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This is not a scam. This is a serious seller with what looks to me like a very good Spider.

In 2007, and through a part of 2008 the price observed here was not unusual for very good Spiders. Then the economy went south and prices dropped very quickly 33% to 50%. Over the past three years asking prices have been unbelievably low. Due to the serious state of the economy we have seen more than the usual number of cars coming to market, very much creating a buyers market, and some very desperate sales, which have set very low $$ expectations. And yes, we have routinely seen asking prices under $10k for Spiders like the one in the ebay ad. Nonetheless, we are also now seeing that asking prices are starting to go back up...

This particular ebay car seems to have some important factors working in its favor... First, it is a Quad, which was the top-of-the-line model in 1987. Second, it seems to be complete, with its hard top. Third it seems to be in very good condition. (I "brightened" some of the pictures and the details that I saw bode it its favor.) Fourth, the description matches what can be seen. Fifth, it has been in the same family since new.

When this Spider was new, it sold for about $21k. Then, the wood steering wheel and shift knob options add another $500. Hence, these cars were typically bought by people with a certain degree of affluence. This is important because it does have a direct impact on the maintenance of the car. Back then, maintenance costs were not cheap, and that is also the case today. This is good because when the time comes, the affluent owner is not trying to source a $100 Chinese fuel pump because he/she cannot afford the $200 Bosch pump that the shop is about to install.

Our Spiders are valued based on their condition. It is easy to check the cosmetic condition of a car, but it isn't so easy to determine if the car is or is not trouble-free and reliable. I will contend that a professionally maintained Spider - one regularly maintained by a true Alfa shop - is a reliable car. Today, a reliable Spider is unusual. As cars change hands, it is typical for new owner to be less affluent than the prior one, and pretty soon one sees a car with all aftermarket or generic parts. It is also not unusual for somewhere along the way for one of the new owners to forego the professional Alfa shop altogether. Such a Spider will still run, but place it side-by-side to one that has been professionally maintained, drive them both and be prepared to experience a world of difference. (I have personally done this on more than one occasion with my Spiders, much to the surprise of the owners of the other cars. Now, this is not to say that experienced owners who do their own work cannot achieve professional quality results...)

Good Quads are becoming much harder to find, and most that come to market have very poor interiors. When the seats go most owners will not re-cover them in the original leather because it is expensive to do so, and if the red carpet is faded, then it is an expensive custom job to re-dye it in the original color. It is also not unusual to see Quads with vinyl tops instead of the original canvas material. To me, this is revealing, as the difference in price between vinyl and canvas is a couple hundred dollars, and tops last years...

Anyhow, Spider values are all over the map, because condition is all over the map. When I look at a car, I look at the overall body, the interior, the trunk, the engine bay, and I also get underneath the car. Of course, there is the obligatory road test, and you really need to have some experience in order to judge if the car is or is not responding and handling like a Spider should. Then I determine what would it cost to re-create the current condition of the car, and compare that to the asking price. That is just a starting point however, because there are other important factors, such as originality, options and modifications. Last, but equally important, even if a car is deemed correctly priced, it simply may not be a suitable candidate for the type of use the new owner has in mind. It does take a financial commitment to maintain the cosmetic and mechanic condition of a fine example, and invariably it is very disappointing for a new owner when he/she begins to find out that if the funds are not there, then they either drive and enjoy the car at the expense of condition, or drive it sparringly...

Best regards,
 

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This is not a scam. This is a serious seller with what looks to me like a very good Spider
Enrique:

In a fair world, perhaps an '87 Quad would sell for $20K. But, we don't live in a fair world. Given that there is only 1 bid, I have to agree with Roadtrip - some ebay mischief seems to be going on here.

....the wood steering wheel and shift knob options add another $500.
The steering wheel? The seller describes it as: "burl wood custom made steering wheel by Alfa Romeo with embedded Alfa emblem". Looks to me like something from Pep Boys clearance shelf.

 

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Sorry. No quad is worth $20k, much less a quad with 85k miles on the clock. More likely the seller had a friend bid to try and convince the eBay market that their incredibly overvalued buy it now is somewhat reasonable.

I don't disagree that the car is pretty nice, or even that the seller legitimately wants to sell it. But there's no way that $19,850 bid is legitimate. That kind of money buys a Duetto in similar condition, or the nicest S2 in the world, or 2 excellent S3s.
 

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Driver quality car at best, worth maybe $5-7k depending on locality.

The free market is a cruel mistress.

Look out for this one being relisted.
 

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With one bidder so close to reserve on a grossly overpriced car, if the seller doesn't accept the bid my guess is that something nefarious going on.
 

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The steering wheel? The seller describes it as: "burl wood custom made steering wheel by Alfa Romeo with embedded Alfa emblem". Looks to me like something from Pep Boys clearance shelf.

