Carmax - What's Your Experience?



  • jplymanjplyman Member Posts: 90
    I would look at CarMax as a starting point - they are a great place to look at all different types of cars and trucks to see exactly what you are looking for and they can be helpful when trying to find a hard to find model. They will also give you an apprasal for your trade in - look at this deal as your fall back deal - b/c you know you can get tomorrow. Then head out with this inforamtion to other dealers who are selling the car you want and make them beat your Carmax deal.

    Regarding cars from the southern states versus the rust belt - you will want to do a carfax check on these cars just b/c they may come from the Atlanta area doesn't mean they spent there entire life here or any of it. CarMax like all other dealers buys the cars at auctions some local and some not - i.e. they may take advantage of buying convertibles from the north during the colder months and then ship them down to Atlanta and they maybe able to buy AWD in the south cheaper and send them north - so you really don't know where the car has been.

    I purchased my first Jeep from Carmax back in 2000 when they were just starting - I was sent thier by another dealer to see if I could get more for my trade - I was able to get $1500 better on my trade and nobody would touch there jeep prices. I have looked at Carmax 3 times since then to purchase a car - the latest was my new Wrangler - here is what I found they were the lowest with my trade-in by $1500 and they wanted more for there Wranglers and I didn't have to spend a whole lot of time to beat the Carmax deal - thus I was able to save $2,179 on the deal.

    Carmax is good if you don't want to spend time shopping they are a convience store of the automotive world

    Good luck and make sure you have all your information together before you buy from anyone....
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Member Posts: 1,828
    Or most of the leasing companies are dumping their Taurus SEs (at wholesale) with 50k miles for under $6k.

    I think Carmax has a great business model and if I were to invest in a publicly traded auto retailer, they would be it. However, generally my starting point for a used car at a traditional dealer would be somewhere around $3k south of the Carmax price. Amd that is an awful price - to me- for convenience.
  • craig24craig24 Member Posts: 3
    I actually found a virtually identical car to the one Carmax has but it's in Detroit. Their starting price is 10% less but I can see the rusted calipers from the photos and it is only 3 years old. I dont know what to do actually.

    I am looking for a pretty specific car, I guess most of you guys think I should buy it at a local dealer/private individual right? I have no urgency to buy, so if the vehicle at CarMax isnt worth it, I lost the transportation cost.

    I can buy the car cash and sell my current vehicle privately. So I can recoup so money there.

    I always ask for a CarFax.
  • punkr77punkr77 Member Posts: 183
    I bought my last car at carmax and was very happy with the experience. I bought in 2001, so they may have changed since then.

    I was looking for a specific car (SVT Mustang Cobra). After a really bad experience with the local Ford/SVT dealer where they wouldn't even let me drive a 2001 before I bought it and the salesman telling me fibs, I went to Carmax and bought a 99 with 4K miles on it and saved about $6,000 in the process.

    My general impression was that thier prices were higher than you'd pay if you purchased from a regular dealer or private party, but that the process was a lot less painless. I also got the impression that they tended to have nicer cars than you'd be likely to find at a dealer.

    If you have a very specific car in mind, I think their a good way to go. If you are looking for a very common car like a Camry or Accord or just a general type of vehicle, you'd be better off going elsewhere.
  • javacjavac Member Posts: 34
    I went to sell my car at Carmax last week & was quite disappointed. It's a 2000 Nissan Altima GXE, about 60k mi..KBB says it's worth $8k & to expect $5k from a dealer. Carmax only offered me $2k.
    The same amount they offered a friend of mine for his '94 Jeep Wrangler. That just doesn't seem right. :confuse:
    I will note that I was rear-ended a few yrs ago (it's been repaired) so my car isn't considered "accident free" but it's in good condition...that offer was still too low.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyMember Posts: 6,068
    From what I understand, your car (wrecked) isn't the kind Carmax likes to keep in inventory. They would probably wholesale it.
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Member Posts: 1,828
    The prices that you quote are for a car that is in good condition. Generally, you won't get those prices if you car has had major body work from an accident, even if the work was done well.
  • zenkingzenking Member Posts: 13
    I took my 2000 Toyota Sienna XLE to Carmax for a quote about a year ago. They offered $7,500. I said no thanks and went home. I checked their website and saw they were selling 2-3 similar vans for about $14,000. I know they put a few bucks into the cars they purchase, but to charge almost double tells me they are way overpriced. I wound up selling my van on my own for $11,200.
  • lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,699
    It is almost like they offer wholesale rather than retail.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,457
    Hmhh can't tell if you are being sarcastic but that is normaly what dealers do for trade ins. They offer wholesale or if it is a very clean sharp car with low miles slightly over wholesale.
  • lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,699
    I just sold my '05 g35 sedan to them. I got $24K. They have it for sale for $28,998. You can buy a brand new '06 equipped like mine for around $28K, but someone will pay them what they are asking. I figured if a brand new one is $28K, then $24K for my 15 month old car was a fair deal. Mine was very clean so I did get a tad over wholesale on it.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,457
    I never understood why many people would buy a way overpriced car just because itw as no haggle. So silly but true.
  • javacjavac Member Posts: 34
    Yes, you're right. Before I went in I read on their website that only about 40% of the cars they buy are resold on their lots...the rest are auctioned off. I still expected a little more though. Oh well.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Member Posts: 1,828
    Over the years, I have sold a couple of my surplus vehicles from the fleet to Carmax. It is a lot easier to sell to them than to roll the dice and send it to Mannheim and end up with less money.

