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I am looking for a 2005-2007 SLK and I was wondering if waiting until January 2010 will result in a drop in price. Ideally, I'd get the car in late November, but I would consider waiting until January if the prices drop by a few thousand.

Will 2010 calendar year persuade seller to lower their prices? It is only a month's difference, but do people view the car as being a year older?
 

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In my experience, unless you have a collectible car the prices are dropping on used cars daily/weekly/monthly. The rate of the price drop depends on the age and depreciation curve. For example as soon as you drive a new car off the dealer lot there is a sharp drop in price. Then depending on the car at a certain point the depreciation slows and flattens out.

So will the prices be lower in January than today, I would say definitely yes. Will they be a few thousand dollars less on a 2005 - 2007, that might be a pretty aggressive price drop. You could do some research with Kelley Blue Book or NADA and see if you notice a trend in pricing from Oct - January and apply the same % of depreciation to estimate a projected value in January.
 

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What Ken said - only additional factor is that SLK's tend to command a premium during the spring and summer months, and curve down a bit in winter. November vs January in Canada I can't imagine anything other than normal depreciation.
 

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This is the data from Gavles for 05' SLK350, which for the NYC area is the guide dealers use.

The best time to buy was in March 09, since then the prices have been going up an average of $400 / month. I think it's leveled off and values are flat right now. Prior to March, depreciation was approximately $400-$700 / month.
 

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Having just went through this last year my advice would be to start looking now and be ready to pick something up in the November time frame. I found a greater variety of cars available in the fall then I did in mid winter and I think I could have made a better deal at auction later in the year then I did early the next year.

What I think the reason for this was that the used car market is greatly influenced by cars coming out of lease programs and since these often come off lease in the same months they were initially purchased (3 years later), then more cars were coming available in Spring and Summer months. Hence, the later you get in the winter, the fewer cars are available. Also, as you start to get into the mid winter months, dealers are begining to think about picking up something they'll only need to carry a few months until Spring. With the supply less, prices start going up.

The bottom line is if you find something you like now - buy it. You're options will likely be greatly reduced come January and I don't think you would see much savings.
 
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