Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

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grogu
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by grogu »

Sharing my recent experience selling a 10-year-old SUV.

I was buying a new car and was hoping to just do a trade-in, both for convenience and to save on sales tax. Took my old car to 3 different dealers where I was looking to buy the new car. Was told they would just sell it to auction and was given offers of $6k, $5-7k, and $8500.

These numbers were below what my research indicated fair market value was, so I pursued the online companies. Provided my VIN, mileage, condition, etc. online and was given the following immediate conditional offers, which were subject to inspection/in-person appraisal:
  • Carmax: $7k
  • Cars.com: $8k-10.5k
  • Carvana: $12k
  • Two other local/regional outfits: “up to $9500,” $8k-11k
I then took my Carvana offer to the 3 dealers and asked if they could improve their offers. One said they would increase $500, but all 3 said they couldn’t come close to $12k, and if I could sell it to Carvana for that, I should. I felt like that actually made the car-buying process easier since I didn't have to negotiate on two fronts (a car purchase and a car sale).

I bought the new car while still owning the old one. A part of me was a little nervous that I might be stuck if Carvana lowered or decided not to go through with their offer. But several of my backups were still better than what the dealer was offering, so I felt OK rolling the dice.

Anyway, I filled out some more online forms with Carvana, uploaded copies of my license and title, and “accepted” their offer. I was able to schedule an appointment at my house (no additional fee) within a couple days. The guy came, did a fairly quick inspection, had no issues, and gave me a check for $12k on the spot. About as easy as I could have hoped for.

My biggest takeaway was to shop around and get multiple offers. As you can see, there was quite a range in prices I received. And as you can see from other posters, while Carvana gave me the best offer, sometimes it’s one of the others.
bog007
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by bog007 »

looks like carvana giving me the best offer
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by AerialWombat »

bog007 wrote: Sun May 12, 2024 2:31 am looks like carvana giving me the best offer
Bear in mind that this is an 8-month old thread, and the used car market has drastically changed in that time. In addition, Carvana is under extreme financial pressures now. E.g., their. offers may no longer be bolstered by investor dollars.
This post is a work of fiction. Any similarity to real financial advice is purely coincidental.
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StevieG72
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by StevieG72 »

Random data point, Carvana paid $200 more than Carmax for a transaction yesterday.

You can also save money with Carvana by dropping car off vs. having them pick it up.
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by bog007 »

carvana $600 offer on 2008 chevy equinox. carmax 1600
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vested1
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by vested1 »

I sold my 11 year old Tacoma with 112k miles on it to CarMax for 19k. I bought it used 4 years earlier from a dealer for 20k. I may have gotten more from a private sale but about 50 years ago I accepted a bad check for a TR3. That cured me from trusting someone I didn't know. The car thief was caught trying to cross state lines and I got the car back.
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Jungle
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by Jungle »

Offers I have gotten from Carmax have been fairly middle of the range. I have gotten better offers elsewhere, but that was generally contingent on also buying a vehicle from that dealer. So I would say their prices are fair. Seem to consistently fall about $1K less than KBB value
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gac1979
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by gac1979 »

Unless you have an excess vehicle (third car, etc)that you are offloading, doesn’t Carmax, Carvana or any other purchaser need to be approximately 7-8% higher than where you are buying the replacement vehicle from in order for the sale to make sense? Otherwise, you lose out on the sales tax credit on the trade and you end up netting less money (in states that have a sales tax credit). I’d assume the replacement vehicle seller knows this too. What am I missing? Sure, there might be a little leverage with multiple offers, but not as much as one might think.
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by Marathon Man »

vested1 wrote: Wed May 22, 2024 6:06 am I sold my 11 year old Tacoma with 112k miles on it to CarMax for 19k. I bought it used 4 years earlier from a dealer for 20k. I may have gotten more from a private sale but about 50 years ago I accepted a bad check for a TR3. That cured me from trusting someone I didn't know. The car thief was caught trying to cross state lines and I got the car back.
One data point only. Sold a 16 year old convertible BMW recently. Carmax offered $6500. Sold private party for $9500. Required cash only, met them at the bank for the transaction and exchanged the money for the title. 30%-ish more was worth it for me.
retireIn2020
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by retireIn2020 »

