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Carmax vs others
Old 09-25-2022, 09:37 AM   #1
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Carmax vs others

I think we are going to sell our Ford Transit van before snow hits this year as we just park it until spring and use our truck.

It is a 2018 Ford Transit 250 medium roof with long wheel base/body (but not the super long extended version), 3D, 3.5L ecoboost, full aluminum roof rack but pretty basic otherwise, 26,600 miles.

When I go to KBB it says something ridiculous sounding like $46,000 for a private party sale, but when I go to Carmax it is $31,500. Carvana was $23,000. Of course all of this was done online and I may have made a mistake on some option (wasn't clear on Carmax the wheel base/body length.

We did have 1 minor fender bender with a deer hitting the side driver door area, fully repaired no frame damage, drove away from incident and I put that in the carmax site but wasn't a place for it in KBB.

Carmax does sound pretty hassle free if you just walk in and grab a check but that is a pretty big difference from private party sale.

Of course we only paid $32,000 for the thing brand new in 2018 so...
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Old 09-25-2022, 09:46 AM   #2
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For the price you paid for the Transit new, run and not walk to Carmax to pickup your check.

Needless to say, we're in times that are upset in the car world. I worked for an auto manufacturer for 24 years, and still have friends in dealerships. But with very few new vehicles on dealer lots, I'd hate to have to buy a new vehicle. No great deals are to be found until supplies improve.
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Old 09-25-2022, 09:49 AM   #3
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Do you have a Carmax dealer near you? If so, I would just drive it in and see what they offer you there. You can have the online version in hand to compare it to. If you get it from the dealer, the offer is valid for 7 days. I've sold mine to Carmax twice and both times it was very hassle free. As long as you like their price.
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Old 09-25-2022, 10:08 AM   #4
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Yes, there is a Carmax about an hour and a half away, so not a huge deal to go there (can organize a Costco/Home Depot run with the trip).

I like the no hassle part. The thing that might be dinging me a bit is the deer hit. When I put in no accident the price goes up by $3,000. It really was a minor hit although we had insurance pay to fully repair the driver door (stupid deer just t-boned us there). No frame or mechanical damage from it.
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Old 09-25-2022, 10:38 AM   #5
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My experience in selling a car to them was excellent. You should be able to make an appointment with the dealer online. They will want to inspect the car and make an offer, and pitch a trade-in instead. But once you're clear it is a sale only, I found the sales rep to be straight forward about their process. Their offer is good for 7 days if need time to think about it.

If you wait to decide, I think they want a separate appointment to take in the car and do the paperwork (about 30 minutes or so).
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Old 09-25-2022, 10:50 AM   #6
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I sold my 9 year old Camry to carmax this past March.
It was going to need some work done on it so I wasnít sure if that would reduce the amount quoted on line. It didnít. I got exactly the amount that they quoted on line. Hassle free and took a few hours. They were quite busy.
I would totally do business with them again.
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Old 09-25-2022, 11:20 AM   #7
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For the price you paid for the Transit new, run and not walk to Carmax to pickup your check. ...
Nope. That is the "sunk cost fallacy." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunk_cost). The only thing that matters is are the numbers looking forward. Past costs are irrelevant.

Whether the OP paid $100 or he paid $70,000 for his van, the financial decision is the same: Which potential buyer offers the most attractive combination of price, minimum hassle, and whatever other parameters are important?
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Old 09-25-2022, 11:24 AM   #8
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Nope. That is the "sunk cost fallacy." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunk_cost). The only thing that matters is are the numbers looking forward. Past costs are irrelevant.

Whether the OP paid $100 or he paid $70,000 for his van, the financial decision is the same: Which potential buyer offers the most attractive combination of price, minimum hassle, and whatever other parameters are important?
^ This
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Old 09-25-2022, 11:26 AM   #9
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Yes, there is a Carmax about an hour and a half away, so not a huge deal to go there (can organize a Costco/Home Depot run with the trip).

I like the no hassle part. The thing that might be dinging me a bit is the deer hit. When I put in no accident the price goes up by $3,000. It really was a minor hit although we had insurance pay to fully repair the driver door (stupid deer just t-boned us there). No frame or mechanical damage from it.
Just be honest, the insurance repair will show up when they check, they have access to that info.
I sold mine to Carvana and it literally was less than 5 minutes and they sent a guy to my house who had the check in hand. He just had me sign a couple of papers, did a quick cursory inspection and parked my car in the street and said someone would be along to pick it up later that day. I don't know if it was a car hauler or not, I went to the store and when I got back it was gone. If you accept their deal they do it all online, send them the back and front of the registration slip, your drivers license and answer some more questions about the vehicle.
I currently have an offer from them on my 2nd vehicle right now but I've yet to find another vehicle so I will probably let it expire.
I doubt that KBB is accurate, they're not buying it from you but they'll probably sell your info to dealers, that happened to me with Edmunds.
Good luck
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Old 09-25-2022, 12:55 PM   #10
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I had a very easy experience with CarMax. I got an online quote. Went to a dealer for a new car and got a lousy trade-in value. I told the dealer I had a quote from CarMAx for 2x that. They said that they would honor it, but I had to get the written quote after inspection. I drove to the CarMax store no more than 5 minutes down the road. They looked over the car and gave me a written quote exactly the same as the online quote. Could have gotten cash right there and then. or think it over. I think to offer was good for 7 days. Took the written offer to the dealer and they adjusted the trad-in value to essentially what CarMax was. The CarMax experience was great. This was my 2nd dealing with CarMax. Both were exemplary.
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Old 09-25-2022, 01:03 PM   #11
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Another vote for CarMax.

