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Real-World Trade-In Values

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Comments

  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108

    Personally if I were in the market for a "different" commuter car, I wouldn't hesitate to grab an old Firebird, even in base model trim. $2-3k wold seem fair to me assuming the car was in decent shape and not needing any serious work to be done.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,421

    @alpha123 said: Hey guys...appreciate the info you're giving on here. All people want is a fair deal....well plus a little sweeter. :) I used this forum's advice and process a good deal on my new Highlander a while back..for my wife. Now it's my turn except I'm going used and lower budget.

    My process will be similar to the new sales process: find 5-10 "similar cars", email the sales manager with my price and wait for their response with a goal to buy in 2-3 weeks.

    In terms of pricing, I plan on referencing manheim/block pricing from a friend and adding $1k or so. My thinking is also that any price posted by the dealer online is about $3-4 over what they paid for the car. Is that a good approach?

    Other details: in Chicago, looking at 2010-2012 TSX, Camry, Legend and maybe civic. Hoping to score a nice car for $12k. I know tons of variables but please let me know if I'm thinking right and I will post specifics once I narrow the search.

    Again any thoughts are appreciated!

    I find they are most typically priced $4k over and a fair price all around that will only get you kicked out of about 1/3 of dealerships is $2500 over.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    edited March 29

    @alpha123

    What nyccarguy said is pretty much spot on. Used car prices vary and depend on a ton of different factors. Some cars might have been reduced in price because they're 90 day or older units, and there might not be much, if any room to move. Others might have come in $3k-$4k less than priced at retail but could have needed reconditioning (dents, painting bumpers, brakes, tires, etc..) which could easily push the cost up a grand or two.

    In terms of your approach of emailing for best prices on a used car, I would have to disagree with your approach.

    First, very few if any managers will want to give best prices out on a used car you haven't seen, not even sure of you want to buy, and that you're not ready to move on right away (as within a day or two). Even if they do give you a deal you're happy with, it's meaningless because the car could sell the next day, and might not be replaced by the time you are ready to buy. It is a used car after all and every used car is different. A dealer will rather not give out a quote and sit on the car until someone walks in the door who's ready to buy it on the spot, and possibly pay more than what you are willing to pay. On a new car it's a different story because if you're price shopping a specific model, there are probably a 100 of them in inventory, so if one sells, there's another one available at the same price, with the same specs.

    Second, it's fine to make a list of cars with comparable specs and comparable prices, but go out and see them in person and test drive them when you're close to making a purchase decision. Cross off the models from the list that you don't like, the ones that are not in the condition that's acceptable to you, and, just focus on one or two or three that you really like, and then negotiate on the price, starting with the one you like the most. If you agree on the price then buy it on the spot.

    We have people coming in all the time, who are weeks or months away from purchasing but want to negotiate. It's pointless and we don't get into numbers until they're ready to buy because even if we agree on the numbers the car might not be available by the time the customers comes back and buys, not to mention all the other factors like changing their mind, not being in the market anymore, etc...

    It's like buying a house. No point emailing 10 different house sellers and negotiating on the price until you've seen the house in person, stepped foot in it, and you are ready to move on it if your offer is accepted.

    Negotiating is typically the last step in the process, not the first, so that's why we don't do it, nor any dealers I've worked at before until the customer has seen the car and is ready to buy.

    Good luck.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,421

    I should have said $2500 if a good price to settle on. But you can always offer $1500 over to start. All depends on your negotiating style and how much time you have to kill.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • alpha123alpha123 Posts: 15

    @qbrozen @boomchek@nyccarguy‌ hey guys, thanks for all the feedback. And thanks for pointing out the key differences between buying new and used...makes lots of sense. Now that I think about it, this is going to be a little tougher than I thought. Sounds like the biggest thing is finding what I want, figuring out value, make the offer and be ready to buy. Much tighter timing than new cars and more variables (condition, vehicle history's reconditioning).