The last car I sold, I used Kelley Blue Book cash offer. They send your request out to all the local dealers in your area.
The Dealers will start contacting you immediately, I let each of them know that I'm getting multiple quotes so they will give you their highest offer.
I my best offer was $6000 over Carmax. Super simple, dealer appraises your car, hands you a written offer with a copy of the check, if you accept, they will give you a check on the spot.

https://www.kbb.com/instant-cash-offer/ ... lsrc=aw.ds
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briansfbay
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by briansfbay »

My experience about six months ago...
Carvana offered me about $500 over Carmax, and both offers were actually above KBB estimate.
2012 Acura MDX, excellent condition low mileage.
They came over promptly, didn't even start or check the car, and funds deposited ACH next day.
Very smooth.
michaelingp
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by michaelingp »

Another great experience selling my car to CarMax. It was a 16 y.o. CR-V with almost 190,000 miles on it, a dent in the door, the check engine light on, and kind of iffy air conditioning. I got an offer on-line (something around $1,800) and they honored it. I was expecting maybe $500, which is what I'd get as a trade-in on a new car. They drove the car around the parking lot. The guy that "inspected" it looked up the code for the check engine light, and told me, "That's not one we even take off for." Note that this is not a car that they would ever sell on their own lot, so it would be wholesaled (sent to South America?). For me, selling it myself (private sale) was not really even an option (I'm very hassle-averse), but given the requirement for pre-sale inspection in my state I really doubt I could have done any better financially.

I should have mentioned I'd have never thought of using CarMax except for the positive posts here (in previous threads) from the ever-knowledgeable and sharing BHs. Thank you!
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by sailaway »

hudson wrote: Wed Sep 20, 2023 8:36 am In 2018, I needed a ride to pick up a new Toyota.
No ride available, so I drove an excess 2000 Tacoma: I planned to park it at Toyota and get it another day.
At a gas station on the way, I had an offer for it, but decided that it would take too much work.
After the deal was made on the new Toyota, I asked what they would give me for the 18 year old Tacoma.
The answer was $1,500. Sold! It saved me a return trip and another trip to CarMax.
Could I have gotten more? Probably, but convenience is worth something. (Two birds; one stone)
We weren't buying, but about the same time, we could not get CarMax to look at our ~10yo cars (one Jeep, one Honda). I made an appointment for the Jeep and the guy went home before our appointment. Someone else sat down with me, but wouldn't walk over to the parking. Asked them to look up the Honda, as we were going to one vehicle, they did it half heartedly and just said it wasn't worth it, rather than give me a number. I have heard of folks having much better experiences with older cars that don't necessarily even have the reputation of drive forever that these do. We sold the Jeep for $7k.
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by seawolf21 »

Recently sold Volvo XC90 to Carmax. Dealer lowball $15K (still less than carmax even as a trade-in sales tax credit). Carmax $18K.

Sure I could likely got more thru private party or shop it around to more dealers but Carmax was a fair offer and no hassle.
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Stinky
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by Stinky »

michaelingp wrote: Thu May 23, 2024 8:30 pm Another great experience selling my car to CarMax. It was a 16 y.o. CR-V with almost 190,000 miles on it, a dent in the door, the check engine light on, and kind of iffy air conditioning. I got an offer on-line (something around $1,800) and they honored it. I was expecting maybe $500, which is what I'd get as a trade-in on a new car. They drove the car around the parking lot. The guy that "inspected" it looked up the code for the check engine light, and told me, "That's not one we even take off for." Note that this is not a car that they would ever sell on their own lot, so it would be wholesaled (sent to South America?). For me, selling it myself (private sale) was not really even an option (I'm very hassle-averse), but given the requirement for pre-sale inspection in my state I really doubt I could have done any better financially.
Several years ago, a friend of mine had a high-mileage BMW that was undriveable due to engine and wheel problems taken on a tow truck to Carmax. They offered her $1,000, which she gladly accepted.

