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Old 03-24-2014, 07:02 AM   #1
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Long Distance Purchases

Still on the hunt for my first Boxster. Interested to hear the experiences of anyone who bought a car from a Long Distance or maybe even imported a car. Wondering how you handled things like PPI and shipping. I am finding that there are better cars in the US, or Western Canada

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Old 03-24-2014, 09:33 AM   #2
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I know lots of people buy long distance unseen but with a PPI done by a local indy shop. I could not buy a car if I had not seen it personally. However if there is one or two you want checked out in this part of the world I can take a look for you, take some pics etc.

However I am not a mechanic but have owned my base 2001 Box for three years now. I bought mine privately locally. Buying in the US likely is cheaper but don't forget $US is worth more plus import hassles.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:06 AM   #3
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I've bought and sold a few times sight unseen. In my experience, you get what you pay for.

I bought my 986 pretty cheap from a used car dealer looking to unload it to an out-of-towner who wouldn't bother him later, in hindsight. I had to do a lot of work with her, but after 20k of ownership I think she was a pretty good car for her age. 986 Interior do not age well, and it can be hard to see in pics. I wound up replacing a lot of the interior before reselling. I think I spent about $1k on her past what I recovered when reselling after 2 years. I have no regrets though, but if you're not a DIYer it can get really expensive to take car of the deferred maintenance and replacement of damaged / crapped out parts.

Otherwise, the 991S I bought on my father's behalf was immaculate, but we did pay pretty much dead-on for the mileage (600 miles in early 2013). I've sold three P-cars to out-of-state buyers, and have done everything I could to make sure that they knew the condition of the cars and feel like they were all satisfied.

I think the most important thing is to make sure that the seller REALLY knows what he's got, and to get the inspection done.
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:01 PM   #4
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I am in South Florida. I saw my 986 almost two years ago on an ebay ad from a car dealer (Mike's Place) in Orange, California. They had posted over 50 pics showing almost every angle inside and out. Their ebay rating was 100% after over 4,000 transactions. I Googled the dealer and only found positive things said. I decided to call and was able to negotiate the price to where I wanted to be. So I decided to purchase the car. The dealer handled all the shipping details and even drove over one hour to the nearest dealership to have a 2nd key made for which they picked up $100.00 of the cost (without my asking). Although I had my reservations about buying the car without a PPI, the car has been awesome from day 1. I would highly recommend Mike's Place to anyone interested in dealing with honest, reputable people.
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:33 PM   #5
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I have bought a few cars remotely. Contact the seller and get as many photos as you can. Look at them carefully and with discernment - looking at the reality of the condition, not with that wishful glance of an overexcited buyer.

Then hire a local mobile mechanic to perform a PPI and test drive the car for you. They will send you a detailed report along with the driving impression. This is easier in larger cities than in rural areas.

If everything checks out, send payment and hire a transporter to get it home! Easy as cake.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:15 PM   #6
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I purchased my 01 S almost two years ago on e-Bay from a private seller in Chico, CA. No PPI because I wasn't expecting to win the auction. But my winning bid was low enough to make it worthwhile - $4,000 less than Edmunds private party retail.

I flew out to CA to pick it up and drove home. But e-Bay does have shipping arrangements with three companies.

There have been some significant maintenance costs, but nothing that I think a PPI would have uncovered, and overall I have been very happy with the purchase.

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Old 03-24-2014, 07:21 PM   #7
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If I can't drive it................I'm not buying it.

Just sayin'..............

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Old 03-25-2014, 08:15 AM   #8
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bought mine at a Nissan dealership in houston texas. I had it taken to a local porsche indy shop to carry out a PPI. Upon receipt of the PPI report, which was favorable, I purchased the car. Monies were sent via bank transfers which is fully traceable.
My original intention was to have the car transported back to the us/canada border but guaranteed pick up and delivery time was getting close to a possible snow fall(Dec) time, so I jumped on a plane then drove MY car home for 5 days..... by myself!! It was so enjoyable the car paid for itself right there. Two days after I got the car home and in the garage it snowed.
I did my importing research before purchase so I had paperwork ready for US and Canada borders so things went smoothly.
If you buy a reliable car and you have the time, drive it home. Buy it in May and DON'T come straight home find the long way home.
I'm looking forward to May so I can find a road trip, Niagara I think via the US.
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeamOxford View Post
If I can't drive it................I'm not buying it.

