Posts Tagged ‘Sale Ads’

Where Do My Ratings Come From?

October 6th, 2010 Comments off
M Coupe Rating Scale

M Coupe Rating Scale

Many people have asked how I determine my ratings. Well, the star ratings on the sale listings are really just my off-the-cuff impressions of the coupe and are relatively subjective, but I do have some rules I try to follow. Here are my general guidelines.

1 star – Needs significant body or mechanical work
2 star – Repaired salvage, in need of lots of TLC, simple mechanical issues
3 star – Average condition, possibly needing some mechanical or aesthetic work but nothing significant
4 star – Above average condition and well sorted mechanically
5 star – Like it drove off the showroom floor yesterday. Usually reserved for the ultra-low mileage and garage queen/show cars. I also need lots of good photos or to see it in person before I’ll give a coupe 5 stars.

1 star – 1 of 100+
2 star – 1 of 50+
3 star – 1 of 25+
4 star – 1 of 5+
5 star – 1 of less than 5
I adjust the ratings somewhat based on how often I see them for sale. For example, I often add a star for alpine white and steel gray which are not super rare numbers-wise but don’t come up for sale very often. I also sometimes add a star for S54 coupes in color combinations also available with S52s. There are other instances when significant modifications justify increased rarity like an S50 engine swap or Dinan signature certificate.

1 star – Priced way over what it should be and should never sell at asking price
2 star – Priced a little bit over what I think it’s worth based on year, condition, mileage, modifications, etc.
3 star – Priced in the neighborhood of where I would recommend someone to price it at
4 star – Priced at what I would consider a really good deal
5 star – Priced in such a way that the buyer is basically stealing it
This is the most subjective of the ratings as different things are worth more to different people. Sometimes coupes to which I give 2 stars sell really fast and others I think are great deals sit on the market a while. Almost all my value ratings will fall between 2 and 4 stars with the only rare exceptions being those that are $10k over- or under-priced (in my opinion).

New Recently Sold Feature

May 26th, 2010 Comments off

I just added a new feature to my sales listings database, a sold cars list. Just click on the “Recently Sold” link under “Sale Listings” at the top of the page. The listings are still sortable and searchable with new orderable fields added of Sales Date and Sale Price. I think these listings should be helpful for a couple things:

  • following the coupe market both in terms of the type of cars selling and their sales prices
  • if you see a car listed on one of the classified sites that I don’t have listed in my for sale listings, you can check it against the sold list (I typically update my site faster than most of the classified sites do)

This feature will only be as helpful as the new buyers of these cars are. If you are willing to share the price you recently paid for any of the cars, please let me know. This will be a great help to both buyers and sellers in the future. Hopefully this will give new sellers an idea of what they can price their car at and buyers an idea of what they should pay for their perfect coupe. I will say to buyers, be willing to pay a little over market price for your perfect coupe. You don’t want someone else to buy it before you. Also let me know of any other features I should add to make it more helpful to you.

Categories: Site Features Tags: ,

Honorable Mention – The Non-M Coupe

May 19th, 2010 Comments off

2001 Z3 Coupe 3.0 in Topaz Blue

While the M versions get most of the attention, not all Z3 Coupes got the motorsports treatment. BMW built a non-M Coupe from 1999-2002 available with the most powerful engine offered in the Z3 each year. In 1999-2000, the Z3 Coupe was sold with the 2.8L 193 hp, 206 lb-ft torque M52 engine and in 2001 was upgraded to the new 225 hp, 214 lb-ft torque 3.0L M54 bringing it within 15 hp of the S52 M Coupes.

While they weren’t graced with the motorsports engines or suspensions, they share much of the same unique styling. Many think they have narrower rare fenders, but this is just an illusion of the higher offset and narrower rear wheels that lack the deep lips of the M models. Other obvious exterior styling differences include:

  • Standard Z3 front bumper and side gills
  • Single exhaust with 2 tailpipes rather than the M’s 4 tailpipes
  • License plate in rear bumper rather than hatch
  • Unique wheel options
  • Higher offset rear wheels (46 or 41 mm rather than the M’s 8mm)
  • Additional and unique paint color availability including:
    • Alpine White (1999-2002)
    • Arctic Silver Metallic (1999)
    • Atlanta Blue Metallic (2001-2002)
    • Black Sapphire Metallic (2002)
    • Boston Green Metallic (1999)
    • Bright Red (1999-2002)
    • Cosmos Black Metallic (1999-2001)
    • Dakar Yellow (1999-2002)
    • Estoril Blue Metallic (2000)
    • Evergreen Metallic (2000)
    • Imola Red Metallic (2000)
    • Impala Brown Metallic (2000)
    • Jet Black (1999-2002)
    • Montreal Blue Metallic (1999)
    • Oxford Green Metallic (2000-2002)
    • Pistachio Green Metallic (2002)
    • Siena Red Metallic (2000, 2002)
    • Steel Gray Metallic (2000)
    • Sterling Gray Metallic (2002)
    • Titanium Silver Metallic (2000-2002)
    • Topaz Blue Metallic (2000-2002)