    I am less disturbed with what they buy the cars for as much as what they sell the cars for. It doesn't affect me personally but the prices that I have seen on their lots have been outrageous.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyMember Posts: 6,068
    I have never understood that myself. I can see paying maybe up to a grand for the no haggle experience. But, thousands of dollars??

    I would like to see a "dream team" of psychiatrist do a psychological profile on the Carmax non haggle buyer, the regular negotiator, and the guy who grinds down to the last penny. Would be interesting reading.
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,457
    Yeah that would be interesting. In my experience our prices on used rovers are typically a little less then the local Carmax. We don't put as much money into reconditioning as they do but all of our Rovers have a 2 year 25,000 miles extended warranty from Land Rover that covers all of the same things as the factory warranty.

    Instead of paying their full price plus buying a worthless extended warranty people could just buy one here for less money and a warranty already built in.
  • audia8qaudia8q Member Posts: 3,138
    I would like to see a "dream team" of psychiatrist do a psychological profile on the Carmax non haggle buyer, the regular negotiator, and the guy who grinds down to the last penny. Would be interesting reading

    I would love to see that also....I also would like to see a bloodtest done on each buyer. my guess is the level of testosterone and ego is at a normal level with the carmax buyer and full-tilt with the grinder.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyMember Posts: 6,068
    The "typical" Carmax buyer is probably slightly below average to average in ego. They avoid conflict, are generally conservative emotionally, politically, and monitarily. They have a tight circle of friends whom they are close to. Are a good neighbor, if you ever get to know them.

    The "grinder" has an inflated sense of ego. A lower than average level of self esteem. He compensates by being an over achiever, is often boastful and may be thought of as self centered. This person may have difficulties in interpersonal relationships, and often expresses himself in superficial manners. Is strong in career decisions and is very competitive. A grinder would be a loyal and trustworthy friend/companion....if you can put up with their personality traits.

    Just a few thoughts since you asked. Of course the above profiles are just broad generalizations. You guys take up a collection and I'll think about running that test for you. :)
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • audia8qaudia8q Member Posts: 3,138
    I realize we are generalizing a bit but I think your right on target....
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Member Posts: 1,060
    You never stated what kind of condition and how many miles are on that 2006 Trailblazer.There might be a very good reason why they are selling it for that particular price. Perhaps it was in a previous big accident??? or perhaps it was a hurricane victim????
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Member Posts: 4,202
    Caramx won't sell cars that were in a big accident or have flood or hurrican damage.
  • superstevo415superstevo415 Member Posts: 20
    Carmax puts all of their vehicles through a 125 point inspection. They also have a 12 hour minimum reconditioning program. So the car from what I could tell would be in great shape. They don't sell flood damage, frame damage, and anything that looks to have been in a major accident. O and the vehicle has 10k miles on it. Seems like a great deal!!!
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,457
    Keep in mind that Trailblazers like all non-luxury SUVs are so far behind book right now that no price guide can keep up with the values.

    The prices are dropping so fast on used domestic SUVs it is like they are in freefall.
  • superstevo415superstevo415 Member Posts: 20
    I do agree 110% with your post. I'm simply sayin that the "book" is how people judge whether a car is overpriced. Wouldn't that same book be the judge of a car being a great value? My original was just to say that the generalization that CarMax is overpriced just doesn't seem accurate. For every Taurus priced $3000 over book value there is an F150 priced $5000 below the same book. I guess it just depends on what sort of vehicle an individual is looking for. :shades:
  • javacjavac Member Posts: 34
    I posted last week...long story short.. KBB of my '00 Altima was $8k, expected min. $5k from a dealer. Carmax offered $2k b/c I had been rear ended. Car was in good condition & my mileage was 20k below avg.
    3 days ago I got $4k for it at a dealership. Need I say more? :shades:
  • lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,699
    Yes, you need to say more. Did the dealership pay cash? Was the offer contingent on buying a car? etc.
  • lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,699
    Can't you get a brand new TrailBlazer for low to mid 20s? Aren't 06s doing around $14 at auction?
  • audia8qaudia8q Member Posts: 3,138
    Caramx won't sell cars that were in a big accident

