Last post on Nov 24, 2007 at 12:24 PM
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#202 of 232 Re: Evaluations of Internet Car Dealerships [benderofbows]
Sep 09, 2006 (3:54 am)
I agree...that was a GREAT post. As a prospective buyer and a previous buyer (I always use the internet to first search dealer inventory)(always rent the type vehicle that I intend to buy for at least a week-end)I then start the Email procedure and I can honestly say that I have experienced O.. Level 1... and Level 2...with 0 and Level 1 being the most common. as far as Level 3, I have never had that experience.
As far as Level 2 goes, and the trade-in value, I can understand that a dealership, especially the internet salesperson, will not give you a "quote" on-line, although, in all fairness to your Level 2, they do ask for and sometimes say they will give you a "quote", but I never have received one, even after sending a reply back such as yours. I usually print out KBB, NADA,Edmunds and whatever else I can find, take the average of all of them (that's with excellent, good, fair, retail, sell yourself and trade-in values)(also, I check the Edmunds forum about real world trade-in value) and that gives me a fair to good idea of what I should expect for the trade. My cars are usually in very good trade-in condition, low mileage, good maintenance records, and usually less or about three years old.
But I have to say again, that was an "Excellent" post about "Internet" dealership sales.
#203 of 232 How can we appraise a car...
Sep 09, 2006 (6:08 am)
That we can't see? Everybody seems to think their trades ae in "excellent" condition and very few are.
It's not as easy as all that...
Suppose you have a Ford Explorer? The various "books" tell you it's worth 14,000. Trouble is, these are softer than all blazes right now! A good store would carefully inspect it and then pick up the phone and start calling his friends at the local Ford stores, wholesalers etc to try to get a decent bid on it.
Pretty hard to do this on a sight unseen car.
#204 of 232 Re: How can we appraise a car... [isellhondas]
Sep 09, 2006 (9:05 am)
Isell:.."Assuming that your trade is what you describe, we will give you thirteen thousand". The key word here is "ASSUMING".
I agree with your post, however;some dealers websites do ask, "Do you have a trade-in? Please fill in the following form for appraisal. I personally have never received such an appraisal or offer over the net. I do feel, that they shouldn't ask for the form to "GIVE" an appraisal.. I don't even know why they ask! Sight unseen, as you say, is certainly impossible to give a figure (unless they give a figure...a good one... to get you into the dealership and then, of course, start finding the coffee stains, dings and dents, and lo and behold, that heavy smoke coming out the exhaust pipe.... the internet appraisal price starts going down..
I certainly believe that is the only way you could imagine that scenario.
#205 of 232 Re: How can we appraise a car... [isellhondas]
Sep 11, 2006 (5:23 am)
"How can we appraise a car... That we can't see?"
The Real-World Trade-In Values forum on this web site does exactly that- and is 31,300 posts strong now!
#206 of 232 Online "Trade-In Appraisal" Forms
Sep 11, 2006 (5:38 am)
Besides, many of these online trade-in appraisal forms are very lengthy and detailed- much more so than the suggested form for the "Real-World Trade-In Values" forum.
Just check the following one out, which I have pasted in text format from one local dealer's website.
State Issued: (choose one)
(Area Code) Daytime Phone:
Doors choose one: 2 Door 4 Door Hatchback
Trim Level (if known)
Vehicle Identification No.:
Transmission choose one: Automatic Manual
AM/FM Radio choose one: Yes No
Cassette choose one: Yes No
CD choose one: Yes No
CD Changer choose one: No In Dash External
Power Windows choose one: Yes No
Power Locks choose one: Yes No
A/C choose one: Yes No
Rear A/C choose one: Yes No
ABS choose one: Yes No
Cruise Control choose one: Yes No
Tilt Control choose one: Yes No
Roof Rack choose one: Yes No
Sunroof choose one: No Sliding Pop-up
Alloy Wheels choose one: Yes No
Drive Train choose one: 4WD AWD FWD RWD
Tow Package choose one: Yes No
Dual Air Bags choose one: Yes No
Side Air Bags choose one: Yes No
Power Seat(s) choose one: No Driver Pass Both
Leather Seating choose one: Yes No
Overall Vehicle Condition
Rate the condition of the following: 1 being Poor, 10 being Excellent.