Other noticeable interior difference include:

  • Available wood or metallic trim
  • Unique black faced gauges
  • Revised center console without accessory gauges
  • Re-styled seats
  • Unique interior colors including:
    • Beige (1999-2002)
    • Black (1999-2002)
    • Dream Red (2002)
    • Impala Brown (2000)
    • Tanin Red (1999-2001)
    • Topaz Blue (2000-2002)
    • Walnut (1999,2001-2002)

The other large difference is the availability of automatic transmissions (4-speeds in 2.8L and 5-speeds in 3.0L). Automatics were never offered on the M models, so if you can’t drive stick, you do have an alternative.

You can tell the difference between 2.8L and 3.0L models by their taillights (3.0L models have clear turn signals), their wheels (although the standard wheels remained unchanged), and the wider chrome strip on the revised rear hatch of the 3.0L cars.

According to there were 16,649 Z3 Coupes produced with most being the 2.8L model. I’ve heard, but cannot find the exact number, that there were fewer 3.0L coupes produced than S52-engined M Coupes.

Prices of Z3 coupes when new were around $5000-$7,000 less than comparable M models. Now you can typically find a similar year/mileage/condition Z3 Coupe for much less than it’s M counterpart. For example, the Topaz Blue 2001 Z3 Coupe 3.0 pictured is currently listed by Bimmerforums member Eric Jacobs for only $13,500 with many desirable modifications and only 59,000 miles (click here). (Sold to a Blog Reader!) With his modifications it should keep up with a stock S52 M Coupe but at a substantial discount.

While I desire an M Coupe, I have nothing but respect for the non-M’s. After all, it was a Z3 Coupe 3.0 nearly identical to the Titanium silver one pictured on the right that first inspired my fascination with these cars.

New Sale Listings Feature

May 17th, 2010 Comments off

In a previous post, I listed all the sites I check every day for M Coupes. This week I decided to take it one step further and compile a list of all M Coupes currently for sale in the U.S. from all of those sources. For each car, I also gave my own subjective ratings on Condition, Rarity, and Value as well as a couple comments about what I think of that particular car and anything extra I know of its history. Hopefully this will be a great resource for others searching to find the perfect coupe. Many of the cars are posted on multiple sites, and I will try to link to each listing individually. The price I post is the lowest I’ve seen on all the various listings. If the specific car has been discussed on one of the forums I frequent, I will also try to post those threads for additional information. I plan to update my listings directory daily.

In the future, this will also turn into a recently sold coupe directory as well. If I somehow find out the exact price a car sales for (typically only Ebay listings or cars sold through the forums), I will record it to try and assist people following the market.

Just click on the “Sale Listings” link at the top of the page to access the listings directory. They are default sorted by “Last Updated”, so the most recently listed or updated cars will show up first. Because the directory is new and all the cars were entered out of order, this will not be very effective at first, but as time goes by it should work well. You can choose your own sort order from the drop down list. The choices are: Last Updated, Date Listed, Price, Mileage, Condition Rating, Rarity Rating, Value Rating and Popularity. Click on “Search Listings” to filter the listings by Year, Price, Mileage, Sunroof-Delete, Exterior Color or Interior Color. I did the sort and search results as a url querystring, so once you setup the search and ordering you need you can bookmark it. The side effect is slower processing and no progress bars.

Features I’ve thought of adding in the future are displaying featured, recently added and best deal cars on my main blog page, adding the recently sold directory, and the ability to sign up for email alerts if a coupe is added meeting your specifications.

I’m open to any suggestions people might have or additional information that would be helpful in your search. I was initially thinking of recording the VIN numbers of each car and possibly link them to the M Coupe production database, but I wasn’t sure sellers would appreciate me reposting their VINs. I also decided not to post the seller’s contact information directly. You’ll have to click on the link to one of their listings to get that information.