While we were waiting, the Carmax representative told me that Carmax dealership employees are allowed to purchase a certain number of cars from Carmax every year, at a low markup over the cost to Carmax. The employees that do this usually buy "junkers" like my friend's BMW. These employees then fix up the cars and sell them over Facebook/Craigslist/whatever else, making some side money in the process, because they can recognize which cars can be made operational and then sold profitably at low financial risk to the employee.
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Wwwdotcom
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by Wwwdotcom »

retireIn2020 wrote: Wed May 22, 2024 1:41 pm The last car I sold, I used Kelley Blue Book cash offer. They send your request out to all the local dealers in your area.
The Dealers will start contacting you immediately, I let each of them know that I'm getting multiple quotes so they will give you their highest offer.
I my best offer was $6000 over Carmax. Super simple, dealer appraises your car, hands you a written offer with a copy of the check, if you accept, they will give you a check on the spot.

https://www.kbb.com/instant-cash-offer/ ... lsrc=aw.ds
Thanks for this tip. Did you have to drive to all the dealers for the appraisal? I would do that for an extra $6k, but my cars aren't even worth 6k..
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by retireIn2020 »

Wwwdotcom wrote: Fri May 24, 2024 2:07 pm
retireIn2020 wrote: Wed May 22, 2024 1:41 pm The last car I sold, I used Kelley Blue Book cash offer. They send your request out to all the local dealers in your area.
The Dealers will start contacting you immediately, I let each of them know that I'm getting multiple quotes so they will give you their highest offer.
I my best offer was $6000 over Carmax. Super simple, dealer appraises your car, hands you a written offer with a copy of the check, if you accept, they will give you a check on the spot.

https://www.kbb.com/instant-cash-offer/ ... lsrc=aw.ds
Thanks for this tip. Did you have to drive to all the dealers for the appraisal? I would do that for an extra $6k, but my cars aren't even worth 6k..
LOL, yeah, they have to see the car, all local dealers though.
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Wwwdotcom
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by Wwwdotcom »

retireIn2020 wrote: Fri May 24, 2024 2:22 pm
Wwwdotcom wrote: Fri May 24, 2024 2:07 pm
retireIn2020 wrote: Wed May 22, 2024 1:41 pm The last car I sold, I used Kelley Blue Book cash offer. They send your request out to all the local dealers in your area.
The Dealers will start contacting you immediately, I let each of them know that I'm getting multiple quotes so they will give you their highest offer.
I my best offer was $6000 over Carmax. Super simple, dealer appraises your car, hands you a written offer with a copy of the check, if you accept, they will give you a check on the spot.

https://www.kbb.com/instant-cash-offer/ ... lsrc=aw.ds
Thanks for this tip. Did you have to drive to all the dealers for the appraisal? I would do that for an extra $6k, but my cars aren't even worth 6k..
LOL, yeah, they have to see the car, all local dealers though.
My comment sounds silly but Carvana/Carmax don't have to see the car for their quote. Supposedly carmax can offer a higher quote after you bring it in.. but on average I'm betting that it only matches Carvana after that is done. Its definitely nice to know there are a lot of options out there for people that don't want to deal with private party transactions.
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by Wwwdotcom »

gac1979 wrote: Wed May 22, 2024 10:40 am Unless you have an excess vehicle (third car, etc)that you are offloading, doesn’t Carmax, Carvana or any other purchaser need to be approximately 7-8% higher than where you are buying the replacement vehicle from in order for the sale to make sense? Otherwise, you lose out on the sales tax credit on the trade and you end up netting less money (in states that have a sales tax credit). I’d assume the replacement vehicle seller knows this too. What am I missing? Sure, there might be a little leverage with multiple offers, but not as much as one might think.
Logistically.. since Carvana and Carmax have access to a greater inventory, shouldn't they be able to execute a double transaction for most vehicles with slimmer margins? It seems like a dealer might be able to eek out a better deal on trade-ins for high production cars like f150s, rav4s etc.
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by ResearchMed »

Wwwdotcom wrote: Fri May 24, 2024 7:33 pm Supposedly carmax can offer a higher quote after you bring it in..

Is this correct, at least sometimes?

That is, if our car is really "nicer than average"(nicer that the category/model/age would suggest), we should bring it in and NOT get an online quote first?
I'm assuming that once they've given the "average online quote", they won't change it when/if the car is brought it for a "look"?

I did get a quote about 2 years ago. Would they anchor to that number, or is that likey to be in the dustbin by now?

