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Guide to Determining Price/Value of a Used Tesla For Buyers & Sellers

Discussion in 'Tesla for Sale' started by heysteveh, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. heysteveh

    heysteveh Member

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    The purpose of this thread is to provide a "Toolkit" of resources to help potential pre-owned Tesla buyers & sellers to determine current market value for used Tesla vehicles.

    Why that's so simple, right!? Just go to Kelley Blue Book online, input the year, make, model, etc. Then the seller simply takes that price, adds a few pics, and posts an ad online where, within a few days, a buyer spots the car, looks it up on Kelley Blue Book, comes up with the same price, and gladly buys the car from the seller. If only it was that easy!

    So how does one determine CURRENT MARKET VALUE for a Tesla? Are any of you potential buyers tired of reading countless private party ads online, only to compare them to TESLA's CPO website and discover that the private party has priced their vehicle HIGHER then a comparable CPO from Tesla that includes a four year 50K mile warranty? Are any of you potential sellers tired of using an online pricing tool to determine the price of your vehicle, only to have potential buyers either not responding to your add or offering many thousands of dollars less then what the value of the car SHOULD be? And what about TRADE-IN value? What is a fair amount to look for from TESLA or another dealer?

    So what tools should one use to determine price for a used Tesla? Where do you find these tools? how do you use them? What about intangibles that affect price?

    When posting, please include online references whenever possible. Let's make this thread a treasure trove of tips and resources to assist both buyers and sellers in their quest to own and drive the BEST CAR IN THE WORLD! After all, even the sellers are eventually going to buy another Tesla anyway!
     
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  2. heysteveh

    heysteveh Member

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  3. mblakele

    mblakele radial cross member

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    The RVG terms might form a useful baseline. Here's the language from my copy:

    We guarantee that your vehicle will have a resale value after 3 years of at least the Guaranteed Resale Value specified above. This value is equal to 50% of the base purchase price of the base Model S at the time of your purchase of the Vehicle, plus 43% of the original purchase price for all options including the upgrade to the 85kWhr battery pack (exclusive of taxes, fees and accessories). During the period between 36 months to 39 months from your Guarantee Effective Date, you have the option to sell your vehicle to Tesla for the Guaranteed Resale Value.

    [...]

    • The Vehicle is maintained by Tesla Motors or its subsidiary according to Tesla’s recommended service schedule. You must not have taken any action that would void the New Vehicle Limited Warranty on the Vehicle.
    •  The Vehicle will be inspected by Tesla and the Guaranteed Resale Value will be adjusted for damage, excessive wear and use based on Tesla’s standards for normal use and for mileage in excess of 15,000 miles per year. Excess mileage will reduce your Guaranteed Resale Value at a rate of $0.25 per mile.
     
  4. heysteveh

    heysteveh Member

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    Another idea to get real world sale prices: go to Ebay.com and perform a search for the Tesla model of your choice. Find several cars similar to what you are wanting to buy or sell. Now hit the "watch" button for each one. Once those Tesla's that you are "watching" sell, they will show the winning bid or sale price which will give you some current true market values.
     
  5. SUN-day Driver

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    I bought my first one in 2013 just after the buy back guarantee was introduced. At that time nobody knew what the market for these cars would be in 3 years. When 3 years came, I found this amount substantially lower than what they were selling for. I used the kbb price and CPO price as a guideline, and got close to my asking price, which was about 10k more than the buy back guarantee price. The buy back guarantee provided a floor in an unknown future market, and I would have used it if that was the most I could get, but luckily the true market value was much better.

     
  6. kwjayhawk

    kwjayhawk Member

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    I know from a future buyer perspective, I will not consider a private sale unless the price is under what I can find for a CPO unless and/or it has a transferrable warranty. Having seen old 60s in the low $40s with decent specs I cannot understand how private sellers justify theirs in the $50s. Maybe I think this way because my state charges sales tax on both private and commercial sales. I don't know. I'd love to hear why private sellers are higher than CPO deals Tesla has. I know there the low $40s vehicles haven't been around for a few months but with time and depreciation they will. For me I have no rush except for gitty-ness. And so time is on my side.
     
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  7. heysteveh

    heysteveh Member

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    I agree with this. I think most sellers do not know to check Tesla CPO prices. And if they do they may not realize that a CPO includes a 4 year/50K mile warranty as part of the deal. As you inferred, unless a private party seller has already bought an ESA (extended service agreement warranty), then this will cost the buyer $4K on top of the private party seller's asking price to match what the CPO offers as no extra charge.
     
