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Revisiting the 550 market

Discussion in '456/550/575' started by teachdna, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. teachdna

    teachdna Formula Junior

    Sep 1, 2001
    374
    Cincinnati
    Full Name:
    Jeffrey Robbins
    What is the market for these REALLY LIKE?

    So, I've done some searches and there isn't a whole lot out there telling me what good 550's are REALLY selling for (not what people are asking for their cars). Does anyone in the know really have any data on what these cars are going for in terms of what people are getting for them if they A) trade 'em in on a new or used vehicle, B) Sell 'em outright via a private deal or C) go the consignment route?

    For various reasons, I've recently been exploring moving on and here's where I am:

    The auction sites are somewhat useful but just barely. Nothing really sells (or very rarely) so it's next to impossible to see what market is there.

    Autotrader, Cars.aol, cars.com and the exotic listing sites have a number of cars: there seem to be about 40 out there for sale, with asking prices for straight 550's with reasonable mileage varying from the low 60's to low 90's with most settling in the low to mid 70's (which is where NADA also places them). In the past I've found FML to be only modestly useful in data-gathering exercises such as these as well.

    With all these data in mind, I set a price on my car of a bottom line of 62-63K. A 1997 550, I'm 2nd owner, 15,900 miles, all keys, books, car cover, seat covers, all recalls, updates, usual swapout (stickybits, silcon hoses, new model engine mounts, etc), done. Complete history with all maintenance up to date: will need a major in January of 2013.

    Haven't listed it anywhere but the dealers in the town know me and offers have started filtering in from the high rollers who deal with these types of cars and a few want it for themselves.

    The offers have, to say the least, been pretty disappointing, with firm offers in the low 50's. Am I simply being lowballed to test if I'm really anxious to get rid of the car (not the case- there's no way I'm selling for those prices) or, and this is a bit more disturbing....is that really the price point these cars are at on the current market, even though the dealers are listing them in the 70-80's?

    Any insights would be appreciated! As it stands now I am definitely keeping the car:)
     
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  3. malex

    malex Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 5, 2007
    1,163
    FL
    It's a good question and I'll be curious what others have to say. From my own perspective, I started looking at 550 prices about 2 months ago as I might be in the market for a car this coming Dec (other possibility is A-M DB9) and figured I'd start searching now. While obviously there are a lot of variables, I had set a price in my mind for a well-sorted car in great condition at ~$65k, which would include a major having been done within 12-18 mos of purchase. Therefore, as you describe your car, your bottom line seems ballpark - to me. But I'm sure there are a lot of owners who would consider this price too low.

    Agreed with you completely that it's a real challenge to discern actual sales prices from the wide range of asking prices out there. I suppose an active auction where the final bid price doesn't quite make the reserve is a reasonable proxy for market price. Though I often wonder if all bidders are real or whether there are shills in the mix as some bidding patterns often appear strange.

    I'm not surprised by the lowball offers. Dealers need to make a profit and they bear considerable carrying costs and marketing costs as it takes a while to sell cars such as a 550. I'd be surprised if you receive an off much better than high-$50k's from a dealer. What I don't get are dealers that seriously overprice a car relative to market, e.g. $90k (unless car is exceptionally low mileage and absolutely pristine). To me, a potential buyer, I figure that there's such a disparity between what I'd be willing to pay and what they'd be willing to sell the car for that it's not even worth exploring and potentially haggling over.

    I hope you get your ask. Good luck with your sale.
     
  4. teachdna

    teachdna Formula Junior

    Sep 1, 2001
    374
    Cincinnati
    Full Name:
    Jeffrey Robbins
    Thanks for the response. Seems as if we're on the same page. I guess I'm just surprised at the spread. I would of thought that a dealer would be trying for about a 7K profit on one of the cars, not a 25K profit.

    As I said, the car's not even formally for sale yet and, after those wholesaler experiences, I probably won't even put it on the market. There's not that much out there that I driven that's much better, even in this day and age. For a '97 car to be more exciting than the modern cars (I've tried this past week a BMW M6, M5, AudiS5 and R8(5.2V10 engine). Honestly, the 550 has more low end grunt than any of those machines and handles as well. To my surprise, it's about 9 inches smaller than the BMW M6 as well.

