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///M3 Forum
The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 01-27-2013, 09:03 PM   #1
YYCBMW
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Thinking of buying M3 E46 Convertible on eBay?

Hey everyone,
I'm in the market for buying a M3 e46 vert once I sell my '65 mustang (see my album). I can see there are quite a few nice ones on eBay, but I would like to get some feedback from you all about your thoughts on buying luxury cars on eBay. I'm a bit leery as I do want a SMG car and I know they have issues more than the 6spd manual (please let's not debate what's better, haha). The kicker is I live in Canada and I want a US car as it won't be driven in the salt/gravel roads and bloody cold weather we have here, plus I can get more options in colours available to me etc. In other words, I'm buying long distance almost certainly, so a test drive likely won't happen. Does eBay's purchase protection help me if the SMG has any issues they are known to have?

My buddy bought a Dodge Roadrunner on eBay and it had components tied with baler twine and the electrical was f*cked. That's an old ass car, so I wouldn't expect that with a not so old BMW. It wasn't a dealership obviously either.

Thanks for the input

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Old 01-27-2013, 10:25 PM   #2
tdenny7
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I found my M3 on Ebay and absolutely love it. I met with the owner and test drove the car before i bought it though. I don't know if i could trust buying an M3 without test driving and speaking to the owner in person.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:41 PM   #3
YYCBMW
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Yeah I hear you. I'm debating flying down and driving the car back, but I'd have to be 99% committed to buy it though. Did you buy your car first then test drive it (sale contingent on test drive) or did you test drive it then make an offer? I don't think I'd buy a used M3 sight unseen without having an Inspection II done. I feel relatively comfortable buying from an eBay dealership as they have feedback from buyers so I'd hope they aren't selling POS They also have coverage against major issues so it says on eBay.

I agree with you though, that meeting the owner goes along way. If he's got business up top and party in the back, I'm likely to walk away,
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:41 AM   #4
dillard
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Just make sure it's not a Sandy or other storm car.

Otherwise, shouldn't be an issue.

Enjoy
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:36 AM   #5
YYCBMW
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Originally Posted by dillard View Post
Just make sure it's not a Sandy or other storm car.

Otherwise, shouldn't be an issue.

Enjoy
Good point, I see lots of cars from that area on Autotrader and eBay.
Thanks for the note.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:22 PM   #6
tdenny7
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I test drove it and then made an offer. Luckily the car was fairly close to where i live. The owner already had inspection 2 done and all of the paper work from oil changes done by the dealer. I couldn't have found a better car.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:27 PM   #7
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Great! Welcome to Club Cool.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:03 AM   #8
YYCBMW
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Originally Posted by tdenny7 View Post
I test drove it and then made an offer. Luckily the car was fairly close to where i live. The owner already had inspection 2 done and all of the paper work from oil changes done by the dealer. I couldn't have found a better car.
I hope my story goes the same way. I'm pretty stoked to join the club

On another note, what States are best to buy from in terms of getting a great condition vehicle (particularly a vert)? I'm sure I'll get some pretty broad answers, but not being from the US, I honestly don't know. I've heard some people say Cali and Arizona, but I'm not sure why? I've heard Arizona cars sometimes have the odometers rolled back or something along those lines?
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:11 PM   #9
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I wouldn't place too much confidence in any protection you'd get from ebay over, say, buying a car from the classifieds here.
Basically, you're going to want to see the maintenance records and have a PPI done.
You have a little more recourse with a dealer, but not much.
And obviously you'll need to figure out the logistics of bringing a US car into Canada.
But I do think the SMG preference will actually help your search.
I can't count how many times I look at an ad here and say "Mmmmm, nice car. Forget it, it's SMG."

Good luck with your purchase.
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:10 PM   #10
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I purchased my 96 Porsche 993 C4S from ebay. I did fly up to see it but im in the process of possibly buying an 06' M3 right now off of ebay. As a matter of fact I researched good independents in the area, on this site, and am having the car PPI'd there today!

I purchased 2 Harleys off of Ebay also and LOVE both of them.

The best States are the Southern/ Southwest states because of no snow/ salt, (IMHO). I like Fla, Ca, Arizona, etc. The one i'm looking at is a California car. The car i'm possibly buying is a loaded triple black vert.......w/SMG, (No bashing please!). It will primarily be my wifes car.