Just sayin'..............

TO
+1

I think part of the buying experience is driving it home after. If you fly out, check it out and it passes the PPI then the chances of breakdown on the way home is minimized. It is not like it is a 993 which has become super valuable. These cars are for driving but to be driven they have to work properly in the first place. Caveat emptor etc etc.
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:54 AM   #10
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I test drove several locally in NC, and then I found one that had the right colors and options I wanted that was in PA. I was fortunate to have Kevin at the Porsche Specialist in Broomhall PA to do the PPI and he also did the IMS retrofit before I came to pick up the car to drive back to NC. I didn't book my flight until the last second and I got lucky and got a super cheap flight on Delta,

The things that made me comfortable with doing it long distance:
I was familiar with the Boxster enough to know it was the car I wanted.
I was super comfortable with the shop that did the PPI, and the results were very good. The previous owner did not skimp on maintenance and practically everything had already been replaced (AOS, Coolant Tank, Clutch, MAF, Ignition Switch, Front engine mount, etc...). The PO elected not to do the IMS bearing as it was dual row and was in good condition when the clutch was done, but I wanted that done so I went ahead and did it.

The bad: I got stiffed by the seller for $650 - I had already made the bank check and when I won the auction I paid a $500 deposit. We negotiated $150 off the purchase price for some wheel damage that was not disclosed in the auction. i was lazy and didn't want to go through the trouble to make a new bank check. The seller shook my hand and was going to put a check in the mail to me to refund the $150 + the $500 PP deposit, but it has never happened. He keeps saying it will, but it never does. I am not even sure how I could sue for $650 from FL to PA, but I have the paperwork to back it up, but it would probably cost me more than $650 to do it. Lesson learned
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:07 AM   #11
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I guess I represent the dark side, because I did everything "wrong" and it worked out just fine. I bought my 2002 Base 986 based upon 4 photos on Cars.com. It was for sale at a "Mom and Pop" used car lot over 600 miles away that specialized in exotic cars. I called the owner and negotiated a price over the phone. I then had my Credit Union cut a check. My wife drove me from our Home in Newport, KY to the dealership in Chattanooga TN. That was the first time I saw the car in person. No PPI. No Test drive. I gave the owner the check. He gave me the keys and 30 day tag.

I drove it back to Newport the same day and have never had a regret. I been super happy with the car and have come nowhere close to the $2000 per year others have quoted for annual repairs. Mine experience has been more like $500-750 per year. And most of that is for routine maintenance like oil changes, spark plugs, and brakes that I would have spent on any car or truck I owned.

