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How Not to Sell My Salvage Titled Volvo

Jim Yu August 31, 2015 For Sale 14 Comments

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As you may remember, my beloved 6MT Volvo V50 T5 was rear ended and declared a total loss in April. Some enterprising individual bought the wreck at an auction, proceeded to fix/replace the rear hatch, and flip it on Craigslist. Almost three months later, it still sits, stale. Make the jump to see why.

First, attention to detail. The rear hatch looks good, or does it? The Volvo emblem is in TWO DIFFERENT FONT SIZES. The V, O, and L are from the post-facelift V50. The latter V and O are from the pre-facelift V50. Moreover, the car has a 2.5 liter inline-5 with a turbocharger. The rear badge should say “T5”. But the botched fix shows a “2.4” badge out of a 2.4 liter, normally aspirated, inline-5. Unforgivable.

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Second, pricing. The original owner and I took great care of the car and at 82,000 miles, it has relatively low miles for a 2006 model. But according to Kelley Blue Book, such a car in Very Good Position is valued at $7,368. And that’s for one with a clear title. The flipper originally listed this car, with a salvage title, for $7,800. Then, he lowered it to $7,300. Now, it’s at $7,000. As coveted as a low mileage V50 T5 with a manual transmission is, I don’t think anyone would spend more than $5,000, $5,500 tops, for it.

What do you think?

Postscript: Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the seller for fixing up a great car and keeping it on the road for someone else to enjoy. I just think it’s overpriced and the badge errors leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Photos via .

  • Scoff Law

    That dude has spent too much time in the sun without a hat, no one in their right mind is going to pay (Very Good) blue book for a car with a salvage title no matter how well the fix was done and certainly not with such glaring badge errors.

  • “…and declared a total loss….”

    No vehicle that can still make its way onto a LeMons track need be a total loss.

  • PotbellyJoe★★★★★

    In my world of cars, if it’s a branded title, cut the VG number in half and start from there. At least that was the rule of thumb out here.

    I’ve dealt with more than a few salvage units, some for stupid reasons, others for very obvious issues (One I was amazed they could even rebuild.) It’s murky waters and entirely dependent on the shop that did the work.

    A shop that can’t get the emblems right is not one i would trust with the myriad other details of the rebuild.

  • 0A5599

    It’s priced high because it was formerly owned by a celebrity who blogs about cars, and featured it in posts read by dozens of visitors to the site

  • Sjalabais

    The different font size emblem thing is the worst about it. I’m fine with someone putting down work trying to get paid for it. But what on earth is someone thinking doing this? “Fine. Done.” can’t possibly be it. Or it’s just a weird sense of humour.

    • Rover 1

      You’re right.

      If it takes a certain amount of effort to do a job, it only takes about the same amount of effort to do it properly.

      As Potbelly Joe says above, what other corners were cut?

  • MattC

    While I would love someone to enjoy your old car, the lack of detail bothers me. First off, the price is too high and the car will continue to sit until it is priced accordingly. Second, I would do a double take on the work to verify that the labels are the worst things done to the hatch. Half the asking price, I might be interested….

  • mrh1965

    Rule one when looking at used cars on CL: salvage title? Move on. Maybe that’s harsh but that’s me. I don’t want someone’s wrecked and rebuilt car.

    • That matters less the older the car is and the better the condition. Mileage and title are meaningless compared to actual condition and upkeep past about 25 years old.

      • Lokki

        As long as one ignores the ugly little question of why it has a salvage title. Sure, sometimes a car was totaled for no other reason for being too old to have a reasonable-repair-cost-to-car-value on some minor repair….but that’s not the way to bet, especially on Craigslist. If you have a couple of extra thousand dollars you can throw at a better example, you’re almost always better off.

        • 0A5599

          Not necessarily. Imagine someone whose car was several years old when it was stolen. The thief and his buddies put out cigarettes in the seats. Wheels were stolen. It was recovered in some bushes, which had scratched the paint on several panels. Maybe $8000 in repairs on a $8000 car. But for $1000, you could get replacement wheels and tires, some seat covers, and buff out the scratches to make them less noticeable. If someone sold that car for $6000 to a teenager as a first car, I think it would be a much better value than an $8000 clean title version.

          But 25 years down the road, the branded title makes little difference. It will be worth whatever a clean title version is worth, if in similar condition.

  • Tamerlane’s Thoughts

    It’s now down to $6,500.

    • Sjalabais

      Dutch auction eBay?

      • Tamerlane’s Thoughts

        It’s $6,100 now.

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