Experience selling car to Carmax?

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Casper
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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by Casper » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:56 am

ralph124cf wrote:In 2007 I was selling a 1998 F-150 after I bought a new truck. Carmax had higher mileage, less well equipped F-150s advertised for sale for $10,000. They offered me $5,000. That is quite a profit margin. I sold privately for $7,000.

Check what Carmax is advertising as the sale price of a very similar car on their website, and expect them to offer half of that.

Ralph

Experiences will vary. I sold a car to them for $19k a couple years ago, then checked the website to see what they ended up listing it for. It was around $21k.

More recently, they offered $23k for another car of mine. I sold it to a car dealer instead for the same price, and they turned around and listed it for $26k. CarMax probably would've done about the same.

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tdhg566
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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by tdhg566 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:47 am

I've bought and sold numerous cars at CarMax. You don't get top dollar for your trade-in/sold car, and you don't pay lowest dollar for your purchase. But they make the process easy, so it depends how you value your time, how easy it would be to sell your car, and how much risk you want to take dealing with the public.
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gasdoc
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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by gasdoc » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:28 pm

tdhg566 wrote:I've bought and sold numerous cars at CarMax. You don't get top dollar for your trade-in/sold car, and you don't pay lowest dollar for your purchase. But they make the process easy, so it depends how you value your time, how easy it would be to sell your car, and how much risk you want to take dealing with the public.


tdhg566, you stated that much better than I did- perfect.

gasdoc

lbwarped
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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by lbwarped » Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:30 pm

Just sold a 2001 Subaru Outback to Carmax, which had brake problems, rust, and some scraping noises while driving.
KBB Private Party: $1,800, Fair
KBB trade-in: $527
CarMax: $1,000

Craigslist had very little response at $1,200, so CarMax was the obvious choice.

Church Lady
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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by Church Lady » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:16 pm

CarMax is a fast sale. They will buy your car regardless of its condition. They will give you a quote good for seven days. However, you won't get the best price price for it.

I sold my first car to CarMax. A couple years before I sold the car, I needed an estimate of its value for a reason I can't recall. The receptionist said NO PROBLEM!! They fiddled with my vehicle for maybe twenty minutes. To get the quote, I had to talk to a rude, pushy salesman trying to convince me my car was crap to make me accept a low price for it. I reminded him I had no intention of selling the car that day and MAN WAS HE ANNOYED! Unpleasant experience!

A couple years later, I traded the car to CarMax for another one. It was convenient, but the price was definitely lowball. I paid for convenience!

My family disposed of a vehicle that comprised part of an estate by selling it to CarMax. The heirs had to dither over whether to accept that offer or do something else.
It was almost a year later we took the car in again. The offer went UP over $1000! CarMax explained that cars like that sell better in the summer, hence the better price. Who knew? We were pretty happy about that!

I would sell to CarMax again if I had another estate disposal, or if I were giving up my car for good, or perhaps if I were buying a car from CarMax, If I were replacing my car, I would probably prefer to trade it to the dealer.
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delamer
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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by delamer » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:24 pm

We just sold (and bought) at Carmax. The Edmunds' estimate was $500 less than what CarMax offered, so we were satisfied. Plus we saved on the sales tax by trading to them, or another $600.

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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by Nebster » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:09 am

I received a Carmax estimate of $28k for my vehicle a few weeks ago with KBB pp at 33.5 and KBB trade at 29. After a week of not much interest on craigslist, I got ready to take the car over there, but I tried getting a Vroom estimate on my phone on a whim. I got a $30k offer a few minutes later, and it was picked up a few days later and the money wired into my account. Easy-peasy.

Carmax seems like a great business, but the market can move to be a little more efficient, I suspect.

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Dogbreath650
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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by Dogbreath650 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:35 pm

I had a 2006 Scion TC that I had used as my work commuter car. When I retired I took it to Carmax and they gave me an estimate of $1200. Reason being is I had one minor accident with a deer that resulted in a fender being replaced. Even though the car looked great, because it was in an accident they reduced their offer. I posted it on Auto Trader and a week later sold it for $4200 :happy

I believe that if the car you are selling is <10 years old and never been in an accident they may be competitive but otherwise you are better off to sell it yourself.

