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Carmax - What's Your Experience?



  • fjallravfjallrav Posts: 1
    After searching for a specific car for three months, I found one locally and needed to sell my current car quickly. I figured that the small dealer where I was buying the car would not give me great trade-in value so, very aware of the Edmunds values as well as the payoff; I thought I’d give CarMax a try.

    I have very little patience, or time, for selling cars so I was willing to except a lower offer for the sake of convenience but I was astounded by the low appraisal from CarMax. The car I was selling was three years old with low mileage, the top trim level of a popular model and in perfect condition. The offer from the small lot where I bought my new, used, car, while still low in comparison to the Edmund’s values, was $1000 higher than the CarMax offer.

    They were professional and efficient and I can appreciate their business model, but you really are paying a lot more for the convenience they provide and, despite the advertising, they are not paying a fair price for used cars.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 4,170

    Almost bought from here this month but decided that the used vehicle was just too expensive for what I was getting. They lowballed my pristine trade in but at least I had a low price where I could base everything else on. I also liked the sales guy I dealt with even though he was leaving for a better position somewhere else.
    All in all, they have a good wide selection but am glad I bought a new vehicle where I did.

    The Sandman :) B)

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1) / 2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • ren21ren21 Posts: 1

    I purchased a car from Carmax this past Saturday. I had it transferred and when they called to say it was in, I went immediately to look at it. Had I known before I went that once I stepped on the lot, I either had to buy the car or they would re-list it, I would have waited to go see it until I had my financing and own mechanic lined up. I drove the car and loved it. Knowing that they had a 5 day return policy and that I could switch my loan after purchase, I went ahead and bought it. On Monday I took it to my own mechanic for a once over and he said that the car was in rough shape. It only had 28,000 miles on it and already needed a new clutch. It also was out of alignment and that there was evidence that the car had been run hard. He suggested that I return the car because he saw nothing but problems with it. Carmax was wonderful regarding the return. I will give them that, but I don't understand how someplace that claims to be so picky about every car they put on their lot missing something as basic as needing a new clutch and the alignment being out. I informed them of everything that my mechanic found wrong with the car. To my surprise, the next day, there was the car re-listed on the internet. I don't believe for one minute that they fixed anything with the car. They put a car back on the website fully aware that it had issues. The buying/return of the car was simple and straightforward. I was even considering looking for another car through them, as long as I had an independent mechanic check the car over, but after I saw that car re-listed, I don't trust them at all.

  • ramos9ramos9 Posts: 1
    edited June 2014

    I am not one to leave reviews on forums but my last purchase through Carmax has completely changed their image and brand I was loyal to. I purchased a 2008 Porsche Carrera from their Las Vegas location this past April. The car was beautiful but had minor items that needed to be fixed, to be exact
    the headlights needed to be adjusted, the rear bumper was lose, and the passenger seat rail was not functional.

    It took me two weeks to be able book an appointment for the items to be repaired under their "30 day warranty" period. Once I had the appointment, I was promised my car back within one week. Two weeks and four days went by and I was still waiting for them to return my vehicle. I reached out to my service advisor but she advised me Porsche needed to complete their repairs. Out of frustration I called Porsche my self to come to find out the car had been finished three days prior to my call.

    When I received my car back and had driven home, I noticed a dent caused by a vehicle door that was not there when I initilly dropped my car off. I immediately contacted my service advisor to discuss this and left her over five voicemails in a span of 5 days but have not heard back from her. I tried contacting their corporate office via email several times and completed two customer satisfaction surveys that were emailed to me and I still have not heard from anyone at Carmax.

    It is very unfortunate that a company that has such a great edge in the auto industry has such a bad level of customer service and focus.

    J. Ramos

  • kshoafkshoaf Posts: 1

    I have bought 4 cars from CarMax, and had good experiences with the people and they made it pretty easy. They charge too much for the licensing fees, but it is convenient for them to get your tags. My biggest complaint is with the Service Dept., they are not open on weekends and are actually very limited in their knowledge of various vehicles. They are not quick to get back to you, and if it's under their warranty they think they can keep it for two weeks.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,572

    "Used car sales company CarMax is under intense scrutiny over the safety of cars it sells, as auto safety and consumer organizations have filed a petition to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). If supported, the petition would compel CarMax to cease advertising its cars as quality inspected and certified as long as recalled cars are sold unrepaired."

