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Carvana/CarMax....buying car on-line

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Anyone bought a car on-line (other than eBay)?  I had to replace mine recently and went to the local CarMax lot.  I was looking at the Chrysler 300S and all the cars on the lot looked like they took a shortcut through the shrubs and badly scratched on both sides!  I can buy on-line and get it shipped to the local CarMax but their version of great condition and mine didn't line up.  Left there and went to a local, well respected dealership (whom I've bought from before) to look at a 300S in bright blue, again in 'excellent condition' per their on-line website.  Apparently the previous owners were the Duke boys as there was a huge dent in the rocker panel that it cause the front drivers side vendor to bow outward.

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I have been to Carmax and found their prices to be high and like most places want your trade for next to nothing.

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19 minutes ago, cobraman said:

I have been to Carmax and found their prices to be high and like most places want your trade for next to nothing.

So...typical used car dealer.😜The wife was curious about them too. I’ve figured with their advertising overhead they weren’t the best bargain in town.

Edited by JohnU
Clarity

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I could be wrong, but it seems like Carmax and Carvana are aimed at 20/30 something hipsters who don't have the" time" or interest to buy the "old fashioned" way. I find the commercials annoying and I can't see how there is any way it isn't more costly. But I find myself becoming more of a curmudgeon by the day, so maybe it's just me.....😐

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I found my 2017 Chrysler 300s on the Carguru website. The listing showed that the car was at a local used car dealership. I drove the 40 miles to test drive it, and ended up driving it home that day. Next time I'm in the market for a vehicle, I'll try Carguru first.

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4 hours ago, larman said:

 But I find myself becoming more of a curmudgeon by the day, so maybe it's just me.....😐

Larry it is not just you. Everyone wants you to join their points club or down load an app. So sick of it. 

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Just recently drove by my local low-inventory Ford dealer and saw a really nice F-150 that was begging me to stop and look at it.  Except for the factory steel wheels and no Sirius/XM radio it was pretty much what I wanted.  I should be able to find a good set of aluminum wheels at a wrecking yard for a reasonable price (finger-crossed) and may consider changing out the radio.  Anyway, I went back the next day with the title of my 2010 Ranger in hand and drove in in the 150.  They are a local dealer and have been in business since before WWII, of course they have been almost closed by the super-dealers, but they still deal honestly and made what I thought was an excellent deal.  As an aside, a friend of mine said he saw me in my Ranger driving through town a couple days after my trade; guess it didn't remain on the lot very long.  IMHO the best deals on used cars are still made with local dealers, and yes I have heard the stories of the vast difference in trade-in and the gold standard at CARMAX.

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37 minutes ago, TarheelRick said:

Just recently drove by my local low-inventory Ford dealer and saw a really nice F-150 that was begging me to stop and look at it.  Except for the factory steel wheels and no Sirius/XM radio it was pretty much what I wanted.  I should be able to find a good set of aluminum wheels at a wrecking yard for a reasonable price (finger-crossed) and may consider changing out the radio.  Anyway, I went back the next day with the title of my 2010 Ranger in hand and drove in in the 150.  They are a local dealer and have been in business since before WWII, of course they have been almost closed by the super-dealers, but they still deal honestly and made what I thought was an excellent deal.  As an aside, a friend of mine said he saw me in my Ranger driving through town a couple days after my trade; guess it didn't remain on the lot very long.  IMHO the best deals on used cars are still made with local dealers, and yes I have heard the stories of the vast difference in trade-in and the gold standard at CARMAX.

When you get reedy to do something about the Sirius radio you might check and see what it would cost to add just the Sirius and not change out the whole radio. Before the Sirius radio option became common place on new cars I added it to several of our own cars.  The kit I would get would have all of the connecters to add it to your present radio and included a dedicated antenna and several mounting options.  

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Most dealers recon the used cars to at least look as good as possible and if they're going to short cut the recon expenses it would be in the mechanical area. I know every area does things a little different, but even the "Pot Lots", "Buy here pay here", type lots around here usually touch up any obvious paint problems. A local new car dealer has sold us 4 of our last 5 cars. The 5th car was a model that they didn't stock normally so it was purchased from another dealer that is even closer to our home. The regular dealer had an outstanding service department and were always enjoyable to deal with. A couple of years ago the long time owner retired and under the new ownership the service department has suffered horribly to the point I will not take my car there anymore. I it wasn't for the particular Salesman I wouldn't have bought our last car there either. The point is this dealership used to offer late model cars and truck as well as a few older models but in perfect condition unlike now.  I would consider looking at private party used cars in that you can maybe get an idea of how the used car had been maintained.    

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I'm in the business, I run the leasing division for a vehicle leasing, sales, and rental company here in Canada. So I deal daily with used vehicles, trades, lease returns, new vehicles, etc. 

I would almost never buy a car online. If I can't physically go and check it out, I generally stay away. Now having said that, I have bought online, and a lot of my clients buy online, and never meet me in person.

