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Old 12-14-2019, 06:00 PM
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trade-in value

I've not traded in a car before, I'm wondering how much wiggle room there is on a trade-in appraisal. It's a BMW, but it's 5-6 years old, so I'm assuming it's just going to auction.

Obviously, everything is always negotiable, but assume independent of the car being bought.

I don't need the trade-in, but it's convenient. If it's not worth the effort to get a better price, I can always sell private party...

Thanks!
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Old 12-14-2019, 06:53 PM
jjrandorin jjrandorin is offline
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start here : https://www.kbb.com/

Note for while you are looking... no used car is in "excellent" condition as it relates to something like KBB Trade in value. How much "wiggle room" there is depends on what they offered you, and what the car is actually going for.
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Old 12-14-2019, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jjrandorin View Post
Note for while you are looking... no used car is in "excellent" condition as it relates to something like KBB Trade in value. How much "wiggle room" there is depends on what they offered you, and what the car is actually going for.
Right, I get that, but KBB doesn't list auction prices. Let's say KBB indicates the car in the condition I believe is accurate has a trade-in value of $16K and they offered $15K. If they really think it's worth $15K based on their appraisal, they're not going to budge. If they offered $15K because they think it'll go for auction at $17K and they want some profit, then there's room to negotiate (ignoring cost to prep the vehicle).

I guess my question is whether trade-in appraisals are typically at or near break-even, or if they try to lowball the appraisal on purpose. Are (to be auctioned) trade-ins a profit center, or something they do to encourage sales where they actually profit?

Last edited by pagefault; 12-14-2019 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 12-14-2019, 10:18 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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To OP, nada seems to be close to auction prices. Better yet, ask CA to show u the black book/Manheim prices around your zip code.
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Old 12-15-2019, 07:15 AM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is offline
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Originally Posted by pagefault View Post
I've not traded in a car before, I'm wondering how much wiggle room there is on a trade-in appraisal. It's a BMW, but it's 5-6 years old, so I'm assuming it's just going to auction.

Obviously, everything is always negotiable, but assume independent of the car being bought.

I don't need the trade-in, but it's convenient. If it's not worth the effort to get a better price, I can always sell private party...

Thanks!
You're sort of in the dead zone (5-6 years) for selling a used BMW privately. It's probably worth around $20k, and selling $20k cars privately is a big PIA. You'll get a lot of "dreamers and schemers," a few Nigerian princes, and occasionally a serial killer.

The trick to selling a used car privately is to take good care of it to start with, and then sell it through networking. I've sold a dozen cars in my life. Nine of them went to friends, family, neighbors, or coworkers.

Oddly, the car I had the most difficulty selling was an E46 M3. But, once I put it on BMWCCA's website classified ads I got 200 to 300 inquiries. The car sold in twelve hours, and it only took that long because I was sleeping for nine of those hours. The buyer's now on the waiting list for my 535i.
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:12 AM
1968BMW2800 1968BMW2800 is offline
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Carmax has pricing down to a science. They will give you a cash offer -- entire process of appraisal and offer usually takes less than an hour. Having a hard quote from CarMax might help you at the dealer should you trade. KBB can connect you with a local dealer who, supposedly, will buy your car for the KBB value, but, as jj points out, used cars, in the eye of the buying dealer, are never in as good condition as the seller thinks. And the KBB thing is just a lead generator for car dealers.

Having said all that, if you are getting another BMW, then your dealer should be highly motivated to put together a total package that is compelling. The blend of discount, valuation of the trade, incentives, and whatever else blends into the mix might just result in the best of all possible worlds without the hassle.

My advice would be, as always, to pencil out a complete deal that will work for you and give your dealer the opportunity to make you happy.

Best of luck.
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:18 AM
1968BMW2800 1968BMW2800 is offline
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Another thought regarding used cars.

The poet Frost said, "Take care to sell your horse before it dies. The art of life is passing losses on." Wise words.

When I'm done with a vehicle, I'm looking to pass the liability on to someone else who is in a position to handle it. The dealer is fully-equipped to manage that liability.

The last thing I want to do is sell my car to an excited private buyer, only to have a major repair pop up. And I don't want to take anyone for a test drive, ever.

Car dealers do this every day. Take the hit and let them do what they're good at. IMHO.
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:21 AM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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Local Tesla stores actually match(or beats $500 at best) carmax's bimmer appraisals, which can beat trade offers from BMW dealers. There are also online car buying startups that price close to carmax too.

Also consider the price difference of carmax and private sales, and decide if that delta justifies the efforts needed for private sales.
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:28 AM
1968BMW2800 1968BMW2800 is offline
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Then there was the time back in 1997 when the GMC dealer from whom I purchased a new truck told me I could easily get another grand if I sold my Honda wagon privately instead of trading it in. I ran a $30 ad, and met the prospective buyer at the GMC dealer's lot because I didn't want anyone coming to my house or place of business. The deal was struck, and, as the GMC dealer had predicted, I was up an extra thousand over the trade-in offer.