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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by ellvizzle » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:09 pm

I recently was trying to sell my 2006 Hyundai Tucson. While mechanically it was in very good condition and I'm sure had many more miles to go, it did have some noticeable hail damage and a cracked windshield. I tried to sell on Blinker, but didn't see much action. Went to CarMax to see what they'd offer--$700 and the woman said I should probably try elsewhere before considering that. I then went to a local dealership and was offered $1400. Figured that was the easiest way I was going to get anything worthwhile. So, I basically got low balled at CarMax.

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weltschmerz
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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by weltschmerz » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:18 pm

I have sold 2 cars to CarMax over the years. You won't get top dollar, but that's not really the point. They are offering a hassle-free, quick transaction. I love using them, and I'm sure I will do so in the future. The last car I sold, a 2010 Toyota Yaris, the dealer offered me $4500 in trade. I went to CarMax, they offered $5k on the spot, so I took it. Plus they handle all the paperwork, so it's easy-peazy. I'm sure I could have gotten another $1-2k by doing a private sale, but it was well worth it to not have to deal with the craigslist knuckleheads.

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grabiner
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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by grabiner » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:06 pm

Even if you don't sell to CarMax, you get a competitive offer which other dealers know about.

When I bought a new car, I took my trade-in to CarMax. I was offered $3000, which matched the Kelley Blue Book value of the car. The dealer who sold my car offered a lowball of $2000. I told him that I already had a CarMax offer of $3000, and he agreed to match that in after-tax value (in MD, sales tax is only charged on the difference between purchase and trade-in). If he hadn't matched, I could have gone half a mile to another CarMax to make the sale; I wouldn't have had to drive thirty miles back to the original CarMax.
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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by madbrain » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:35 pm

Experience this year trying to sell a 2011 Prius in January with 125,000 miles that had been in several accidents but was fixed :
- dealer trader-in offer : $4500 .
- Carmax offer : $2500 - they claimed they would only auction it, because they didn't like the way it was repaired.
- craigslist : $7000 (was advertised at $8000) . I had to tell another person who was on the way to go home because the car was actually sold. Probably could have gotten $7500 or the full $8000, but I was happy to get rid of it.

All these happened on the same day - car was sold through craigslist, cash in hand and deposited through the Chase ATM machine that automatically scans and counts the bills.

Carmax was 5 minutes from the dealer, but it took 45 minutes for the inspection and to get the quote . Complete waste of time.

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jimb_fromATL
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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by jimb_fromATL » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:30 am

madbrain wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:35 pm
Experience this year trying to sell a 2011 Prius in January with 125,000 miles that had been in several accidents but was fixed :
- dealer trader-in offer : $4500 .
- Carmax offer : $2500 - they claimed they would only auction it, because they didn't like the way it was repaired.
- craigslist : $7000 (was advertised at $8000) . I had to tell another person who was on the way to go home because the car was actually sold. Probably could have gotten $7500 or the full $8000, but I was happy to get rid of it.

All these happened on the same day - car was sold through craigslist, cash in hand and deposited through the Chase ATM machine that automatically scans and counts the bills.

Carmax was 5 minutes from the dealer, but it took 45 minutes for the inspection and to get the quote . Complete waste of time.
It worked for you, but it looks to me like that's a vote in favor of other folks feeling safer about buying a car at CarMax. They would not buy your car to sell at retail because it had been wrecked and did not meet their standards.

However, it didn't really work all that well for the unsuspecting buyer who probably did not have the car checked out by their own mechanic or body shop and did not know any better than to pay you more nearly normal market value for it ... though it was worth less.

(That's also an illustration of why it's a good idea for a used car buyer to have a car checked out by a shop or knowledgeable person before buying it.) :(

jimb

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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by Will 82 » Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:33 am

So I just sold my 2008 Toyota Tacoma to CarMax. 109,600 miles.. TRD Sport Package, but 2WD (bought in Alabama and moved to Pennsylvania). It had been in an accident in December 2010 when I rear ended someone. $11k worth of damage to the front end. KBB private sale value on it in Good condition is $11,900. Trade in is around $10k. I had it listed on Craigslist for $12k which I never expected to get.