Jay,

While that steering wheel is not my favorite design, it is a MOMO and was listed in the Alfa Romeo Options catalogs I have circa 1988. So, while not "custom" or "burl wood" it is a legitimate dealer option for the car.
 

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Here is this one at almost half the price. One owner too!

Not speaking to the Spider market, of which I know very little, but to the logic of the bid - it just doesn't make sense. If one really wants the car and is willing to pony up $20K(OK, $19,850), wouldn't one bit the bullet on the last $650 to 'Buy it now' and not worry about it being taken from them? The BIN price is soooo close to the current bid, one would expect a interested second bidder to go to the top. So this bidder must not be worried about a second bidder. But if they are not, why bid at all? Why not wait for the auction to end and then contact the seller and offer something less. Don't understand the bid:confused::confused:
 

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My 2 cents,

In a luxury market, and lets face it, a spider is a luxury item, it is only worth what someone is willing to pay, in this case what the market will bear. If the seller sees the item as being worth more than what the market is willing to pay then they will probably be left with the item until either the seller or the market adjusts, capitalism at work.

My 2 cents over.

Bob
 

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I bought my 87 quad a year ago for less than half that, more than 5-7k, but I think 20k is ludacris. It seems to have better paint than mine interior is about the same so I dont feel an extra 10-12k is worth it. Maybee someone can tell me which is correct that antena is in a different spot than mine. My '87 has it on the passenger side and farther foreward.
Paul
 

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With one bidder so close to reserve on a grossly overpriced car, if the seller doesn't accept the bid my guess is that something nefarious going on.
Absolutely! The bidders history of all autos or bikes of a wide variety, with nearly half of his/her bids retracted would lead me to think it was a local friend helping the girls to sell, or mom bidding on daughers car. A real car person would never bid that much on this one!

It stinks and eBay changes to hide bidders past makes it lots easier to shill bid. With this kind of honesty, I would wonder if they didn't move from New Orleans due to flood damage too.:eek:
 

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I bought my 87 quad a year ago for less than half that, more than 5-7k, but I think 20k is ludacris.
Paul
Ludacris? Like the rap singer? :p Sorry, I just had to laugh.

I will agree with your point, though - 20k for any quad in this day and age is ludicrous.

And I disagree Zunige that "Good Quads" are becoming much harder to find. They pop up ALL THE TIME on Ebay, Craigslist, etc (and these are the ones with "excellent service records, 30k original miles, etc"). Sellers are usually asking way too much, of course, and they never sell. But rarely is the price as ridiculous as $20k. Your comment about the original sales price being around $20k is telling - who in their right mind would pay anywhere close to the original selling price for a car with over 80,000 miles??

Also - Ebay is full of shill and dead-beat bidders, so peculiar behavior is usually indicative of a faulty auction.
 

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...]who in their right mind would pay anywhere close to the original selling price for a car with over 80,000 miles?.../QUOTE]

Not counting the 289 Cobra I bought for $2,675 when Ford dropped them? Carrol had a few dozen with no takers. Only 45 years old, really low miles. Current value only 900 times that.

;)

But I agree. Not even a 95+ point Duetto would bring this price.

Buyer Beware on eBay.

Robert
 

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i agree that this specific quad is not worth the price but if i was looking for one in 100% original mint condition (hard top, perfect interior, low miles, mechanically perfect, etc), i would spend 20k on one.

to purchase one for $7k and to replicate it to pristine condition would cost even more than the $20 originally spent (paint, interior / mechanical work, etc.) not to mention the time.
 

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..Maybee someone can tell me which is correct that antena is in a different spot than mine. My '87 has it on the passenger side and farther foreward...
Your antenna is in the correct spot. The one on this ALFA is in the wrong spot.

Rear lower skirt looks like its been cut wider to accept dual exhaust tips. I could be wrong, but looks wider to than normal to me. No Quadrifoglio side badges etc. Driver door looks misaligned a little, but could just be the lighting. Bodywork and repaint has been done to this car, the seller does say it was repainted though. Seats look like they've been flattened out with normal use.

It does looks like a nice Spider, but its not what I would expect for what the seller is asking.
 

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Everyone that sells on Ebay has a strategy. This seller's strategy seems to be the use of a Shill. If I were the seller with a starting bid this high, and a BUY IT NOW a small amount of difference; I would consider the starting bid the reserve and would be happy I found a buyer within a $650.00 of my full asking price. Anyways, I guess the seller is testing the water and he will find out how shallow the pool is.
 

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85,155 original miles

OK, it's 12:30AM and I really should be asleep (feeling more than a bit drowsy and loopy).

Anyway, what kind of miles are there besides original miles?

Seems to be a favorite term in cars ads, but meaningless to me.

Thoughts?
 
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