    So it looks as if it will remain a keeper- going on 13 years now in the garage.
     
  5. Shark01

    Shark01 F1 Rookie

    Jun 25, 2005
    3,735
    Low to mid $60s is a good sellpoint for an attractive color combo (what is yours?) with the miles & service history you describe. Post pictures so we can look at it.
     
  6. teachdna

    teachdna Formula Junior

    Sep 1, 2001
    374
    Cincinnati
    Full Name:
    Jeffrey Robbins
    #5 teachdna, Jul 8, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
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  8. 355dreamer

    355dreamer F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Apr 3, 2006
    10,048
    DC Metro
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    L.C.
    Bella! I really think a 550 will be my next Ferrari. At the low 60s price point, you just can't get any better.( Except for a well sorted 355. );)
     
  9. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    19,383
    socal
    Good ones are not for sale!
     
  10. teachdna

    teachdna Formula Junior

    Sep 1, 2001
    374
    Cincinnati
    Full Name:
    Jeffrey Robbins
    Right! That's what I told the wholesaler when he showed me a recent auction'd one that went for 48k- with 28K miles. When I asked him the history of the car, condition, etc, etc, he was unable to answer. So I told him to feel free and go out and purchase one of those cars for 48K and then be prepared to put 35K in to make it right.....vs getting a completely sorted, completely documented vehicle with all maintenance records, close-to-concours state car.

    Haven't heard back from him since that conversation. As we all know in this market, if you know what you're doing, you get what you pay for. I've seen very, very few really fine 550's out there- and those aren't low-balled.
     
  11. dakharris

    dakharris Two Time F1 World Champ

    Jun 7, 2001
    29,441
    Sleepy Hollow
    Full Name:
    Cavaliere Senzatesta
    ^^^^This is the correct answer.^^^^
     
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  13. 2000 456M

    2000 456M F1 World Champ

    Sep 29, 2007
    12,458
    Portland, OR
    Full Name:
    Allan
    So that means no one trades up to a 575 or even a 599, but just buys an additional Ferrari?
     
  14. dakharris

    dakharris Two Time F1 World Champ

    Jun 7, 2001
    29,441
    Sleepy Hollow
    Full Name:
    Cavaliere Senzatesta
    The 550 is the best value Ferrari available. The advantages of a 575 or 599 are small compared with the additional cost to acquire one. The major benefit that I see is the F1 transmission and it's only an advantage on the track. I weigh the additional cost to buy a faster car against the additional fun that it would generate. The $/fun calculation just doesn't work out for me to trade up. Also, you find many 550 owners who have another Ferrari. The 550 is considered by many to be a keeper because of its relatively low maintenance and its ability to change from a mannerly Dr. Jekyll to a beastly Mr. Hyde with the flip of a couple of switches and stomp of the right foot.
     
  15. G. Pepper

    G. Pepper Two Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Mar 15, 2012
    20,669
    Texas/Colorado
    Full Name:
    George Pepper
    Yeah, I don't get that either, because everyone knows everything is always for sale, it's just a matter of agreeing on a price. I have no desire to sell my 456M, but if someone offered me $105K for it... you get the idea.

    There are two ways to buy a Ferrari: Buy in low and sort it out yourself, or pay a premium for a car that's sorted out already. Personally, I assume that any used Ferrari will need some sorting out, and I budget accordingly. So, I wouldn't pay much of a premium for a "sorted" car with "records." Unless it was a friend's car that I knew PERSONALLY had been sorted out. Besides, sorting out a Ferrari is a rewarding experience, if you have the right attitude about it.

    As I have been searching for a 360, I keep getting distracted by 550's. The price ranges for the two are similar, and the 550 has a lot to recommend it. If the options are what I like - Rosso Corsa/Shields/Tan Daytona - good ones seem to go for about +/-$75K. Off colors/high mileage about $10K less. Then there are the last two years of the 360, which can go up into the 80's or even 90's. The 550's are now too old to bring that, but the 575M's aren't.

    In the case of the 456, I like the M's better, but with the Maranellos, I like the 550 better... but I need to keep reminding myself I'm looking for a 360. lol.

