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Help Me Choose!



  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,009
    Lower than the sticker price, which is their opening bid.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • Okay. So then, if I'm to offer a few hundred below the sticker price, it seems there is no reasonable way to get to between $5,000 and $6,000 which was the suggested retail for that car depending on condition.

    What then would be the price I should be aiming for, $6,500ish?
  • acemanhattanacemanhattan Posts: 79
    edited September 2013
    So my research shows that the price he is asking is fair in comparison to the price other dealers are selling for. What I don't know is, and I know there is no "across the board" method for determining how much markup is built into that price, how much I should be buying this car for.

    It appears that the trade in value the dealer would have paid (according to KBB NADA EDMUNDS) would have been roughly in the $3,500 range. I don't know how auction prices compare to those, but if it is the case that they have marked the vehicle up that much, then I want to make sure I let them profit off of me as little as possible (not to be construed as "I'd like to steal it", but simply that I don't want to be foolish). I don't know much about the used car market, but I think I know people fairly well, and I doubt that a 02 Corolla w 100k miles for $6,995 is going to be hard to sell. That being the case, I don't imagine that I have much of an advantage since, it would seem, the dealer can probably just wait for someone to come and buy it at a price pretty close to what they are asking. I could be wrong about that though.

    So, suggestions as to what price I should be aiming at? Perhaps I should just be waiting for a private party seller? I did see one yesterday for $4,500 and it was the same year w same miles.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    edited September 2013
    The #1 question you need to ask yourself is: do I really want this car? $7000 seems to be a very high price for a basic 2002 Corolla with 100k miles and 4 owners.

    I just did a search within 100 miles of the Twin Cities using one of the popular car search sites, looking for 2001+ cars ala Mazda3/6, Civic, Elantra, Corolla, Yaris, Sentra, Rabbit/Golf. I found several that are newer and/or with lower miles for a lower asking price, e.g.:

    2003 Corolla LE, 83k miles, $6900
    2003 Elantra GLS, 51k miles, $6880 - has ABS and moonroof
    2002 Civic LX, 90k miles, $6800 - has the optional side airbags
    2005 Mazda6i Sport, 86k miles, $6400 - 6 airbags, ABS/TCS

    So you probably have options besides that 2002 Corolla, if you broaden your search a bit. If anything, you could use other cars as bargaining chips to work the price of the Corolla down.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,009
    How invested are you in this particular car? Can you negotiate for a lower price, knowing you might be unsuccessful and that car might be bought by someone willing to pay nearly 7 grand. Is that you? The trick to used car shopping is not to really care whether you get that exact car and to figure that another may come along at a better price point. There are a lot of used cars out there. Only you can decide how you want to approach this or any other car transaction.

    Myself, I take more of a "meant to be" attitude. If I could negotiate a price I thought I could live with, the car checked out mechanically, and the dealer accepted that price, then it's meant to be. If not, move on.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • The only real feelings I have about this car is that it embodies some of what I am looking for in a used car: good cosmetic condition, below average mileage, and it's of a make and model that's known to go another 150k miles.

    The #1 priority for me though is that I am making a purchase that is financially intelligent. To me this means that the car was purchased at a price much below what an uninformed buyer would have bought it at and that I found value in a way that another buyer wouldn't. At this point I still feel like I am at a HUGE information disadvantage and am so uncomfortable w spending $7,000 on ANY car that I really have no particular warm and fuzzy feelings about this one.

    My uncertainty is largely based on an unfamiliarity with how a dealer would price this vehicle. If it was standard for them to price a vehicle at 25% above what they are willing to let it go for, then I can reasonably offer them a price that I'm comfortable gets me the value I am looking for. If it is the case that they are only pricing the vehicle at 10% above what they are willing to let it go for, then there would really be no value in the car for me at all.

    Backy, were these prices dealer prices or private party?
  • Not emotionally invested at all and would be perfectly happy if it was purchased from under me.

    What I'm struggling with is how to know what a fair price is for the consumer. The only real information I have to go off of are the popular online retail price suggestions, but if dealers simply never sell them at or around that price, it would be foolish of me to burn energy trying to figure out how to get them to do so.
  • Okay, so let's say it keeps getting repeated by knowledgeable folks like the forum members at that this car is worth $5,000. In that case it would be reasonable to think that the guy who owns the dealership also knows in his/her heart of hearts that $5,000 is what this car is worth.

