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Trade in or private sale?

28,544 3,726 September 2, 2017 at 10:23 AM
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OK another car thread of mine.

Still in the car market - thinking if I should trade in or PP (private party).

Trade in:
- get rid of car, easy peasy (assuming they give me an offer)
- save sales tax on the amount of the trade in
- won't get as good $$ as I would from PP

PP:
- might take awhile to get rid of the car, if I can even do it
- will get more $$ for the car

I've been considering trade in simply because I *thought* the $$ difference between the 2 was small enough to justify the reduction in hassle - but just checking it again, roughly speaking I could probably get $1500 more for the car via PP. Edmunds/KBB/NADA are telling me trade in will be $1000 - $1500, and PP is more like $2500 - $3000. I can have a dealer appraise it, but given its age (10 yrs) and high mileage (~200k), the few dealers I've spoken with tell me they basically just look for comps in the market and price it accordingly, so I think the above would probably be accurate.

Also, given that I might save $1500 (max), sales tax on that would only be on the order of $95 (6.35%), so that's not much of an incentive either. Lastly, it's small enough of a value that I don't think it would affect finance offers/APR.

As an aside...... has anyone sold a car to Carmax? How are their prices? (the closest one is about an hour away)

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#2
Buddy sold his truck to them. He was happy
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PP is always better imo. Dealers are not going to give you a deal on a trade in and the only reason to do it is for convenience as you noted. As long as the car is in decent condition and as long as you have a place to park it and can afford to wait for a buyer to come along, PP is the way to go imo.

Also, I assume you have no collision or comp insurance on a car with that many miles already, but if you do, you should remove that asap.
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Dealers are always going to screw you on the price - always. My mom got $20K for her 2013 Nissan Frontier w/ 12K miles in 2015 when she traded it and that was up from an initial offer of $18K and came at the underhanded expense of robbing her of $4K in rebates, so she really only got $16K for it. They sold it 2 weeks later for $26K. Meanwhile, I got $2,600 for my 2000 Mercury Mountaineer w/ 230K miles in 2015 via PP. How much is the convenience of dumping it quickly worth to you?
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#5
Straight out as everyone has said the dealer is going to pay you less for your vehicle than when you sell it privately. The only big benefit about selling to the dealer is the convenience you basically hand them the keys and they do all the paper work for your. Depending how much your car is worth and if you want to do that little extra work to sell it yourself.
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Last edited by gpister September 2, 2017 at 10:45 PM.
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#6
Quote from ManUpOrShutUp
:
Dealers are always going to screw you on the price - always. My mom got $20K for her 2013 Nissan Frontier w/ 12K miles in 2015 when she traded it and that was up from an initial offer of $18K and came at the underhanded expense of robbing her of $4K in rebates, so she really only got $16K for it. They sold it 2 weeks later for $26K. Meanwhile, I got $2,600 for my 2000 Mercury Mountaineer w/ 230K miles in 2015 via PP. How much is the convenience of dumping it quickly worth to you?
they sold it 2 weeks later for 26k or listed it for 26k? i don't doubt she got screwed but that's just how dealers work.

if she felt or knew her used car was worth more, she should have went to another dealer.
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Quote from dayv
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they sold it 2 weeks later for 26k or listed it for 26k? i don't doubt she got screwed but that's just how dealers work.

if she felt or knew her used car was worth more, she should have went to another dealer.
They actually sold it for $26K. :x She always gets screwed even harder than the average consumer on trades because her desperation shines through. She would rather drive the car off a cliff than deal with potential buyers herself.
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#8
Based on my recent experience, stay away from CM. They offered me below kbb for my car. During their inspection, they noted 'recently painted' on my car roof. When I confronted them about it, they kind of danced around it pretending it was normal for them to note these kinds of stuff. But I think it's them trying to rig their system so that it spits out a lower number. A 'recently painted' note could mean that the car was in a recent accident, which was never the case for mine.

I looked to PP and was able to sell it for $2.2k more than CM's offer.

PS. I've had them appraise my previous two cars in the past. Each time, they were lower than KBB. Each time, I went to PP and sold for higher.
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Thanks for the input everyone. I took the car in today... and I got what I was expecting "because of the high mileage..... we can offer $500" When I (literally) laughed, they came back with $1000, which I said no. KBB gives me an average TI of $1179 with a PP of $3923. (good condition)

Edmunds, however, gives line items and the variance; e.g. there's a "base price" and +/- depending on the line item. For example, HID's add $27. Mileages is -$993. That said, Edmunds gives me $942 TI, $1960 PP (average condition... I could argue that).

NADA is a bit more basic (fewer options when pricing it out) and comes with $1895 for TI (oddly no PP value).