  8. theflyer

    theflyer Member

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    #8 theflyer, Jul 4, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
    As someone who is actively looking/considering purchasing, I find it to be a pretty daunting task for the following reasons.
    1) Purchasing new feels pretty straightforward. Just build as you like. But, you're paying a large premium.
    2) Purchasing inventory through ev-cpo (thank you to the creator of that site) is also pretty easy and offers an excellent way to find inventory models with just the features you desire. Only a slightly less premium.
    3) Purchasing used (either CPO or on the market) feels very daunting to me. Let me elaborate a bit on why I feel this way.

    Purchasing used or CPO (even with ev-cpo)
    One of the business aspects I like most about Elon's strategy is the "no model year" approach to building cars. As Elon says, buy now because you're getting the best possible car we can built at that moment. This is awesome if you're buying a new car, but confusing as all get out if you're buying used. A 2013 built in January is likely a very different car than a MS built in December of 2013. And, unfortunately, it is virtually impossible (as far as I know) to get greater granularity than "this is a 2013 MS."

    Each car lists the features it comes with, but those features actually change over time. For instance, what is/is not in the "tech package" has changed over the years and there is no good resource for knowing exactly is in that package with that particular vehicle. ev-cpo has an excellent "information" button that shows you absolutely every feature of that given car, but it is mind numbing to look at that list and virtually impossible without a lot of leg work to compare different vehicles beyond the top-most categories (SC enabled, SAS, Cold Weather package, etc.).

    Additionally, these features barely touch the surface of the hundreds or thousands of tweaks being made to the car over time. For instance, lots of reports indicate the windshield wipers on the earliest MS' were really bad. When did Tesla swap those out for something better? Does Tesla upgrade the crappy parts when undergoing repair or servicing? i.e. If you take an early MS in to get the door handles serviced, do they "upgrade" the door handles to the newest technology or repair them as is?

    Finally, for used vehicles, there remain latent worries about the condition of the battery. How much degradation has occurred on that specific pack? Did the previous owner charge it to 100% every day? I don't think the mileage of the car really serves as a good surrogate for the condition of the battery. I'm not too worried about that if buying CPO, but would be very concerned about that if just purchasing from the market. Even if range isn't a daily issue as a prospective purchaser, no one wants to buy a used battery pack that suffers from above average degradation and there is no easy independent way to validate the condition of the battery short of going on a 200 mile drive in the car.

    ev-cpo was a huge step forward, but for it (or something like it) it to be truly great, I'd need the following features
    1) When was the vehicle built (at least at the granularity of month)?
    2) A timeline of all known changes to the baseline of that model including major and minor milestones. Place the vehicle(s) of interest on that timeline.
    3) What features (if any) have been upgraded on this particular vehicles (e.g. door handles upgraded, drive unit replaced, etc.)
    4) Some way of expressing the condition of the battery

    Edit: In short, we need a buying/selling tool that is as dynamic as the ever evolving production line and the life history for that vehicle.

    Whew, that ended up being a longish post. :)
     
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  9. TaoJones

    TaoJones Beyond Driven

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    Unless the original owner adds the ESA prior to 4 years or prior to 50,000 miles, the buyer is out of luck in that regard. Tesla has chosen to take a hard line about this more than once already.
     
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  10. heysteveh

    heysteveh Member

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    This is the closest thing I have seen that may answer some of your questions on when different features became available throughout the years/months on the Tesla Model S Model S - Options by Year - Tesla Motors Club Wiki
     
  11. Fiver

    Fiver Member

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    #11 Fiver, Jul 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
    Before you jump on sellers for posting 2012 MS60's with 60k miles for $65k online, realize that they are SELLERS. You are a buyer, of course every car should be cheap right?

    Point is, you're doing research and actually know what you (think you) should be paying. The fact these "overpriced" cars are selling is because others aren't doing this research. The market goes at what others are willing to pay. Sadly for you, what others are willing to pay trumps your budget most of the time.

    Just be on top of things, know exactly what you want, exactly what to look for (CPO warranty, etc) and be ready to jump when you see it. Because if you don't, someone else will.


    /edit To put some perspective on it. The last major CPO dump on the Tesla CPO website was May 17th, and 22 CPO cars sold in under 24 hours, 36 sold in 48 hours. The most recent CPO drop on June 30 sold 29 cars in 72 hours.
    Prior to these big car drops, back in the day when CPO's were steady we were seeing 1-5 cars sold a day on average, but they were also releasing cars willy-nilly, a few every few days.
     
