Selling or Trading In Your Old Car - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-06-2011, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Selling or Trading In Your Old Car

I am curious about what percentage of new car buyers trade in their old cars. Personally, I find trading in an old car just about wipes out whatever "deal" you made on your new car purchase. Sure it's easier to just hand the keys of your old car to the dealer, but is it really in your best interest?

What incentive would a car dealer have to offer you what you would get by selling it yourself? 99% of the time, the car dealer just sells your car to a broker who pays them rock bottom trade-in value. They then turn it around to a used car dealer who is responsible for fixing any mechanical and cosmetic issues with the car. For everyone to make money, the new car dealer must buy your car from you for a rock bottom price.

Selling your car on EBay is extraordinarily easy. Just list it for the Kelly Blue Book Trade-in value (which is much more than a dealer will give you for it) and sit back and see how the bids escalate. Make sure you demand a $500 deposit to be deposited into your PayPal account within 24 hours after the auction ends with the balance due within three days. This is very easy as the winning bidder only needs a credit card or bank account to do this. If the winner punks out, then offer it to the next highest bidder with the same demands.

If your car sells, then it's a $125 fee to EBay (if the final auction price is above $2000). If not, you can relist it for free. It's no longer the 20th century when you had to list a classified ad in the paper and wait at home to show your car to potential buyers. It can all be done without ever having to hassle with test drives, etc. The highest bidder wins, period.

Just in case you have not been reading the news, the used car market is extremely hot in this economy. People are dying for high mileage, cheap cars... Why allow allow the dealer to take all that profit?

Losing $1500 - $2000 on a dealer trade-in just wipes out whatever "deal" you made on your new car purchase. And if worse comes to worse and your car does not sell on EBay, Just take your car to a used car broker. They will glady give you at least what the dealer offered you for your car.

Or, if you have charitable instincts, you may be able to donate your car to a worthy charity and deduct the retail value on your taxes. You may be able to make more money than the dealer would have offered you, and helped out some needy people at the same time...

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-06-2011, 07:56 PM
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After seeing what the dealer was offering me in trade, I went to CarMax, who essentially offered me the same thing. Both offers were approx. $1000.

I knew similar-condition Saabs were selling both privately and at used lots for about $5000. Since I didn't want to deal with owning two cars at the same time, and didn't want to haggle or wait around for interested buyers, I posted the car on Cars.com for $3500 and it was sold within 24 hours.

Sure I didn't make all the money I probably could have on the sale, but it was still thousands more than I would have by trading in, and was a load off my mind.


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-06-2011, 08:27 PM
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My dealer gave me within $1000 of what I could have gotten on a private sale, most of that was made up in sales tax savings on the final price of the OB (after trade value was deducted) so I took the trade.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-06-2011, 08:39 PM
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You also need to keep taxes in mind. In many states you only need to pay taxes on the difference between the trade in price and the new car price. Depending on the situation this could make up the difference between what you might get for it selling yourself vs. the tax savings which could be substantial.

This really only comes into play if you are trading in something that has nearly the same value of what you are buying.

edit: slow typing, hallux touched on this.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-06-2011, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammonddave View Post
Losing $1500 - $2000 on a dealer trade-in just wipes out whatever "deal" you made on your new car purchase.
Only problem being is that you won't "lose" that much unless you just want to/don't care.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-06-2011, 08:50 PM
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Uninformed buyers and uninformed sellers always lose!

I think that is what Fatabbot was saying.

A reputable dealer will address both, without either party being "cheated".

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-06-2011, 08:59 PM
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Of course, there is the odd buyer who will ultimately hold you personally responsible for whatever goes wrong with the car you just sold, and the attorney he/she will hire to hold you for it. Think not--it has happened. Not often, but... That is even if you sold it "as is". Remember, they know where you live. Just paranoia talking.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-06-2011, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greaseball View Post
You also need to keep taxes in mind. In many states you only need to pay taxes on the difference between the trade in price and the new car price. Depending on the situation this could make up the difference between what you might get for it selling yourself vs. the tax savings which could be substantial.

This really only comes into play if you are trading in something that has nearly the same value of what you are buying.

edit: slow typing, hallux touched on this.
Very true. The difference in what I could sell my car for myself vs what I could get in trade was made up for by the reduction in taxes I had to pay on my new Subaru when the trade value was subtracted from the purchase price.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-06-2011, 09:30 PM
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I got a killer trade in earlier this year when I bought my OB. I had an 03 Sequoia 4x4 with about 70k miles. They gave me 14k plus the 800 or so in tax savings, so I was close to 15k. I had it listed on the internet for $16k thinking I would get beat down. It made my deal a no brainer. Got the OB cheap also IMO. Probably not the best deal on here, but one I could certainly live with.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-06-2011, 10:16 PM
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We traded in our 2002 WRX for the Outback last month. KBB said the trade in was $4050, and the dealer gave us $3500 (which is $3700 including the tax break). The car we got for invoice.

I'd never traded a car before, did 2 private sales, but at that price, and with a newborn baby, it was not worth the trouble of a private sale.

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