Carmax - What's Your Experience?

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  • litmanlitman Member Posts: 9
    Of course, in fairness, there have also been many times I should have listened to her from the start too.

    As far as transfers go:
    Carmax will transfer a vehicle from the online inventory, but it is expensive to leave your region, and that cost does not come off the purchase price. Moreover, if the car arrives and you inspect it and decide you don't like it, you are still on the hook for the transfer fee.

    Like I said, the store is fine for people who are willing to pay for a relatively painless, albeit more expensive car purchasing experience. There is little risk....alas, there is also less reward.
  • joel0622joel0622 Member Posts: 3,299
    2%????? If that is the case then i need to quit my job and start wholesaling to carmax because they are paying way to much for there inventory. If I can beat a Carmax price by a $1000 and still make a $1000 and you say they will only make 2% selling it for $1000 more. Some ones math is broke :)
  • punkr77punkr77 Member Posts: 183
    When I bought mine it worked something like this:

    If it's at another Carmax lot in town, they'll transfer it for free. The car I bought was at another of their 5 houston lots. They transferred it to the closest lot with no problems.

    If it's at a carmax in another city/state, you have to pay transfer fees.
  • carzrfuncarzrfun Member Posts: 2
    2%????? If that is the case then i need to quit my job and start wholesaling to carmax because they are paying way to much for there inventory. If I can beat a Carmax price by a $1000 and still make a $1000 and you say they will only make 2% selling it for $1000 more. Some ones math is broke

    Do you recondition all your cars? Do you check for frame/flood damage? You have to think about the money they put into the car AFTER they buy it. Say it takes 10hrs to recondition, parts and labor during that time not so cheap. I didn't mean they make 2% I meant less than 2% of cars are making $2,000 profit.
  • joel0622joel0622 Member Posts: 3,299
    Do you recondition all your cars? Do you check for frame/flood damage?

    Yes, averege recon bill on a 30K mile vehichle is $425 unless it needs tires and then its around $850 depending on make and model. Have a 5 bay clean up shop on site the cars go through at about $85 a pop, $10.50 for stickers. Frame/Previous damage is checked when vehichle is purchased at auction (same auction carmax goes, we will stand right next to there buyer bidding on the same cars) then again when the $80 safety inspection is done.

    Folks they are not doing a dang thing special except conditioning the buyer to pay sticker when ya get there. the used car business is not Rocket Science. Get a clean, well cared for used car at the lowest price possible, prep it so you don't have to apologize for anything and sell it for the highest price possible, then do it again, and again, and again etc etc. I applaud them though, through great marketing (I love there new commercials with the chariots driving home the price is set in stone) and standing by there guns turning sales down that would turn a profit they have hoo dooed the general buying public into thinking they are doing them a favor by not coming off the sticker price. I ain't mad, just jealous.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTMember Posts: 15,995
    an '03 malibu. she paid 13500 new excluding trade in('94 lebaron 95k miles, needed 2 right side doors) and taxes/fees. they just look wrong. jmo.
    someone find me a bargain. ;)
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 2019 Lincoln MKZ Reserve 1
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H EdmundsAdministrator Posts: 11,132
    I personally do not want a car that's taken 10 hours to recondition, thanks!

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  • bdc2020bdc2020 Member Posts: 58
    I look at CarMax just like any of the big 3 'warehouse' shopping places (BJ's, Sam's Club and Costco) - there are deals to be had perhaps, but you have to know the competitors price.

    People go into these wholesale stores and thing everything is a bargain and it's not. Some stuff is cheaper at a regular food store. CarMax is the same way. You have to know the prices of what you are buying. Maybe you have a very hard to find optioned car and CarMax has it. Maybe that extra $$ is worth it to get your exact option package. Maybe there are no other cars nearby in as good a condition or with as low of miles. Just be informed before you go in.
  • joel0622joel0622 Member Posts: 3,299
    I guess another good thing they have going for them is the selection. Where I might have 6 2005 Explorer's to look at they have 50.
  • ditsyquoinditsyquoin Member Posts: 5
    What I like about Carmax as that I can try out so many used cars easily to better define what I'm looking for.

    I've purchased a 1996 Suburu Legacy and 2003 Miata from them. Both of them had been on the lot for a while and were reduced to a very fair price. The Suburu had a stain on the seat and the Miata had a ripple in the paint, but mechanically they have proved to be very sound cars.

    I'm a little disappointed that these last chance bargains have become fewer and fewer at my local Carmax. It seems like they have upgraded the standards and lessened the likelihood of finding a deal for minor cosmetic problems.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,350
    Wow, if Car Max will really pay book value for a used Taurus, I sure wish we had Car Max around here!