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,655

    @alpha123

    New vs. Used is a tough call. Cars in general are infinitely more durable & reliable today than they were 20+ years ago. The problem with that is people in general don't seem to care as much for their cars & I feel like there is a potential for newer cars to develop more expensive problems down the road. People take their cars to a quick lube oil change joint, they might not change the transmission fluid, differential fluid, or brake fluid per the manufacturer's recommendations. So yes you are buying the car cheaper because of the depreciation hit, but you still need to budget for maintenance and repairs.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 980

    Used cars are a good buy but you have to get them checked out. And you have to take what you find on the lot, which is why advance mailing etc doesn't work with used. Instead decide on a range of vehicles acceptable and get familiar with their used values before you go. Some cars are really popular and don't sit on lots very long. When I found a used Vibe with low mileage I knew it wouldn't be there more than a day or so. Same with my daughter's Camry. Others are more common so you have more room to deal.

  • alpha123alpha123 Posts: 15
    edited March 30

    @nyccarguy@suydam‌ ideally I'd take my time and buy privately and find one with service records, etc. but I don't have that luxury for several reasons I won't go into. In the past, before I moved to Chicago I bought my cars from a close dealer friend and he always let me know the history and straight scoop on the cars. Now I don't have that so it's going to require a little luck and more effort on my part. Either way I will have someone check it out before I buy.

    Here's a question: will a dealer typically show me work orders/proof of what was done to the car after they acquired it? If the guys says he "got a lot in it" Is there any thing I can see other than his word?

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 980

    If it's CPO they will sometimes show you the checklist it has to meet. Best bet though is always an independent mechanic. Even on a CPO vehicle.

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,623

    in terms of "what they have in it", the answer should be, who cares? It is worth what the market says it is. Not more or less just because they overpaid or got a steal.

    same as when you go to trade it in, they don't offer more because you owe a lot on it!

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,623

    @nyccarguy, to your point about skimping on maintenance, I bet that most cars at this point don't even call for trans, diff, brake fluid or coolant changes in the first 100K, if at all. So following the maintenance schedule on a Camry at least for 60K is 6 oil changes, and maybe an air filter.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,421

    i agree with stick, and I've had this convo with dealers before. I've heard "we've got more in it than that" more times than I can count. I respond that its just not my problem, and I can easily go elsewhere to a dealer who did not overpay for the vehicle they are selling.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,741
    edited March 31

    Once in awhile, I would get a shopper who would demand to be shown what we paid for a used car and what we had done to it money wise. They would be so unhappy that they couldn't find out so they could make us a "fair" offer. They were scared to death that we just might be making a decent (evil) profit.

    There were times we paid too much and lost money but not often.

    I would tell people that the car either represented a good value to them or it didn't. If we priced a used car too high it wouldn't sell. Same with real estate and everything else.

  • alpha123alpha123 Posts: 15

    I hear you guys...the market price is what the market price is regardless of what they have in it. And just for the record, I definitely support the dealer making a profit on the sale...it just has to be a fair deal in my eyes which usually means (the old saying) neither of us is happy. :)

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,571
    edited April 1

    @qbrozen said: i agree with stick, and I've had this convo with dealers before. I've heard "we've got more in it than that" more times than I can count. I respond that its just not my problem, and I can easily go elsewhere to a dealer who did not overpay for the vehicle they are selling.

    Every time a dealer has played the "We've got more in it" sad sack refrain I find that the car is later advertised/sold for a number considerably lower than the dealer's original number...

    I've also had tire dealers tell me that they cant match Tire Rack's prices because "I can't buy that tire wholesale for what Tire Rack charges retail." To which I respond, "If that's the case I'd think an astute shop owner would start buying his tires from Tire Rack."

    I get extremely annoyed when a dealer pees on my leg and tells me that it's raining...

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108

    Some dealers will sell at a loss if it sits on the lot long enough. If it gets so bad where it's sitting for 6 months, they'll try to minimize the loss. But it does happen. However if it's a fresh unit, they're not going to take a loss on it, they'll wait it out to see if they can turn a profit.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • alpha123alpha123 Posts: 15

    @boomchek‌ is there anyway to tell how long a dealer has had a car on the lot or when they acquired it? Maybe carfax or something like that? Or is that a secret they like to guard pretty well?

