Carmax - What's Your Experience?

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  • cardorkcardork Member Posts: 4
    I have worked for carmax for the last 9 years. I think I will most likely retire from there. Most of the posts that I have read on here from Carmax employees or former employees have been from the sales department. I have worked in the production end of the business for almost a decade. Carmax really does sell quality vehicles. I will answer any questions related to the inspection and production you might have.
  • toby1iatoby1ia Member Posts: 1
    Be wary… I just bought a car from Carmax specifically because they’re NOT supposed to sell damaged vehicles. Plus, it even states on their corporate website that they, and I quote, “We do NOT sell any flood or frame damaged cars”…

    Well, guess what, yes they do… When I got home from the dealer I noticed strange cracks in the paint above the rear passenger doors, so I ran a Carfax report… DING DING, we have a winner… This car has been in an accident WITH frame damage reported…

    Be careful…
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Member Posts: 1,828
    Well, guess what, yes they do… When I got home from the dealer I noticed strange cracks in the paint above the rear passenger doors, so I ran a Carfax report… DING DING, we have a winner… This car has been in an accident WITH frame damage reported…

    Look, I have NEVER been accused of saying too many positive things about Carmax (read back the last 200 posts). However, it is not that difficult to miss a well-cleaned flood damaged car or a well repaired car.

    Take the car back to Carmax with the Carfax report and ask for your money back (as well as all the fees you have paid). You will be made whole.
  • guestguest Member Posts: 770
    cardork, our local Carmax ads state that each car they sell goes thru an average of 14 hours of inspection and reconditioning. I find this difficult to believe on cars only 2 or 3 years old. What's your take on this? Thanks.
  • cardorkcardork Member Posts: 4
    The recon inspection takes about 1.5 hours. The repair depends on the mileage and type of vehicle. A new car with less than 10k usually has about 2 hours of repair, 2 hours of detailing, and paintless dent repair if any. A typical GM with 90k miles usually has about 15 hours of repairs, 4 hour full detail, lots of paint and body dent removal, facias repaired and painted. The average time of 14 hours the ad was stating sounds a bit high, but is most likely the true average.
  • cardorkcardork Member Posts: 4
    I have seen some really good body work working on cars for a living. If the car has been in a major wreck, and the frame was damaged, Carmax will give you your money back. I will guarentee it.
  • cardorkcardork Member Posts: 4
    Carmax is a great company to work for. There are a few sales people that make a good living but they have stuck with it. If you did have former car sales experience, I would almost guarentee you would not be hired for sales. Carmax is a different kind of dealer. The pay rate differs for the part of the country your in, but the extras do give you more money. They offer aftermarket warrentys, navigation systems, incar dvd players...etc. They all add money in your pocket. I like your idea of starting part time.
  • audia8qaudia8q Member Posts: 3,138
    The pay rate differs for the part of the country your in, but the extras do give you more money

    They pay General Managers what salespeople make at traditional dealerships.
  • jrynnjrynn Member Posts: 162
    I went on the CarMax website to look at the price (range) at which CarMax sells cars that match mine in all important respects: year/make/model/mileage/options/condition. CarMax had 6 cars that matched. ALL were priced within $500 of one another. The offer I've gotten from CarMax is 20% BELOW the range in which they'd resell my car. Is that their typical discount?
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Member Posts: 1,828
    The offer I've gotten from CarMax is 20% BELOW the range in which they'd resell my car. Is that their typical discount?

    Do you really expect **ANY** dealer to pay you retail and then be able to sell the vehicle for a profit? It is NOT going to happen in this lifetime.

    I sold a two year old Ford Taurus from my fleet to Carmax for $5700 and they were selling it for $9500 a few weekd later.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyMember Posts: 6,068
    A 2 year old Taurus for $5,700. Sounds like you guys left a lot of money on the table. Heck, why not just put a sign in your businesses front yard, "2005 Taurus $6,700"? They'd be gone that day. But, why not offer directly to the public, or take a % from a middleman?
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • jrynnjrynn Member Posts: 162
    The offer I've gotten from CarMax is 20% BELOW the range in which they'd resell my car. Is that their typical discount?

    Do you really expect **ANY** dealer to pay you retail and then be able to sell the vehicle for a profit? It is NOT going to happen in this lifetime.