Metal/Paint (Scratches, dings, dents, rust, fading) choose one:
Tires (50% tread wear - replacement) choose one: Upholstery (Tears, burns, stains) choose one:
Glass (Fractures, spiders, chips) choose one:
Clutch (Clutch slipping) choose one or n/a:
Brakes (Squeaky, noisy) choose one:
Has your vehicle ever been involved in a collision? choose one: yes no
If yes, was a Body Shop estimate of repairs written? choose one: n/a yes no
Were Body Shop repairs performed? choose one: n/a yes no
Was the vehicle repaired to your complete satisfaction? choose one: n/a yes no
Are any of the painted surfaces scratched, rusted, or faded? choose one: yes no
Are there any dents and dings? choose one: yes no
Have any of the painted surfaces been repainted or touched up? choose one: yes no
Does any of the glass have fractures, spiders, or chips? choose one: yes no
Does the upholstery have tears, burns, or stains? choose one: yes no
Does the stereo system or any of its components need repairs? choose one: yes no
Do all of the gauges and dash functions work? choose one: yes no
Does the engine need any repairs? choose one: yes no
Does the transmission need any repairs? choose one: yes no
Is the clutch slipping or need any repairs? choose one: n/a yes no
Are the brakes squeaking or in need of repair? choose one: yes no
Has the transmission or engine ever been replaced? choose one: yes no
Has the vehicle ever been a taxi, rental car, or police car? choose one: yes no
Has the vehicle ever been in water deeper than the midpoint of the tires? choose one: yes no
Has the vehicle ever been declared a "Flood" vehicle? choose one: yes no
Is the vehicle's frame in need of repair? choose one: yes no
Has your vehicle's frame ever been repaired? choose one: yes no
Has the vehicle ever had a salvage title? choose one: yes no
Is this a "lemon law buyback" vehicle choose one: Yes NO
Has the vehicle ever been declared a total loss? choose one: yes no
Is the vehicle air bag in working order? choose one: yes no
Has the vehicle air bag ever been deployed? choose one: yes no
Do you have any of the service records for this vehicle? choose one: yes no
Do you have records for any oil change within the last 5000 miles? choose one: yes no
Is the catalytic converter attached and working properly? choose one: yes no
Are the inspection stickers current? choose one: yes no
Has the spare tire ever been used? choose one: yes no
Do any of the tires need to be replaced? choose one: yes no
Is the pollution control equipment attached and working properly? choose one: yes no
Is there anything else we should know about this vehicle?
Isell, you mean to say that you couldn't give a value based off of the above questionnaire (filled in completely of course, you can even run a CarFax off the VIN to confirm), with a simple disclaimer such as "assuming your trade is as-described..." ?
#207 of 232 It's not that easy...
Sep 11, 2006 (8:37 am)
We still may have to call and get bids on it and nobody is going to bid on a sight unseen trade.
I don't know why it's a big deal to simply drive to a dealership?
" Has the spare tire ever been used?"What a dumb question!
I doubt if anybody would have the patience to fill up such a questionaire. I know I sure wouldn't!
#208 of 232 Re: How can we appraise a car... [benderofbows]
Sep 11, 2006 (8:39 am)
Terry does a great job in that thread, but his estimates are exactly that...estimates based on his knowledge of the market. I doubt he would pay those dollars on cars he can't see.
#209 of 232 Re: It's not that easy... [isellhondas]
Sep 11, 2006 (11:34 am)
In my opinion, the whole process of getting quotes online is to find out which dealer to visit. So you contact, maybe, 5-8 dealers in your vicinity and ask for quotes. The ones who respond with attractive numbers are the ones you pick from, the list of dealers to go in and visit. Ideally, your first visit is to your top choice from among the responders, and hopefully everything goes well. When going in, you already know they have a suitable vehicle in stock and you have an attractive price in hand. You buy the car and not only have you saved negotiating time and effort at the dealership, but you can rest easy knowing you got a good deal based on your research beforehand.
Now, if you don’t have a trade-in, of course you could instead just look up the new car’s invoice price online and head in to the nearest dealer with an offer in mind (a.k.a. “the Bobst method”). This is quick and usually painless.
The reality, however, is that the majority of new car buyers have trades. And, if one dealers’ new car quote is $400 less than all the others, but they are $900 less on the trade value, then the buyer has lost money overall by purchasing there. From the posts on this board it seems unreasonable to expect a trade-in value from the dealer over the Internet. So are these buyers supposed to go through the whole process (including trade-in appraisal) at 3-4 dealers before buying?
