) Cobra buyers want side pipes. Also, the colour (ie. not blue) might put some 1st-time buyers off. Not saying there's anything wrong with underlungs and a colour other than blue (my old Dax was pearl black with underslungs), but it just narrows the market even further.

I think the key with cars like this is to start advertising them well in advance of when you actually would like the car gone... just seems to take weeks (or even months) to weed-out all the timewasters, tyre kickers, etc, until you find a genuine buyer.

Time wasters and all the silly e-mail/text offers without seeing the car, or even so much as asking any questions, are all very trying... hard not to get worked-up with all the 'what's your best price' e-mails and 'what's the lowest you'll take'. Then there's the timewasters who actually come and view the car, then proceed to inspect it with a fine tooth comb... opening and closing doors 10-times whilst listening/looking intently (at what, I'm not sure!), finding the odd stone chip and making tutting/sighing sounds, etc, etc. Been there, done that. In my experience, the genuine buyers tend to be quite casual about the whole thing... they usually don't ask many (or any) questions, view the car promptly and don't take long to express a genuine interest in doing a deal once they see the car. It seems to be the buyers that take up hours of your time and want to examine every last nut and bolt and piece of paperwork that usually end-up departing with that classic line 'I'll think about it'.

Anyway, good luck!'

motormoose
23-07-13, 10:50 PM
Hello mate first and foremost remember we are at the tailend of a bad recession ,this always affects the car market s especially specialist cars.everyone wants a bargain .It will come down to two things how long you can hold out for ,and how much one is willing to pay .but never advertise desperation ,as akick between the legs with a size nine hurts .You might do well to take an ad in a decent car mag like classic and sports car ,best of luck .

liamm83
24-07-13, 07:29 AM
I'd start afresh, new add with new pics in the sun and revise the price to a more comparable price! There doesnt seem any reason not to. There is a thread on here about taking pics of cars somewhere.
Fit new tyres, and recoup that in the price, I wouldn't want to spend extra on it a week or month after spending £££££ on a car.

Remove negatives from the add, (HEAVILY REDUCED....in upper case too) (bulky folder with receipts for suspension....) keep it short and positive and informative.

Just my opinion from trawling my searches.

Thanks for the suggestions - I think I might re-list at a higher price, open to offers, and without the additional info. I don't want the summer to pass though and end up with another winter so I'm running out of time!

Would be happy to sell to a dealer, Tony, and had tried approaching a couple but didn't get anywhere - I will look up Absolute Horsepower. I'd asked AK if I could store my car at their factory (which I would pay for, along with paying for a tune up) so that people could go along, see it, ask questions and buy it knowing that it was serviced and ready to go but they didn't have that option unfortunately.

Yeah, Andy, I just can't make that show this weekend - got a friend coming up from Wales and can't cancel so late on. I had thought about sending it to a friend in London but I would need to get him insured, and he would have to 'learn' how to drive it if that makes sense. So I came to the conclusion that to do that would mean me putting on new tyres, paying for transport, new insurance and possibly storage costs down there and figured that I would just reduce the price up here instead but that's not worked out!

Thanks for the info Ian! It sounds very familiar - so far I have had to measure the lowest clearance point on the underside; measure width and length (different 'buyer'); video the car starting; reject over 20 ridiculous offers; turn down driving the car to someone in england so they could view it and after 10,000 page views on eBay I got 1 viewer (who I think decided to buy a Ferrari instead!).

An AK open day would be ideal. I'm always worried that if I pay to transport it down, pay hotel, flights back up etc then I'm kind of stuck if it doesn't get sold but I'll maybe need to just go for it!

Thanks all for your help.

Liam

kdavies3
24-07-13, 07:29 AM
Have you spoken to Sovereign, Hallmark or Total Head Turners?
I'm sure they'd buy it (cheap no doubt) and then sell it on at a profit. (business is business).
I guess it depends how bad you want it gone?

liamm83
24-07-13, 08:35 AM
Have you spoken to Sovereign, Hallmark or Total Head Turners?
I'm sure they'd buy it (cheap no doubt) and then sell it on at a profit. (business is business).
I guess it depends how bad you want it gone?

Yeah, I had tried but didn't even get a response to my emails - I know I should pick up the phone but I was sure it would sell quickly without them. Might be time to chase them now, but don't want to seem desperate.

Cheers!

cobracol
24-07-13, 08:47 AM
I wondered if it was now starting to look too cheap but I can't really increase the price back up so feel a bit stuck. It was initially on eBay for £19,200 as it could do with new rear tyres so I figured I would price it at £19.5k less a few hundred for that, and was hoping to get close to £19k. Got lots of interest but it is just the same thing over and over again - people on the south coast who aren't prepared to travel to view it - so I have reduced the price £500 a time and now find myself way below AK's own valuation of the car (£20k) but still can't sell.

Skype might be a good idea, hadn't really thought of that - thanks. I'd taken a video of it starting up, and it's been at a couple of shows here so I have photos of it in different locations.