    I sold a two year old Ford Taurus from my fleet to Carmax for $5700 and they were selling it for $9500 a few weekd later.


    The original question reads pretty "neutral." It simply sought information about what's typical for CarMax. Nowhere does it say or imply that CarMax ought to be paying "Retail."

    Maybe the typical discount is 20%. Maybe it's something higher (25%) or something lower (15%).

    Is there any particular reason you flipped out when responding? Is it because you took a 66% haircut when you sold your Taurus to Carmax?
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,457
    You are not considering recon costs into your 20% figure there.

    Does you car have brand new tires?
    Brand new brakes?
    Was it just detailed?
    No stains on the carpet?
    Does it need any scrathes sanded out or dents taken out?

    All of that cuts into the supposed 20% markup. Then you have to fill the car with gas and pay the salesperson.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Member Posts: 1,828
    A 2 year old Taurus for $5,700. Sounds like you guys left a lot of money on the table. Heck, why not just put a sign in your businesses front yard, "2005 Taurus $6,700"?

    There is a story behind it.

    My wife's employer announced that they were going to lay-off a number of the people in her office. Since she drives a company car, no job means that I have to get another car fairly quickly. I had a car in my fleet that we were getting rid of so I bought it from my employer.

    Three months later, lay-offs occur and wife still has job. Now I have three cars and only need two. And it is in the middle of busy season and I don't want to hassle with selling it on my own. And I am sitting on a vehicle that I don't need that is costing me money - repairs, insurance, etc. So I sold it off to Carmax at the same price that I paid for it. That was a couple years back.

    Generally, when we sell cars from the fleet, we offer them at Black Book wholesale to the plant personnel OR we'll sell to a dealership or CarMax or send the vehicle to Mannheim through the leasing company.

    We made a decision a few years ago that we weren't going to offer vehicles directly to the public for a couple of reasons. First, my time is limited and I don't have the time to meet up with people after hours to sell cars. Also, even though the cars would be a "as is where is" transactions, management does not want to have people coming after us if they have problems.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Member Posts: 1,828
    Is there any particular reason you flipped out when responding? Is it because you took a 66% haircut when you sold your Taurus to Carmax?

    I didn't "flip out" when responding. And I did not take a "66% haircut".

    Carmax marks its vehicles up closer to 40%-50 because as British Rover noted, they have to cover all the overhead of those bright and shining showrooms, reconditioning of the vehicles, their warranty and of course, a few pennies for their shareholders.
  • occupant1occupant1 Member Posts: 412
    If they had low mileage minivans I could finance that were under $8000, I'd be good to go. But the best they can do in my area is either over 80,000 miles or over $12,000. Now if the $12,000 van was an '05 DGC with Stow And Go, that'd be fine, but the $12,000 van is an '03 and the '05 with Stow And Go is $15,000. Too bad.

    The only low mileage $8000 cars they have are Focuses and Neons and I'm sorry, but we have five children, so no. As much as the 5 and 7 year olds would love to ride in the trunk...just NO.

    They also have some 2006 Uplanders in the $15,000-$16,000 range and every one is under 10K miles but that's just too expensive for me at this point. They do have good deals here and there, but most of the cheap prices equate to high mileage. I don't care about high mileage but the wife does, so I have to please her, too.
  • derek533derek533 Member Posts: 10
    What I purchased:

    Last night, I purchased on 06 Nissan Armada (we have a family and a boat) SE 4X2 with 8,000 miles. Their price on the vehicle $26,988. They offerred me $20K for my trade-in (05 F-150 Crew Lariat).

    Closing the deal:

    After visiting some of the other dealerships, the deal that I got at Carmax was every bit as good (if not a little better quite suprisingly) as I would have received at a traditional dealership w/o having to work at it for 2+ hours. Also, after searching now for quite some time, the car they had was so much nicer than any of the others I had looked at. I don't know if that is just do due to the fact that it is still for all intents and purposes a new vehicle or they really do recondition the vehicles better than most. The other deals I had been working, were low balls on my trade at first, then steady increases to try and close the deal. The most I was ever offerred by the other dealers was about $1,000 less than Carmax allowed.