RM
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Wwwdotcom
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by Wwwdotcom »

ResearchMed wrote: Fri May 24, 2024 8:52 pm
Wwwdotcom wrote: Fri May 24, 2024 7:33 pm Supposedly carmax can offer a higher quote after you bring it in..
Is this correct, at least sometimes?

That is, if our car is really "nicer than average"(nicer that the category/model/age would suggest), we should bring it in and NOT get an online quote first?
I'm assuming that once they've given the "average online quote", they won't change it when/if the car is brought it for a "look"?

I did get a quote about 2 years ago. Would they anchor to that number, or is that likey to be in the dustbin by now?

RM
I gathered this information from a random reddit post. The extent that I remember.. The person got an online quote from Carmax, drove the car in, and the Carmax agent voluntarily offered $500 more than the online quote because the car was in good shape. The poster was pleasantly surprised.
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by MGBMartin »

Just went through this a few hours ago with a car I wished to sell.
Looked up what dealers are selling the same car with similar mileage, they were around $13-16,000.
Looked at what the online ‘value my car’ sites said for trade in value, about $11-13,000.
Did the ‘instant offer for your car’ and results were mixed. Here’s what I got in no particular order…
CarMax offered a range of $5184 to $9980
KBB suggested $7614 and within seconds I was getting calls and texts from dealers
WeBuyAnyCar offered $6614
Carvana offered $9600

So, Carvana it was. I’ve got to say the process was super easy and once I’d uploaded documents pictures it took just a few minutes for the OK asking me to pick an appointment time to drop off or have them pickup. I chose for them to pick the car up which cost $160.
To be honest I thought the car value sites a little optimistic thinking maybe it’s a bit of a come on as they all have ‘Get an instant cash offer for your vehicle’ enticements; but, their proposed trade in value suggestions seemed in line with dealer prices accounting for profit.
I had in my mind I might get $10,000 for it and would be happy with that; any more and I’d be very happy.
$9600 is close enough.
I don’t recall Carvana asking much about condition but I did all the sites one after another and don’t remember who asked what.
It’s my understanding that Carvana stick to their agreed offer unless they find you really misrepresented the vehicle; I guess I’ll find out on Tuesday but there are not any major issues with the car.
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

wolf359 wrote: Mon Sep 18, 2023 10:06 am Too old for the dealers, so they'll just act as middlemen to salvage. With the shortage of cars, this might have changed for the last few years.
This is absolutely wrong. Watch Car Questions Answered on youtube. He does videos from an auction in South Carolina weekly and cars with 300k, 400k are selling there to used car dealers. The channel owner owns a used car dealer specializing in cars he sells for under $5000. He would buy your car. Dealers don't send anything to scrapyards. Everything goes to auction. Auctions have a non running section. My local pull a part junkyard has a section of cars they just got from auctions and typically, they have 200 cars there. They'll pull engines and then put them in the yard. Used car dealers also work with new car dealers. They'll come in once a week and take cars like yours. They'll do what's needed to get them going and sell them. Mostly high runner cars like Camry, Civic, Accord. These used car dealers might have 50 parts cars and your car might look great but need an engine and transmission. He'll pull those from his rusty, hard side hit Camry and make a good running, nice looking car.
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retireIn2020
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by retireIn2020 »

Wwwdotcom wrote: Fri May 24, 2024 7:33 pm
retireIn2020 wrote: Fri May 24, 2024 2:22 pm
Wwwdotcom wrote: Fri May 24, 2024 2:07 pm
retireIn2020 wrote: Wed May 22, 2024 1:41 pm The last car I sold, I used Kelley Blue Book cash offer. They send your request out to all the local dealers in your area.
The Dealers will start contacting you immediately, I let each of them know that I'm getting multiple quotes so they will give you their highest offer.
I my best offer was $6000 over Carmax. Super simple, dealer appraises your car, hands you a written offer with a copy of the check, if you accept, they will give you a check on the spot.

https://www.kbb.com/instant-cash-offer/ ... lsrc=aw.ds
Thanks for this tip. Did you have to drive to all the dealers for the appraisal? I would do that for an extra $6k, but my cars aren't even worth 6k..
LOL, yeah, they have to see the car, all local dealers though.
My comment sounds silly but Carvana/Carmax don't have to see the car for their quote. Supposedly carmax can offer a higher quote after you bring it in.. but on average I'm betting that it only matches Carvana after that is done. Its definitely nice to know there are a lot of options out there for people that don't want to deal with private party transactions.
My Carmax quote that I mentioned was at one of their local dealerships, not online. Yep those are even lower.
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by seawolf21 »

seawolf21 wrote: Fri May 24, 2024 12:02 am Recently sold Volvo XC90 to Carmax. Dealer lowball $15K (still less than carmax even as a trade-in sales tax credit). Carmax $18K.