    We get bids THOUSANDS of dollars back of book on most domestics especically Taurus's.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Member Posts: 1,828
    if Car Max will really pay book value for a used Taurus, I sure wish we had Car Max around here!

    I found that they pay Black Book wholesale on the vehicles that they have bought from me. Of course the vehicles were in very good shape.

    For the record, what I said back on February 28th was:

    AT a lot of Ford dealerships, the price on a used Taurus is nearly identical to that of Carmax. Been there, seen that. You can negotiate a lot off of that quite frankly as noone will buy a Taurus at anything close to book price.
  • thechosonthechoson Member Posts: 32
  • thechosonthechoson Member Posts: 32
    Sorry, but I couldn't find anywhere to post this..

    Anyone have experience buying prior rentals, any opinions on this/
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Member Posts: 1,828
    Why not?

    Many of the used vehicles on any dealer lot were at one point in a rental OR corporate fleet.

    I have generally had positive experiences buying from Hertz and Avis although their used car lots are now few and far between.
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    Try this: Purchasing Rental & Program Vehicles

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • thechosonthechoson Member Posts: 32
    Thanks for the link,tidester.

    Actual Q about Carmax, and I guess any "third party" used dealer.

    If the vehicle is still under warranty from the manufacturer, can you take the car to that dealer for service, or do you have to take it to Carmax?

    Also, is there no problems with getting warranty work done from say, Acura, even if you didn't buy the car from an Acura dealer?
  • 1racefan1racefan Member Posts: 932
    "If the vehicle is still under warranty from the manufacturer, can you take the car to that dealer for service, or do you have to take it to Carmax?"

    In your case, if you buy an Acura, you should be able to take it to an Acura dealership for warranty work. SOME dealers (in general) give preferential treatment to people that have bought from them, but I have never personally experienced this.

    I have found that a lot of service departments are willing to do warranty work (even if you didn't buy your car from them), because they hope you will bring the car back for repairs, and maintenance the YOU will pay for.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Member Posts: 1,828
    have found that a lot of service departments are willing to do warranty work (even if you didn't buy your car from them), because they hope you will bring the car back for repairs, and maintenance the YOU will pay for.

    That is about 90% true. There are some !@#$% dealerships who won't do it or they will ask you to come back in three weeks when they have time. My opinion is that I will remember that the next time I am purchasing a car ...
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,350
    A lot of dealerships especially domestics would refuse to do warranty work on cars purchased elsewhere.

    There used to be a mega Buick dealer in LA that undercut everybody. The other, smaller stores hated this and for good reason. A customer would drive 20 miles to save a couple hundred dollars. Then they would clog the shope of these smaller dealers with their warranty work. GM dealers HATED warranty work because it didn't pay as much as customer pay jobs. I don't know if this has changed?

    I once heard the owner of a small Buick store tell a customer.." If they were good enough to sell you that Buick, then they ought to be good enough to do your %$#@ warranty work!
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Member Posts: 1,828
    A lot of dealerships especially domestics would refuse to do warranty work on cars purchased elsewhere.

    My two most recent refusals were at Volvo and Honda dealerships.

    Personally, in Chicagoland, it is pretty stupid to buy a Honda 40 miles away to save $100 and then have to deal with the hassles ...

    It is easier dealing with the local guys.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,350
    I've asked and the guys in our shop don't seem to mind.

    When I was in the tool business, I saw mechanics actually quit their jobs at dealerships and go to work for independants because they were sick of warranty work.
  • acgator03acgator03 Member Posts: 2
    Bought a New Toyota Solara from that dealer. Quick process and a great deal. Did notice 2 small dings upon delivery and they were not helpful with getting the problem corrected.
  • punkr77punkr77 Member Posts: 183
    While it wouldn't surprise me if that were true, I've never heard of a dealer that wouldn't do warranty work on a car that you didn't buy from them. It doesn't seem like it would make sense.

    They get the same amount of money from the manufacturer regardless of where you bought it from. If that were true, then if you bought a new car, then moved, you'd have a heck of a time getting anything fixed in your new town. I've never heard of that happening.

    I bought my Mustang Cobra at Carmax, but had all my warranty work (and post warranty work) done at the ford dealer 5 minutes from my house. I did have problems with another Ford dealer that I took it to first (because they were an authorized SVT dealer and the local one wasn't) and they wanted to keep my car for 10 days for a recall. But I think it had less to do with where I bought the car from and more because of how poorly that Ford dealership was run. It took them 4 days to order the parts even after making an apointment 2 weeks in advance and giving them the recall numbers.
  • user777user777 Member Posts: 3,341
    i'm thinking a simple call to corporate (insert brand) solves the "vehicle under warranty, but dealer won't service" issue.

    if it doesn't, that isn't a brand to be purchasing in the first place.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,350
    But your car just might be put at the end of the line.