    F&I:

    Their financing is pretty much a take it or leave it scenario. There is no negotiationing here either. They have their own finance company and you pay the rate quoted which btw was 7.45%. If you dislike the rate, you have three days to get your own financing. My credit union is offerring 5.99%. Obviously, I am in the process of getting that switched.

    My guess is that Carmax feels as though they don't have to offer more competitive rates. I bet that they are playing the odds that most buyers won't go through the hassle of obtaining their own financing and just accepting Carmax' rate.

    Extended warranties were offerred to me but I declined for many reasons least of which is that their pricing is higher for same coverage warranties avaliable elsewhere. No pressure was placed on me either to purchase one.

    Signing the papers and delivery:

    They have dedicated "signing rooms" that handle the paperwork. After waiting about an hour for the lady to get our paperwork together, we got down to signing the documents. I must say one thing here: Holy Crap!! I have never had to sign as many documents anywhere else that I did here. I literally had to sign more documents than I did when I purchased my house. I think I signed over 15 different pieces of paper. My last deal that I did, I just signed the purchase order, odometer disclosure, credit app, power of attorney, titles and a couple of other misc. documents but no where near this many pieces of paper. They are definitely trying to cover themselves in this sue happy society apparently (which I can't blame them for).

    Delivery just consisted of my sales consultant walking me out to the vehicle and going over the options and how to work them (I actually showed him how most of them worked though).

    Conclusion:

    All in all, a good experience. Could I have gotten a better deal at a traditional dealership? Maybe or maybe not. The numbers were awfully close to each between Carmax and the other dealership. I possibly could have gotten a better A.P.R. at a traditional dealership (after more haggling no doubt) but I doubt that it would have been competitve enough for me to still not use my credit union. I can tell that the average person who doesn't like to haggle will appreciate Carmax. I don't think though, that as good of deals can be had the majority of the time. All in all, you would probably spend a little less at a traditional dealership after negotiations. If you don't like confrontation, then Carmax is for you.

    Myself, I actually enjoy the negotiating part of car buying. I also like dealing with someone who is truly interested in selling me a car and enthusiastic about it. I keep my negotiations friendly and pleasant and don't puff up when I see something in the numbers I don't like. The friendlier I am, the more they are going to work for me. I am realistic though and don't expect the sun and the moon either. Also, with Carmax, I truly felt that I was just a number to them and nothing else and yes I know that at all dealerships I am just a number but at least they try to not make you feel like it most of the time.
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Member Posts: 18,663
    Ford F-150--22 years old. Carpet in my basement--24 years old. Both look pretty beat up. Carpet wins.

    2019 Kia Soul+, 2015 Mustang GT, 2004 Chevy Van, 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTMember Posts: 16,267
    ihaver no idea what the point of your post is. sorry. :sick:
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    ihaver no idea what the point of your post is.

    I believe derek was relating his experience with CarMax.

    tidester, host
  • derek533derek533 Member Posts: 10
    Thank you Tidester, yes the point of my post was what the thread title asked us to do i.e. posting your Carmax experience.

    I thought it was a good post and offerred a little insight to how they do business and my personal feelings about the entire process. I am sorry you didn't get it. :confuse:
  • litmanlitman Member Posts: 9
    I have been to Carmax one time, but I visit the website daily.

    I visited Carmax prior to selling my last vehicle privately. I wanted a "fall-back" option if I could not sell my vehicle within a certain amount of time. This fallback number gave me a base number to negotiate from when dealing with either private buyers, or possible trade-ins at a dealership.

    I do my own interior detailing, and budget for an exterior detailing both our family vehicles once annually. I planned the exterior detailing for a time near when I was planning to sell, then took the vehicle to Carmax and got a free estimate, which turned out to be high KBB trade-in. I beat this number by $2000 on a private sale soon thereafter.

    I also checked Carmax (along with AutoTrader and Cars.com) for similar vehicles to the one I was selling prior to my own sale, so I could gauge demand in my area. Then I based my sale price on these factors.

    I check Carmax daily because I'm always looking for the next vehicle, and I want to track availability for both vehicles I am considering. Carmax gives me a "ballpark" number about availability and price, but I know the prices at Carmax are high, and I should be able to beat them.