    Groups Attack CarMax Over Selling Recalled Cars (

  • I recently bought a car from CarMax and it's been a nighmare ever since. This is NOT the way car buying should be. Aside from the major hassle received because we did our own financing, once we got the car it fell apart, literally. Front bumper came off as well as the light switch when I went to turn on the driving lights. Then found the steering wheel controls had to be replaced and the TPMS system was on the blink. Guess their rigid quality control inspection isn't that good of standard. Needless to say, decided to take it back. That's when the real problems started. Come to find out when you buy the car they want the money up front, when you give it back they have to 'process' the refund at the corporate office then will snail mail you a check when they get around to it. Then they didn't properly record the lein so the check went to the wrong bank, meanwhile I'm paying loan interest on a car I don't own. Not that it stopped them from instantly putting the car up for sale when they don't have a clear title to sell it. It's taken them two days and a ton of phone calls to figure out what I found out in less than 2 minutes. Now that they figured it out I have to wait another week for them to 'Expedite' the check to the correct bank.
    All in all, this has been the absolute worst car buying experience in my 30 years of buying cars.
  • I have been buying cars a long time and the one common with car dealers, they can't tell the truth. Was hoping Carmax would be different, guess not. Bald tires, too high of an interest rate. Getting tires today, just a month after buying car. What a shame.
  • ken117ken117 Posts: 246
    Carmax is, after all the promises and hype, a used car dealer. Rarely can a used car dealer be trusted.

    Folks needing a late model used vehicle would, in most cases, be more likely to receive a better overall experience buying a CPO vehicle from a dealer. Better service, most likely better condition, and very often a lower price, assuming one can negotiate even just a bit.

    My limited experience with Carmax is their prices are very high. Example, a few years ago I bought a new Corolla. Carmax had a Corolla, current model year, with less options and 12K miles. Carmax's no haggle price was actually several hundred dollars more than what I paid for the brand new Corolla.

    A good axiom is a purchase from any car dealer, particualry used car dealers, that attempts to sell at a set price will result in a price which is considerably higher than prices obtained via negotiation.

  • These people are crooks. They sold me a faulty car with the premise that it was still under factory warranty. I specifically asked both my sales representative and the finance manager to confirm the car was in fact under warranty. After 3 weeks with my car the service engine soon light, and well as, the Break light came on. That Sunday the service department was closed, so I took my car to a BMW dealer because I was initially told the car was under factory warranty. BMW examined my car and estimated a total of $2000 worth of repairs because, lo and behold, the car had been out of warranty for over 4 months. I then attempted to schedule an appointment with Carmax within the "30-day guarantee" and they weren't able to accommodate me. I sent 2 emails, and called multiple times speaking to several "Managers" who would not assist in getting me an appointment or recognizing the lie that my salesman Armando told me. Brake light, service engine soon light, transmission issues, you name it my car has it! NOT A SINGLE PERSON has been able to return my calls. I have spoken to various "Managers" with the promise of a call back and NOONE has done so. I contacted Carmax on December 21st, 4 days before my 30-days was up (thats when my car began showing signs of damage). Today is now January 19th, and yet no one is able to assist me. I have visited the store twice and both times the front desk has assured me that the manager would contact me, again, a lie.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 4,170
    Never buy a car from Carmax...NEVER!!! Get a quote, sure, but never ever buy. Their prices are too high and no haggle and I truly believe they tend to hide issues and then "disappear" when issues do crop up. I've heard stories from a few friends and now this last poster. Sure, their stores are pretty and the vehicles shined up nicely but...beware as the devil is in the details! So sorry that you've had such a terrible time with them but the way they are refusing to even acknowledge you is reprehensible, total low class and hopefully you keep good documentation with times and names of people you've spoken with and attempted to speak with. Like I did, go above their managers if need be, hell, go up as far as you can because eventually, they will have to pay the piper here. Look for a good attorney also and call your local t v station and their consumer reporter as they love this kind of stuff. Any bad media attention is plain bad for business and the more vocal it is, the quicker they will come to terms to make you go away. Trust me, it works!!!
    Good luck!!

