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Results using on line car buying/selling sites.
Old 04-13-2018, 12:03 PM   #1
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Results using on line car buying/selling sites.

I'm in the process of selling a car. There are now many choices of on line websites to buy & sell a vehicle. Too many choices.

I've also noticed that many of the sites are dominated by ads from car dealers.

I'm curious what experiences people have had using these sites to sell or buy a car, and if they would recommend using that site to others.

My experience:
I sold a car about 6 years ago. I was asking a little more than trade in value, and it was a nice car.
I first listed it on Craigslist. I got lots of e-mails, and the first buyer that I somehow decided was legitimate showed up, and offered me a terribly low offer. This car was priced very reasonably, and he still wanted 25% off. I told him to check back with me in a month.
I listed another ad with CarSoup.com, and the first person who looked at it said they would take the car, and they even had cash with them. I'm not sure the type of buyer was specific to the website ad, but I was thinking that. I had to pay for the CarSoup ad.

FYI:
The reason I decided to sell that car myself, was the terrible trade in price the dealer offered me. DW was ready for a new vehicle, and I wanted to keep my older car. I was in a time crunch to sell her old car while waiting for her new car to come in.

Rant about car dealers:
I feel like the dealers can't just deal fairly with anyone. They want to burn you with the purchase and the trade in every time. I have no problem with them making money for the convenience of not having to sell my car, but they should a least offer something close to the trade in value. No wonder most people hate this experience.

Thanks for any replies in advance.

JP
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:07 PM   #2
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A couple of references you might find useful:

How To Buy A New Car

Negotiating New Car Price?
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:12 PM   #3
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We thought we got a pretty fair price selling through CarMax.
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:18 PM   #4
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My last two times selling a trade in and buying a new car:

Go to carmax, get a written quote (good for a few days/miles)
Go to dealer, get best deal on new car
Ask dealer how much for your trade - they will give you a crap estimate
Laugh, scoff, show them carmax quote - they will meet it

Done - all for the cost of an hour sitting at carmax and then only one transaction to deal with.
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:26 PM   #5
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Happy with CarMax both for buying and selling. No haggling.

Plus their website is informative. The con is the salespeople don't special in particular cars, but worth the tradeoff, IMO.
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Old 04-13-2018, 02:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
My last two times selling a trade in and buying a new car:

Go to carmax, get a written quote (good for a few days/miles)
Go to dealer, get best deal on new car
Ask dealer how much for your trade - they will give you a crap estimate
Laugh, scoff, show them carmax quote - they will meet it

Done - all for the cost of an hour sitting at carmax and then only one transaction to deal with.
Not always.... the last car my sister traded in they would not match, but I bought it for that.... the one previous to that the dealer said 'take the offer from CarMax as we cannot match it'....

The last car I traded in they would not match, but came close... with the tax savings from trading in with the dealer it was close enough for me.... still lost a few hundred though....
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Old 04-13-2018, 02:07 PM   #7
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The dealership seems to want to make a $1,000 to $2,000 'profit' on selling your car.... take out overhead etc. and I bet it is half that...

The last trade in I did they priced the vehicle $1500 more than they paid me...

It is always a decision if you want to take the time and trouble selling it yourself.... I do not want to....
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Old 04-13-2018, 02:08 PM   #8
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Perhaps this doesn't apply to all states, but in these parts, selling your trade and paying cash for the new one can create a higher tax bill.
For example, if I pay cash for a 30K car I owe tax on 30K. If I trade in my 15K
old vehicle on the new 30K vehicle, I owe tax on only 15K. It may or may not save money, but it will certainly simplify the overall process.
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Old 04-13-2018, 04:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
The dealership seems to want to make a $1,000 to $2,000 'profit' on selling your car.... take out overhead etc. and I bet it is half that...

The last trade in I did they priced the vehicle $1500 more than they paid me...

It is always a decision if you want to take the time and trouble selling it yourself.... I do not want to....


When I had company cars, they had me turn the car in at the nearest dealer and took whatever price the dealer offered. I had one they put on the lot for $15k after offering $10k on trade. More than likely that car sold for $13k. They claim their markup includes 10% profit plus $100 for detailing plus $800 "lot charge" plus whatever repairs are required. I bought one of my company cars for just the $800 lot charge over the trade-in price because I had a really good relationship with the dealer. The lot charge is assessed to all cars to cover dealer warranty and repairs. If a trade in sits on the lot over 60 days they'll probably sell it at cost but they generally make more selling used vs new.
In states that charge sales tax on the difference between the trade and the new car price, sometimes you can sell the car yourself and have the dealer process the paperwork for a fee so you get the tax benefit.
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Old 04-13-2018, 06:17 PM   #10
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A friend in the business once told me that the new cars were not the largest profit centers for the dealership.

The majority, according to him, came from pre owned sales and from the service department. Next in line was the appreciation of the dealership's land and buildings (guess that depends on location and market).
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Old 04-14-2018, 07:30 AM   #11
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Aerides, Easysurfer and Daylate,
Thanks for the CarMax recommendations. I will give them a try.


I thought I read some negative comments on this forum about them making very low offers for used cars. I believe their whole advertising strategy is built around giving strong offers for used vehicles regardless if you are buying. (I'm not in the market for another car.)


How did their offer compare to the "trade in values" from Kelly Blue Book and NADA?


I got a free on line offer from cars.com based on my description and photos of my car. It was $3K below the KBB "trade in" value, and $6K below the retail value.


