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View Full Version : Getting the most for your trade-in


NYEmomma
01-25-2012, 09:40 PM
Here's another car buying question for you guys. :goodvibes

I've got a 2007 Toyota Rav4 (base model, FWD, 40k miles, 3rd row seats & alloy/6-disc CD changer package).

We got it in April after our car was totaled in an accident (not our fault). We were in a major time crunch as we couldn't function w/o a car for too much longer, plus we didn't get a ton from our totaled vehicle so we didn't get a very awesome deal on the Rav4.

Now I'm having twins and we HAVE to turn-in the Rav4 for a minivan. We've done what research I know of to do (we like to be educated before we hit the car lots) and have priced our car as a trade-in on KBB, NADA & Edmund's. The trade-in value is right about between $13,000 - $14,000 with KBB on the high end and NADA on the low.

If we can get $13,500 out of the Rav4 because of our lack of equity (and lack of funds to add to it to make a bigger down payment), about all we can afford for a minivan is $13,000 - $14,000. With 2 new babies to take care of, we don't want to increase our monthly payments.

But ever single dealer we've been to (Toyota and non-Toyota), the most we've been offered for our vehicle is $11,000.

I just don't get it... the car is in great shape, no damage or wear on the inside or out and it's got really low miles. And all the price checking I've done for trade-in values, I've based it off of a car in "average" condition, so it's not like I'm assuming it's in "like new" condition.

Is it because we're looking for minivans that are less expensive than what we want to trade in???

What can I do about it? Is there anything *I* can do to increase the value of our trade-in? Believe me, we haggle. We spend hours at dealerships trying to get it to work, but we just can't with all they're willing to give us for the trade and no one is willing to budge on that number.

I'm so frustrated (doesn't help that I DON'T want to be buying a new car) with the whole process & am just at my wits end.

clh2
01-25-2012, 10:05 PM
Can you sell the RAV4 on your own?

NYEmomma
01-25-2012, 10:22 PM
Can you sell the RAV4 on your own?

We've got no experience with it and it seems awfully time & effort intensive... but we're starting to feel like it may be our only option.

I don't feel comfortable waiting past the beginning of May without getting a minivan so I suppose if we're going to go that route, we should probably get the ball rolling soon? :confused3

kt_mom
01-25-2012, 10:24 PM
Is it possible that you aren't comparing apples to apples on the trade value? Maybe its a difference in the package such as SL or SE or however RAV4's are set up. Or maybe the miles or something.

The best way to get the most out of your trade is to sell it yourself. Often times a dealership will "show" you more for your trade, but in reality they are rolling the difference into your new purchase.

If you want to have the most control over your purchase, don't go in with a trade and get your own financing.

It could be that your particular car is not in high demand in your area and the dealers feel it would be difficult to move and so have to come in low on the trade offer. Or their idea of the condition is different than yours. It could be any number of different things.

kt_mom
01-25-2012, 10:27 PM
We've got no experience with it and it seems awfully time & effort intensive... but we're starting to feel like it may be our only option.

I don't feel comfortable waiting past the beginning of May without getting a minivan so I suppose if we're going to go that route, we should probably get the ball rolling soon? :confused3

It's not too hard to sell it yourself. I sold my own car in college and got more than anyone thought I would.

Try listing it on auto trader online. My DH works in a dealership but when we want to sell one of our own cars our self we list it on there. We've had good luck with that and its not too hard.

Look around on there to get an idea about how to list it. Maybe while you're on there you'll find a good deal on a mini van as well. We've also bought several cars from there and had great luck.

Swimalie
01-26-2012, 07:27 AM
Post the Rav-4 on craigslist with pictures and a complete description. I bet you will get an offer fast. But be warned, don't take a check, cash only and meet them in a public place for a test drive.

We have sold our last 2 cars this way and both sold for way more than any dealer would give us. Our CR-V was sold this way in June, the day after we bought our new car. CarMax offered us $3500. We sold it to a nice guy for $5000.

ssawka
01-26-2012, 08:20 AM
Do you have a CarMax nearby? They will offer you a fair deal, not a fantastic deal, but a fair deal. They have always consistantly offered me more than the dealers. When we are in the market for a new car, I first take the car to CarMax and get an offer. Their offer is good for 7 days. We then head out to the dealers, and I ask them to write up a quote with and without the trade in. If they don't offer me as much as CarMax, I take the car to CarMax. One thing to watch out for though is the dealer's math. I found them trying to swindle me out of more $ using this method, but fortunately I'm pretty good with numbers, so I can usually catch these things fairly quickly.

teCh0010
01-26-2012, 09:12 AM
That number is negotiable.

Go in with your carmax offer and ask them to match.

Car dealers will try and change multiple numbers at the same time when negotiating. They will drag the profit from one area of the deal to another. You have to make them negotiate one area at a time.

My process is to go in and test drive and pick out the car, then leave without sitting down in the office. I negotiate a firm price excluding ttl over the phone. If they ask you about trade tell them maybe. Go ahead and ask about the doc fee at this point, get them to give you a price that factors in the doc fee. Get them to email you the price +ttl price before you go back up there.

Then go in with your trade and the carmax number and start in on the trade. There is a tax advantage in most states by trading in, but if they wont get close go to carmax.

teCh0010
01-26-2012, 09:18 AM
One thing I forgot, they price by black book trade in. This price is updated weekly based on regional auction prices and can be less then the NADA trade in. they won't go over this number unless they are making it up in the price of the car.

Maybe someone on here has access to black book or one of the auction networks and can give you the number.

TwinPrincessMama
01-26-2012, 01:33 PM
One thing I forgot, they price by black book trade in. This price is updated weekly based on regional auction prices and can be less then the NADA trade in. they won't go over this number unless they are making it up in the price of the car.