    The Sandman :) B)

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1) / 2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • ClintClint Posts: 10
    Recently had a Carmax open in our town. A very nice selection of shinny vehicles all with a set price. Based on prior experience, every time I drive by and see someone looking I want to shout out NO do yourself a favor and go elsewhere. The only constant about Carmax is anyone buying there will pay way too much.

    Every time I buy a new vehicle I check Carmax to see what set price they are selling my trade vehicle, usually only a couple of years old. I am never disappointed in that they always set a price ridiculously high.
  • I bought a 2008 certified Lexus LS460 in 2/13. I paid extra for an extended warranty for 48 months and up to 125K miles. Within 6 months I had over $5,000.00 in warrant claims that I had to wait for several days to get an inspector and to approve the work. The work was to the control arms on the suspension. two years later my rear struts(as Lexus call them) start making noise. CarMax warranty group, that isn't affiliated/owned by CarMax, denies my claim saying the shocks are not covered. See they cover struts but not shocks. The lexus dealership states lexus even has internal memos stating the rear strut mounts make noise. CarMax warranty group says they are shocks not struts. The initial $5000.00 in control arm work is related to the strut issue because they are connected. The gist is it is easy to sell a warranty saying you stand behind a product, but easy to deny claims when prompted, saying you have no pull with the warranty company because the companies are not related. Shame on me for buying from CarMax. Beware!!!
  • I have both bought and sold cars at Carmax in Austin, TX. I recently traded in a Nissan 350Z convertible. I checked KBB and then took my car to Carmax for an appraisal. It was about $2K under KBB. I called a couple companies that offer to buy your car. Both required me to wait for them to show up and then took over an hour each. Their initial offer was $2K under Carmax and they eventually raised it up another thousand.

    Both companies explained the Carmax has a vehicle wholesale organization set up, so they can sell cars cheaper than smaller companies. The guys who buy your car have to ship it, float the money and then pay high fees at the auto auction. One company told me that it cost them $1500 - $2000 in expenses just to get the car to auction. This seems high, but that was his explanation for the extremely low quote.

    I went to a couple other local dealers. They low balled me. When I showed them the Carmax offer, they offered to match it. So, basically, they put no effort into my appraisal,.
  • I purchased my very first car with carmax on 12/05/2015. I saved up my money and purchased a 2006 Hyundai Tucson from the Lithia Springs location in GA. I was happy with the test drive & carfax as well as the vehicle. 
    I couldn't believe I finally had a vehicle to get to and from work as well as to and from my son's school. 3 days later my excitement turned into terror as I was driving the truck on the highway and it started to slow down no matter how hard I pressed the gas. I put on my hazard lights and started to try to get off the highway but an elderly woman almost crashed into me despite this. 
    The car continued to slow down and stop while I was pressing the gas pedal during my entire ride home. I was traumatized and angry. I immediately contacted carmax and was told to have the car towed in at which point I was presented with papers to sign giving them back the car. every other car on the lot was out of my price range and I was ineligible for a loaner car because I had given the car back and loaners are only for people who currently have a car with carmax. When I asked why no one explained this to me before, the saleswoman Connie told me she didn't know. 
    The sales manager, Richard told me he would not help me get a loaner and that my only option was to spend more money on a whole new car which I had absolutely no money for. I found a car $1,000 more than the Tucson at the Southlake location and decided to go there to try and get it. After financing the car I was told my note would go up as well as my down payment. 
        I had been telling them ALL DAY that I absolutely can not afford for anything to go up and they refused to offer any type of discount for all my troubles or to compensate me. I was frustrated and disappointed. Even after speaking with corporate I was told that carmax does not under any circumstance offer discounts of any kind. 
       I asked for my money back and was told that they should've given it to me at the Lithia Springs location. They of course did not so not only was I out of a car I was out of my money. I can not get my money back until I get an off day from work to go all the way back to Lithia Springs for a refund.        Through my correspondences with corporate I concluded that the sales people at carmax do not execute their jobs the way that they are supposed to and their focus is not on customer service. I was sold a car that shouldn't have been sold at all as it was unsafe to drive. I will get my money back and go to a real dealership next time.
  • carboy21carboy21 Posts: 760
    Carmax are a bunch of shylocks. Buy low , sell high. Just like the stock market.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 4,170
    Never, never ever purchase from Carmax!! Their prices are not reasonable for some reason...the only thing to use them for is to get a price on something you want to trade since they seem to give decent estimates. But please, from all the bad stuff I've read over the years, never buy from them!!!

