Author Topic: Selling Car - Craigslist vs. Carmax  (Read 8524 times)

KzooKendrick

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Selling Car - Craigslist vs. Carmax
« on: October 19, 2013, 02:55:28 PM »
Hey everyone!

Here's my situation: After graduating college and landing a corporate finance job, I decided to buy a shiny new (used) 2009 Volkswagen CC Lux for around $22,000 from the dealership. However, after stumbling upon MMM (and face-punching myself), I've decided to sell the car. Yay!

I have the car listed on Craigslist for $17,500, and KBB has the Private Party Value at ~$18,000. I also went to Carmax today and they offered me $15,000. I have 7 days to take this offer or leave it. BUT, I still owe $15,720 on the car... therefore I'm trying to make a bit more money by selling it on CL. The only problem is the car is still financed, and I just don't think I'll be able to find a "cash" buyer on CL, especially for $17,500. I'm half tempted to just go back to Carmax and sell them my car for $15,000 and take the $720 loss.

Even if I kept my current car ($330/month car payments) for another 2 months and they offered me the same $15,000 at Carmax, I would basically be in the same spot I am today. It's either money to my bank or money to Carmax.

I still need a car and am currently saving up for a 2001-2004 Honda Civic for ~$4,000. I currently have ~$1500 saved and am saving $1,200 a month (minimum on my student loans and car payment to quickly save up for a cheap car and get rid of this debt emergency!). Any thoughts on what I should do with my current car? Thanks in advance! Let me know if you need any more information.

« Last Edit: October 19, 2013, 03:01:20 PM by KzooKendrick »

Spork

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Re: Selling Car - Craigslist vs. Carmax
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2013, 03:05:34 PM »
This question pops up fairly regularly.  The consensus is usually: CL will net you more; CM will net you "right now."  It depends on how long you can wait for the cash. 

...and you certainly can sell a car you still have a note on.  I bought a used truck many years ago that was still under financing.  It's been a while... but it can be done.  You'll probably need to talk to your bank (or whomever owns the note.)

bawaboy

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Re: Selling Car - Craigslist vs. Carmax
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2013, 06:39:08 AM »
I agree with Spork - it all depends on how long you are willing to wait. I am not sure how the CM policy works. If you go back in a month or two, will they give you another 7 day offer for the $15k?

If they will, I would give CL a shot and see what happens. Basically, anything over $15k is a bonus for you at this point so you have some wiggle room if someone starts haggling with you.

Good luck with the sale - we have all been punched in the face at one point or another and most of us have been hit a lot harder than you may be if you just accept the CM offer. :)

chardog

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Re: Selling Car - Craigslist vs. Carmax
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2013, 07:05:27 AM »
I agree with Spork - it all depends on how long you are willing to wait. I am not sure how the CM policy works. If you go back in a month or two, will they give you another 7 day offer for the $15k?

CM will give you another 7 day offer which will be based on their appraised value at that time.  Might be the same, maybe less.

imbros

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Re: Selling Car - Craigslist vs. Carmax
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2013, 07:23:56 AM »
I would also list it in autotrader.com and/or carmax.com. It seems like those websites work as well as CL for cars valued $10k+.

olivia

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Re: Selling Car - Craigslist vs. Carmax
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2013, 07:56:00 AM »
I sold my 2007 Subaru Outback for $11k to a private buyer, and Carmax offered me $7k for it.  So I'm a big fan of selling it yourself.  However, I lucked out and the person who bought the car was a friend of a friend and they paid with a check instead of getting financing, so I didn't have to deal with that end.  In your situation since it isn't such a huge difference percentage wise, I'd be tempted to take the Carmax deal, but only if you don't get any bites listing it yourself.

KzooKendrick

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Re: Selling Car - Craigslist vs. Carmax
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2014, 08:37:23 PM »
Just thought I'd come back to give everyone an update, in case anyone was curious. Right around Thanksgiving 2013 I ended up finding a buyer on Craigslist who was very interested in my car and even didn't mind that I still had a lien on it. He offered me $16,500 to which I countered back to $16,800 and that's where we ended up. I made $1,800 more on it than CarMax was originally offering - I knew the car was worth more than that, I just had to be patient to find the right buyer.

We completed our transaction at the bank, and I was able to pocket the difference between what I owed and what I sold it for. All in all it ended up being ~$1,200, which ultimately reduced the amount per month it "cost" me when I had the car.

My twin brother and I ended up both selling our fancy cars and now share a 2005 Honda Civic LX that we bought for $6,000 cash. We have yet to run into any car pooling issues, which hasn't been much of an issue considering we work for the same company :)

Overall, it was definitely worth the wait to find the right buyer on Craigslist, even though it was very tempting to sell it to them right then and there and walk away with the $15,000 cash. Yes, there was more time and effort involved, but worth it in the end!

Will

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Re: Selling Car - Craigslist vs. Carmax
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2014, 08:50:16 PM »
Awesome that it all worked out for you in the end! 

I too had a car that CarMax offered me a decent (but not really fair) amount.  I ended up selling the car over a year later (LONG story) for well over $2500 more through CL.