    However, if my wife ever needs to purchase a car without me (perhaps I was carried off by a twister) and she has very little time, she is instructed to purchase a 3-5 year old Toyota Camry or Honda Accord from Carmax....she has no negotiation skills and very little knowledge about cars.

    I think Carmax is just fine for ordinary consumers who just want to buy a decent used car, don't know much about the process of buying a car, or who want to avoid the adrenaline rush of negotiation.
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    I thought it was a good post ...

    I thought so too, by the way. Thanks for sharing!

    tidester, host
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Member Posts: 152
    I've had Carmax evaluate 4 of my vehicles and sold them 2. They are usually right at KBB trade in price. They have even went to the KBB site and printed it out. If you need a quick sell it is better than most dealerships. It is also a great negotiating piece. However, if your car has been in an accident, I would suggest you not go to carmax. Not only will carmax find the repaired damage but the price they will offer you will drastically decline. I would suggest going to a dealership if you've had an accident in your car and its been fixed. The dealer may not check thorougly and you'll get a better price.

    There is no better deal than selling your car to another buyer. The middleman makes nothing.
  • ballerusballerus Member Posts: 1
    What was your experience? Did they miss anything during the inspection? If so did the negate their ofter after the sale was complete? Can they go back on a sale if they find out the car is in worst shape than they initially thought?
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTMember Posts: 16,267
    i just found my post from back in december. all i can say, is what was the matter with me on december 9th?
    it was a very good post, and i apologize for being such a dolt. :sick:
    i just told a guy from work to go to our local carmax to get a price on his car. he is thinking of trading in.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT
  • rosie7rosie7 Member Posts: 1
    Hi, am in sales at carmax in florida. are you by any chance from California. want to find out the difference in the pay as i know there is one just for CA. rosie7
  • dan_ncdan_nc Member Posts: 1
    I don't get the "no haggle" pricing as a scam at all. They didn't haggle with the first guy who bought it. When they got the car back, they repriced and gave you a new "no-haggle" price. Where's the scam?
  • jason7613jason7613 Member Posts: 16
    Does anyone here that works for carmax a buyer for the company? I know this may be a long shot, but I figured I would try anyway. If by chance there is I am in need of advice as I have an interview coming up for a buyer in training position with them and would like to hear from an employee (both former and current) in that particular position. Thanks.
  • sdeessdees Member Posts: 1
    I understand that the sales people get paid ~$150 per car, plus spiffs for warranties and stuff. Could someone elaborate on the spiffs? How much are they typically? Also, is there a volume bonus? ie. $500 bonus @ 10 units, $750 @ 12.5, $1000 @ 15, (something to that effect)... I'm interested in working there, but I'd like to find out a little more about the pay plan before getting more serious about applying.
    Also, do all stores use an 'ups' system, or do some of them have an open floor?
    How much are the top producers earning? and how many units do they sell per month?
    Thanks for your help.
  • mm57553mm57553 Member Posts: 1
    I recently took my 2002 Expedition to Carmax to sell. They rated the condition (interior and exterior) as "good" and mileage was "below average." They gave me a print out of the KBB trade-in value and offered about $200 more than that. Sounds good, except that the value they showed me was actually $2000 less than the actual KBB trade-in value. They excluded pretty much every feature my car had to get the price lower. Knowing it was low, I left. I later called and asked why I was shown a different KBB value, and they just backpedaled and made excuses.

    Just for fun, my husband took the car in a few weeks later. They offered him even less money. This time, he had the KBB info printed out. When he showed it to them, they said they don't use KBB value. He then asked why I was given the supposed KBB value when given a quote, and he got more backpedaling.

    I think they intentionally mislead people in regards to car value.
  • nofujinofuji Member Posts: 1
    Hi,
    Was wondering if you could help me out. I have been offered an Operations MIT position w/ CarMax. Do you have any knowledge of this job? What challenges do new people face in this position? How many hours per week is normal? And any other input would be appreciated!
  • joel0622joel0622 Member Posts: 3,299
    They are in the business of buying low and selling high. that is the nature of the business. Like allot of you have said already, its a hassle free way to buy a car. Allot of it would depend on how valuable your time is to you. Some folks think that by taking 3 or 4 days of driving from dealer to dealer to try to beat then next guy down $100 that they got the best deal. Some feel that paying $500-$1000 more is worth it to be able to leave the house at 8:00 am Saturday morning and be home for lunch in a new car, signed, sealed, delivered.