    The Sandman :) B)

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1) / 2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,854
    Went to CarMax to get a quote on a car I was selling to settle an estate.
    A few years ago, I got a real lowball quote there and didn't hesitate to complain about it on these forums.
    The resr of the experience was ok.
    This time, I got quoted a good number and ended up selling them the car, and the process was pretty easy.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • cwe1988cwe1988 Posts: 1
    On December 23rd of 2016 I purchased a 2014 Jeep Patriot from the Pompano Beach Carmax (Sample Road).
    My wife is pregnant and will soon give birth to our first child. Before this we were a one car family with a Fiat 500 and my wife was very concerned about not having a car to bring baby boy home from the hospital in, not to mention to make it to all of the Doctor appointments for wellness checks in. So, I decided why not make the purchase a Christmas present/surprise since we needed one anyways! Only problem was I had this revelation on Wednesday December 21, 2016 and Carmax was to be closed on the 24th and 25th for Christmas. The real issue was that the perfect car (She had been wanting a white Patriot for a few years now) was all the way in Clearwater, FL... some 250 miles away.

    I was told by the sales rep at Pompano Beach that while it was possible the car may be there by Friday, in time for me to pick up prior to Christmas, it was in no way a certainty. I then contacted the Clearwater store to speak with someone who handles the outgoing shipments and he basically told me that it was not going to happen.
    From my understanding, the way it works with Carmax is when the car you want is at a location less than 200 miles Carmax will do the shipping itself and it usually takes 1-3 days. But when it is further than that they outsource to carrier companies. In that case they have to wait until they have enough cars to send to make it economical for them to do so and also deal with bidding/price hunting etc... which complicates the who thing and makes everything take much longer.

    After learning all of this I gave the corporate office a call and got in touch with a Emilee, an analyst from the Carmax Customer Care Team. I explained my situation and how much it would mean to my wife and I (both in the form of glee for her and reduced anxiety for the both of us) if they could somehow get the car to Pompano Beach in time for me to pick up on Friday.

    Before the end of the week Emilee had gotten a whole team of people in the corporate office working on getting the car to us in time. I received telephone updates from her all along the way. By Thursday afternoon I received an email informing me that the car was in transit, followed by a call from Emilee letting me know that everything worked out and the car should be there Thursday evening or Friday morning and a call from the Sales Manager at the Pompano Beach store letting me know that he had spoken to Emilee and once the car arrived they were going to expedite the "unpacking" and everything that that entails.

    The real cherry on top came on January 3rd when my wife received a FedEx package while I was at work. Inside she found a set of very nice swaddling blankets and a card that read: "Chris, Thank you so much for letting our Pompano Beach Team help you find your new-to-you Jeep Patriot for your growing family! Here's a small token from CarMax to welcome your new addition. We hope your Jeep Patriot takes you on incredible new adventures! Sincerely, Emilee, Your CarMax Customer Care Team"

    Everyone was super amazing and I could not be more grateful for the professional and caring people at both the local Sample Road Pompano Beach Store and the Corporate office. Thanks to Cristy (Pompano Beach sales rep) as well for making the whole process and painless as possible.

    As a side note: The Patriot was absolutely immaculate inside and out despite having 27k miles on it, my wife would have sworn it was new before she saw the odemeter... She was happy I saved us some money ;)
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 4,170
    Have been to the Sample Rd. location a couple times to get their buyout price for a couple of my vehicles. Both times, their estimates have been higher than the dealer and both dealers agreed to match their price because they knew if they did not, the deal might not have gone through. In Florida, there is a sales tax advantage to trading at the buying dealership. The weird part is both times, Carmax wanted to give me about $1K more than the dealers did but think this happened because both my vehicles had minimal cosmetic issues and had lowish miles for their model year. They both looked immaculate and drove almost like new. I do know that within about 5 days, each dealer had sold my trades because I would look at their websites daily until they were no longer listed.
    Luckily, I live very close to the Sample Rd. CarMax and not to far from either their Ft. Lauderdale and Boynton Beach locations. It's fun to see what they have in stock because they move their inventory quickly.

    The Sandman :) B)

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1) / 2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

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