    My question is, what is a more reasonable assumption about how dealers purchase their vehicles: (1) They know the car is worth $5,000, they buy it at $3,500 and mark it up to $7,000 hoping for a sweetheart of a buyer but with the possibility of selling it at $5,000 to a smart buyer. (2) They know the car is worth $5,000 but, since they aren't looking to sell cars to knowledgeable buyers (and since wholesalers know how the game works), they buy it at $4,500 and mark it up to $7,000 looking for a sweetheart buyer with no intention of letting it go to a knowledgeable buyer for $5,000.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,009
    There is no point in trying to get inside a dealers head. They all have different motives depending on how their month is going. Just pick the price you want to pay and offer it. All they can say is no. End of story. Believe me, they aren't wasting that much effort over a 12 year old economy car.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,602
    Instead of trying to micro analyze this deal...what a dealer paid etc, I would suggest that you focus on what you think the car is worth TO YOU!

    Used cars sell for what the market dictates and popular models simply do not last long. We often paid well over book at the auctions for exceptional cars and, of course, we sold them for over book too to customers woul knew the market.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,602
    Backy...yes, in rare cases lease residuals can be negotiable but this doesnt' happen often. In the case of your Sentra, Nissan probably made a stupid decision in order to spur sales. In order to make lease payments attractive, they set too high of a residual hoping for the best.

    Knowing they were going to take a massive hit at auction, they allowed you to negotiate your buyout. This sometimes happened and it was a BAD thing because people came to expect this. They should have bit the bullet.

    Now, suppose they had screwed up and set the residual too LOW? Would you have allowed to let them negotiate that amount with you?

    Nissan isn't the only car company that made bad short term decisions for immediate gain only to pay a massive price at lease end.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    These were all dealers.

    Sometimes a price is a price. When I bought the 2005 Mazda6i Sport hatch a couple of months ago, the asking price was $4,880. I knew that was a good price for that car. But I tried to negotiate with the sales rep anyway. He just smiled and told me, "That's the price." He pointed to the new Infinitis on the showfloor and said, "If you would like to buy of these cars, I'll be glad to give you a big discount. But not on a $5,000 car." So I paid the $4,880. :)
  • acemanhattanacemanhattan Posts: 79
    edited September 2013
    The lady said they've owned it for about 5 months, that it is in great condition but that they've recently come into financial troubles. It seems to be priced fairly by suggested private party price standards. She thinks it has ABS and Dual side air bags.

    Thoughts on this car and price?
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,009
    Is that a dent in the left side? I would be very careful to make sure the owners have clean title to the car. Sounds a little fishy. But if it checks out, the '09 did have most of the safety features that are important now -- side airbags and I believe ABS was standard by then.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • evolk1evolk1 Posts: 11
    edited September 2013
    it's been in one accident, but not much front end damage according to the seller, who is a friend that I work with at my job...selling insurance. He has a wholesale dealer's license and will sell it to me through his buddy that has a retail license. He indicated that the damage amounted to the radiator being perforated near the bottom of it...and that all parts are original other than the radiator, which was replaced, and the airbag sensors in the front that he replaced. It has 137,000 miles on it. Original transmission. Some marks on the paint in various places...what you'd expect with a car that old. Tires will need replacing in 6-7 months most likely. Radio/Stereo was replaced with an aftermarket unit that doesn't take up all the room the old one did, so there is a gap/space of about a half inch on the bottom. Power seats. He indicates that he can get $4000 to $4,500 at either the auction or on the open market / auto trader / craigslist, but that he'll sell it to me for $3,000, which is about the value of a private sale according to Edmunds and KBB, so I'm not sure its a 'great bargain', but my deal is I just don't want a lemon. I need cheap, reliable transportation that has some room/size to it (I'm 6'2" / 270lbs) and that I can also be comfortable in up to 2.5 hour drives to appointments. Thoughts?
  • So I have this Fuel/Mileage Logger app in the Android Play Store which has been doing decently well as yet. I was thinking of going a step further and using the information fed in by my users. Things I have access to is the fuel efficiency by the make/model, the miles logged by my users, number of fill ups, the brands my users use, etc.

    I really feel that I can use this data and create a website or maybe another app which provides the real world efficiency as reported by users of different cars. I think this can potentially help people looking for used cars.