First took it to CarSense - they offered $6k.
Then to We Buy Any Car - they offered $8k.
Finally this morning to CarMax - they offered $11k.

I took CarMax offer and ran out of there. Honestly I would've happily gotten rid of it privately for $10k. I'm still shocked at the number they offered me.

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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:05 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (car).
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madbrain
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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by madbrain » Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:23 pm

jimb_fromATL wrote:
Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:30 am
madbrain wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:35 pm
Experience this year trying to sell a 2011 Prius in January with 125,000 miles that had been in several accidents but was fixed :
- dealer trader-in offer : $4500 .
- Carmax offer : $2500 - they claimed they would only auction it, because they didn't like the way it was repaired.
- craigslist : $7000 (was advertised at $8000) . I had to tell another person who was on the way to go home because the car was actually sold. Probably could have gotten $7500 or the full $8000, but I was happy to get rid of it.

All these happened on the same day - car was sold through craigslist, cash in hand and deposited through the Chase ATM machine that automatically scans and counts the bills.

Carmax was 5 minutes from the dealer, but it took 45 minutes for the inspection and to get the quote . Complete waste of time.
It worked for you, but it looks to me like that's a vote in favor of other folks feeling safer about buying a car at CarMax. They would not buy your car to sell at retail because it had been wrecked and did not meet their standards.

However, it didn't really work all that well for the unsuspecting buyer who probably did not have the car checked out by their own mechanic or body shop and did not know any better than to pay you more nearly normal market value for it ... though it was worth less.

(That's also an illustration of why it's a good idea for a used car buyer to have a car checked out by a shop or knowledgeable person before buying it.) :(

jimb
The accidents were disclosed. The buyer came with another person and took a long test drive.
My point is that Carmax (and car dealers that take used cars as trade-ins) have a profit motive and will always buy your vehicle below what they think they can sell it for. Sometimes that can be a significant difference. In this case, Carmax wanted to pay $2000 less than the dealer was willing to take for trade-in. As a seller, I would not choose to use Carmax first. I would only go that route if I had no other means to sell the car.
I have gotten a decent price selling to a dealer before - strictly selling transaction, not trade-in. I won't waste my time with Carmax.

When it comes to buying, I would only ever buy new, and I wouldn't go to Carmax for that.

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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by Cash » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:26 pm

I just took one of our cars to Carmax to have it appraised. I had a certain number in my head, and they actually came back a little bit higher (I was discounting because of a bumper scrape that they didn't really care about). Evidently they now also enter the car info's into Kelley Blue Book and will match the KBB price if that is higher (it was by about $200). IMHO, still the easiest way to sell a car.

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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by JBTX » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:07 pm

I had an older car appraised at carmax. Something around $1500. If it is very old or high mileage they will give you their auction price minus their fairly small cut. I think i eventually sold it on my own for around $3000 give or take. My experience selling several high mileage cars on cars.com and autotrader is you net somewhere between $700 to $1500 more than if you sold it directly to a dealer. I netted cost of highlighted web listings, a full detail at car wash place and minor repairs. At the time it seemed worth it. Now I'm not sure if it is.

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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by jbuzolich » Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:38 pm

We just sold my wife's Highlander at CarMax. Definitely an easy process but far worse price than even my low expectations. I had thought I could get the blue book trade in price but no such luck.

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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by Daryl » Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:25 am

2008 Toyota Rav4 - 151K miles, tires @ 3/32 (worn out), corrosion on all four wheels.
- Carmax - $4,500
- New Car Dealer (Trade-in) - $3,000

When I shared the Carmax appraisal to the new car dealer, they increased the value of my trade-in to $3,500 (they refused to match the Carmax quote). I'm selling my old car to Carmax on Tuesday, and using Uber to get to the new car dealership. We already agreed on the price of the new car and I should qualify for the promotional loan rates. I'd pay cash, but the promotional rate on the car loan will be less than the current yield of the Prime Money Market fund (basically break-even after adjusting for the taxes on the interest income)

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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by tim1999 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:12 am

I recently sold a deceased relative's car to Carmax. Painless experience. I probably could have gotten more money on craigslist, but this particular type of car would have drawn a lot of joyriding tire-kickers with no money (10 year old low mileage but not rare V8 Mustang in nice condition) and being 3 hours away, I didn't want to have to deal with that.

gtd98765
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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by gtd98765 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:12 pm

In 2010 we sold a 2005 Volvo XC-70. Carmax offered us $9k, the Volvo dealer $14K.