    I should stop reading these 550 threads. I might end up buying one. :)

    Cheers,

    George
     
  16. LARRYH

    LARRYH F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jun 3, 2011
    6,958
    virginia usa
    While I am no expert I would like to chime in on this having purchased a 550 about 6 months ago . I found that the prices are really all over the place ranging from the 50's or 60's to well over 100 . THe differences I found were that post 2000 cars sold for more then pre 2000 cars which makes sense. The next thing was the cars with under 10 to 15000 miles were more expensive then those with more miles. THe colors and options were also very important . I found that red or black high option low mile cars in excellent condition sold for the most.
    I know that i missed a 2001 very nice 550 red with tan with modular wheels and daytonas leather luggage floor sold for at least 105 in january . And the car I ultimately purchased was a 2001 with 10k miles and had virtually every option available including luggage and carbon fiber daytona etc. and I paid around that .
    So i guess the answer is it just depends on the car .I plan to keep my car for some time and do not think I paid to much for it as it is truly in new condition
    I do not know if that helps but only you know the details of your car
     
  17. Shark01

    Shark01 F1 Rookie

    Jun 25, 2005
    3,735
    You won't have to sell for less than your $62k minimum...

    Now you may have to wait awhile, not many have $60k+ cash and financing a 15 year old car will be problematic.
     
  18. ASK328

    ASK328 Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed

    Sep 23, 2005
    2,287
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    Andrew
    Shoot me a PM your box is full.

    I may have someone that wants your car.
     
  19. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    19,383
    socal
    These cars are old. Sorting and maintaining is expensive. You decide for yourself...

    These are ballpark prices without labor:
    SRI Supremo gold kit....?????
    SRI hoses????
    SRI fuel injection harness???? all North of $3k

    tensioner bearings....
    T-belts.....
    other major parts..... North of $1500
    rebuilding shocks....1000

    tires....800
    destikifying....?????$2000??
    pulled dash....1000
    suspension bushings.....you don't want to know
    wheel bearings....rediculous
    clear bra...1000

    Skunkworks stuff?????? Switchable steering ECU's, no droop visors, no spin shock actuators, remote modifications, speed bump lift, SDECU eliminator....PRICELESS!
     
  20. alex550575430

    alex550575430 Formula Junior

    Jun 21, 2009
    427
    LOS ANGELES, CA
    Full Name:
    LIN ALEX

    Hahahahahha.....

    so well said... I agree totally...

    Alex
     
  21. Skidkid

    Skidkid F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Aug 25, 2005
    6,320
    Campbell, CA
    Full Name:
    John Zornes
    Let's see, buy your car or do the kitchen I have been promising my wife for the last few years. HUM?? Unfortunately I know what I have to do but it is really too bad.
     
  22. Patek

    Patek Formula 3

    Mar 24, 2006
    1,719
    Georgia
    Full Name:
    John Milton Denton
    #19 Patek, Jul 8, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Took me 2 years looking to find this car. It had a $10,850 major etc. done
    one month before I bought the car. I picked it up this may. The deal was the
    Major being done and the Rosso Barchetta.
    Hard to find one with all the mechanical work done. A clutch will got out.
    Tires, etc.
    But the cheapest part of a ferrari, it buying it. The rest is just how much you
    will spend to keep it in great shape.
    That still scares the market. Your car sounds great, but the major needing to be
    done in a few months is anybody's guess until they get the car to the
    mechanic. $5,000- well over $10,000

    I would like to buy your car, if I did not just get one.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
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  23. G. Pepper

    G. Pepper Two Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Mar 15, 2012
    20,669
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    George Pepper
    I spent circa $20K to sort out a neglected 456M, so I'm not afraid. lol. A bit frustrating at times, but when I had everything figured out and nailed down, it felt wonderful. It is still the only Rosso Corsa/Shields/Tan Daytona/Barchetta Wheels 456M I've ever seen in the US, so that was what made the project worth while to me: It's a pretty rare car, a true standout among 456M's, and it had only 7K miles on it.

