Last week I detailed why we considered buying a car through CarMax, and I wanted to do a follow-up on a service of theirs that we actually used.
Realizing that our ’99 Nissan Altima needed $1500-2000 in repairs, it didn’t take a lengthy conversation for us to determine that it was time to finally let it go.
After looking up the Private Resale value of our car on Kelley Blue Book, we discovered that our Nissan Altima was worth somewhere between $2300 and $3000.
With that knowledge in hand, and understanding it needed quite a few repairs, I went into the selling process knowing that we’d accept anything over $1000!
I’ve sold a handful of cars through Craigslist and in the majority of situations I think it’s the best option to maximize your profit.
However, ALL of the cars we’ve owned have been high-mileage, older vehicles. They’re typically not in perfect condition and there are a myriad of things wrong with them. In this situation, if you were to sell your car on Craigslist, the seller can choose to do one of two things:
After talking things through with my wife, we determined that IF we were going to sell our car through Craigslist we were going to be honest with the potential buyer and inform them of all of the issues with the car and the impending repairs. I can’t say this is how I’ve handled selling cars on Craigslist on the past. Sorry to those people that happened to buy my old cars – I know, I’m a jerk.
We realized that a person looking to buy a car in the range of $1,000-$3000 probably doesn’t have much money. It’s also likely that this person is struggling to make ends-meet and has a family that they’re trying to provide for.
With that in mind, we simply didn’t want to be dishonest (for the sake of maximizing our gain) while hurting someone in the process that likely needed the money more than we did.
With that being our primary motive there were a few other things I disliked about the possibility of selling our car on Craigslist:
Knowing that we had already planned to test drive cars at CarMax, we also decided it wouldn’t hurt to allow them to give us a bid on our Altima.
For those of you that are unaware, not only does CarMax sell cars, but they’re also willing to buy anybody’s car!
Without really knowing what to expect, here are a few things that I discovered:
1. It didn’t take long – it took around 20 or 30 minutes for them to fully look over my car and give me an offer on it. Considering I place a high value on time, I thought this was pretty good!
We were able to test drive 3 cars and by the time we returned I also had an offer in hand for them to buy my current vehicle!
2. I’m still unsure of how well they inspect the car – our ’99 Altima had been in a pretty serious accident about 4 years ago and they definitely spotted the new paint that was (professionally) used to touch up the hood of the car, but beyond that I’m not really sure if they looked at anything.
They claimed our tires were in good shape – which they weren’t.
Furthermore, and much to my surprise, they claimed that the car had no other problems and that it was in good condition.
3. I didn’t have to lie – the thing about the CarMax car buying process is that you don’t really talk to the mechanic that’s looking over your car.
While it probably isn’t morally correct, I wouldn’t have felt bad about bending the truth when telling a large corporation about what was (or wasn’t) wrong with my car. Regardless of what I wouldn’t have told them, they never asked, so I didn’t have to lie! Or ‘bend the truth.’
4. Their offer was fairly competitive – knowing that the Kelley Blue Book value on my car was $2,300-$3,000, CarMax gave me an offer for $2,000!
It didn’t take me long to agree to sell the car, especially considering I’d already determined I’d part ways with it for anything over $1000!
A few other things about Selling Your Car to CarMax:
Next time you’re looking to sell your vehicle, I’d encourage you to check out your local CarMax and allow them to give you an offer. Hopefully it’ll go as well for you as it did for us!
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