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gasdoc
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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by gasdoc » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:57 pm

gtd98765 wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:12 pm
In 2010 we sold a 2005 Volvo XC-70. Carmax offered us $9k, the Volvo dealer $14K.
Not sure you are comparing apples to apples when you sell to a regular dealer and you are buying a new car from them. We all know they move money around. You may have overpaid for the new car as a result of getting a higher price on your trade-in. At CarMax, the offer price for the trade-in is independent of any new car purchase.

gasdoc

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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by gtd98765 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:06 am

gasdoc wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:57 pm
gtd98765 wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:12 pm
In 2010 we sold a 2005 Volvo XC-70. Carmax offered us $9k, the Volvo dealer $14K.
Not sure you are comparing apples to apples when you sell to a regular dealer and you are buying a new car from them. We all know they move money around. You may have overpaid for the new car as a result of getting a higher price on your trade-in. At CarMax, the offer price for the trade-in is independent of any new car purchase.

gasdoc
we just sold the Volvo outright to the dealer for $14K and did not buy another car. so there was no moving money around.

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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by vshun » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:35 am

A few years ago we got a CarMax quote for Nissan Quest (12 year van) old with normal mileage for $2300 from CarMax and sold it in private via Craigslist for $2700. Not a huge difference as some others here reported several thousands gained n private party sale.

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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by Alchemist » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:27 am

During college I actually worked in their Car Buying department. First I have to say that Carmax was a wonderful company to work for, good pay/benefits and a very positive culture and atmosphere. Even as a part time worker going through college, everyone there treated me with respect and was common for the managers to pay for my lunch on busy Saturdays.

As far as the car buying process goes, Carmax has two tiers of offers. If they believe your car will meet their inspection criteria so they can sell it on their retail lot, you will get a more aggressive offer. If it has been in a serious accident (specifically if the frame was bent) or is too old, high mileage, ect to sell on their lot then it will go to auction and you will get a lower straight wholesale number.

Additionally sometimes they differ from places from KBB, either up or down, because they use internal proprietary information to value your car based on the actual market they have experienced for your car. Got something that will move on the retail lot in a few days? Expect a very generous offer. Got an old beater or something in a weird/ugly color? Probably getting a lower offer because it will go straight to auction or they expect it to take a while to move.

Overall I would say that for a wholesale offer, their car buying department really is quite fair in what they will pay for a customer car. Additionally they are not allowed to coordinate with the sales department (completely different chain of command within the company), so their offer to buy the car will be completely independent of whether or not the sales person in the show room is trying to sell you a car. However, they are going to offer you a wholesale price for the car because, after all, they are selling it again after you leave and need to make their money on it. So you will almost always get more from a private party sale as a given. Selling to Carmax will get you fair wholesale value and a very easy process.

ETA: my info is nearly ten years old as I stopped working for them in 2008 as I neared graduation.

t60
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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by t60 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:12 pm

I ended up going to Carmax, and in my experience I wasn't happy.

My car sells for $7-8k on Craigslist pretty quickly. I've seen ads come and go within days with my car's year/mileage/condition.

I had a brand new battery in the car and brand new tires. Carmax was quick to point out all of the flaws of my vehicle, but failed to note the new battery or $500 tires with less than 100 miles on them. They also said the transmission was whining, but would not offer to show me. I personally never had any transmission noise or shifting issues.

They printed out two "offers" for me, one was a KBB instant buy offer, and the other was the Carmax offer. The KBB offer was $2k (a screaming joke..probably to make the Carmax offer look better IMO), and the Carmax offer was $4k. I could understand the price if my car's condition was bad, but it didn't make sense to me so I drove out of there as fast as I could.

Someone from Shift came to my car yesterday and literally said "your car is immaculate given it's age." The guaranteed price they are offering is $5.3k, but said they would likely get closer to $7k in my pocket, after the Shift commission.

