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Discussion Starter #1
Been looking at the Elise and the Exige for some time and cant seem to find common ground on pricing period. i'm not big on mods, so I dont really look cars that have them extensively. Talked to my local Lotus dealer who put the general pricing about 10k higher than another dealer in another city I was in last week. This seems to be consistant on Autotrader, etc. You will see similar pricing on a 2005 Elise with the same amount of mileage, etc as a 2006 Exige. Is there really that much disagreement on price or price fluctuation given that there seems to be no specific price guide on them?
 

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As the vehicles are not mass-produced there is a very limited amount in the market, leaving very little room for comparisons. The amount of people interested in such a "raw" car is limited too - this fact intertwined with the circumstances of selling (repairs are to expensive, bought on impulse, unforeseen circumstances, too impractical etc...), produce extreme variations in price.

If you are in the market just keep looking and do a thorough PPI (pre-purchase inspection). Cracked/damaged clams can be expensive to repair/replace. You have to keep in mind that maintenance records are key with these vehicles too.
 

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The variation in asking prices is pretty typical for this type of car (low number of sellers and buyers, big differences in desireability for different colors / option packages, sizeable aggregate original MSRP of options as a percentage of the used retail price, huge seasonal swings in price). Look at the spread of asking prices on a low volume Porsche like a GT3RS or a Ferrari -- its huge.

Because of the low numbers, there tends to be a big difference between the price that will move the car quickly (ie because potential buyers compromise outside of their ideal car to get a great deal) and the optimal price for a patient seller (ie because the seller can afford to wait to find the buyer who is searching for their car's bespoke option configuration and pay a premium).

I think a decent strategy is to generally ignore asking prices and watch where decent condition cars move (i.e., look at auctions which actually cleared -- for example the BRG elise that sold last week on ebay -- as well as for sale cars on LotusTalk where the seller reduced the price until the car sold). Then decide what you're willing to pay on top of that average for the car you really want. Ultimately, don't be afraid to negotiate with a starting point well below the ask; the worst thing that can happen is you get ignored.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks for the responses, I really appreciate the information. I just found it wild that there was such a large gap among the dealers. I figured they would have some continuity among themselves. Luckily I'm a very patient buyer (will wait months for the right deal on anything) but I wanted to make sure I wasnt just missing something (IE a particular year model, type, etc. that had significant issues).
 

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There's 'no year issue'. I see a lot of dealers being quite optimistic with the ask prices for Elise & Exige.

Around here, the high priced cars tend to hang around dealer lots for a long while... until they either lower the price, or find someone willing to pay quite a bit more than the car would typically bring at a private sale. In the local sales I know details of, the cars have not sold till the price was more in line with typical private sale prices.

Some of the prices on AutoTrader seem to be value of car + $10k. With dealers-- as with everyone, price is obviously a reflection of how motivated they are to move the car. A stock 05 Elise at $38k is "priced to stay"
 

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I usually don't see 2005 Elise's anywhere near 2006 Exiges. Usually $6-8k difference. I think a good bit of the price disparity is that dealers know pretty much nothing about these cars. I visited a couple this week and they couldn't answer any questions. I can't blame them too much, but still there's a good amount of info on the web.

I'd keep a lookout on craigslist. You can search on google with "site:craigslist.org exige" and you'll hit all the craigslist sites. eBay seems to be pretty useless. I've found a couple of Lotus listings through Carfax.
 
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