Q: My bank offers a car buying service and a friend of mine said he always uses a broker, obviously you want me to go to your dealer but can you explain which would be a better deal?
Q: Can I do better selling my car on my own or trading it in?
A: Wow, tough call to make. Each situation is of course different, no thats not the beginning of a cop out... There are so many things to consider; do you owe money on the vehicle, do you have the time to spend showing it to potenial buyers, is it clean enough to display and be worth top dollar? There are many more aspects but for the sake of brievity I can only adress a few here, most folks these days are wanting to trade long before the end of the finance term so there is money still owed. Remember that the loan balence is not related to the value of the vehicle itself, almost all of the time vehicles will depreciate at a much faster rate than the loan is paid down by making normal payments. When you bring a vehicle to trade we (dealers) look at many things to asses its value to the dealer, things like Kelly Blue Book, Manhiem Auction reports and others. Some folks look online and see a certain value listed for a vehicle and then expect that the dealer should adhere to that number, most of the time this does not happen. Its impossible to simply plug in info about your vehicle and get a real number for its value, remembering that real value is only what some one will actually pay the value can only be found after an in person inspection/appraisel. Things looked at include tire wear, dents dings and scratches, interior condition and proper operation of all equipment. Its very easy to forget the stains on the carpet or that lil ding you got at the supermarket when trying to get a top dollar trade in value, I see it all the time! After the vehicle has been inspected most dealer used car managers will then look at recent auction reports to see what that year, make and model has sold for there. If I see a vehicle just like the one I have just appraised just sold for say $10,000.00 last week its a tough call to come close to the customers request for $15,000.00 trade in value. Kelly is a great source of info but it is info mostly used for loan values when financing vehicles, Kelly does not buy or sell vehicles. Auctions sell vehicles, and that is what a dealer tries to stay in line with in most situations. As the trade in is only one piece of the puzzle ofetn times its best to wait and see the whole picture when all the pieces are put together, do the payments on the new vehicle make sense to you with the trade in amount offered? If they do then that is usually a better thing to look at because after all its what you will be seeing each month!
Selling your vehicle yourself is an option and lots of folks try it. Private sales will generally bring higher sale prices however there are some things to consider. If you still owe on the vehicle can you pay the difference between the loan balence and what you sell the vehicle for? You will have to in order to payoff the loan and get title to the new owner, in this case you can look at what it might cost you out of pocket in cash and what the dealer would roll into your next loan, does a little bit highre payment make more sense than spending money on a car you wont have any more? Once you decide to sell it most people will advertise it in some way, Auto Trader is a popular option for this as they are probably the most recognized name in used car sales. Is the vehicle ready to show to buyers or is it full of your crap? A really good detail can do wonders for its presentation and actually get better results, can you afford to have it done professionally and can you keep it fairly clean until it sells? Are you ready to answer the phone at all hours and navigate the hundreds of callers questions about the miles, condition, tires, radio ect? When a buyer does come to look at it do keep in mind that your a car salesperson now and be ready to handle the lower than asking for offers, its called negotiating! Just because you slap a price on the window, make it clean and pretty and think its worth your price doesn mean some one will automatically pay it! Believe me, I KNOW! In the end with some investment of time and effort and maybe even a little cash you can sometimes do better than what a dealer might offer. Then again, now you have to start the whole thing over again when you go out to get your new car! Before you commit to either do your homework, see what similar vehicles are selling for online and also see what the whole sale values are, only then can you see what your options are for your self and then know what is the best move for you. If you are still baffled, email me and I can help!
Q: Why is it that each time I purchase a vehicle it seems like everyone I know is suddenly some kind of consumer advocate or knows a guy that totaly could have got me a 'better deal'? How do I know I did get a deal deal other than trusting you when you say so?.
A: Well, how can I say this...... ok, here goes. The answer is simple, there is no way to tell someone else that you got a good deal because a good deal is not a number, not a price, not a payment or trade in amount, no, not an interest rate either. Its actually only a feeling, do you like the car you bought, do you feel the payment is affordable? If so, then yes you got a good deal and no one can tell you otherwise although there is never a shortage of those willing to try! I have known many customers that purchased vehicles outside of their budget and later realized they bit off more than they could chew, they initially got a good deal but they ended up unhappy with their decision later on. I cant tell you how many people will call me and tell me all the info about the car they just bought, the price they got the salesperson down to, the payments they negotiated, the really low interest rate they bargained for and then ask me if they got a good deal or not. I usually say the same thing each time, 'it sounds like a good deal to me...' Who am I to say what a good deal is to them, their needs and their budget?? A cop out you say? More a statement of realization that a good deal is perception my friend, its all depends on your own point of view. There will always be those that 'got a buddy that could have got you a better deal' , and those that 'know all about how to buy a car', but remember this one thing. If you only played chess once every 3-5 years, could you really hold your own against someone that plays all day every day? A good deal can be had by anyone, without hassle or arm wrestling, do your homework, spend some time researching and arm yourself with good, solid information before you rush into what can sometimes be an emotional decision, dont get caught up in the 'new and shiney' and end up over your head and you will find yourself with a good deal.