Carmax took 1.5 hours to get the quote for me, not to mention the travel time.. Shift was 45 minutes of my time. A few minutes to setup the quote online, get the evaluation setup, then to come by to my place via an appointment to check out the car. If you want to get the most out of your car, IMO it's: Private party sale > Shift > Carmax > Dealer trade in > Dealer purchase

The Carmax experience is nice, but I think the Shift one is even better; so far anyway..

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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by researcher » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:23 pm

t60 wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:12 pm
I ended up going to Carmax, and in my experience I wasn't happy. The Carmax offer was $4k.
The guaranteed price they are offering is $5.3k, but said they would likely get closer to $7k in my pocket, after the Shift commission.

Carmax took 1.5 hours to get the quote for me.. Shift was 45 minutes of my time. A few minutes to setup the quote online, get the evaluation setup, then to come by to my place via an appointment to check out the car.

The Carmax experience is nice, but I think the Shift one is even better; so far anyway..
You've only completed the beginning steps of the Shift selling process, so you couldn't possibly know if it will be better than CarMax.

With CarMax, you could have walked away with cash in your pocket after the initial quote.

Conversely, Shift appears to essentially be a consignment store. You leave the car with them in a "secure facility" and "When a buyer is found,we send you the payment." Please report back when the car has been sold and you've gotten paid.

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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by BackOfTheNet » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:45 pm

I've sold 2 cars to Carmax (12.5K and 16.0K), both were quick and easy. I've also had good luck on Craigslist with cheaper cars ($3k and $7k). The Carmax offers on the cheaper cars were laughable.

t60
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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by t60 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:52 pm

researcher wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:23 pm
t60 wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:12 pm
I ended up going to Carmax, and in my experience I wasn't happy. The Carmax offer was $4k.
The guaranteed price they are offering is $5.3k, but said they would likely get closer to $7k in my pocket, after the Shift commission.

Carmax took 1.5 hours to get the quote for me.. Shift was 45 minutes of my time. A few minutes to setup the quote online, get the evaluation setup, then to come by to my place via an appointment to check out the car.

The Carmax experience is nice, but I think the Shift one is even better; so far anyway..
You've only completed the beginning steps of the Shift selling process, so you couldn't possibly know if it will be better than CarMax.

With CarMax, you could have walked away with cash in your pocket after the initial quote.

Conversely, Shift appears to essentially be a consignment store. You leave the car with them in a "secure facility" and "When a buyer is found,we send you the payment." Please report back when the car has been sold and you've gotten paid.
Fair point. Though right now the only negative fluctuation I'd get from my guaranteed price would be any repairs, but I doubt it'd be over 1.3k which would make the price equal to Carmax. If it ends up being that expensive to repair, then off to private party it goes. I wouldn't be out anything except mileage on the car (if I opt for the repairs, then I'd be out a ton of cash..). I know there is no way to get retail for my car since that's how Carmax/Shift make their money, I just didn't like Carmax's cut of the profit in my case, but do understand how it can appeal to folks, especially if they have an intermittent issue that isn't identified.

I don't mind doing private party, just rather have some convenience this time around, which obviously comes at a non-zero cost. Last two times I sold a car on my own, I sold it for my asking price to the first people that test drove it. It's not a huge hassle other than avoiding scams.

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serbeer
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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by serbeer » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:08 pm

Got quote from Carmax last year and it was bad low-ball, $6.2K if I recall correctly. Did not even consider it.
Did trade-in at dealer instead, they agreed to go up as high as $9+K (though their initial offer was $6.5K)

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Taylor Larimore
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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by Taylor Larimore » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:21 pm

Bogleheads:

Our family has used Carmax twice to sell cars. Both times we left satisfied.

Best wishes.
Taylor
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Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Post by JBTX » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:46 pm

serbeer wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:08 pm
Got quote from Carmax last year and it was bad low-ball, $6.2K if I recall correctly. Did not even consider it.
Did trade-in at dealer instead, they agreed to go up as high as $9+K (though their initial offer was $6.5K)
My experience has been if you are trading they are generally motivated to give you as much as they possibly can on resale if that is what it will take to get the deal done. Of course you have to push the issue.

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