If you are buying online, demand the following: Detailed pics, and lots of them. CarFax or CarProof report. Make sure it's recent. Recent full mechanical inspections, AND invoices proving that work has been done and deficiencies have been rectified. Reputable places will offer a used warranty on their vehicles. Honestly, though, it's still a lot of buyer beware. I'm not sure how consumer protection works in the US, but in Canada it's all over the place. Here in Alberta, we have a regulatory board called AMVIC. A business CANNOT sell a vehicle of any kind without having an AMVIC licence, inspections, etc. All salespeople must be AMVIC certified and registered. And all the documentation has to be signed off by the dealer and the purchaser, acknowledging issues and condition. Massive fines and potential police involvement for non-compliance.

If a dealer or individual won't provide an inspection, or balks at the idea, just walk away.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, iamsuperdan said:

 

I'm in the business, I run the leasing division for a vehicle leasing, sales, and rental company here in Canada. So I deal daily with used vehicles, trades, lease returns, new vehicles, etc. 

I would almost never buy a car online. If I can't physically go and check it out, I generally stay away. Now having said that, I have bought online, and a lot of my clients buy online, and never meet me in person.

If you are buying online, demand the following: Detailed pics, and lots of them. CarFax or CarProof report. Make sure it's recent. Recent full mechanical inspections, AND invoices proving that work has been done and deficiencies have been rectified. Reputable places will offer a used warranty on their vehicles. Honestly, though, it's still a lot of buyer beware. I'm not sure how consumer protection works in the US, but in Canada it's all over the place. Here in Alberta, we have a regulatory board called AMVIC. A business CANNOT sell a vehicle of any kind without having an AMVIC licence, inspections, etc. All salespeople must be AMVIC certified and registered. And all the documentation has to be signed off by the dealer and the purchaser, acknowledging issues and condition. Massive fines and potential police involvement for non-compliance.

If a dealer or individual won't provide an inspection, or balks at the idea, just walk away.

 

 

Great advice. There are honest dealers out there, it just seems harder to find them anymore. 

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I have found the CarMax, Carvana, Auto Sense and we have Auto Lenders here in PA/NJ are chains that focus on selling “as good as new” guaranteed used cars to people who are afraid of cars for near new car prices! Seriously for their no haggle high prices you could probably buy a new one if you negotiate well. Add in the zero percent interest incentives on new cars and you would make out. 

I have bought cars off eBay and Craig’s List, but used these sources like classified ads.. I went and saw cars and negotiated in person. 
 

 

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When. I bought my van I sold my car in the local paper. Sold it the day the paper came out.

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Depends on the vehicle totally.

I've bought vehicles sight unseen before. But those are project vehicles, and I'm fully expecting issues and repairs. For a daily? Not a chance would I risk it.

But when looking at a vehicle, I don't need much time at all. A few months ago, when I bought my 99 Tahoe, it took me all of about 10 minutes to give it a once over, mentally itemize the potential issues, make an offer, and drive it home. And other than a leaky AC line, I've had no surprises.

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I purchased a Toyota Sienna Minivan in June from Carmax. It was a decent experience. I would recommend them. They had to pull my van from the Carmax in West Covina (about 120 miles away) I found what I wanted by searching their site. I was trying to get out of a lease deal before it was up. They handled all the paperwork for getting out of the lease.

As far as pricing, I paid a price comparable to the local dealerships. I didn't score a Knock-Out Deal, but I was not ripped off either. I paid about what I'd budgeted and got a clean 6 year old van. I will say that the cleaning job they did was superb! Car was easily like new new inside and out. Full tank of gas too. So, for me, it was mostly hassle-free and it worked well.

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I bought my XJ from one in ‘03 with their extended warranty, only thing I would recommend is that if you use that warranty,  take it to the brand’s dealership, I didn’t have the best experience with the Carmax mechanics’ abilities.  I have more recently read that there are people that got sick of dealing with slimebag dealers and trying to find ones that weren’t were finding Carmax and Carvana as a fresh alternative to the normal places.

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Back in 1977, I got up and walked out on a salesman three times one Friday night. He smoked at least a pack of cigarettes during "negotiations"!

The third time I walked out, he followed me into the parking lot and finally we got within $50 of my price. It was worth the $50 to have that much fun with the guy!

I drove out of there that night in a new 1977 AMC Hornet AMX hatchback.

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CarFax is NOT what it is cracked up to be, it is certainly not infallible.  If accidents are not promptly reported, they may or may not appear on  CarFax report.  My nephew manages a dealership, prior to that he was a salesman (and a good one at that).  He has told me of clean CarFax reports on cars he has known to have been in accidents.  One of his own cars (which he sold to a lot boy, who knew all about the car) had a clean report.  My nephew bought it as a theft recovered car (my brother fixed the damage from that), it was hit hard on one corner before he had it, and was hit hard once while he owned it.  None of that appeared on the CarFax report.

All that said, I don't buy a pair of shoes without looking at them and trying them on, let alone a car.  I've bought new cars though, as I keep them longer and the cost difference over ten years or more is negligable as far as I'm concerned.

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1 hour ago, Mark said:

 

All that said, I don't buy a pair of shoes without looking at them and trying them on, let alone a car.  I've bought new cars though, as I keep them longer and the cost difference over ten years or more is negligable as far as I'm concerned.

I bought the MaxCare warranty for my 200 when I got the car in ‘12, I keep card long enough that I knew it would eventually pay for it self and as of Thursday, it has at least once if not twice over since the factory warranty has gone away.

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