    If you owned a small town store and a mega store 40 miles away was blowing out cars that you got to do the low profit warranty work on, wouldn't you take care of your local, loyal customers first?
  • user777user777 Member Posts: 3,341
    err, no. because, the warranty work you do today will translate into a return customer most likely, and bring you MORE revenew in the future, good vis. with corporate, etc.

    possibly, you couldn't even drive the car locally, nor would the dealership work on the sales side to procure what you wanted.

    you think the shop is gonna penalize you for that?

    if they do it at your store, you should self report yourself. :shades: :shades:

    sorry isell, that's the sign of a bad shop.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,350
    We don't do this, never have but some stores, I'm sure do.

    OK, let me rephrase this...

    You have two customers. They both want immediate service. One bought their car from you, the other from Cutthroat Motors.

    Who would you give priority to?
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    There's no need to assign priorities. You provide service first to the customer who arrived first.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,350
    Yes, that is how it should be done but I'm sure, in some stores this isn't the case.

    That was my point.
  • joel0622joel0622 Member Posts: 3,299
    I would bet that the amount of Service Departments in the nation that actualy turn down work are so small that they don't even rate the time we have already given them.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,350
    I agree.

    Especially with the QDS surveys. I'm sure this is a thing of the past.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Member Posts: 17,745
    Personally, in Chicagoland, it is pretty stupid to buy a Honda 40 miles away to save $100 and then have to deal with the hassles

    Especially since in Chicagoland there are most likey 5 or 6 other Honda dealers closer.

    2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2014 BMW 428i convertible, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,350
    I once had a customer drive two hours each way to "save" 100.00.

    Another "Smart Shopper"!

    When she told me that, I told her I would have been happy to match that price.

    "Oh" was all she could say.
  • dreasdaddreasdad Member Posts: 276
    Our buyer gets a lttle ticked at Carmax guys, they show up at auction , and keep bidding on the cars right away until they filled their "quota" and then take off. After they leave our buyer says he is able to buy basically the same car that they did for hundreds less, but he has to stay all day
  • joel0622joel0622 Member Posts: 3,299
    The big reason for that is they don't have the stores best interest in mind. They normally don't work for Carmax. they are just wholesalers who have an agreement with them. Something like we will pay you $200 for every car you buy for us. You can afford to do that stuff when you are getting KBB Retail for everything you sell.
    I have had two in my office today who were at Carmax this morning and we got the deal. Were $1400 cheaper on one and $1200 on the other.

    I was in the process of pitching a Service Contract to one of them and he pointed out that at Carmax he has 30 days to have anything fixed he finds wrong. I told him to let me add $1300 back to the sale price and we will do the same thing or he can pay $855 for the warranty and instead of 30 days he can have 36/36 of coverage, it was up to him.

    Carmax shoppers that come here to compare are by far the easiest closes I get.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Member Posts: 1,828
    Personally, in Chicagoland, it is pretty stupid to buy a Honda 40 miles away to save $100 and then have to deal with the hassles

    That is my point. But there are a LOT of people who will do it. A lot of people will go to one of those dealerships with the BIG screamer ads in the Chicago Tribune, not considering that they'll need the car serviced.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Member Posts: 1,828
    i'm thinking a simple call to corporate (insert brand) solves the "vehicle under warranty, but dealer won't service" issue.

    In my case, I guess that I could have called Ford Fleet Sales and raised holy heck that the local Volvo dealership would not service it. And it would have been done.

    However, do you really want to *force* a dealership to do a repair they don't want to - especially a transmission problem.

    My solution was to trade the vehicle in on a Lexus RX330 which is what the driver really wanted.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Member Posts: 17,745
    Just to point out that you are quoting yourself. My point was that in Chicagoland there are multiple Honda (Ford, Toyota, Chevy, or whatever) dealers within 40 miles (or even 25 miles) so that going 40 miles to find that 8th dealer is pretty stupid.

    2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2014 BMW 428i convertible, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • user777user777 Member Posts: 3,341
    yeah. if a store prioritizes like that... that's plain junk. corporate should pull their agreement with them. it's bad anyway you look at it.

    and if a store is so resource limited it has to pick and choose what cars to work on... again, not a store to be bringing your car to.