Maybe I just got lucky, but given the chance for a do-over I would not have done anything different.
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:21 AM   #12
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note that, in Canada, a US car doesn't have the same resale as a Canadian car. Western Canadian cars don't have the same corrosion problems as Ontario cars, but tend to be priced higher. BC has a cheaper/larger market than Alberta. Typically lots of cars on the Vancouver Craigslist and fewer on Alberta Kijiji, but these are the places to look.
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Old 03-25-2014, 01:00 PM   #13
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I bought my Box S from a very reputable BMW dealer in Dallas off eBay. Wired the money, flew down from Chicago and drove it home, had a blast; everything I expected and more from a 2.5 year old car with 7600 miles. Also purchased a '93 911 RS America from Isringhausen sight unseen. Traded an '86 Carrera that they had only seen in photos before negotiating deal. RSA showed up on a transporter to my home, unloaded and loaded the '86 trade at no expense to me. Did puchase the '86 sight unseen, flew to Detroit and drove it back. Nice car, a PPI would have revealed some issues, but the price was right. I've owned numerous 911 variants over the years mostly purchased locally. I have always inspected them in person, but the internet has changed the game, as has the current generation of 911 flippers.
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Old 03-25-2014, 01:33 PM   #14
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I live in Atlanta and had been looking for several months for just the right Boxster............I thought I bought one in texas, but the deal fell though, then I thought I bought one in Alabama and that deal fell though too. After those deals didnt turn out I was going to stop looking for a month and give myself a break to calm down.........THEN the NEXT DAY I was driving down the highway 2 miles from my house and I saw it........My 02 Speed Yellow S with black Victor wheels on it and only 32k miles. It had just gone up for sale and I was the 1ST person to look at it. It felt like destiny to me. I ended up buying it and have been very happy with it...........The Moral of the story is ...........SOMETIMES WHAT YOU WANT IS RIGHT UNDER YOUR NOSE.
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:40 PM   #15
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I bought somewhat remotely -- live in Chicago, found a car in Indianapolis with the specs I wanted. I researched reputable indie shops in the area, called them to do a PPI at my expense. I asked the seller to make an appointment convenient for his schedule, and within a week I had an EXTREMELY detailed review of the car. They noted every ding, scratch, cosmetic issue, as well as a couple of relatively minor mechanical issues. Used this to negotiate with the seller, who agreed to pay for the mechanical issues -- he knew the shop was reputable, and didn't want to pass along a car with issues. After the shop did the work, they confirmed it to me & I flew down to hand over a check and drive it home... I would NOT have done the deal with just detailed pictures, etc. Somewhat easier for me since it's just a 4 hour drive, but I can't imagine it would be that much more difficult to handle shipping -- I assume that could easily be worked out @ the indie shop...
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:39 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by The Radium King View Post
note that, in Canada, a US car doesn't have the same resale as a Canadian car. Western Canadian cars don't have the same corrosion problems as Ontario cars, but tend to be priced higher. BC has a cheaper/larger market than Alberta. Typically lots of cars on the Vancouver Craigslist and fewer on Alberta Kijiji, but these are the places to look.


I actually go to Vancouver for work often. I will take a look out there. Could make for a great road trip home to Toronto!!
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:41 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by recycledsixtie View Post
I know lots of people buy long distance unseen but with a PPI done by a local indy shop. I could not buy a car if I had not seen it personally. However if there is one or two you want checked out in this part of the world I can take a look for you, take some pics etc.

However I am not a mechanic but have owned my base 2001 Box for three years now. I bought mine privately locally. Buying in the US likely is cheaper but don't forget $US is worth more plus import hassles.
Guy.
Thanks!! That would be awesome! I'm looking all of the country for a good one!!
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:47 AM   #18
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it's not a boxster, but this is a deal:

European Specialty Car Services

good shop, car is immaculate, and has been sitting there for years (they'd been asking $36k for it ...).
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:14 PM   #19
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[QUOTE=The Radium King;393023]it's not a boxster, but this is a deal:

European Specialty Car Services

good shop, car is immaculate, and has been sitting there for years (they'd been asking $36k for it ...).[/QUOTE

WOW!! That is nice! But it's a boxster I'm after!!
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Old 03-27-2014, 07:51 PM   #20
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I have bought a few cars remotely. Contact the seller and get as many photos as you can. Look at them carefully and with discernment - looking at the reality of the condition, not with that wishful glance of an overexcited buyer.

Then hire a local mobile mechanic to perform a PPI and test drive the car for you. They will send you a detailed report along with the driving impression. This is easier in larger cities than in rural areas.

If everything checks out, send payment and hire a transporter to get it home! Easy as cake.
This^^^

I bought my Box from a guy on the other side of the country, sight unseen, but with an independant ppi. Perfectly happy with it. I get a good sense of the seller by talking to him = I place more trust in car guys - people who know the car and know what they are talking about. I bought my current 928 this way too. I shipped the boxster (enclosed, with a reputable line), but I flew out and drove the 928 cross country - 2000 wonderful miles. An earlier 928 that I bought from a long distance sight unseen looked great in the pictures. It was a dealer sale, though, and the car was a peice of ******************** when I got it. It was shipped (had I gone to see it in person, I would have walked away from the deal). Anyway, I completely refurbished it - spent gobs of money and time on it, and it was near perfect when I sold it to a friend.
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