I was demonstrating the shock sensor alarm to the new buyer, but, instead of hitting the metal windshield frame with the palm of my hand, I hit the windshield, which immediately cracked. So I was now $500 ahead of the trade and got to watch the GMC sales staff doubled over in laughter. And I had to go take care of the title change.

About six weeks later I received a toll lane violation notice in the mail. The buyer had driven in the toll lane without a transponder. I had to send the ticketing agency copies of the sales record and transfer of liability which, fortunately, was time stamped indicating I had relinquished title about an hour prior to the toll lane violation.

Just sayin'.
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:34 AM
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pagefault pagefault is offline
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Originally Posted by 1968BMW2800 View Post
Another thought regarding used cars.

The poet Frost said, "Take care to sell your horse before it dies. The art of life is passing losses on." Wise words.

When I'm done with a vehicle, I'm looking to pass the liability on to someone else who is in a position to handle it. The dealer is fully-equipped to manage that liability.

The last thing I want to do is sell my car to an excited private buyer, only to have a major repair pop up. And I don't want to take anyone for a test drive, ever.

Car dealers do this every day. Take the hit and let them do what they're good at. IMHO.
Yeah, I get it. I'm not questioning the fact that the trade-in value is far lower than private party, you're paying them to take over the hassle and liability. I want a good deal all around, I just wish there was a bit more transparency in the process. Trade-in also benefits from a sales tax reduction, but the salespeople try to spin that like it's something they're giving you, which makes it feel like they're actually reducing their offer because they can claim that.
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by 1968BMW2800 View Post
About six weeks later I received a toll lane violation notice in the mail. The buyer had driven in the toll lane without a transponder. I had to send the ticketing agency copies of the sales record and transfer of liability which, fortunately, was time stamped indicating I had relinquished title about an hour prior to the toll lane violation.
Believe it or not, the same thing happened to my wife, only difference is she had traded in her car, and I guess the dealer hadn't sorted it out.

She was able to prove that she had sold the car prior to the violation as well, but just goes to show you even a trade-in can still be a hassle.
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:39 AM
1968BMW2800 1968BMW2800 is offline
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Yeah, I get it. I'm not questioning the fact that the trade-in value is far lower than private party, you're paying them to take over the hassle and liability. I want a good deal all around, I just wish there was a bit more transparency in the process. Trade-in also benefits from a sales tax reduction, but the salespeople try to spin that like it's something they're giving you, which makes it feel like they're actually reducing their offer because they can claim that.
Sounds like you've got your eyes wide open and will do just fine.

The secret to any good car deal is to keep track of all the moving parts and know all the numbers.

The absence of transparency can be mitigated by simply asking for whatever you need to know. You may not always receive truthful answers, but car dealers gear their process to discouraging thoughtful inquiry.

I have learned to not let the process move forward until my questions are answered. And I take it upon myself to have most of the information I require prior to setting foot in the dealer's showroom.
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:43 AM
jjrandorin jjrandorin is offline
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Yeah, I get it. I'm not questioning the fact that the trade-in value is far lower than private party, you're paying them to take over the hassle and liability. I want a good deal all around, I just wish there was a bit more transparency in the process. Trade-in also benefits from a sales tax reduction, but the salespeople try to spin that like it's something they're giving you, which makes it feel like they're actually reducing their offer because they can claim that.
They likely are reducing their offer because of that, if you live in a state that allows trade in to offset taxes on the new car. California is not such a state so I have no experience with that. If I were running a BMW dealership, I would definitely do that, however. You know the person is getting it, so you have an advantage there.

A trade in complicates the deal on a new car, if only because it will be lumped together, and it becomes harder to see whats actually happening on the new car.

One thing we know dealers know however, is they have a good idea of what the car is worth (used car) and what they will likely (or wont) do with it. They also know that one of the surest ways to make someone mad is to extremely lowball the trade in. Its better for them to over value the trade, and take it back somehow out of the new deal.

Many people have an inflated view of what their car is worth, and giving them close to what they "want" can grease the wheels on getting the new car purchase done.

No matter how it looks on the paperwork, mentallly, separate the two deals. I would get a valuation from carmax, as they will quote you a no hassle price, and you will get an indea of what a dealer who is not selling you a car would offer you. Most times (especially if the dealer is going to send the car to auction) they dont care where you sell it. They DO feel like they are doing you a favor regarding the taxes, so price the trade in price accordingly.
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by 1968BMW2800 View Post
Carmax has pricing down to a science. They will give you a cash offer -- entire process of appraisal and offer usually takes less than an hour.
This. I believe you can also get a quote from Carvanna without ever having to leave your couch.