We sold them our 18 year old Camry with 94,000 miles last year. The online quote was exactly what they paid. We made an appointment to come in, they checked the car and didn't try to adjust the price at all.

The whole process took about 30 minutes and was easy and pleasant enough.

I like that the quote is good for 7 days. We are about 30 minutes away so taking a few days to think about it or compare with private selling was always an option.
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Old 09-25-2022, 01:09 PM   #12
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I've sold two cars to Carmax and both were good transactions. Our local place is always busy, so I was in there for well over an hour both times, but there was no hassle. The actual selling price was slightly under the online offer, but not significantly.

It's interesting that the check they give you can't be cashed directly; it has to be deposited in your bank account. So they have a little bit of float there.
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Old 09-25-2022, 06:08 PM   #13
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My SIL sold my DB Lexus LS to the Lexus dealer for $500 over what Carmax offered at their store.
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Excel at two things
Old 09-25-2022, 06:47 PM   #14
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Excel at two things

Well before the shortage....

1.)Carmax figured out how to offer MAX for used cars. They are so sophisticated at it, and well, let's just say economies of scale don't "upset" investors and auditors. Nothing majorly illegal - just - well, creative people being creative.


2.)Giving the "I don't wanna haggle " crowd - -a chance to pay more for a car.

3.)And like evil dealers they too offer service contracts - but a reputable dealer wouldn't get away with those service contracts but hey, the kids with I-pads pitch them and get a bonus so all works out.
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Old 09-26-2022, 08:59 AM   #15
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The last car I sold, a 2005 Lexus SUV, I got a price from Carmax--made an appointment and took it is, easy. The offer was a little low I thought. I think the offer was good for a few days so during that time I took some pictures of the car and listed it for sale on my local Nextdoor I got an offer several thousand above the Carmax offer. A little more hassle but you can almost always make more more with a private sale, especially now that there is a car shortage.
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Old 09-26-2022, 09:53 AM   #16
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The last car I sold, a 2005 Lexus SUV, I got a price from Carmax--made an appointment and took it is, easy. The offer was a little low I thought. I think the offer was good for a few days so during that time I took some pictures of the car and listed it for sale on my local Nextdoor I got an offer several thousand above the Carmax offer. A little more hassle but you can almost always make more more with a private sale, especially now that there is a car shortage.



Yes, you can definitely get a higher price from a private sale, and I have done that in the past. However, I will second (or third, or forth....) Carmax as a viable option for anyone who doesn't want to deal with the hassle of interacting with potential buyers, dealing with secure (or not so secure) payment options, etc. I took my last Subaru Outback to Carmax and while they, of course, offered less than than the private sale Blue Book price, their offer was quite reasonable and the entire process was very smooth.
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Old 09-26-2022, 05:41 PM   #17
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My sister sold a car to Carmax and I have also...


We both have used them to price 2 cars that I bought from her...


All prices were much higher than trading it in to a dealer... heck, the dealer even says to use Carmax...


When I sold my car I took mine to another company that buys used cars and sells them like Carmax... they offered a whopping $1500 when Carmax was $6500...



Carmax priced it a bit over $10,000... do not know what it sold for...


If you want maximum price you have to sell it yourself... Carmax is a good price if you do not want that hassle..
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Old 11-13-2022, 08:03 PM   #18
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Update:

We drove our truck and the 2018 Transit van to Carmax today along with the buy it price quote of $32,000 (evidently I had left out something that I didn't this time because the price went UP $500). I was expecting them to come back with this or that reason to knock a few thousand off but nope, they just looked at the van (it was in really nice condition with 26,900 miles) and said here is our offer, $32,000.

25 min later we were out the door with a bank draft. Really too easy. I have spent more time in the grocery store.

Still can't believe we bought this van 3.5 years ago, drove it across the country on a road trip, took it camping numerous times, built a house with it hauling many many sheets of plywood and stacks of shingles, and then sold it for more (or almost exactly) than we paid originally.
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Old 11-13-2022, 11:31 PM   #19
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Another vote for CarMax.

We sold them our 18 year old Camry with 94,000 miles last year. The online quote was exactly what they paid. We made an appointment to come in, they checked the car and didn't try to adjust the price at all.

The whole process took about 30 minutes and was easy and pleasant enough.

I like that the quote is good for 7 days. We are about 30 minutes away so taking a few days to think about it or compare with private selling was always an option.
What price did they pay ?
I'm wondering as we have a 25 yr old Camry with 105K miles, so just curious.

In 2015 I took a car to them years ago that was 12 yrs old with 130K miles, it was a Sonata, they offered me $500 , so I sold it privately in 2 days for $1,100 instead. It had been in an accident and was fixed and worked fine but an accident does drop the value.
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Old 11-14-2022, 07:48 AM   #20
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Car dealerships like AutoNation really prefer to purchase and resell relatively late model used cars. They can easily get them financed and sold on normal finance terms.

The older models do better being sold to a tote the note used car dealership who will collect a down payment equal to what they paid for the vehicle and the weekly payments collected will be all profit.
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