JP
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Old 04-14-2018, 07:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP.mpls View Post
How did their offer compare to the "trade in values" from Kelly Blue Book and NADA?
The last two cars we've sold got Carmax offers in between the trade-in and private sale prices from other sites. We considered them more than fair and dealing with so much less hassle than advertising them ourselves, we were happy to sell to Carmax.
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Old 04-14-2018, 07:46 AM   #13
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I don't remember if I did any detailed comparisons with KBB, but in both cases I was trading 10 year old cars with over 100k miles, and both were definitely in the sub-5K value range, so less range. It was a difference of hundreds with the dealers, not thousands.

With carmax, i went with the premise that the trade in value would then help determine what I might shop for next, but never felt like there was any influence on the price.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
My last two times selling a trade in and buying a new car:

Go to carmax, get a written quote (good for a few days/miles)
Go to dealer, get best deal on new car
Ask dealer how much for your trade - they will give you a crap estimate
Laugh, scoff, show them carmax quote - they will meet it

Done - all for the cost of an hour sitting at carmax and then only one transaction to deal with.
Huh. Last time I did steps 1 & 2. Quote was exactly the same. Made it easy for me.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:27 AM   #15
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This begs the question as to what web site one uses for the Estimate on the used car you are trading in? I actually prefer Edmunds as I find it easier and fairly accurate, how about you?
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:45 AM   #16
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I cannot speak to selling but last summer I did buy car through a well known publication.

I was looking for a specific model that was not longer in production, with specific options and condition.

Using he publication I was able to short list. Then by email I was able to eliminate all but one. A few emails and phone calls later I was three hours from home buying the vehicle from a private seller. This method made searching for a pre owned vehicle relatively easy. Add to that the on line services to check ownership and vehicle history.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:46 AM   #17
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We have bought and sold several cars on Craigslist. The biggest problem with Craigslist is all the spammers you have to weed through. But with a little experience it's fairly easy to spot which offers are legitimate and which ones aren't. For example if they say "I'm interested in your item" instead of mentioning your vehicle that's an immediate red flag.

I also never call people back who say they want me to call them. I only use the email relay. Yeah, I may miss some buyers, but I've always been able to sell our vehicles.

Pricing is always tricky. You have to overprice it a bit so you get close to what you are wanting after they talk you down. I generally start around 20% more than I'm wanting, I can always lower the price later if it doesn't sell.

Also, sometimes you just have to accept an item is worth more to you than it is to other people who are looking for a used item. You can always set a "FIRM" price if you don't want to haggle. You'll probably still get lower offers, but you can stick to your price if you want.

For example, I'm currently trying to sell a really nice air compressor on Craigslist. It's in like new condition, I just bought a new quieter compressor and don't need it. The problem is there are dozens of other compressors being sold too at ridiculously low prices. I've lowered my price multiple times already and still haven't received a single offer. I'm almost to the point of taking it to Goodwill.

We used to sell cars through local newspapers and nickel ads, but it seems no one uses those anymore. I also haven't had any luck with places like cars.com. Around here Craigslist is THE go to place for buying and selling used cars.
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:06 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by JP.mpls View Post
Aerides, Easysurfer and Daylate,
Thanks for the CarMax recommendations. I will give them a try.


I thought I read some negative comments on this forum about them making very low offers for used cars. I believe their whole advertising strategy is built around giving strong offers for used vehicles regardless if you are buying. (I'm not in the market for another car.)


How did their offer compare to the "trade in values" from Kelly Blue Book and NADA?


I got a free on line offer from cars.com based on my description and photos of my car. It was $3K below the KBB "trade in" value, and $6K below the retail value.


JP
I would rather not sell a car myself for security reasons. I just don't want to deal with potentially creepy people and large sums of cash, so the KBB private sale price isn't something we really consider. The last couple of times we sold cars we just shopped them around to dealers and CarMax and went with the highest offer. The second to last time we sold to a dealer and they tried to rip us off continuously. They would make a high offer then switch to a lower offer halfway through the paperwork. Once they waited until DH went to the restroom, then told me the cashier was off that day and could I leave the car and come back next week for the check. I said something like seriously, you know that really isn't going to happen don't you? And then the sales manager handed over the check with no shame, embarrassment being caught in a lie or any explanation of how the cashier seemed to be in after all.

CarMax made the highest offer last time. We went to a dealer first, then CarMax, called the dealer back and they would not match the CarMax offer so we sold to CarMax. CarMax didn't do any of the endless used car dealer tricks. They just made us a reasonable offer and then wrote us a check for the full amount without trying to change the terms or price halfway into the paperwork. I think their offer was somewhere between the KBB trade-in and private sale value so we were pretty happy. We keep our cars for a long time so when we sell them they aren't worth too much anyway.
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:10 AM   #19
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I had an old car, took it to Carmax and they offered me $500.
Said they noticed the frame was straightened out , which I never knew about, but believed as it was in a accident (other guys fault) that was expensive to repair and I though insurance would just writeoff the car.

However, it drove ok, so I went home and put it on craigslist for $1,200 , sold it the next day to a fellow for $1,100 cash.

A friend later told me, you can sell a car under $2,000 all day , every day if it runs... He has sold about 60 so I believe it.
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Old 04-14-2018, 01:48 PM   #20
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Last August I bought a 3 year old car at a dealer. They offered $400 for our trade in (DHs 2001 Corolla 145,000 miles.) We said no thanks and DH took it to CarMax where he was SHOCKED that they offered him $1000.

So I took a few pics and listed it on Craigslist for $1400. I had many emails and appointments and 2 shoppers came and test drove it. The 2nd buyer bought it for $1400 cash and it was gone in less than 24 hours from the listing time.

If it hadn't sold, we would have taken it back to CarMax for the $1000 within the 7 day time frame.

Craigslist takes some effort and I made sure DH would always be here with me. Also, he needed to sign the title at a notary. As soon as the car sold I had about 10 people to email to let them know the car was gone, we had a lot of interest.
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