    i'm sure isel is correct, some do it. i say, sooo sorry. by by.
  • kmxsaleskmxsales Member Posts: 1
    Be careful when you buy from Carmax. As a former employee of Carmax I learned they don't offer anything more than most used car dealerships. Don't be mislead by slick ads and empty promises. Carmax uses some of the same tactics "shady" used car dealers use and the "guarantees" they provide are usually guaranteed to any informed consumer as dictated by state law. So be careful of the fast talk and good deals. Read all contracts very carefully because Carmax is in the habit of "throwing in" extended warrantees first and talking customers into them later (even when they are unnecessary). I would say Carmax has become the Walmart of used car dealerships. The advantage is they are a chain and provide selection but at the cost of quality customer service.
  • voicemailkingvoicemailking Member Posts: 83
    I worked there for over 5 years. Recently i needed a car for my son. There prices were over $1200.00 more then the dealership, mileage was higher and to top off, the paint work they do was very sloppy and noticeable. If you do your research, you do not need to buy at Carmax. There consultants for the most part are just Circuit City style non-informed clerks!!
  • willymack76willymack76 Member Posts: 8
    If I take a sales consultant position at Carmax what can I expect to make per month on average? How are the benefits? :confuse:
  • voicemailkingvoicemailking Member Posts: 83
    do yourself a favor, go elsewhere. Carmax is going to end up like Circuit City...If you want to amke $8.00 selling cars be my guest!!!!
  • punkr77punkr77 Member Posts: 183
    Hmmm, it's been a while since I've been to Carmax (about 4 years) so maybe they've changed. I was very happy with my experience. When I bought my car there I did pay a little more than I would have paid elsewhere, but my car was limited production so it was a buy wherever you can find it situation.

    The salespeople didn't seem any less knowledgable than the average salesperson nowadays. Many of the new car salesmen don't know their product, even with only one brand and model year to keep track of. The average Carmax probably has 200 different brands, models, and years. My sales guy was no better or worse than 90% of the salespeople I've delt with. Very easy to deal with and no high pressure tactics.

    I wouldn't reccomend shopping Carmax to the exclusion of other dealers (or private parties if it suits you). Do your research before and after you visit. Take the vehicle to an independent shop and have it checked out, and run a Carfax. And, as long as you're happy with the buying experience, price, and the car, you got a good deal regardless of what anyone else says.
  • carguy70carguy70 Member Posts: 10
    Let me add one more thing. Just because a carfax is clean does not mean a vehicle has not been wrecked!! If there is no police report or the body shop doesn't report it... it never happened!! Be sure to pull weather stipping to look for re-welded panels, matching vin codes on panels etc to ensure you are not buying someone else's wreck. Carmax guarantees no frame/flood damage. They stand behind that promise, I've seen it!
  • andeetandeet Member Posts: 142
    I've been a Carmax costumer for a year. I personally deal with the Kenosha location. They sold me two cars ('06 Scion xA & '07 Scion tC; both new) and I sold them two ('95 Ford Probe for $250 & '06 Scion xA for $10 k due to high mileage.) Their service department repairs and perform oil changes on my cars too. I never had any problems with sales and service. I developed good "Business & Costumer" relationship with my sales consultant. She treats me like a daughter so she remembers my first/last name always give me advice and willing to answer any question I have with my car or finance. If she doesn't have the answer; she can find it for me.

    She showed me how to work everything in the xA while the Business office was doing financial contracts. But with the tC; we kind of had little more fun with the delivery since tC's controls are like the xA so she jokingly testing me.

    I did witness terrible sales consultant...I was waiting for service department to figure out a "Check engine" light problem with my old xA so I went over to the used lot and walked around to waste some time. A new male consultant came to me and pressured me into buy a car from him. And he didn't have the knowledge about Carmax or cars on the lot. We talked about the xA and he wasn't sure Carmax's other Toyota location is in Lauren, MD (Which I knew.)

    I notice they treat you more like family when you do more business with them.
  • joel0622joel0622 Member Posts: 3,299
    A new male consultant came to me and pressured me into buy a car from him.

    He tried to pressure you or he did pressure you?

    If he did, what type of gun was it that he was carrying? :D
  • andeetandeet Member Posts: 142
    He didn't get the idea of "I'm just looking around cause service department is working on my car." Also he out loud admitted to me he was "pushy" Anyway, I know most of the consultants faces and I never seen that guy again. So I'm guessing he got the boot.
  • festiboi1festiboi1 Member Posts: 10
    I recently visited a local Carmax here in LA. I'd been looking for a low-mileage, economical car for trips and weekends. Everyone ranted and raved about how wonderful Carmax was, so I naturally had to check it out.

    The entire experience was okay, not good...not bad. The cars seemed a bit over-priced and from seeing them, still had some issues such as dents, scratches, or faded panels and weren't anything special. But what irritated me was the associate who wouldn't leave us alone. I know it's Carmax policy to have somone helping a customer when they are on the premises, but as aforementioned I was looking a low-mileage economy car (preferably a hatchback) and when she didn't have what we were looking for, she pushed a family car and SUV on us, seemingly out of desperation. If it's one thing that is a major turn-off; it's being told what I should drive by a car salesman.
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