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Carmax - What's Your Experience?

Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,914
Bought from Carmax or thinking about it? Ask questions and share your experience here!

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  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    I tried to purchase a car there a couple of years ago. I found the no haggle price to be about $1000 or so too high (and there really was no haggling).

    I have also found Carmax to be a great place to go if you are torn between 3 or 4 different make/models of cars. Typically they have about everything in stock, so you can at least look at them each at Carmax, without having to drive around town to several places.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    Haven't dealt with them myself, but I have a friend who needed a new car after an accident. He didn't know what he wanted, so he liked the idea of something big like Carmax where you can see a wide variety.

    He ended up getting a slightly used RX-8 from across the country (at another Carmax) that they shipped over. He paid a small fee for that, but he wouldn't have to buy the car once it arrived. He had it inspected, and did end up buying it. He paid around $20k for a 15,000 mile loaded model, and he's been very happy with it (except for the fact that he could fit a bigger piece of luggage in his former '99 Miata's trunk than the RX-8's).
  • muzzymuzzy Posts: 12
    I took my truck in the other week to see how much they would give for it. kelly blue book for trade in good condition was 7500, they offered 7000. private party 9500, I sold it privately for 9000
  • pschreckpschreck Posts: 524
    Does anybody have experience with this CarMax dealer in Laurel MD?
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    "He had it inspected, and did end up buying it."

    Just curious - was Carmax cool with your friend taking the car to his own inspector, or did he do this after he had purchased it, but still within the return/refund period?
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    "Just curious - was Carmax cool with your friend taking the car to his own inspector, or did he do this after he had purchased it, but still within the return/refund period?"

    They let him drive it to his mechanic. I don't know what conditions they set, but it worked out.
  • Can anyone tell me if the Carmax TaxTitleTags estimator is accurate?

    http://www.carmax.com/dyn/research/TaxTitleTags/taxtitletags.aspx

    I'm considering what I can afford OTD for a new car, and the estimate of TTT (especially in California) is a pretty important figure. I'm wondering if anyone who recently purchased a car could quickly check against their actual costs and let me know.

    Thanks!
  • Hi, I have just recently left Carmax after working there for over a year. I can answer most of the Carmax-related questions you folks might have. :)
  • yes, it is very accurate. Of course, it is only as accurate as the information you put into it. Are you selecting the right tax rates for your area? They calculate based on where you live, not where the store is located.
  • You will often pay more money for a used car at Carmax for one very important reason - the quality of their used cars are second to none.

    That said, some deals are better than others. You can go into a Carmax and find two identical vehicles and one will be priced $1000 less than the other. The difference is due to the amount of reconditioning necessary to bring the cars up to Carmax spec.

    Carmax spends more money and time reconditioning their used vehicles than most any other used car lot.

    But are they the cheapest place to shop? NO.
  • Kelly Blue Book prices are completely ridiculous and inaccurate. If you look at the cars that are being sold at Carmax you will see that the vast majority are at least $1000 less than what Kelly says they should be selling for. So if you're getting $1000 less for your trade-in but also getting your new car for $1000 less than what KBB says, it is a wash.

    Relying on Kelly Blue Book to determine whether or not you're getting a good deal at a car dealership is a dire mistake.

    The Kelly Blue Book accuracy on private party transactions are much, much greater.

    If anybody is curious why Kelly Blue Book is so inaccurate I would be happy to explain.
  • Any car purchased at Carmax comes with an 5 day money back guarantee. There is no restocking fee or mileage limit. It is a no-hassle, no-fine-print guarantee. That 5 day period allows you to have the car checked with your own mechanic.
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    I am curious - take an average 15,000 mile used car at Carmax. What is typically reconditioned on a car like this? Are all of the fluids automatically flushed, brake pads changed, etc...? I would be curious to know what exactly is reconditioned on an almost new car at Carmax.
  • Would I usually get more than a car dealership on my trade-ins at Carmax or is the value usually pretty close?

    What is the usual profit margin on a CarMax used car? That would help me figure out how much they would be willing to give just based off their website.

    Thanks!
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,541
    I know that KBB retail "values" are basically some kind of average (or expected) asking prices in "traditional" dealerships. What is a trade-in "value"?