    I always jokingly tell some of my better customers that come into my office and chide me about how long it takes that the Prices are clearly printed on the window of every car/truck we carry, but there unwillingness to pay those prices is what slows the process down :)

    I do have a question for all of you consumers here, you seem to be an intelligent group. Why will you go and accept the fact that that Carmax prices are set in stone and be satisfied with it, but come to my Ford Dealership and look at the same used Taurus, same condition, same miles that has a sticker price of $700 less and demand a discount from us? Is it our fault for allowing discounts in the past? What is the magic kool-aid Carmax gives you when you get there that makes you lose your will to negotiate? And do they sell it in a powder form :)
  • 1racefan1racefan Member Posts: 932
    "Why will you go and accept the fact that that Carmax prices are set in stone and be satisfied with it, but come to my Ford Dealership and look at the same used Taurus, same condition, same miles that has a sticker price of $700 less and demand a discount from us?"

    In 1998, I was looking for a 2 door sports coupe, and there was a Carmax in my area. They had a 2 year old Mustang GT, with very low mileage, outfitted the way I wanted. I had them appraise my trade while I was there. They gave me what I suspected was a low ball offer on my trade (but wasn't sure), and wouldn't budge on the price of the Mustang. There truly was no haggling...believe me I tried. So, I decided to walk - even though I wanted the car, used Mustangs are a dime a dozen. I then went to a traditional dealer, got a brand new vehicle, and a higher price on my trade.

    So, to answer your question, it is my opinion that their prices are set in stone - at least at my local Carmax, as I tried to negotiate and they would not. However, it comes down to the individual shopper's personality as to whether or not they are going to be "satisfied" with that. The same shopper that goes to Carmax, and over pays on a 2 year old "blah mobile" may be the same customer that comes to you, buys your Taurus at a price very close to what you are asking, and buys every possible add on (mop & glo and warranty).

    Let's face it, at least at my local Carmax, they never hassled me on what payment I was looking for, nor did they hassle me when I was walking out the door. I have to give them credit that they pretty much laid it out in a "take it or leave it" manner, and didn't waste any of my time...even if their car was a little over priced. I am not saying all "normal" dealers are this way, but the perception is that normal dealers play games, and Carmax does not (whether this is true or not), and I think some of the less savy shoppers may just go to Carmax in order to avoid a hassel, and are willing to pay that premium to do so.
  • joel0622joel0622 Member Posts: 3,299
    There was a Ford dealer in are area years ago that was going to go to one price shopping and it was a disaster for them.

    The deal about playing games with the negotiation is kind of a double edge sword. I have found that when a customer tells me that they want our "Best Price" what they are really saying is that I want your best "Negotiable Price" We have found that the way to make the customer happy is to leave room in the process for them to win, make sure they are buying on there terms and not ours and you will have a happy customer. Thats not being crooked or playing games, its just the negotiation process.

    I saw a post early on in this thread where a memebr claimed that Carmax does not make a quarter on the finance.......B.S. If they didn't they would not be doing it.

    Ford in a slow round-about way is going towards the one price haggle free on there new cars/trucks. Do some research some time on a Expedition. A 2006 XLT nicley equipped you will find had a MSRP of around $36K. Then look at a 2007, that same truck with a touch more equipment and new features will list for around $33K. Guess where the $3K came from. Dealer margin, a unit we had $5K of negotian room on last year has $2K this year. Any A/Z/X plan buyer here can attest to that. On a new R/C base Ranger you have about A $800 spread from cost to list.

    This is just FYI and to make for conversation, not to get into the whole "well you got your hold back" conversation :)
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Member Posts: 1,828
    Why will you go and accept the fact that that Carmax prices are set in stone and be satisfied with it, but come to my Ford Dealership and look at the same used Taurus, same condition, same miles that has a sticker price of $700 less and demand a discount from us?

    AT a lot of Ford dealerships, the priced 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.

    What is the magic kool-aid Carmax gives you when you get there that makes you lose your will to negotiate?

    Because a LOT of people do NOT want to put up with all the garbage that you have to put up with at some dealerships.

