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Carmax - What's Your Experience?



  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    In our area it is Carmax and Drivers Choice
  • What area are you in? (curious)...

    south- north- west??? (state)...
  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302

    And its Drivers Way not Drivers Choice
  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    Since the Carmax "guaranteed price" is auction value or less, I would assume any new or used car dealer would give you that for your car if it was something they thought they could sell on their lot.

    I did that once when I wanted to get rid of a car quick (convertible in winter). Just shopped it around to several local dealers and found took the highest offer (it was not Carmax).

  • Oh yea! I mean thattakes time to shop dealers who will pay more- but for the AVG guy they just want a no hassle way of getting a new (used) vehicle. Some dealers specialize in certain cars more than others so I could see them offering a tad bit more since they would "know" the wigggle room between profit and loss on that specifc make car.

    Interesting... I saw that Driver's Way website.. they look pretty cool. They probably dont have the marketing efforts of Carmax but (maybe) the same service???
  • Speaking of "guaranteed price"

    I ran across a site called Was curious if anyone is familiar with these guys- seems they can provide a guaranteed price on your car via internet. Some of there claims are 2-4k higher than KBB!!

    Anyone seen this before? Seems pretty innovative....

    Ok so you or your friend have a nice older car with a bit over 100,000 miles and KBB says its worth on trade-in value at 3212.00 (for example). Now before you go into Auction-Direct or CarMax and get all fussy about how smart you and your research are. Go back to KBB or NADA and type in 250,000 miles! Serious try it, it will say 3020.00 ! !
    Its a major glich in both KBB and NADA...WHY you may ask. Its bottomed out and hardly worth the value of transportation itself, not your car.

    When I worked at Carmax Id show this to some people and they would actually say "Wow my Car really holds its value when its old" ...there are alot of retards out there.
  • Also I got some cool info about warranties! You know all your local dealers are saying they will give you a "LIFETIME Warranty". JD Power just came out and said that less than two percent of all auto repairs are Engine and Powertrain repairs. (By the way engine powertrain meaning the Block and Transmission nothing else.)

    Now guess what is covered by this new auto term Lifetime Warranty?
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 13,454
    You have to remember that all cars will have a residual value regardless of the miles. Once the car gets enough miles on it or is old enough or both to get near that residual value then the drop in value will slow dramatically. Even if the car has half a million miles if it is running it has value even if it is only for spare parts and scrap metal.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

  • WOW... never heard of these guys before1 I just did a quick scan of prices and AD seems to be waaay below by about 4-5k in most cases for same mileage car. I would assume these guys are Carmax's direct competitor. I also noticed Auction Direct using Manheim Simulcast auction setup- didn tknow thy could do that lol..
  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    The ones I checked were OK deals, a little less than similar cars offered at dealerships - but you can haggle with the dealership to get a much lower price.

    Of course, the same hold true with Carmax vs other dealers, the Carmax price is what it is, the dealer's price reflects a lot of negotiation room.

  • Well- that is just the thing. Who wants to haggle?? Especially when they (dealers) clearly have the upper hand in the knowledge of car buying and selling....

    Car buying can be a stressful situation as well- next to a home it is probably one of the biggest invstments a person makes in their life. I know for one- I do not like the haggle.. I like the quick and easy! lol

    (That would probably say a lot about my ex-gf selection too-lol... ).. but anyways...

    I see a need to keep my eyes open to other potential buyers/ seller services out there. The days of traditional car sales/ trades are over!!! yipppie!! :)
  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    I know for one- I do not like the haggle.. I like the quick and easy! lol

    Carmax and Saturn dealers exist for for suckers, I mean buyers, like you :D .

    Seriously, most folks greatly over pay on EVERY car purchase. I know otherwise intelligent folks who do it all the time. Just too much trouble or they don't understand, or whatever. I even offer to do the work for them - find the car and get them a nice price, and they still would rather just wander in to some dealership and get ripped off.

    There are deal brokers that you can pay to do the work, useless to someone like me, but it might be worth looking into for others. One was spamming the forums here recently, but there are other more legit brokers around. Some specialize in one make (BMW) or even one model ('vette) and others will track down whatever you want. There are also deals to be had via Sam's Club or Costco or other membership service - some of those are quite nice (others not so nice) and all involve no haggle. The same is true for buying via . So no NEED to pay way too much just because haggling is too hard.