Please let me know if any of the cars I have listed have sold, if you know of any cars for sale that I’ve missed, or if you have additional information on any of the cars you think would be helpful to potential buyers. If your car is listed and you’d like for me to add additional information or photos, I’d be happy to. All my ratings and comments are subjective, and I’m sure debatable. I kind of just went with my gut based on the photos and my impression of the seller. I’m definitely not an expert and open to suggestions and correction. There is a discussion of the feature on Bimmerforums; feel free to chime in on that thread, PM me, or email me directly with any comments or suggestions.

The only thing I ask is that if the site helped you find your coupe or if you happen to know it helped you sell your coupe, please email me at just to let me know and encourage me to keep this updated. And if you don’t mind sharing the price paid to help other coupe shoppers, that would be nice too. I hope this will be helpful to other M Coupe shoppers and dreamers.

Categories: Site Features Tags:

Where to Look

May 4th, 2010 11 comments

I’ve spent quite a few years compiling a list of sites that would hopefully cover nearly all currently listed M Coupes for sale.  Here it is in the order I see most potential:

Edit: You can now click on the “Sale Listings” link at the top of the page for a complete listing of all coupes from these sources updated daily.

My Favorite

These are the sites I visit most frequently as they tend to have the most turnover and overall listings.

  • AutoTrader
    Most of the people serious about selling their cars will post them on AutoTrader.  Asking prices are generally a little bit on the high side.  All the new listings are marked as such so it’s easy to find the changes.
  • Google Craigslist Search
    If you’re going to find a “steal”, it will probably be on Craigslist. It also has the least informative listings and more potential for scams. Because Craiglook got shut down, I wrote a query for Google to search all Craigslist for me.  The downside is that it sometimes links to expired or removed listings.
  • Ebay Motors
    Obviously the most turnover of cars and pretty good prices, but there are generally only 1-3 coupes listed at any given time.

Forum Classifieds

Classified sections of car forums are one of the best places to look for a coupe for a number of reasons.  Forum members tend to me more knowledgeable about their car and its maintenance requirements, they obviously have a passion for the car so it will probably be better taken care of than most, and other forum members will be familiar with the car to give second and third opinions about it.  They are also sorted by activity date so the most recent listings will be on top.

  • Bimmerforums Main Classifieds
    You have to wade through a lot of 3-series and roadsters, but most of the best cars are listed here.  I’ve tried a few different variations of searches to try and filter the listings but haven’t found anything that consistently gives me the results I want.
  • Bimmerforums Z Classifieds
    This section is meant primarily for parts, but some people post their cars here as well.  Often times they are moved to the main classifieds, but to get the right coupe you have to find them before anyone else does.
  • Bimmerfest
    Unfortunately Bimmerfest does not categorize their classifieds at all so you need to wade through all the BMW listings.
  • Roadfly
    Roadfly usually has a pretty nice selection but seems to be priced higher than other sites.  They also seem to charge for images so very few of the listings include photos.
    M Coupe listings are usually sparse and prices generally much higher, but there have been exceptions over the years.  Often times listings are not listed elsewhere though.

Other Classified Sites

These sites’ listings are generally covered by one of the above sites, but not always.

    Not a whole lot or turnover of cars and most are listed elsewhere.  There are unique listings sometimes though and new ones are marked as “Newly Listed”.
    They rarely have a coupe, but have had a couple in the past for great prices.
    Basically worthless…but you never know.
  • AOL Autos
    Most the times the listings are duplicates of above sites, but not always.
  • Trovit Cars
    This site collects listings from a bunch of other sites.  It’s not always accurate though and there are quite a few duplicates. It does include Automobile Magazine classifieds which do not pop up often but for some reason always seem to have great prices.
  • Oodle
    Similar to Trovit but sometimes has different cars.  Sorry, but it looks like you have to search from Fort Collins, CO.  I couldn’t figure out how to generalize my location.
  • Ebay Classifieds /
    No coupes yet, but I’m sure there will be with this local classifieds backed by Ebay

Canadian Sites

I’ve heard of quite a few coupes going back and forth across the border, so it must be doable. If you’re willing to expand your search further, or if you’re from Canada, here you go.

So there it is, all my secrets and a few years worth of accumulation.  If you have any sites to add to the list or need help customizing a search more specifically to you, please post in the comments.  If you happen to find a steel gray/imola M Coupe on one of the links above before I see it, be an upstanding citizen, don’t steal it, and let me know immediately. 🙂