    Personally, I am looking for a good used car as my old ride just bit the dust. I am amazed at how quickly the prices get realistic when the salesman finds out what I do.

    I drove an '04 Buick Century with 50k miles with a $12.5 sticker. All of a sudden, the salesman volunteers, "Well, they kind of want $9.9 but will probably take $8.5." Makes me wish that I liked the car.
  • joel0622joel0622 Member Posts: 3,299
    AT a lot of Ford dealerships, the priced 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.

    That is what i am curious about. You say no one will buy s taurus at close to book price. They will at Carmax, they sell them every day. A car that was run through auction that you have no idea where it came from or what the service history is, or who the prior owner is. But I have a car that is a one owner, bought new at our dealership and have all the service records on hand from day one because we have done every thing to it and people won't accept are price.

    I am just curious what is different about the atmosphere. is it because people go there with no expectations of negotitating?
  • 1racefan1racefan Member Posts: 932
    You are lumping all shoppers together. The shopper that goes to Carmax, and happily pays their price, is not the same shopper that would come to your place and haggle.

    Conversely, the shopper that comes to your place to negotiate would never go to Carmax and happily pay their price.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyMember Posts: 6,068
    Yes, it's all about the expectations. They could have a a problem free 2004 Taurus listed at $700 on a dealers lot... and people would try to get it for less. The expectation?...whatever the list price...you can get it for less.
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • joel0622joel0622 Member Posts: 3,299
    Yoa are correct 1race fan I am lumping and you make a good point. I will share this with you all though. When a customer shows up with a Carmax add or states that he has been to carmax and been through the process already, we know we have a sale credit permitting. We can always beat there brains out on the pricing end.

    If I had to guess I would say that Carmax averages at least $2000 a car not counting money made in finance. Just my guess not based off of anything in particular
  • 1racefan1racefan Member Posts: 932
    "When a customer shows up with a Carmax add or states that he has been to carmax and been through the process already, we know we have a sale"

    Oh, I definitely believe that.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Member Posts: 1,828
    If I had to guess I would say that Carmax averages at least $2000 a car not counting money made in finance. Just my guess not based off of anything in particular

    I think that *might* be accurate for the informed consumer who has done their homework. For the average consumer, it MIGHT be quite a bit less.

    But what is the casual buyer getting from Carmax that you don't get at the local Ford dealer:

    1) No haggle. A lot of people just don't want to put up with all the "sales games" of finding out the "real OTD pricing of the vehicle."

    2) Five day "no haggle" return. If your trans dies three days into ownership (which happened to me on my last used car purchased from a Ford dealership), you take it back.

    3) Limited 30 day warranty on ALL cars.

    As for my Taurus example, I have made some offers on used Taurus vehicles which I thought would be insulting as they were so low and they were accepted.

    Personally, I think that Carmax has a great business model and have considered buying their stock. I will give them credit. They say what they are going to do and they stick with it.

    Geez, posts in favor of Carmax and Honda in one week. I must be getting soft.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    What was the KBB number they showed you? You can always go to the "Real World Trade-In Value" forum and get a value for your 2002 Expedition from the guys over there.
  • carzrfuncarzrfun Member Posts: 2
    If I had to guess I would say that Carmax averages at least $2000 a car not counting money made in finance. Just my guess not based off of anything in particular

    Not even close to accurate. Maybe on some vehicles but I'd say less than 2%. Carmax relies on volume sales. To comment about why people come and pay Carmax prices is they are up front about things. They guarantee no frame damage vehicles, you get to see on a computer screen what terms the lenders will give you. Just to name a few things.
  • bdc2020bdc2020 Member Posts: 58
    Because when you walk into a traditional dealership, you know they want to get as much money from you as they can. they will sell 2 of the same cars for 2 different amounts depending on how strong of a negotiator the buyer is. You also know that a traditional dealership will ALWAYS come off their price. They wrote their own ticket doing it like this year after year.

    When you walk into a Carmax lot, you know the price of the car on the window is it. Do your research and pay it or leave and know the next person behind you looking at that same car will pay that amount if you do not.