    Of course, I depend on these folks paying too much - so the dealers can afford to sell me a car for little profit ;) .

  • :( Now imma sucker and unintelligent - wow lol....

    Oh well... now im fired up! :)

    There is no time like the present. Maybe I will start to do some extra research BEFORE buying my next car- (just means alittle more time) but anything to keep some more $$$ in my pockets. After all I can't expect that G-dubya's stimulus check to buy anything significant! Ugh...
  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    I put a smile at the end :D .

    No offense meant, there a tons of folks that just want an easy deal. My deals are always easy and I never sit in a dealer's office for very long at all - and I think I get very good deals.

    Use the Internet, e-mail, phone, and fax to sort the wheat from the chaff, be willing to travel to get a good deal. and don't argue/haggle with the dealer once you get there - if things are not right just walk.

    The key to finding a good deal is finding a good dealer. When I wanted a new S2000, I found a Honda dealer that would price it to me for under invoice. All the local Honda stores would not know a good deal if it bit them. When I wanted an RX-8 I went to a couple of local places to test drive, but their price were not good - so I again went out of town and saved thousands. Heck, my local Infiniti dealer has a $500 doc fee, but I found that 2 1/2 hours down the road the Infiniti dealer has $0 doc fee. Guess which dealership I used for my G37? I saved $1,100 on my wife's Pilot by getting a deal well into the hold back at a dealer about 3 1/2 miles from home. Dealers here COULD do deals at these prices but I know they do not, so why waste much time haggling with them?

    Most folks seem to think the dealerships are like McDonalds - all the same. They may LOOK the same but they all deal different. Trying to get a great deal from a bad dealer is like pounding a square peg in a round hole - just a waste of time and gets you mad.

    Use the forums here and elsewhere and Internet tools to find the dealers who will deal, and most of your work is done. You get everything worked out before you step foot in the dealer's store - heck I once got a new 'vette from a dealer in WI sight-unseen, we did ALL the dealing via e-mail and overnight letter. Get all the numbers worked out, then just show up, inspect the car, test drive it, then sign the papers and drive away in the new car. Just as easy as paying full price, but a lot cheaper :D .

  • Hey have you seen this website yet- not a bad concept.

    Check it out... NO hassle- no haggles lol...
    Kind of same process you spoke of , but ONLINE. Saves gas and time!
  • I didn't end up buying or selling a car through carmax, but I really liked my experience with carmax. It was a welcome change from the aggressive salesmen at other dealerships. The sales guy was a nice guy and didn't put any sort of pressure on me.
    I also found the carmax website to be a lot easier to navigate than other dealer's sites. It wasn't perfect, but I felt like the photos and the descriptions gave me a good enough idea of what I would be seeing in person before making the trip out to the lot.
    I had my current car valued for a trade-in and was disappointed in the quoted figure. However, the price they gave me provided something for me to use as a reference when I had my trade valued at other dealerships. I always knew that if I found the right car at a dealership, but wasn't happy with the trade-in offer, I could take the car to carmax during the 7 day window and get cash.
    Next time I'm in the market, I'm definitely going to check out their inventory. Haggling over the price just isn't worth my time.
  • Cool Todd...

    Lil birdy told me to tell you to hold on to your bootstraps. There is going to be a new wave of changes happening in the marketplace in terms of how consumers buy and SELL their cars in the future!

    Stay tuned- itll blow ya socks off!
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Posts: 867
    You want a simple method of finding reasonable pricing without all the haggling? Need to research the BOBST car buying Method... lot of posts in the "Stories from the Sales Frontlines" group I believe.

    bobst, "Stories from the Sales Frontlines" #10354, 3 Apr 2007 5:43 pm is one post to look at.

    BOBST pretty much researchs to determine what he thinks would be the best low ball offer to make that might be accepted for a certain vehicle. He goes in and makes the offer, out the door offer including all fees, tax, etc. If the offer is accepted, buy the car. If it is not, then he leaves...only way to make sure the offer if refused is to leave... Next go to another dealer and up the offer slightly, repeat until a dealer says yes. If you get too many refusals from Dealer, then you may need to rethink how you determined the low price you came up with would be in a doable range.