As I stated before, the trade-in value doesn’t have to be set in stone; a simple disclaimer would do. I think that Terry and other experts in “Real-World Trade-In Values” would write a check for one of the cars they appraise, assuming it was as described and met their approval before they actually handed the money over. I mean, it's not like the dealer has to cut a check before the customer ever comes in and they get a look. What's wrong with a good faith estimate? (By the way, I filled out the trade-in form I posted earlier, and it took less than five minutes).
My main point is: if buyers don’t know how to use consumer books like KBB and Edmunds TMV (all “excellent” condition, etc) or the values from such sources are high or low on a certain model, and dealers won’t quote values based on their dealer books, sales histories, and / or auction prices, then how is that buyer to know they are getting top dollar, “all the money” for their trade? Should they go to CarMax (if one is available) for an appraisal before going to the dealer of their choice to have something to judge the dealer’s trade offer by, or what?
It would be a shame that, with all of the information available today, when hundreds of cars are bought ‘sight unseen’ off of eBay every day, and when some dealers are finally starting to embrace online negotiating on their cars; that a consumer cannot use the online negotiating process if they have a trade-in.
Are we are back to square one, as you say, “I don't know why it's a big deal to simply drive to a dealership?” (Do you mean, why would you want to use the Internet when you can just trust the dealer?)
#210 of 232 My experience inthis realm...
Sep 11, 2006 (11:48 am)
My current sedan ( 2005 Grand Prix GXP ) was purchased with 1 telephone conversation – and 4 or 5 emails. Largely because the Dealer is out-of-state, and ( at the time ) was the only dealer that was a “no haggle” “one price” & therefore offered this car for a reasonable price, had a car with the equipment I wanted & nothing else, and offered me ( sight unseen ) a significantly larger allowance for my trade than 3 local dealers I tried to negotiate with. ( North & East of Metro Atlanta. )
From an email quote: “We sell all of our new vehicles at GM factory invoice plus $49. We do not have any dealer fees of any kind”.
This dealer ( Rodes in Sylva, NC ) offered me over $1,000 more for my trade than anyone local. He offered the allowance, “assuming condition is as represented”. It was, and the deal was consummated in about a half hour. After I took a 10 minute “shake down” drive in the GXP. It took me about 1.5 hours to drive to Sylva and 1.5 to return, but I knew that all was settled before I started the drive!
The NC Dealer offered me almost $1,500 more than any local dealer I tried to do business with . .
Sight unseen - based on my description of the car.
Confirmed when presented.
Now, my car was near perfect. . .
By that I mean:
No mechanical issues.
Just checked for tire wear, brake wear, etc.
Proof of all Dealer service. (Local Dealer)
Exterior = Perfect. Not even a single door ding.
Interior = Perfect. No wear, scratches, etc.
One and only trade allowance number the NC Dealer offered was within a couple hundred dollars of KBB and Edmunds number.
“I don't know why it's a big deal to simply drive to a dealership?”
One reason that I generally avoid spending much time at any dealership is that many of their typical tactics ( still employed after all these years at many dealerships ) are designed to keep you there until they wear you down. Various versions of the classic “bump” tactic, for one example. They want me to make the first “offer”. I find this tiresome and annoying and a waste of my time.
Salesperson: Make your best offer.
I will then decide if that meets what I want to pay.
If not, I move on.
End of story.
My “local” Corvette dealer salesperson ( by far the largest Corvette inventory anywhere near Atlanta ) allowed me \ even encouraged me to test drive 2 new C6s. I am therefore willing to sit down with that salesperson, as requested. But the ‘sitting’ will be brief. I already know exactly what their “fees” are, so there are 2 numbers to determine. 1) The lowest amount they will accept for a new ( ordered ) 2007 equipped to an MSRP of approx $52.5K, and 2) their allowance offer on my trade. If they do not meet my expectation, I have a GMID Certificate & I will buy from the Dealer close to where my Mom lives that will accept GMID on a new Corvette. 1-way flight & drive back home. ( I am aware that in Georgia, there are specific sales tax implications trade vs. straight purchase with no trade. I would prefer to purchase my new Corvette locally, and have the service performed at that same dealership. And that scenario has a dollar value to me. )
I will no longer play any Dealership games. I am well aware that I will not “out-negotiate” someone that negotiates price on cars all day every day, and has for years – where ( well informed as I try to be ) I only do this once every 2 years or so.
Close to ordering . . .
#211 of 232 Re: My experience inthis realm... [rayainsw]
Sep 11, 2006 (11:59 am)
Now that is a dealer I could do business with! That is a great example of what I have been talking about, a true "internet dealership" !