Ahh well, I have to go get it tomorrow.... any tips on "advertising"? I was thinking CL, but CL is pretty slow except for outdoorsy farm stuff around here.
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Quote from Dr. J
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Thanks for the input everyone. I took the car in today... and I got what I was expecting "because of the high mileage..... we can offer $500" When I (literally) laughed, they came back with $1000, which I said no. KBB gives me an average TI of $1179 with a PP of $3923. (good condition)

Edmunds, however, gives line items and the variance; e.g. there's a "base price" and +/- depending on the line item. For example, HID's add $27. Mileages is -$993. That said, Edmunds gives me $942 TI, $1960 PP (average condition... I could argue that).

NADA is a bit more basic (fewer options when pricing it out) and comes with $1895 for TI (oddly no PP value).

Ahh well, I have to go get it tomorrow.... any tips on "advertising"? I was thinking CL, but CL is pretty slow except for outdoorsy farm stuff around here.
I would go with CL anyway. We live in the middle of nowhere and the guy who bought my truck saw it on CL and drove from 2 hours away. High book was $3,100, which is what I listed it for. He gave me $2,600, which is all I really wanted in the first place and he was happy because he negotiated me down. :p
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Private sale
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Quote from Dr. J
:
Thanks for the input everyone. I took the car in today... and I got what I was expecting "because of the high mileage..... we can offer $500" When I (literally) laughed, they came back with $1000, which I said no. KBB gives me an average TI of $1179 with a PP of $3923. (good condition)

Edmunds, however, gives line items and the variance; e.g. there's a "base price" and +/- depending on the line item. For example, HID's add $27. Mileages is -$993. That said, Edmunds gives me $942 TI, $1960 PP (average condition... I could argue that).

NADA is a bit more basic (fewer options when pricing it out) and comes with $1895 for TI (oddly no PP value).

Ahh well, I have to go get it tomorrow.... any tips on "advertising"? I was thinking CL, but CL is pretty slow except for outdoorsy farm stuff around here.
i had a buddy drive 8 hours to pick up a truck from ebay motors once. late 80s model with a wooden bumper, go figure.

I'd say post it on CL in your area and the next town over. could do newspaper too or a flyer at wherever people hangout in your area.
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Quote from Dr. J
:
Thanks for the input everyone. I took the car in today... and I got what I was expecting "because of the high mileage..... we can offer $500" When I (literally) laughed, they came back with $1000, which I said no. KBB gives me an average TI of $1179 with a PP of $3923. (good condition)

Edmunds, however, gives line items and the variance; e.g. there's a "base price" and +/- depending on the line item. For example, HID's add $27. Mileages is -$993. That said, Edmunds gives me $942 TI, $1960 PP (average condition... I could argue that).

NADA is a bit more basic (fewer options when pricing it out) and comes with $1895 for TI (oddly no PP value).

Ahh well, I have to go get it tomorrow.... any tips on "advertising"? I was thinking CL, but CL is pretty slow except for outdoorsy farm stuff around here.
Tips on a successful PP sale:

1) Take high quality photos of the exterior and interior. If posting on CL, be aware that you are allowed no more than 20(?) photos. When taking photos, find a nice background like a park or a quite neighborhood.
2) Include tags such as 'non-smoker, no pets, original owner, all maintenance records available, and adult owned" that apply to your vehicle.
3) Invest in Carfax or Autocheck to give extra assurance to the would-be buyer that you're being transparent.
4) Speaking of transparent, list out all the cons of the car so that later when the buyer inspects it, they won't be able to use the cons as a barter to lower the price.
5) For your security, make sure to require a valid Driver's license and some cash in hand for the buyer to test drive it.

EDIT: I sold my 2012 'specialty' car on CL using the above methods. It took me about 11 days from time of posting to getting cash in hand. There was one bad test drive experience where the buyer burnt my clutch. Turns out he didn't know how to drive stick at all. So that's another lesson for you - make sure to screen the buyer thoroughly.
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Last edited by MCeatalot September 7, 2017 at 11:08 AM. Reason: addendum
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Quote from MCeatalot
:
Tips on a successful PP sale:

1) Take high quality photos of the exterior and interior. If posting on CL, be aware that you are allowed no more than 20(?) photos. When taking photos, find a nice background like a park or a quite neighborhood.
2) Include tags such as 'non-smoker, no pets, original owner, all maintenance records available, and adult owned" that apply to your vehicle.
3) Invest in Carfax or Autocheck to give extra assurance to the would-be buyer that you're being transparent.
4) Speaking of transparent, list out all the cons of the car so that later when the buyer inspects it, they won't be able to use the cons as a barter to lower the price.
5) For your security, make sure to require a valid Driver's license and some cash in hand for the buyer to test drive it.

EDIT: I sold my 2012 'specialty' car on CL using the above methods. It took me about 11 days from time of posting to getting cash in hand. There was one bad test drive experience where the buyer burnt my clutch. Turns out he didn't know how to drive stick at all. So that's another lesson for you - make sure to screen the buyer thoroughly.
Thanks for the tips! I was going to detail the inside on Saturday then the outside on Sunday... still driving it this week but once the detail is done, no more daily driver.
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Check local ads (CL, autotrader, etc). Determine the difference. Think of what your time is worth. If you are talking $500 and it takes you many hours of emails, calls, tire kickers...well...
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