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  12. heysteveh

    heysteveh Member

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    Not sure who this is directed at, but I appreciate the post. This thread is for buyers AND sellers and how they go about determining prices. It is not meant to be a thread where potential buyers complain about high prices being set on private party sale attempts. Thus your point about the market determining price is well taken. Ebay is a great example of market determining price. If a person puts a vehicle for sale on Ebay with no reserve, he will find out very quickly what current "true market value" really is for his/her vehicle.
     
  13. Fiver

    Fiver Member

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    It was a general "you" towards everyone who is out there buying. People forget there are two sides to the coin.

    The moment you take ownership of your Model S, it's almost certain you personally value it at a higher dollar amount then someone who is looking to buy your Model S.
     
  14. JeffS

    JeffS Member

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    I get confused when buyers cross cars off their list because the price is high.
    If it were me, I'd decide what I wanted, what I was willing to pay...and start trying to find the right car. Once I found the right car, I'd start negotiating the price. If the negotiated price makes it at-or-under max-price, then good to go.
    That's essentially what eBay does - but eBay does it in a way that introduces massive risk to the buyer. So those that are willing to undertake that risk - great. But to me, eBay sale prices are artificially reduced due to risk premium that buyers have to assume in order to do business through that tool. But that's just me.

    Sellers can ask whatever they want. Buyers can offer whatever they want.
    Teslas are best sold & purchased face to face, person to person. And a handshake still means more than the fine print of a Buy-Now button.

    -I'm old fashioned because I'm old.
     
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  15. bro1999

    bro1999 Member

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    I also was a bit perplexed when sellers would list their S's for sale at a price the same/higher than an equivalent CPO unit listed on Tesla's website.

    Though a lot of times private sellers have added stuff that a CPO probably doesn't have (expensive tint, clear bra, and other aftermarket accessories). Though the biggest deal killer for me while I was on a used S search was the extended warranty. Used S's without either a CPO warranty or owner-purchased ESA were too big a risk for me, unless the asking price was incredibly low.
     
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  16. CapeOne

    CapeOne Member

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    I think many sellers rely too much on sites like KBB, NADA, etc. to value their Teslas and don't bother to investigate what current 'true market' asking prices or selling prices may be. I've seen NEW 2016 Model Ss being offered, after tax credits, for the same or less than what USED 2015 Model Ss with same equipment are valued at on 'price guide' sites.

    Example:
    New 2016 Model S 90D - Model S 90D 136026 | Tesla Motors
    Tesla price after $7,500 federal tax credit = $87,700

    KBB private party value ("excellent condition") for used 2015 Model S 90D with same miles and equipment = $92,290
    NADA retail value for used 2015 Model S 90D with same miles and equipment = $90,900
     
  17. Fiver

    Fiver Member

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    If it sells it sells. Like I said above, the market sets the price, not individuals. A tiny few cars are selling for what you want to pay. The rest much higher, which means the price IS higher then what you want. Two sides to a coin.

    Everyone wants to buy the car of their dreams for a price "they" consider fair, but also they want their car to hold value once bought. The buyers are more vocal then sellers. You can't fault someone for trying to minimize loss when selling their car.
     
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  18. Bishop

    Bishop Member

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    I've actually noticed that non of the model x's are for sale on eBay b
     
  19. heysteveh

    heysteveh Member

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    Imagine you are a buyer... you find two identical used Tesla Model S's for sale. One is a CPO and one is a private party vehicle. Assume that the private party vehicle is INCLUDING the ESA warranty as part of the sale, thus making it similar to the CPO warranty that comes standard. Assume that all sales tax, tax credit situations, etc all end up being the same. Which would you choose and why?
     
  20. kwjayhawk

    kwjayhawk Member

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    That's a great question. If both cars are equal I will have to go with the CPO every time. Few reasons.

    Since it is not possible to save money in maintenance by independent shops to work on the vehicle and my only choice is Tesla. And should something go wrong with the vehicle the CPO coverage creates less stress.

    In my state it makes no difference in taxes buying private party or "dealer".

    Aftermarket additions by private sellers such as tint or mats are not a motivating factor. Kinda like selling a house. One off features prized by the previous owner may be worthless to the next.

    Nor is an EV credit. I don't intend on buying a car for the IRS deduction at my price point but I don't fault anyone who does. If the rules are there to be played, play them correctly. I wish they were so popular/affordable that there wouldn't be a need for EV credits, but again play by the rules just as everyone else does.

    Again if CPO and private car with ESA are the same I would choose CPO because the attention to detail that went in to listing the car for resale. There's risk in every transaction, but I feel with a CPO purchase in this case both parties have minimized risk as much as possible.

    My two cents.
     

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