Carmax - Carmax's offer on my Car. December 2013
I just wanted to give my 2 cents on my experience with CarMax in buying my used car.
I had a car that Kelly blue book listed at $9200 in Excellent condition for the miles and features.
I learned that using autotrader.com and submitting your car for sale through their site would give you a better offer. I did so, and got a pre-approved offer of $9400. I thought great, but before I brought my car to the dealership that honors that offer, I wanted to get Carmax to just give me their offer just to make sure I wasn't losing out.
The guy at carmax said right off the bat -- We don't give Kelly Blue Book value.. we will give Wholesale value. Mind you, this car was a 2006 Pontiac Solstice with 28,100 miles. 7+ years old, but with low mileage, and in great condition.
So I expected him to come back with $8100 or something. (My payoff was $8500 at the time.)
To my surprise, after 20 minutes he came back and said, we'll give you $10,000 for the car. I was surprised to say the least.
I said, I have another offer.. he asked what it was.. I told him.. and said, you've got a deal.
So, 10k for a KBB valued car of $9200 isn't bad, in fact it's good. I had literally 1 day to sell this car in order to buy another vehicle the next day (the timing was crucial here).
So I know this is for complaints, but this is a positive review in my personal CASE.
Just a tip -- if you need to sale your car -- Private party will almost always net you the most money -- if you need to get rid of it FAST and cannot wait for private party.. then shop around.
GO to autotrader.com and do their quote to sell your car. This will give you something to work with and will be honored by dozens of dealerships in your state.. usually a few close by.
Then, do what I did. Take it to carmax.. mention no offers.. and just let them give you an offer. If it's less,.. take the offer (it's good for a few days).. and take it to the dealership that will honor the autotrader offer.. sometimes these places will give you more than the autotrader automated offer.. INQUIRE about that. If they give you more money, take it. If not, you have the carmax offer to work with. If neither are good enough, well then you will need to figure out how to sell it privately.
IE: My car netted 10,000 -- I could have gotten 13-14k private party at best. Due to my circumstances, the 10k worked out well. But is obviously not the MOST money I could have made if I had time to sell it.
Also, you don't need to slave over your car.. But at least give it a wash, vacuum it and wipe the dash off. They say it doesn't matter, but trust me.. looks do matter. I had my car in pristine shape with the paint, wax, etc. A SUPER clean car leaves an impression regardless of what they say.
A dirty car leaves an impression that the owner didn't really care too much about the vehicle and perhaps other things were neglected like oil changes, maintenance, etc. Even if that's not true.
The car I sold needed new tires (which were 18" and super wide.. $1500-2000 a set.), AND was due for brakes.. so don't go spending a bunch of money on tires and such before you trade/sell the car.
Sorry it wasn't negative. And, carmax can and DOES screw many people over. I think it's all based on the current demand for the particular car at THAT time.