    Do you guys think this will be time well spent?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,091
    although the same info can be obtained through, people love apps. personally, I'd rather see it as an add-on to the existing app you speak of.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • That totally makes sense. Thanks for the input.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,091
    if you make it for the iphone, I'd actually like to know.

    Speaking of which, maybe that's a good idea for a new topic... car apps. I have several on my phone.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • Hi all! I've been in the market (and discussed it a bit here, and more in the midsize sedans forum), but I did end up purchasing a new Ram 1500 Crew Cab this weekend. I love it, especially the Uconnect system and the 3.6L engine.
  • If I get decent traction with my Android app I will surely port it to Iphone as well. In case you use an android device do try and my app, its called 'Fuel Buddy' and its available in the Google Play Store.

    Yeah, I think I'll start a new thread for the apps members are using.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025


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  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    The Crown Vick is an ancient architecture, but as tough as titanium. You can drive those things over curbs and not hurt them. The accident wouldn't worry me. It all comes down to care at those miles. Properly serviced, I've seen them run 300,000 miles without breaking a sweat in fleets. So, service records matter. The engine needs regular 5,000 mile oil changes. The Trans should have had 2 complete services by now. The rear axle, a grease change at 90,000. If it has had that kind of treatment, you have what you want. But $3,000 is plenty of money for it.
  • berlodberlod Posts: 1
    edited September 2013
    Hi :D

    I got my license this month and I'm wandering what car should I buy. I want to spend up to $5,000. I was thinking about few cars like
    2001 acura cl type s
    2001+ toyota celica gt
    2003+ corolla s
    Chevrolet Cobalt
    Subaru (legacy,impreza) , hatchback looks nice, but is 5k enough?
    Would love any BMW or audi A4 but i heard they are not good cars
    I also considered any acura/honda newer than 2000+ , civics (i like hatchback ones).

    I also thought about buying car for cheaper from insurance auction and fixing it. I have a friend who is a mechanic and has dealer's license and also could work with him on the car.

    I would love to get a 2dr but the insurance just scares me (celica). What car looks good, has decent insurance and is pretty fun to drive? Manual/Automatic - doesnt matter. Currently 17 yo, living in Chicago.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,009
    At your age unfortunately the insurance costs are going to trump every other factor. An older Civic or Corolla is probably your best bet, but you might also consider a bigger, older car like a Buick Lucerne (totally not fun but a pretty solid vehicle and cheap to repair) or a hatch like the 2005 or 2006 Pontiac Vibe. Sometimes insurance costs are less on larger cars. ABS wasn't standard until 2006, so insurance costs are higher on cars without them. The Vibe will be cheaper to insure if it has ABS. Some '04s had them as an option. Also if you stay in Chicago any of those will be good drivers in winter, a factor you didn't mention but certainly one to keep in mind (vs., say, the Celica).
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,894
    Curious to hear about the mileage you see with the 8 spd. 2wd or 4wd?

    15.5 XC70 T6 / 16 Soul EV / 17 Toyota 86

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    edited September 2013
    In my commute daily which is 78 miles of Interstate (65-75mph) and 27 miles of 4-lane (with traffic lights peppering the drive), I'm averaging 24.2 on my second tank in a row according to the computer. I've not yet refilled the tank from full due to the fact that the computer wasn't reset when it was filled up upon purchase of the truck. However, if it's anywhere north of 23mpg, I'll be happy.

    I'm not feather-footing it, but when cruising around 70mph, the "instant" mpg meter is averaging 27 or so on flat ground. Of course if there's much of an incline and the cruise control drops a couple of mph, it'll downshift to 7th and hop right back to the set speed. At 60mph, it runs around 1,400 RPM (I have the 3.21 Axle, CrewCrab, 2WD).

    Maybe I'll shoot some video with my phone and throw it on youtube for the interested parties.

  • Losing coolant. However, no visual evidence of leak, no water in oil, no white smoke out exhaust. Any suggestions to what is causing this problem?
  • Try posting it in a Honda Civic forum here on Edmunds. There are great "maintenance and repair" forums with helpful people. This forum is geared more towards purchasing a car.
  • [the graduate. We thought that was where we posted it (we are new at this) and thanks to your suggestion, we hopefully posted it to the right forum this time.
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