    I wouldnt be so sure....head on over to the carmax in my neighborhood and you will see cars that have had paint and body work on their lot. Nothing disasterous but similar to most used car lots. They had a Nissan Z parked in the local mall a couple months ago...looked like it had paint and body work done by stevie either they are employing rookies who don't know how to spot bodywork or they just say they don't sell cars with previous damage.
  • javacjavac Member Posts: 34
    My goal the entire time was to get another car but Carmax didn't have the car I wanted. The offer I got was from an Infiniti dealer where I decided to lease a new vehicle. I used the $$ as a down payment & first months payment. I also got the car at $500 below invoice so overall it was a good deal.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,457
    I think Carmax says they do not sell frame damaged cars. That is a little different from not selling wrecked cars. You can get hit pretty hard in some vehicles and cause a ton of damage in dollars without damaging the frame.
  • whitlockexit7whitlockexit7 Member Posts: 1
    For those of you who have worked at Carmax, I'm looking into the position of Buyer in training and was wondering if somebody could give me a break down of what that involves daily and also how the payplan is structured. TIA
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTMember Posts: 16,351
    i am i right to assume that the price you get quoted to sell your car includes deductions for re conditioning, but the vehicle could get sent to the auction without that having been done? sounds like an opportunity to slide a few cars through the auction. ;)
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Member Posts: 4,202
    you had a 6 year old Altima with either prior or existing body damage. Usually Carmax is more than fair when it comes to values .. they just didn't want your particular car.
  • thedude5thedude5 Member Posts: 7
    has anyone tried this before? do they really give you the entire price you paid OTD back?
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Member Posts: 4,202
    Yes they do. As long as the vehicle is in the same condition it was when it left.
  • iamacatiamacat Member Posts: 13
    A dealer offered me $850 as a trade-in value on my 1996 VW Golf GL. I sold it to Carmax for their offer of $1200. It was truly on its last legs (needs a new transmission for starters) and I was happy with the Carmax price.
  • stevemtoddstevemtodd Member Posts: 1
    A Carmax warranty is serviced by a company named AON.

    The are notorious for NOT paying claims. The whole Carmax warranty (Maxcare)is a scam.
    DON'T buy it!
  • superstevo415superstevo415 Member Posts: 20
    Notorious for not payin claims huh? I am in no way soliciting for carmax at all. I have worked for the company for the last couple of years and sold around 300 vehicles. Never once have I had a customer come back to me and complain that the warranty wasn't covering the claim. It is a simple $50 deductible and thats it. I had the warranty on the vehicle that I bought there. My mother, sister, mother in law, best friends etc all bought the warranty with their carmax vehicles and never ever once did they have that issue either. This is a general statement to say the least. Have you personally experienced an issue with a CarMax warranty? Your's would be the first that I have heard of. :shades:
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Member Posts: 1,060
    Do you work in the Orlando store? If so, I will possibly be one of your customers.
  • superstevo415superstevo415 Member Posts: 20
    I work here in the Memphis store.
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Member Posts: 1,060
    "I work in the Memphis store".....Oh well, I thought we might be able to "negotiate".
  • superstevo415superstevo415 Member Posts: 20
    lol negotiate all day long
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Member Posts: 867
    Howdy neighbor. I live maybe 6 miles northeast of your store (nice looking dealership BTW), Brunswick north of Summer. Might stop in and say hi sometime.

  • superstevo415superstevo415 Member Posts: 20
    Thanks! We take great pride in our dealership here. I have to be careful here in responding and talkin about CarMax as I obviously would be violating Forum rules with soliciting. We would love to have you come by and post your experience here on the Forum!!
  • snapcracklepopsnapcracklepop Member Posts: 111
    I was in the market for a used car about 2 years ago, I went to Carmax first because I simply had no idea what I wanted.

    I checked out 02 Accord Coupes, VW Passats and Jettas, and Maximas. I ended up deciding I didn't really like any of them but by going to Carmax I saved myself from going to 3 other dealers. I ended up buying an 02 Acura RSX from a Honda dealer for an amazing deal and I was very satisfied.

    Overall, I had a great Carmax experience even if I didn't find what I wanted.
  • apsosapsos Member Posts: 12
    I purchased some low tire pressure valves that turn from green to red to indicate low pressure -- so if they're green, I don't ever check pressure unless my tires look low.

    When I bought my Carmax vehicle, I transferred these indicators over to my new vehicle, and have been checking them for the last few months to be sure my tires were OK.

    However, when I brought my car in (after driving for a few months) for an oil change, and they checked the tire pressure.

    And my tires which should have been at 32 psi were at 50!

    For several months, I was at risk for my tires exploding because of gross incompetence by Carmax.
  • lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,699
    I don't get it. Did your tires explode as stated in the title? Or did you just drive the car for a while without checking the pressure? Didn't you notice that the car rode like a box of rocks?

    I bought a new Honda that had 40-something lbs of pressure in the tires. That is common. I always check stuff like that even in a new car. In a used car, it is one of the first things I do.
  • superstevo415superstevo415 Member Posts: 20
    lol very dramatic huh? My buddy bought a brand new car and his tire pressure didn't match from tire to tire. This was a Luxury line I might add. Maybe he should run around screamin how Acura sells vehicles with faulty tires. They tried to kill him! While I agree there is an enormous difference in 32psi and 50, you did go unharmed thank goodness. Maybe you should write a letter to the company that produces those handy dandy low tire pressure indicators as they appeared to malfunction as well. :shades:
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,457
    Many of those tire monitor systems only tell you if the tire pressure is low not high. Kind of makes them worthless.
  • superstevo415superstevo415 Member Posts: 20
    I honestly didn't know that they existed. I have heard of TPMS on newer vehicles. Where could I get some?
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