Sure I could likely got more thru private party or shop it around to more dealers but Carmax was a fair offer and no hassle.
CarMax listed my old vehicle for $26K
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by InvisibleAerobar »

ResearchMed wrote: Fri May 24, 2024 8:52 pm
Wwwdotcom wrote: Fri May 24, 2024 7:33 pm Supposedly carmax can offer a higher quote after you bring it in..

Is this correct, at least sometimes?

That is, if our car is really "nicer than average"(nicer that the category/model/age would suggest), we should bring it in and NOT get an online quote first?
I'm assuming that once they've given the "average online quote", they won't change it when/if the car is brought it for a "look"?

I did get a quote about 2 years ago. Would they anchor to that number, or is that likey to be in the dustbin by now?

RM
Sorry that I'm responding late, but I can "sorta" confirm this.

Back in 2022, I had an initial offer for a 2011 V6 Camry (with two dented panels and the false ABS activation issue) for $8,800. But i hadn't yet lined up a replacement, so I let that offer expire. There's a rumor that Carmax will never have a subsequent offer exceeding what was originally offered. So a few weeks later, when I had a replacement car lined up, the official offer was now $7,300.

So I redeemed a car wash voucher at my local Toyota dealer, drove the car 110 miles to the town that had my replacement car (in mist/ drizzle condition), and went to the Carmax at the town after buying the replacement car. Carmax gave me $8,700, and the process took only 1.5 hours.

I don't know if I'd have received $9,300 had I brought in the car when initially received the $8,800 offer, but my anecdote kinda fits.
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by soretired »

Low ball offers. :annoyed

Went through Carmax & Carvana for offers on our 2008 Ford Escape, V6, 126K miles & in very good condition.
Carvana offered $600 and Carmax $1600. :mrgreen: Don't need to sell so will probably give it to our granddaughter after she gets her license.
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Miriam2
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by Miriam2 »

South Florida here. My son just sold his 2014 Toyota Rav4 XLE with 100,000 miles and all service records to CarMax for $8,000. His car was clean as new, in excellent condition - except for his recent front bumper, fender & headlight "issue" where he "accidentally" hit a pole. He "repaired" his front bumper & fender by putting them back on with duct tape. Looked pretty good :mrgreen:
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by alexbogle »

Carvana a year ago. They offered 12k, double what the dealer offered.

Everything went smoothly. They came by, started the car, left some device on it, gave us a check, then an hour later the car was gone.
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Gradient Descent
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by Gradient Descent »

soretired wrote: Tue Jul 09, 2024 11:21 pm Low ball offers. :annoyed

Went through Carmax & Carvana for offers on our 2008 Ford Escape, V6, 126K miles & in very good condition.
Carvana offered $600 and Carmax $1600. :mrgreen: Don't need to sell so will probably give it to our granddaughter after she gets her license.
In fairness, for a car that old, they’ll just send it to their auction house and see who will pay for it. Despite your assurances that the car is in very good condition, it’s hard for them to really know if there are serious underlying mechanical issues that aren’t immediately apparent during their 10 min inspection. The low price is accounting for risk/hassle.
stlrick
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by stlrick »

Traded in an Audi to buy a new Audi two months ago. Dealer gave me $1000 above Carmax.
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CardinalRule
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Re: Your experience selling a car to a dealer / CarMax / Carvana

Post by CardinalRule »

We were pretty happy with our sale to CarMax in October.

We were not buying a new car, just getting rid of a 2018 Mazda SUV located at our winter home with about 50,000 miles on it. CarMax honored the online quote we received and our experience at the CarMax location was pleasant and efficient.

The insurance and registration were due for the vehicle and it made sense not to garage it for another season. We will buy a 2024 when we return next winter. We deposited our check from CarMax and flew back to our primary residence the next day. :beer
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