Man, I don't miss this. All the folks who build endless spreadsheets to prove that buying is "better" than leasing always ignore the anxiety and wasted time involved in selling / trading in a car you own. (Even if they don't value their own time at more than minimum wage, they should add a column to their spreadsheet and factor it in).
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Old 12-15-2019, 11:35 AM
1968BMW2800 1968BMW2800 is offline
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This. I believe you can also get a quote from Carvanna without ever having to leave your couch.

Man, I don't miss this. All the folks who build endless spreadsheets to prove that buying is "better" than leasing always ignore the anxiety and wasted time involved in selling / trading in a car you own. (Even if they don't value their own time at more than minimum wage, they should add a column to their spreadsheet and factor it in).
++++

Lease, rinse, repeat. We're gonna give the dealers all our money anyway, so why not sniff the new car smell every three years.

Except for 'Putzer, Da King of Da Spreadsheet! Forever and always.
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Old 12-15-2019, 01:48 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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Yeah, I get it. I'm not questioning the fact that the trade-in value is far lower than private party, you're paying them to take over the hassle and liability. I want a good deal all around, I just wish there was a bit more transparency in the process. Trade-in also benefits from a sales tax reduction, but the salespeople try to spin that like it's something they're giving you, which makes it feel like they're actually reducing their offer because they can claim that.
Talking about hassle and liability, one of E39 owners in our group buy (from almost 2 decades ago!) got a trade from a local dealer that was $5k below kbb private good/excellent condition. The offer was probably close to or below nada rough trade.

Most of us thought he got ripped off, except himself. 2 weeks later he told us that the car was sold at $3k above trade, after the dealer put $2.5k(at dealer's internal cost?) to "rehab" the car, to make $500.

He said the car had intermittent CEL(needed valnos and PCV retrofit), all rotors had squeaks, steering wheel shimmy from busted control arm bushings, thermostat leak, and a few other issues. Also one of the window regulators also busted, and shift lever stuck to right, during a customer test drive.

It was a surprise that the dealer did not send the car straight to auction, my guess was that the above laundry list was gradually uncovered after dealer started to rehab, and dealer did not want to lose the suck costs.
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Old 12-15-2019, 04:48 PM
mauicoug mauicoug is offline
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The dealer looks at both the sell and trade in as two separate deals. They will try to make money on both sides. However, they always present it to you as one deal. I wouldn't worry about auction rates, the KBB trade in number is going to be pretty close. Remember you have the power, know both sides of your deal, before you step foot in the dealer. Get up and walk out, if they won't meet your numbers. If they can, they will.....
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Old 12-15-2019, 04:57 PM
kpytoi9 kpytoi9 is offline
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whats the car in question? I am sure one of the members can run a manheim price for you so you have some basis to go off.
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Old 12-15-2019, 06:34 PM
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At least in the N.Y. area, dealers don't use KBB they use Galves to value used car appraisals. Galves numbers are usually $2-3k lower than KBB and reflect more true market value for a trade. Also in NY you get the sales tax credited for your trade (only pay tax on the difference, not the whole transaction) unless it's a lease.
When I traded my 2014 535dx to my friend's dealership they offered me $1200 over their initial offer, plus the sales tax credit which netted me just over $2k more..plus I got my Etron for net $500 over invoice when it first came out.

Get a couple of opinions on your trade. Knowledge is a powerful tool.
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Old 12-16-2019, 07:13 AM
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greginchi greginchi is offline
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I think the best way to gauge value is to look up cars similar to yours on cars.com or autotrader, etc. to see what private parties are selling for.
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Old 12-16-2019, 02:44 PM
1968BMW2800 1968BMW2800 is offline
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I think the best way to gauge value is to look up cars similar to yours on cars.com or autotrader, etc. to see what private parties are selling for.
To see what private parties are selling for or to see what private parties are asking for?
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Old 12-16-2019, 02:48 PM
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To see what private parties are selling for or to see what private parties are asking for?
Well, in the past I have noted asking prices and check back over the days to see what has moved...not exact but can at least give a range where most are listed and see if they disappear...and obviously at a price less than listed.
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Old 12-16-2019, 04:30 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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To see what private parties are selling for or to see what private parties are asking for?
Both.
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Old 12-17-2019, 06:16 AM
BenF12400 BenF12400 is offline
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Re:Carvanna

We tried the Carvanna online quote several months ago when we got rid of our 2007 Yukon Denali. Their offer was $6200. We took it to Carmax (vehicle had 130,000 miles on it and needed A/C work) and they bought it for over $3000 more. I guess those Carvanna auto vending machines are costly to run (there's one near us).
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Old 12-19-2019, 01:50 PM
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We tried the Carvanna online quote several months ago when we got rid of our 2007 Yukon Denali. Their offer was $6200. We took it to Carmax (vehicle had 130,000 miles on it and needed A/C work) and they bought it for over $3000 more. I guess those Carvanna auto vending machines are costly to run (there's one near us).



No laughing matter, I have always found Carmax to be a great source to offload trades for a solid (reasonable) figure.
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