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Trade in - very disappointing

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by ColinM, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. ColinM

    ColinM Member

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    I was wondering how many people have actually taken advantage of the trade-in option when buying their Model S. The options offered by Tesla when buying my MS were to trade-in through:
    - AutoNation
    - an undisclosed second company.

    Of course the option also exists not to trade in at all. There are a number of reasons to trade in if, as is my case, my MS is a replacement not an addition to our stable. These include convenience and timing, but the most important in Illinois (not sure if it is the same in other places) is that the trade-in price is subtracted from the total purchase price before calculating sales tax. In other words you only pay sales tax on the difference.

    Unfortunately, I found the trade in value much less than I have ever experienced before. I drive (still waiting until next month for my MS) a 2002 Audi A4 3.0 that I bought new. Kelley Blue Book value is between $3,100 and $4,600 (trade-in and private sale prices). I get the difference in prices - the used car guys need to make their margins. If we take the low end, and my sales tax rate of 7.25%, then the financial advantage of trading in is just $225. Even so, I thought I would give it a try. The result? AutoNation offered me $750!! I was a little insulted. When I questioned the valuation I was told that the KBB is meaningless as they don't buy or sell cars - clearly the standard line but even more insulting. The other buyer offered double ($1,500) what AutoNation did. Better, but still 50% of what I believe a fair trade-in value should be. I have decided to sell through classifieds and craiglist and I am OK with that.

    So back to my question. Have others had the same experience? Has anyone had a good experience with the trade-in program making it worthwhile?

    I should add that so far I have been delighted by every other part of the process and I don't even have my car yet. Practicing my Tesla grin, but it feels kind of fake at the moment. ;-)

    85 | Blue | Grey leather | Piano Black Décor | 19" | Tech Pkg | Subzero Weather Package ... Delivery - expected in December 2013
     
  2. Lump

    Lump Active Member

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  3. Dwdnjck

    Dwdnjck Member

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    Carmax seems more fair than automation. Their offer lasts for a week if you want to try and beat it.
     
  4. ColinM

    ColinM Member

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    I may give CarMax a try - but I will keep going with the private one for a while. Nice to know I have options.
     
  5. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

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    CarMax offered me less than the Kelley Blue Book trade in value for my 2002 Protege. Not sure their offers are good unless they plan to sell it on their lot. For a car that old, they will probably send it to auction. Since their offer is good for 7 days, I decided I would give myself that amount of time to sell it privately, and fortunately, it sold quickly for a lot more.
     
  6. gnelson

    gnelson Member

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    I actually got a better quote from AutoNation than CarMax. Kelley Blue Book is fiction! I sold my car in a private sale and got a price midway between Kelley Blue Book and the AutoNation offer.
     
  7. N4HHE

    N4HHE Member

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    Clearly Autonation is offered more vehicles than they can buy. So they lowball offers.

    Was offered $8k for a 2007 Prius Package 6 (all options) with 60k miles. KBB and NADA said $10k was a typical trade-in. No dealer within 150 miles lists anything comparable for less than $12.5k.
     
  8. William13

    William13 Member

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    Carmax et al have very little motivation to buy/sell cars under $3000. Too little profit potential.
     
  9. jayhawk

    jayhawk Member

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    I took my car to the dealer I bought my car from (Acura), and they worked with Tesla to have the sale count as a trade in (saved me taxes). The offer was slightly less than Carmax, but the tax advantage made it effectively better. The autonation quote was $2k too low. I took a value that was $1k under KBB, which is probably par for the course. Unless you have a black car in perfect condition, just assume KBB is high.
     
  10. Apoclyps

    Apoclyps Member

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    I needed to sell my car (previously used 2003 Nissan 350Z) prior to picking up of the MS. 104K miles. I had also started getting the "Check Engine" light go on, so repairs were needed. KBB indicated a range of $7-10K. Checked online and the same car was on sale for 8-12K, but those cars had more add-ons than mine. If I had sold privately, i would have had to get the car fixed and smogged. I did not want to go through the hassle of getting the car fixed (1-2K), smogged, and deal with people wanting to see the car.