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,722

    My daughter needed new tires for her 09 Escape. It had Michelin Latitude Tour tires. They were pretty much worn out after 68k. They were rated for 65k. The Ford dealer quoted 182 to replace them, but said they would price match. I sent her Tire Rack's price(including shipping), that would have saved $25 on a set of 4. She asked some guy at work if he knew of some local places, and he said send me what tire you are looking for. He got her a quote for $145 each and the Ford dealer honored it!. She is getting a $70 rebate on top of that, too. She has a pretty serious boyfriend, otherwise I think that guy at work had potential. :)

  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108

    @alpha123 said: boomchek‌ is there anyway to tell how long a dealer has had a car on the lot or when they acquired it? Maybe carfax or something like that? Or is that a secret they like to guard pretty well?

    Not really any way to tell how long a car has been sitting on the lot. Chances are a salesperson won't tell you either.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,623

    Check the layer of dust. and if the battery is totally dead, it has been a while.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,852

    @roadburner said: I've also had tire dealers tell me that they cant match Tire Rack's prices because "I can't buy that tire wholesale for what Tire Rack charges retail." To which I respond, "If that's the case I'd think an astute shop owner would start buying his tires from Tire Rack."

    Many astute tire dealers do buy from Tire Rack. They are one of the largest wholesalers in the country.

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,852

    @alpha123 said: boomchek‌ is there anyway to tell how long a dealer has had a car on the lot or when they acquired it? Maybe carfax or something like that? Or is that a secret they like to guard pretty well?

    If the dealer shows a carfax report, it will say "offered for sale" and will give you an idea of days on the lot.

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 5,526

    q - daughter is looking to trade in her MINI for another MINI. Wanted to get your thoughts on trade value.

    Denver, CO

    2010 MINI Cooper Hardtop

    Automatic

    Cold package

    Sport Package

    iPod integration

    31K miles

    Small scrape on rear bumper; otherwise great condition.

    What say you?

    MODERATOR
    2013 Hyundai Elantra GT / 2010 Mazda CX-7 GT / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4
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  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,421

    roundabout $10,500-$11k.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 5,526

    @qbrozen said: roundabout $10,500-$11k.

    Hmm, we were hoping more like $11.5-12K

    Guess we'll see what the dealer has to say.

    Thanks!

    MODERATOR
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  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,571

    Man, I wish you lived closer; that would be perfect for RB Jr.- especially if it had shift paddles(he's a frustrated F! wannabe...) :D

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 5,526

    @roadburner said: Man, I wish you lived closer; that would be perfect for RB Jr.- especially if it had shift paddles(he's a frustrated F! wannabe...) :D

    Follow up on the 2010 MINI - the dealer hit it at $12K trade value. Asked him what he used to get that number. Told me NADA, KBB and the local market. I found 5 2010 Cooper Hardtop automatics for sale within 50 miles of my zip code. Retail prices ranged from $14K to $16K. He saw the same and gave us what we were looking for.

    BTW, when the sales manager opened the door to look inside, his first comment was that the car 'was line ready'.

    Apparently it was worth the $50 to have the car detailed inside and out before going to the dealer.

    Daughter is now waiting for a 2014 Countryman S ALL4 to show up at the dealer next week.

    MODERATOR
    2013 Hyundai Elantra GT / 2010 Mazda CX-7 GT / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4
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  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,421
    edited April 14

    congrats. like i said in the other topic, it all depends on what they want to do with it. Certainly, if line ready and they want to sell it themselves, they make out better buying yours for $12k than buying one at the auction for $12k and still having to pay fees, transport, and detailing.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 5,526

    @qbrozen said: congrats. like i said in the other topic, it all depends on what they want to do with it. Certainly, if line ready and they want to sell it themselves, they make out better buying yours for $12k than buying one at the auction for $12k and still having to pay fees, transport, and detailing.

    I'm going to keep an eye on the dealer website to see if it shows up there. I suspect it will, priced around $15K. They will probably spend a few hundred to fix the scrape on the rear bumper, and it's ready to sell.

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  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,421

    I'd bet $15995. ;)

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

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