Maybe someone on here has access to black book or one of the auction networks and can give you the number.

I'm going 2nd carmax if you want to sell the rav4. But it sounds like you don't actually want a mini-van. I'm going to assume the only child in the car right now is your DD and then the twins will be added so you need 3 child seats.

The Sunshine Radians are convertible car seats that many people in my mom's club use due to their narrow size. You should be able to fit 2 graco snugrides and 1 sunshine radian or 3 sunshine radians (they start at 5lbs so the babies can go in there) in the back seat of most cars.

Many babies stores will allow you to try it out your car to see if they fit.

NYEmomma
01-26-2012, 03:46 PM
Thanks everyone for your responses! It's given me a lot more to think about so I appreciate your insight.

I'm going 2nd carmax if you want to sell the rav4. But it sounds like you don't actually want a mini-van. I'm going to assume the only child in the car right now is your DD and then the twins will be added so you need 3 child seats.

The Sunshine Radians are convertible car seats that many people in my mom's club use due to their narrow size. You should be able to fit 2 graco snugrides and 1 sunshine radian or 3 sunshine radians (they start at 5lbs so the babies can go in there) in the back seat of most cars.

Many babies stores will allow you to try it out your car to see if they fit.

Nooooo... I definitely do NOT want a minivan. But after weighing all of our options, it seems like the smartest way to go. I've just been telling myself that I won't be driving a minivan the rest of my life. :) In a Rav4 there's no way to fit ANY car seats 3 across (well, it's physically possible, but not safe or recommended) because of the configuration of the seatbelts in the middle seat. So we're going to have to buy a new vehicle no matter what.

I weighed my options between a wider SUV and going 3 across with the Radians, getting a 3-row SUV & getting a minivan. Even though I don't like it, it makes the most sense to go with the minivan. The kids will be happier with their own space instead of being in one row together & it's easier for me to get around inside a minivan than a 3-row SUV. Plus the gas mileage in a minivan is better. Oh, and the power sliding doors... I told DH that my only condition of getting a minivan was the sucker had better have power doors. :)

Post the Rav-4 on craigslist with pictures and a complete description. I bet you will get an offer fast. But be warned, don't take a check, cash only and meet them in a public place for a test drive.

We have sold our last 2 cars this way and both sold for way more than any dealer would give us. Our CR-V was sold this way in June, the day after we bought our new car. CarMax offered us $3500. We sold it to a nice guy for $5000.

This is where I get confused with private sales via CL or the classifieds or what have you... how do you go about a transaction with a more expensive vehicle? If we were to sell it on CL we'd probably list it somewhere around $15,000 (I'm guessing here). How do you complete a transaction with that kind of money involved? Surely no one's going to offer to give (or expect me to accept) $15,000 in cold, hard cash. :confused3

And how do taxes work out with that? As the seller, am I responsible for paying any kind of taxes at the time or at the end of the year come tax time?

Do you have a CarMax nearby? They will offer you a fair deal, not a fantastic deal, but a fair deal. They have always consistantly offered me more than the dealers. When we are in the market for a new car, I first take the car to CarMax and get an offer. Their offer is good for 7 days. We then head out to the dealers, and I ask them to write up a quote with and without the trade in. If they don't offer me as much as CarMax, I take the car to CarMax. One thing to watch out for though is the dealer's math. I found them trying to swindle me out of more $ using this method, but fortunately I'm pretty good with numbers, so I can usually catch these things fairly quickly.

I've heard good things about CarMax but the closest one to us is 2 hours away. Do you happen to have any idea how they determine their offers (what they're based on)?? I'd be willing to go down there if I knew we'd be able to accept what they offered, but then again we never expected to only be offered $11,000 at the dealers around here so I don't really know what to expect anymore.

Thankfully DH is really good with math & bargaining and knows not to bargain based off of monthly payments and things like that... but this time around, we just can't get the math to work no matter what we do. :teacher:

Thanks again, everyone!

mjkacmom
01-26-2012, 04:24 PM
You will really appreciate a minivan with twins, and getting them buckled in! I thought there was no wiggle room with a trade in over 5 years old? It's been a long time since I bought a new van!

delmar411
01-26-2012, 06:55 PM
you don't pay taxes on selling your car. You're selling at a loss so it's a loss not a gain. The buyer will pay sales tax when they register it.

With the private sale you could go to the bank with them to get a bank check. For that much money, that's what I would do. Esp since they may need to have a car loan. Physically go in the bank with them while they get the money. That way you know it's a legit check.

I don't think the dealership's issue is the cost of the minivan vs the cost of the Rav4. We traded in our truck for a minivan and walked away with our minivan and a $2k check since our truck was worth more than the van. So it's definitely possible to trade in something worth more than the car you are looking at.

ssawka
01-26-2012, 07:01 PM
I've heard good things about CarMax but the closest one to us is 2 hours away. Do you happen to have any idea how they determine their offers (what they're based on)?? I'd be willing to go down there if I knew we'd be able to accept what they offered, but then again we never expected to only be offered $11,000 at the dealers around here so I don't really know what to expect anymore.

Thankfully DH is really good with math & bargaining and knows not to bargain based off of monthly payments and things like that... but this time around, we just can't get the math to work no matter what we do. :teacher:

Thanks again, everyone!

I'm not really sure how they come up with their amount, but they will take the vehicle for a test drive and consider the demand for your particular car. I've generally found their offers to be somewhere between the NADA wholesale and private sale values. The best part is that since they will honor the offer for 7 days, you will have time to try to sell it yourself or have it considered for a trade in. Although, for a 2 hour drive it might not be worthwhile to go back.