    Carmax offered 8K (due to miles driven, and the fact that a rat chewed through all the wiring one year, and apparently a car accident in Vegas) and I took it. Dropped off the car and taxi'd to the Service Center to pick up the MS. Was easy and pretty painless.
     
  11. Argelius

    Argelius Member

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    For what it's worth, Autonation, when I took into account the sales tax savings, was nearly identical to what CarMax quoted me (for a 2011 BMW 535xi).
     
  12. Alywa

    Alywa Member

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    I ended up using a private trade-in company through Chicago that Tesla hooked me up with. Price was a little less than KBB, but it was a relatively expensive car (BMW 550i GT), so I didn't feel comfortable selling it privately. Additionally, I wanted to make sure it was listed as a trade-in, because I really didn't want to pay state sales tax on the entire transaction. All in all, very happy with the deal, though I of course would have liked a little better $ amount. They picked up the car at my house and drove it on a flat trailer the 600 miles to chicago. It's now for sale on a Chicago area BMW lot (found it online!)
     
  13. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    Same experience. AutoNation offered me $3,500 for my 2007 Prius Touring. I sold it privately for $10,000, KBB value was $10,800.
     
  14. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    Holy hell, really? 30% of KBB? KBB is usually a little on the high side, but that's ridiculous.
     
  15. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Amped, I am a few weeks away (taking delivery of our new S on Dec. 21) from selling my wife's 2008 Prius Touring Edition which has every available factory option and 70K miles and is in very good condition. How many miles did you have on your Prius?
     
  16. ACDriveMotor

    ACDriveMotor Member

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    Sell your car outright, or to a dealer (what I did). AN is not about giving great deals from what I've seen.
     
  17. Ocelot

    Ocelot Member

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  18. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    Mine had 123,000 miles. Yours should fetch a higher price. I also had some leather cracking on the side of the driver's seat, I priced according to KBB "good" condition. I also had a multi-point inspection done at a Toyota dealer which I provided to the buyer, to help protect my own liability in the event something went wrong with the car after the sale. I advertised it on Craigslist and sold it within a week.

    Best of luck! :)
     
  19. SeminoleFSU

    SeminoleFSU Member

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    I got a $1k higher offer from Autonation than I did from CarMax. And the guys helping me (3 of them) from Carmax were personal friends of mine. one thing both places mentioned was, the offer they give will depend on how badly they "need" the car... In other words in my case, perhaps Autonation didn't have an Acura MDX on the lot, and wanted one in case that's what somebody really asked for.. and Carmax might've had a few in the lot? Who knows..
    Having said that, I'm pretty sure I could've haggled for more at CarMax, because my friends appeared ready to do so.. Keep in mind though that if all things are equal trading in with Autonation is going to be the better route because the trade-in value subtracts off the cost of the car before taxes... saving you a little in states where you have a sales tax on the car (like here in GA)
     
  20. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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    Yeah, definitely consider that.
    I agree, it's a pain. I've sold my old cars privately 2x and once to dealer.

    I posted one of my old cars (04 350Z) on Craigslist in 2011, instead of having it shipped back (I was driving my other car and planning on replacing it w/a Leaf). I got very little response on Craiglist including some lowball offers and stupid trades (e.g. some guy wanted me swap for an Isuzu Rodeo and some cash). Why would I trade a car I like for something I have 0 interest in? I was trying to reduce the # of cars I have.

    A used car dealer contacted me via the ad. They mentioned that's how they got their supply of used cars. They gave me an ok offer (less than my ad). I took it to 2 Nissan dealers. One gave me an insultingly low offer. The other gave me a very good offer, which I eventually took. It was more than what I was advertising in CL for (they didn't know about the ad).

    In another case, a friend needed to get rid of her very old Honda Accord when I helped her buy a new '11 Prius. Toyota salesman admitted that she will a get a very low amount. I think they offered her $750. I suggested she take it to the Honda dealer next door to see what they offer. IIRC, they offered her $1500. She was ok w/that as she didn't have the time to sell on her own and didn't want to take the personal safety risk (she's an Asian female in her 30s).

    Some of you folks are lucky that trading in will reduce sales tax. In California, it doesn't. :( That's also the case for all the other states at What New Car Fees Should You Pay? on Edmunds.com where "trade-in sales tax" is N.
     

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