    Pretty simple


    Make offer for out the door price

    Yes or no? Either you bought it or go to the next dealer. Repeat until done. DO NOT HAGGLE...just OFFER.
  • andeetandeet Posts: 142
    I LOVE test driving cars, dealing with salespeople even the ones with bad attitude with very strong cologne that will make you sick.

    I think this Summer...I'm going to do a experiment. Go to 15 different Toyota dealers excluding Kenosha Toyota aka Carmax. Ten in Chicagoland area and the other five in Milwaukee area. I'm going to lie about me wanting to trade in my '07 Scion tC with negative. Act like I want to buy a '09 Corolla XRS. See how each sales person reacts, what type of sales tactics; basically seeing how far they will go. How they treat me as early 20's female with good paying job.

    Trust me...I'm strong enough to say "No" every time.
    See who puts a gun to my head and who actually "Consults" Then compare the difference between all the dealers including my two sales deals with Carmax.
  • Test driving cars IS fun, but... You know that your "test subjects" only get paid when they actually sell a car, right? Would you do your job for free? It's fine if you want to test drive cars at multiple dealers if you're considering the purchase of a car, but it's just rude to do it for fun. Also, would you want to buy a new car with 100 miles on it?
  • bcb1bcb1 Posts: 149
    I'm considering buying a used Land Cruiser from Carmax. Here's the dilemna:

    2000 TLC, 90K miles, $19,5 from Carmax

    2000 TLC, 88K miles, $17,9 from the local Ford store.

    I like how clean the Carmax cars are, I like the no-pressure way they deal, and I really like how you can return a car within 5 days, no questions asked - if I end up buying from Carmax, that'll be the reason. But I just have a hard time justifying paying an extra $1500 just for the 5-day return policy.
  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    Does the local Ford dealer use CarFax or AutoCheck? If not, then buy one or both for yourself ($25 or so for unlimited lookups, or cheaper for fewer) and run the VIN on the Ford dealer's LC and see if it is clean. If it is, then get a competent independent mechanic to look over the car to be sure all is well. If so, then ask the Ford dealer if you get it in writing for a few days/miles return policy. They very well could agree to it.

    Finally, the Carmax price may be "no haggle" but I would assume the Ford dealer has several thousand dollars in profit built into their price so expects a buyer to want to bargain down the price. So rather than a $1,600 difference you could be looking at a $2,500, $3,000 difference or more. More than enough to make up for the cost of a CarFax/AutoCheck account and paying $150 or something for a pre-purchase inspection.

  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    Tell the Ford Dealer you will pay the $17.9 plus tax if they offer you a 5 day return policy and pull a carfax for you. I bet you will have a deal.
  • I leased an 07 CTS but just had a child. For family reasons I'd like to break lease for a Buick Enclave at the same dealer. Would they normally let me do that without a stiff penalty?
  • andeetandeet Posts: 142
    Last Wednesday, I went to the good ole Carmax for a oil change and tire rotation. Service consultant asked me if I would spend extra $10.00s for 5k service and they will service the battery, oil change, tire rotation, brake check, check exhaust system, and check the chassis. I agreed.

    I got into the car and started quite nice. I went home cause I found out I left my wallet at home with my driver's license in it. (Don't like carrying around the wallet and my checkbook also left in the car while getting service. ) Drove 20 miles to Carmax and back with no license. Oops! Anyway, ran into the house grabbed my wallet and ran back outside to my Scion tC. Went to start it....nothing happened: No trying to turnover, no warning lights, my dash clock wasn't on when its on 24/7/365.

    Called Carmax told them...They said it might be the battery. I decided to go to Autozone and test the battery. Battery passed their test. I put the battery back in and heard my warning ding for having the door open. So I started the car. It ran and I left the car running for ten minutes while I'm re setting the computer: power windows, sunroof. I decided to stop the car and try starting it again. Didn't start. So I missed work since I couldn't drive there. I'm thinking it was more serious problem like my starter.