    I've never bought from Carmax, but do appreciate their take it or leave it style. And the car salesman don't hound you constantly nor do they play games.
  • punkr77punkr77 Member Posts: 183
    You can probably get a car cheaper elsewhere. Their prices seemed higher than you'd pay at another dealer or private party. That said they have a lot to reccomend them. No haggling for hours with a salesman. They won't sell wrecked or flooded vehicles. They give you at least some guarantee (though 30 days isn't much). Friendly sales people.

    I purchased my current vehicle at Carmax in Houston in 01 and was very happy. I bought a 99 SVT Cobra there with 4800 miles on it for about 6 grand less than a new one. I originally went to a Ford dealer to buy a new one only to be told: you'll pay sticker, no we can't get another color, no you can't test drive it. Went to carmax and saved a bundle and got the color I wanted.

    Carmax seemed like their used cars had lower miles and were in better condition than what I saw at other used lots. They also had a huge number to choose from, so you could compare multiple makes and models all at one place. I'd definitley do business with them again.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Member Posts: 1,828
    '00 Taurus LX
    48k miles
    Sunroof
    $10.9
    Schaumburg, IL

    Enough said.
  • litmanlitman Member Posts: 9
    I had been searching for a used '05 Murano and the color I wanted was only available in '05 or later models, and I also needed leather interior and AWD.. This was a tough combo to find and I had been looking through the usual places, and also using the Carmax search engine since it serves as another indicator of supply and demand. After about 3 months the car that fit our specs came available...on Carmax...a place I wouldn't normally consider buying from...but, she (my lovely wife) really wanted a Murano.

    Unfrotunately, while the Murano matching my specifications was a available, I would need to have it "transferred." So I emailed Carmax, and got a return email and a phone number. I called the number, and I was helped by a friendly employee willing to patiently handle my questions and requests. I agreed to put together the transfer paperwork that night at the dealership, and I also arranged to test-drive a similar model just to see how I liked the feel; however, my test drive was just a formality - this was going to be my wife's car. Everything went well, and we had the paperwork in place. I arranged to bring my Acura for appraisal the next morning, and I would also bring my wife, so she could test-drive a like model to confirm that "yes, this is really what I want."

    The next morning I arrived and they appraised while we test drove. Throughout the process, the Carmax people were accomodating and friendly with no pressure or probing questions. After the drive I got the appraisal (which I had no intention of taking - not because it wasn't fair, it was high KBB trade-in - but because I always privately sell), and was admiring another car when my wife walked up and told me in a whisper, "Umm, I really don't like the interior, the way it handles or the CVT." Now, this is a car she has admired from afar for 3 freaking years. I have asked her to test drive it, oh, probably 10 times, but she never "had time." Then, when I find her color and trim level, am ready to pay Carmax's bloated prices and the transfer fee, AND surrender the negotiating process (something I actually enjoy and from which I receive an adrenalin rush), she tells me, at the dealership, after the appraisal, transfer set-up (they have held the vehicle in the other city), two test drives and a few hours of time, she doesn't like the car!?!?!?!?

    After such a colossal waste of people's time, I thought we would see the Carmax people get a little ornery; didn't happen: the Carmax people were totally cool about it. Luckily, there was a competing vehicle (and my first choice for "her" car, the Infiniti FX35) parked on the same row. Carmax allowed us to park the vehicles next to one another and compare them, and would have given us a test drive had we the time. They also held no grudge when we walked away and thanked them for their time, but "not today, thank you."

    Basically, I have no trouble with Carmax. I think they overprice, but they also offer a decent trade-in numbers; this experience was my second appraisal, both have been really good for a trade-in. I can see why people with sertain personality traits repsond to the Carmax business model, but I still don't see myself buying there unless I am forced to by time-restraint or difficulty pinpointing a particular model. In my experience, I have found that if you are informed, serious, pre-qualified, and businesslike, traditional dealers with work with you towards a win-win.

    And oh yeah...we got a used FX35 last week, (from a traditional dealer with a decent price I negotiated with help from TMV: read private value, not retail) and she loves it; she should have listened to me from the start.
  • driverightdriveright Member Posts: 91
    she loves it; she should have listened to me from the start.

    Yup. I've been there. Keep her car running forever so you don't have to go through that again!
  • cccompsoncccompson Member Posts: 2,388
    Speaking of that, saw a Carmax ad just last night on TV touting how they will ship a car from store to store for a customer - just select from their online inventory and they'll put it on a rollback.
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