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • I have no idea but I think they figure it out from using random numbers generated from sunspots like how the NSA does their encryption technology.

    Seriously though KBB trade in values are almost never ever right and I have no idea how the make them up.

    If people just paid what the KBB retail price was I would have no problem giving them what the KBB trade in value was since things would even out. We over allowed by 3-5 grand on their trade but they also over paid 3-5 grand on the used car they bought.
  • manamalmanamal Posts: 434
    The last three cars I 'traded' carmax beat the dealer by 1500, 2800 and 3500
  • Just got it appraised and it beat the dealer by $600. Not bad. I'll prob do this for all my future cars.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    " I would be curious to know what exactly is reconditioned on almost new car..."

    I was thinking the same thing. Probably in most cases a oil and filter change, detailing ...maybe an air filter.
    Thats about $100.

    As far as Carmax having the "best" quality used cars? Someone must have visited an aweful lot of dealerships and used car lots to make that statement.
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    is that their cars are typically more expensive than other places (@$1000-$1500 on the average car). I am of the opinion that if I am going to pay this much more for a "used" car, I am going to buy it from a dealership that is selling it with a Certified Pre Owned warranty. I have seen many a CPO vehicle at other dealerships with 10-30K miles on them that look everybit as good as what's at Carmax.
  • Depends on the vehicle and the mileage.

    Just for example lets take a Range Rover with 40k miles on it. These cars have scheduled maintence included so its next service is on Rover but that does not include Tires, brakes and wiper blades. On any car that is not cheap but on a Range Rover it is a lot more. Cost is just under a grand just for the back brakes and front brakes are a little over a grand. You can't put cheapy tires on a Rover since no one makes cheapy 19 inch tires and you really got to use Michelin Synchrones cause any other tire seems to cup badly on Range Rovers. There is another couple of grand in tires.

    All of that is before any cosmetic issues are taken care of. Little scuff here and there little dent in the door, a chip in the window that adds up to hundreds of dollars very quickly.

    Now granted I am using a pretty high end car as an example but even say an average 20k dollar used car with say a little under 40k miles on it is going to need brakes and tires. They probably won't cost 4 grand to do but might cost 2 grand or 1,500 to do.
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    That's what I would expect on a used, high-end vehicle.

    However, I think the question here is what does Carmax do to a 5,000-15,000 mile used car to command a $1000-$1500 premium vs a traditional car dealer. You don't even receive a CPO warranty from them like you would through a dealer that sells the brand you ae looking at.
  • I think at that point you are paying more for the convienance of one stop shopping and no haggle pricing. Lets just say that the do an oil change, bring the car up to date with its next major service and take care of all the little scratches and dings in the car.

    Most all other dealers do the same thing so have about the same reconditioning costs.
  • All fluids, of course, are replaced. Radiator is not necessarily flushed on a low mile car like that. Brake pads and tires not changed unless they have less-than-considerable amounts of wear left on them.
  • As far as Carmax having the "best" quality used cars? Someone must have visited an aweful lot of dealerships and used car lots to make that statement.

    I've worked at three. I buy a car at least every 2 years.
  • Certified Pre Owned warranty

    i.e. an extended powertrain warranty that is good to 72 or 100k miles. Which is essentially worthless since most cars (excepting Korean cars and some low-end domestics) built these days have a powertrain good for well over 100,000 miles.
  • $1000-$1500 premium? I am not sure where you are getting these numbers from.

    On both ends of the spectrum: We sold 04 Cavaliers, low teens, power for $9-$10k. A lot of them. As early as last summer at this price.

    We also sold 03 and 04 7 series BMWs for THOUSANDS less than what could be negotiated across the street from us at a BMW dealership.

    On average I believe Carmax sells cars for a little more money, but nothing as much as $1000.
  • Thats not true for all CPO cars though. The CPO Rovers we sell have a 6 year 75,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty. Identical to the factory warranty except for a 100 dollar deductible and no included scheduled maintaince.
  • Perhaps Rover are an exception, but I believe most makes only offer powertrain coverage as a benefit of being a CPO.
  • exb0exb0 Posts: 539
    Which book Carmax uses to appraise cars, and how far back of that book they’re shooting in their appraisals?
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