    The problem with this particular 550 is that it needs the major service right away, and it's not a particular standout as far as 550's go. I think the OP would have better luck selling if he got the major out of the way and then enjoyed the car for another year or two. A fresh major service is a huge selling point, and the immediate need for one is a giant ding.

    Cheers,

    George
     
  24. 355dreamer

    355dreamer F1 World Champ
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    Apr 3, 2006
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    L.C.
    IMHO, that is the best color on the 550. I miss my Barchetta 355.
     
  25. pchop

    pchop Formula 3
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    Jun 12, 2002
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    Usually NY often elsewhere.
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    #22 pchop, Jul 8, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012
    A pristine Rosso low miles (IRCC it was just over 10,000 miles) '01 550 with Barchetta Wheels was recently sold by a west coast authorized dealer for over $100K (I believe the actual figure was around $103K). IMO the $103K is a bit silly, but I'm very happy for the owner who got strong money for it. A clean 97-99 car will fetch high $60K to low $70s. A late '00-01 car will fetch high $70s to mid $90s.

    I love F-Chat, but this place has its fair share of the "know it all pipe dreamers" and you are going to have a very hard time finding a clean late model year car in the low $60s. Good clean 550s are just not for sale and clean examples are usually "snatched up" amongst private parties. Just do a search on Ebay or Auto Trader and see how many of them are for sale.
     
  26. teachdna

    teachdna Formula Junior

    Sep 1, 2001
    374
    Cincinnati
    Full Name:
    Jeffrey Robbins
    Good points made. Regarding the major, yes, it would be easier to sell if I "got that out of the way" but I wasn't really looking to sell.

    I wait to do major services on my cars until the winter, when driving is limited. That being said, if I did get an offer that I liked out of the blue, I would have the major done as part of the PPI and that would need to be factored into the final price. In the past, my majors have run about 4-5K as nothing really was not working. I expect that what this next one would run as well, as the car has been bulletproof for the last 3 years.

    The cars are obviously expensive (yearly change-out of fluids, tires.....) to maintain but for the 550, after a few issues were sorted out (engine mounts, actuators, cooling hoses, the stickies, etc) the car has been an absolute delight, with no issues. As everyone on this board knows, you HAVE to drive these cars to keep 'em happy and, so far, I've have no complaints about the 550's overall reliability or "hassle" factor. It reminds me a lot of my old 928- and I got 27 years of use out of that car and 325,000 miles before my younger son finally totaled it out doing something silly.

    I don't let him drive the 550........
     
  27. oldman1

    oldman1 Karting

    Jan 16, 2012
    60
    my two cents.....
    I shopped for about 6 months for a NICE 550 and found the NICE ones 70-75,000, with some in the 80's. I think the spread is in the milage and service history. Yes, I own one but I truly believe that in 5-10 years you won't be able to touch a great one for under $100,000.
     
  28. intrepidcva11

    intrepidcva11 F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jan 12, 2009
    2,832
    Saratoga Springs NY
    Full Name:
    Seth
    teach: a keeper is exactly what it ought to be. In 1978 I completely lucked into my first Ferrari, the protoptype 365GTC ordered by Enzo to be built for his friend Leopoldo Pirelli, Chairman and CEO of Pirelli S.p.A. Owned it for almost 30 years till it sold at David Gooding's Pebble auction three years ago. I lucked out again, buying my 575M at virtually the bottom of the financial crash and exotic car market collapse. I've "been into" Ferraris since my youth - the 1950s - and to my eye the Maranello is the most beautiful road Ferrari they ever built. whops the SWB, 250GTO, Daytona, even my lovely 365 GTC (that's it, my avatar) and all of the succeeding cars, mid-engine, 599, F12 - we won't mention the FF. Walk around a Maranello, 550 or 575, from all aspects every line is flawless. Some colors suit it better than others: for me my car's TdF blue suits it best. It's also the most brilliantly performing and handling car I've ever driven, and years ago I raced sports cars in California and France. So why swap your 550 for any BMW or Audi, or for anything else for that matter? You have the best. And 10-15 years from now its value will be in six figures. Meanwhile you'll be having a ball driving your Ferrari, not a mass market Audi or Bimmer. Just my 2c.
     

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