Author Topic: Need help prepping to negotiate for a used car  (Read 1441 times)

ysette9

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Need help prepping to negotiate for a used car
« on: February 23, 2017, 09:18:48 AM »
Hi all,

I've been checking out used cars on Craigslist and found one that I will likely go see this weekend. My plan is to take it to a mechanic for a pre-purchase check up and negotiate from there, provided no major issues are discovered. My issue right now is figuring out how to prep for the negotiation and  deciding what I think a fair price is for the car.

The challenge is that there is a pretty significant difference between the Edmunds and Kelly Blue Book estimates for this type of car, and what every single listing on Craigslist in my area are for this type of car. Some numbers for same model car, same year:
KBB: $10-$11 depending on condition
Edmunds: $11600
List price: $14500
List prices of similar cars on Craigslist in my area right now: $15.7K, $16K, $16k (all private party)

I checked out a similar car a few weekends ago and tried some pre-negoatiating with the seller, pointing out the discrepancy between his list price and KBB. He basically said "Look, I've owned three of this type of car and they always sell for more than KBB. Just check Craigslist.". I checked Craigslist and all the listings I saw confirmed what he said.

How would you handle this?

frugaliknowit

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Re: Need help prepping to negotiate for a used car
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2017, 10:07:23 AM »
I would check Carmax and Cars.com (which is basically local dealers) to see what they are asking for the car...

ysette9

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Re: Need help prepping to negotiate for a used car
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2017, 10:16:56 AM »
Within 100 miles of me Cars.com only has 2-door versions whereas I am looking at the 4-door. That said, the three dealer listing available for this model and year are in the $16,800-$18,000 range.

Carnax.com has cars listed from $14,998 to $19,998.

I'm thinking that KBB is probably just wrong.

v8rx7guy

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Re: Need help prepping to negotiate for a used car
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2017, 10:22:32 AM »
What kind of car is it?

ysette9

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Re: Need help prepping to negotiate for a used car
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2017, 10:23:50 AM »
2012 VW GTI. I want a 4-door manual

canyonrider

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Re: Need help prepping to negotiate for a used car
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2017, 02:15:23 PM »
Sounds like you've figured out that KBB does not always equal the market price, but it's not surprising that a GTI with four doors and manual transmission is fetching a high value. Generally well-reviewed by the auto media for the past several years, and in a configuration that is getting harder to find. You probably have little negotiating room if that's the car you really want.

And FYI, try using the NADA guide online instead of KBB/Edmunds. In my experience NADA is the source that dealers (including Carmax) actually use in determining trade-in and retail pricing on used cars. Although in this case I suspect that even NADA would come in low.

terran

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Re: Need help prepping to negotiate for a used car
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2017, 09:49:56 PM »
I would start negotiating right away while making it clear any offer is contingent on having your mechanic take a look. No sense paying for a mechanic to give the car a checkup if you're not going to be able to reach a price you're comfortable with.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Need help prepping to negotiate for a used car
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2017, 05:24:42 AM »
Here in Norway it is well known that you get more for selling car privately than you get from any garage, because they only use the list price. I think it is to be expected.
I think you can negotiate to the lowest price you find on Graig's list.

Blatant

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Re: Need help prepping to negotiate for a used car
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2017, 05:39:22 AM »
So, if I'm reading correctly, the car you're looking at is already the cheapest available in your area. You have anecdotal information that the market is hot for this particular model and that's the only one you want. Um, if that's what you want and you like the car and you've already been shut down on prior negotiations, why don't you just pay the asking price?

ysette9

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Re: Need help prepping to negotiate for a used car
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2017, 08:18:22 AM »
I am teaching that conclusion but it takes a little time. When there is such a discrepancy it naturally invites questions to make sure I am not doing something silly. I did notice last night that listing prices seem to be heavily dependent on mileage. This morning's task is to plot mileage vs. price and try to determine an "efficient frontière". :)