Good Luck!
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:36 PM   #11
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Congrats on the potential purchase! How did you organize the PPI with the seller (dealership or private?)? Do you bid/buy now and then before the sale is finalized it has to be subject to a PPI at a mechanic of your choice? Are you paying for the PPI? I'm very intersted in how your sale goes down as I'm most certainly buying long distance too.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:26 PM   #12
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sell a 65 mustang to get an e46 m3? I would never.... Keep the 65 mustang and then get an e46 m3... I own both..
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:23 PM   #13
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YYCBMW-

When I'm looking at a big ticket eBay item I don't bid on it. If its a dealer or private seller I call them to discuss the vehicle and work the deal. As for the PPI, I research for the best independent mechanic in the area and have the seller bring them the car. Usually for about $100 they will spend an hour with the car basically checking everything. They then produce a report. I just hung up with the indy on the car they looked at for me today. The car checks out and is nice but it does need about $2k worth of maintenance, (front tires and brakes, power steering hose, belts and a few real minor things). Now I go back to negotiate $. Pretty straight forward. It's worked out for me so far. Good luck!
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:24 AM   #14
YYCBMW
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Originally Posted by Mr. Din View Post
sell a 65 mustang to get an e46 m3? I would never.... Keep the 65 mustang and then get an e46 m3... I own both..
You want two 65 mustangs? Trade you for your red vert? haha It's simple math for me, 2 car garage, 3 cars, something's got to give.
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:31 AM   #15
YYCBMW
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Originally Posted by lowblow View Post
YYCBMW-

When I'm looking at a big ticket eBay item I don't bid on it. If its a dealer or private seller I call them to discuss the vehicle and work the deal. As for the PPI, I research for the best independent mechanic in the area and have the seller bring them the car. Usually for about $100 they will spend an hour with the car basically checking everything. They then produce a report. I just hung up with the indy on the car they looked at for me today. The car checks out and is nice but it does need about $2k worth of maintenance, (front tires and brakes, power steering hose, belts and a few real minor things). Now I go back to negotiate $. Pretty straight forward. It's worked out for me so far. Good luck!
Thanks for the tips. I am definitely going to do an inspection prior. It's probably the best few hundred bucks you can spend. Good luck on your negotiation
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:59 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by YYCBMW View Post
You want two 65 mustangs? Trade you for your red vert? haha It's simple math for me, 2 car garage, 3 cars, something's got to give.
I'd trade you my imola vert if it was a 68 fastback.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:33 PM   #17
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I bought a car on ebay, but didn't pay until i saw the car...worst case I got bad reviews if I thought the car was not as advertized and walked away.

I bought my M from off another forum and flew there. I just didn't use the other half of the two way ticket and drove 1000 miles back. The price of a ticket is nothing compared to buying an M with problems...be ready to walk away if your gut says so.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:53 PM   #18
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I say, take your time. Look around, and purchase one, locally, you can see the car in person and check for any leaks, touch every switch to see if everything works: also heads up- make sure you check the rear/subframe for cracks. ask the guy/dealer to put the car on the lift, and go under and check it with a flash light - google it, where to look for. - I fixed my subframe at local performance shop (It runs around 1500 to fix) good luck!
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:45 AM   #19
YYCBMW
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I say, take your time. Look around, and purchase one, locally, you can see the car in person and check for any leaks, touch every switch to see if everything works: also heads up- make sure you check the rear/subframe for cracks. ask the guy/dealer to put the car on the lift, and go under and check it with a flash light - google it, where to look for. - I fixed my subframe at local performance shop (It runs around 1500 to fix) good luck!
Thanks for the tips everyone. I'm test driving cars locally, but any nice ones are crazy expensive. Test drove one that was $38,000 and it didn't even have Nav or a hardtop. Thanks for the tip about the sub frame cracking issue. I've heard a bit about that problem, so I'll definitely add that to the list of items to check.

I kinda want to buy a Cali car and drive it back to Canada going up the Oregon coast and bomb through the corners there!

I'm going to start a thread about how to detect and where to look for detection of body damage/repair. Even though most carfaxes are clean, sometimes when looking at the pictures, the bumpers look discolored compared to the body so it always makes me suspect a repaint. I don't have any eye for that sort of thing so I'm sure there are people on here who do.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:17 PM   #20
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Even though most carfaxes are clean.
Carfax is worthless. I bought and sold cars in accidents and none of them were on the carfax. Read the find print, they only report stuff on file at the DMV, and who tells them when they have an accident?

Look for drips and overspray. Also creases in areas with multiple bends like door jams and around the hood/trunk.
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