7 Top Tips for Selling Your Porsche
By Tony Franklin on September 11, 2018
Some people own more cars than they know what to do with.Some owners trade them like stock tips and baseball cards. Most owners are collectors though. Each car symbolizes a memory or a specific time period that takes the owner back to sweeter days. Letting go of your Porsche can sometimes feel like losing a faithful friend. Here are a few tips that can help you sell your Porsche well.
1. Recognize the imperfections
New Porsches are magnificent cars and, with few exceptions, are well-built. Older cars though, especially those built before 1978 are subject to rust and corrosion. 1978 was the year that weatherproofing became prolific. Potential buyers disperse quickly at the sight of unmentioned rust on or underneath your car.
The potential issues with Porsche cars go beyond external rust issues. The worst of these may be the infamous Porsche IMS bearing (Intermediate Shaft). This is a small, cheap piece that has caused havoc in all the 966 models other than the the Turbocharged editions, the later 993 models, some of the 997 models, and also the Boxster. Any Porsche enthusiast worth their salt will inquire about this little problem. Many owners of these vehicles have had to overhaul their engines because of the IMS bearing nuisance. If you are selling one of the above models and want to make any kind of return on your investment, be sure to account for the IMS bearing.
It will fail without making a sound and can happen as quickly as your first 6,000 miles. Fortunately, it is not terribly expensive to fix if you catch it before it goes. The best solution is to replace it with a specially-made ceramic piece or you can replace it with a Direct Oil Feed IMS bearing. Both of these options run about $1,000 - which is nothing compared to the $20,000 overhaul when it fails. Also, you can purchase an IMS bearing sensor, which will help alert you when your IMS bearing is beginning to fail.
2. Check the Buyer’s Market
People with the money to buy a Porsche are intelligent folk and they are going to seek out the market experts before making their purchase. Most experts recommend avoiding the high-end turbocharged models as well as the vintage (pre-1978) 911s. If you look at what Porsche drivers are using today, you will see that most are driving mid-range models from the last four decades. You can win some buyers over with a well-maintained older car, but in general, the bigger the market, the quicker you can sell and the higher price you will get.
3. Maintain Clear Service Records
A true Porsche enthusiast will ask to see the service record for your car before they will want to see the car itself. A high mileage car could still bring you a good return provided you provide the proper paperwork to show it to be well-maintained. Gaps in their history and extensive time spent in repair shops are red flags to potential buyers. Your asking price will be weighed heavily against the service record of your vehicle.
4. Sell to Porsche Friends
The best owner of a used Porsche is a former owner of a Porsche. This is not just because you can entrust the care of your car in their hands. It is because they can trust the care you have put into it and are more likely to compensate you with it financially. That means that if you want to find good potential buyers, don’t start with eBay and Craigslist. There are some excellent websites out there that specialize in Porsche’s and high-end European cars, such as the Porsche Club of America and the Exotic Car List. If your car has been well-cared for, keep it in the Porsche community.
5. Reality Check
Not all Porsches have the same value, nor do they lose that value at the same rate. The best indicator of value is in the condition of the vehicle. Minor scratches or nicks will significantly lower the value to the buyer. While you may be tempted to try to sell your vehicle to a less knowledgeable buyer, it is usually the wiser enthusiasts who will be willing and able to pay the higher prices.
6. Details, Details, Details…
You can use the internet to sell your Porsche well, but you need lots of details to do so. For the amount of money, you will be asking for, you will need lots of clear photographs, and as much information about your vehicle as you can fit into an advertisement. You may not be able to have everything fit within a listing, but you would be wise to have a Google Doc or something similar available with as much information as you can find. This cuts the Q and A time you have with potential customers and will be appreciated by those who are true Porsche enthusiasts and serious customers. Chances are, those sportscar drivers who are interested in Porsches will already know a thing or two about your model.
7. Don’t Bank on Options
Porsche owners don’t fool around. The price of your Porsche will be almost entirely set by its mileage and condition. Custom wheels, navigation systems, or other extraneous options are not going to impress your real buyers, so don’t waste your time on them. Your personal sentiment will not count for anything either. In fact, it may count against you. Some buyers avoid private car sales because they prefer not to deal with previous owners and their personal attachment directly. It may be in your best interest to seek out a third party to help sell your vehicle.
With consistent, quality care, good record keeping, and good networking within the Porsche enthusiast market, you can make good money on your used Porsche. The key is to put yourself in the shoes of a buyer and consider their thoughts and feelings on making this investment, rather than getting caught up on your own thoughts and feelings about letting your Porsche go.