    Morning comes along, decided on spending 100 bucks for towing the car back. Called Carmax back...they are accusing me for their mess up. Almost to the point I yelled back and share some "wonderful" words. I still like this one..."Well you're the one who serviced my car! So you can't accuse me!" They were saying some like "Well 7 out 10 times its the owner's fault!" That totally "p"-ed me off almost to the point I yelled back "Look! I called in yesterday at work! And you have NO idea how "p"-ed off I am right now. I probably could kill someone" For being Toyota dealer too...before yelling at each other. I asked if its serious probably that I can get a loaner...they said "Oh we don't do that?" When my sister's Toyota dealer in Illinois offered her a free loaner???? When she had to leave her car with them for five hours. Her Matrix doesn't have a warranty nor was bought there??

    The tow guy even thought it was unprofessional how they were dealing with me. And thought I had every right to be unprofessional back. I'm sorry if you're going to be rude; you bet I'm going to be rude back.

    They found out the battery connectors weren't screwed in correctly. And I did sort of had the problem fixed but not to the car's "liking" lol They were confused about everything and even thought it was something more serious almost to the point; they were hesitating for me taking the car back. So they offered to not charge me for the work but make me pay for the towing. If I would know the service was going to be $10.50...I would of put them on the spot and said “No! I’ll pay for the service and you pay for my towing.” So they kind of stiff me.

    Everyone around me thinks its BS, they didn’t pay for towing when they are the ones who originally messed up.

    I based all the past service work by baseball terms: My last two services including this one are strikes. The other service back in May '07 when they yelled at me (I posted the whole event on this topic) was strike one. I'm officially going somewhere else!

    Carmax of Kenosha, WI..."The sales department does excellent work (I'll admit, I seen some bad apples. But I personally dealt with the best ones) but the service department s*cks!"
  • irismgirismg Posts: 345
    I think it wouldn't hurt to do so.

    I went to last week to e-mail a traditional dealer about a Versa, all I wanted them to tell me is if the car had power windows. Unfortunately, I had to give them my phone number. Well, rather than answering my question, they wanted to know when I could come and drive it. God I hate dealers. I just said forget it. The whole reason I use the internet is for information! Traditional dealers hide their information and would rather you came in during office hours. No, the salesman doesn't get to decide that. I don't answer ads that say "call for price", either.

    God bless Circuit City's Carmax, and others who will come along later and copy their model. I long for the day when the CONSUMER controls the transaction. Oh, they've been leaving messages on my phone, too. Imagine calling to ask me if I've decided on a car yet! When I've made up my mind, I WILL be the one to let THEM know. I buy on MY schedule, not THEIRS, and I don't care that it's the end of the month!

    Furthermore, I don't care about getting the absolute rock-bottom price. As long as it's well below MSRP or Blue Book, and is a fair price, I'm satisfied. It's like do you buy from a department store or do you buy Target? I've been watching one car in particular at the local Carmax, and they do go down in price if they've been sitting there a while!

    Anyway, just wanted to share my thoughts. I think some traditionals are starting to get the message, though, because I see a lot of "Silent Sunday" sales lately. So, change is coming to the car selling industry, and none too soon.

    I want change!
  • irismgirismg Posts: 345
    I see a need to keep my eyes open to other potential buyers/ seller services out there. The days of traditional car sales/ trades are over!!! yipppie!!

    The sooner the better! :)
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,861
    i was totally sympathetic to your situation, having had a battery cable left untightened one time. if you had the battery tested, why would it have not been noticed at that time? :confuse:
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • andeetandeet Posts: 142
    I did reconnect the battery. Got loose again when I shut off the car. And I kept reconnecting it like three times and no starts, no warning lights, and no clock. That's when I gave up and called the tow. Like I said I didn't want to keep screwing around with it if there's major problem and this lovely so called dealership pins it on me. Forcing me to spend the 1,000 bucks when they screwed up!

    I'm still dead serious about me NOT GOING BACK for service! I'll go back for parts cause their parts department never screwed up on my orders and if my sales consultant is still employed at Carmax down the road; I'll allow her to sell me another car if I was in that situation. I hate to admit this out loud but buying cars is very serious matter and its VERY HARD to trust anyone in that business. Since I've done two deals with this woman. She never screwed up, never took full advanage, never gave me BS sales pitches. I trust her.

    But I'm not letting them touch my car anymore!
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