It's been for sale now for 3 months and I've had one viewer... Although I wasn't desperate to sell I am so frustrated now that I just want it done rather than spending more time trying to get her sold.
Hi Liam, I really would have thought you would have sold by now, as it looks superb, and there has been lots of people "wanting" on the forums, there cars are really expensive "toys", and unfortunately in the current economic climate, spare money for "toys" is hard to come by!, no matter how much you drop it by, if the right person dosent come along it wont sell, and there are also a few things that are making it less saleable, IMHO the colour, though superb, will put many people off, boring as it may be to some, blue/white sells period!, another thing is the lack of sidepipes, most people want/expect them, and will be an expensive addition, the part of the country you are in is also a downer from the majority of possible buyers, I agree £100 or so in fuel is insignificant compared to the possible savings, but is a lot to spend if the car is.. (from the uninformed customers prospective).. "below parr". So would it not be worth while perhaps offering to sell it via Antony at Absolute Horsepower, you will have much better chance of finding someone who will appreciate your car, if they are making the journey to see a few cars anyway, another idea, you could always keep the car, to use as often as you can, and take it to as many shows as poss, that way you will have the biggest chance of selling it if people can see it in the flesh so to speak, it will likely not sell stuck in your garage

dingocooke
24-07-13, 09:07 AM
I think location is less of an issue if the car is nice; after all Anthony at Absolute Horspower sells plenty, and he is in the far flung south west!
For people as far south as the midlands (for example) no different driving time to either location!! I have bought Cobras as far away as north West France; if its the right thing, people will travel!

I think the key is description and price, not too cheap or people will think its a pup, and not too much guff in the advert; I have made that very mistake in my latest PH advert, and now I have edited it a lot to be more succinct, and lo and behold I have had more enquiries!
Photos help too, especially when you are a decent drive away. Why not take some different photos, some detail of the engine bay, some cockpit detail etc Don't be afraid to ring the changes in your advert? Think of what you would look at if you were viewing the car in the flesh, and take photos to reflect that; similarly with the description; answer the questions you would ask!! Sovereign has been mentioned, but you would probably be made an offer at half your asking price so be prepared for that if you go that way!!
If you can hold out, I think PH is the best classifieds way; Ebay doesnt work for cars like this in my experience unless you drop lucky!

As has been said, these things are toys, they dont generally sell very fast; be patient and keep your powder dry!!

Good luck with the sale

cobracol
24-07-13, 12:59 PM
Actually Steve I do think location is part of the problem, far fewer open cars will be sold in the north than the south simply due to weather, temperatures, distribution of wealth, and mosquitoes ;) ect. and you only need to check the regional membership numbers, to see where the numbers are, same car in the south would probably have sold by now, that's not to say it wont sell, just that there are not as many interested parties

liamm83
24-07-13, 01:23 PM
Actually Steve I do think location is part of the problem, far fewer open cars will be sold in the north than the south simply due to weather, temperatures, distribution of wealth, and mosquitoes ;) ect. and you only need to check the regional membership numbers, to see where the numbers are, same car in the south would probably have sold by now, that's not to say it wont sell, just that there are not as many interested parties

I feel it is too. I appreciate what you've said Steve but most of my potential buyers have been south coast so it's an 8 hour journey or a flight followed by paying for a car transporter.

I'm currently in discussions with someone to store my car in their garage in Croydon and sell it from there - just waiting to see how much of a cut / payment they would need to make it work.

Lotus11
25-07-13, 06:39 AM
I think the distance does cause a problem since buyers arent prepared to potentially waste a lot of money going to view a car they dont end up buying.

However there are ways around this. I bought a car from Anthony at AHP and I'm over 200 miles away from him, granted it's not the 350 miles I am from you or 400 miles you are from him. We had numerous calls and emails and even a 10 minute YouTube video of the car which was very useful and also a good laugh for me too (sorry anthony). We agreed a price but also potential "get out clauses" should the car not be as disclosed etc.

I think your car looks great in the ads and I would have considered it but was after a sbc, I do think the AK day would be really good and a refresh of the ad useful. Maybe adding that you can deliver the car for a small additional cost.

It's a shame it hasnt gone yet, fingers crossed it does.

liamm83
25-07-13, 07:25 AM
Well guys...the Cobra is sold (!).

I was all set to go to Anthony at AH (and thanks again to him) after a few of you had recommended him, but I've had an offer from the person I bought the car from and I have accepted. It's less than I wanted, less than I think the car is worth, but he doesn't need to come view it and I will have the cash in the bank in a couple of days. He had actually turned down the offer to buy it on Tuesday night which prompted me into making this post, but when he realised it was going to be sold he has made a counter offer and I am reluctantly accepting.

Thank you to everyone for your help with this - now I need a couple of years to get stuff together and hopefully I can buy another cobra in the future :)

Liam

TINKA
25-07-13, 07:34 AM
Congrats glad it worked out in the end even if it was not quite as much as you wanted. Hope things go well and you can get back into Cobra ownership soon.