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Visitor Review: My husband was wanting a truck..four door preferably..and went to the local dealership (not a CarMax) to see what they had. He found a Chevy Silverado 1500 that he really liked and came back to tell me about it.
I went after a week or so to look at it and get some info, also to allow them to appraise my car as a trade-in. I was not impressed with the salesman at this dealership and was not impressed with the numbers.
He found out the pay-off of my car and gave me a quote for trade-in and I noticed the other guy was still outside looking at my car. So...I asked why was the trade- in value related to my pay-off value, that seemed pretty sketchy to me!
Then I told him that I wasn't pleased with the numbers he had given me or my husband on the truck or my car, so we would have to go home to think it over. He started stammering that what else could he do to make me happy...
He immediately took another thousand or so off and that told me right there that he was screwing with us. We left and I started researching some other alternatives.
I found CarMax online and decided to have my car appraised with them to get a base to haggle with. I honestly didn't even think to ask if they had a 2011 Chevy on their lot, considering they deal only in used cars.
Well, I had my car appraised and it came out that they were going to give me just under what I owed on my car. (They didn't know the pay-off) I did look up the value of my car and they gave me exactly what I thought I should get for it. :)
Needless to say, I was pretty happy and felt like I had some ammo to work with at the other dealership. I decided to ask if they had a 2011 Chevy and surprisingly they had two..both 1500, one extended cab and one crew cab.
I got some info on the truck, went home and started researching what value the truck had with the options and mileage. I found that the asking price was just what the value was that I found.
I went back with my husband to look at the truck and had it evaluated. We sold my car to CarMax and bought my husbands dream truck at a MUCH better price than the dealership even came close to!!!! I mean it was a far better deal..
I feel like we were taken care of and I will be going back to get our next vehicle from CarMax! We had a great experience!!!!!!
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Visitor Review: I walked into CarMax and was greeted by a salesperson. I told them I wanted to sell my 2005 Dodge Ram Pickup. She had me sit down and answer a few questions about the car.
A car appraiser went out to my truck and did an inspection. I went back to the salewomans office and she gave me a printed out appraisal that was supposed to be good for I think five days, maybe seven.
I brought back the truck with all the paper work and I was turned over to the cashier who made copies of all papers that were to go to me.
She then went online and did the DMV transfer, gave me a bank draft for the amount of the appraisal and told me it would take 48 hours for the draft to be funded after I deposited it and that's it.
The whole process from beginning to end was less then 1 hour. If I had taken all my papers with me plus had my ride home prearranged I would have done everything in 30 minutes or less.
I loved the experience. I would definitely sell my car to CarMax (or truck) again in a minute!
by Black HHR
Visitor Review: I have recently purchased my second car from CarMax in Tucson, AZ. The first was a low mileage Pathfinder I bought about three years ago.
After a few days I had a check engine light come on, which started making me rethink CarMax.
When I took it into CarMax they gave me a rental car for the two days it took to fix it. It ended up being a couple of expensive relays that they had the local Nissan dealership repair.
The total cost of repairs was $3,000 to CarMax and zero to me. For the next 3 years I didn't have any problems what so ever.
It came time to trade for a more fuel efficient vehicle and I went back to them. Since I was trading them a CarMax car they purchased the Pathfinder back for close to what the private party sale value would have been.
I purchased my new HHR for $2000 under KBB used car value.
Each time I go to CarMax I like it even more. Best customer service, no pushy sales people and I like to haggle just as much as the next person, but when they - for the most part - haggle themselves into a better deal for me, it becomes a simple and comfortable car buying experience.
I would recommend anybody to purchase from CarMax in general, especially the CarMax in Tucson, AZ (always do your vehicle research before buying anywhere). Looking forward to my next CarMax experience.
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My CarMax review and Jeff from Utah don't quite see eye to eye about the profits I've estimated they make per deal.
You have a few things off on your breakdown of how CarMax operates. They will NEVER show you $8,000 and up it to $9,000 if you don't like it.
The mark up includes paying technicians (every car spends a minimum of 12 hours with a mechanic being inspected; tons of man hours) and the assumed commission of whichever sales consultant selling it in the future.
The average profit gained on a CarMax vehicle is around $1800. I'm not sure where you got $5,000+ profits per vehicle, considering if CarMax buys a car for $15,000 you will probably see it sell on their lot for around $18,600.
As a finance manager you should make yourself more aware of competing values.
My Rebuttal -
I do clearly state that low balling is a practice that CarMax specifically said they do not do and did not make it sound as if they did. I have had people tell me in the past that this has happened to them, but if you are in the business you know how buyers can easily be confused during the buying process.
With regards to their profit per car I've estimated in my CarMax review, I'll have to stick to my guns on my estimates of their profits. Unless they have terrible used car managers or put in a ton of money to recondition their vehicles (like thousands of dollars) I can't see how they could not be making this type of profit.
Here is an example 2005 Chevy Malibu
That 2005 Chevy Malibu LS with 49,000 miles is for sale for $11,998, but retail KBB is roughly $10,300. That car should have been bought for no more than $7,000...A more realistic number is $6000, but let's assume they paid $9,000 for it, which is way too much, that still leaves a $2,998 mark up.
Then add for any participation paid by the lender (mark up to the finance rate), warranty profit, GAP profit, etc. and I think my numbers are actually quite conservative.
If you could possibly explain to me how they stand to only profit $1,800 on a vehicle that is for sale for $1,600 "over retail" I'd gladly adjust my estimates to reflect a more accurate number.
I was a little confused at the end of your email where you mentioned if they bought a car for $15,000 you'd find it for sale for $18,600 (you may have meant $16,600). That would be a $3,600 mark up (minus reconditioning), which is right inline with my estimates.
I have been in the car business for a long time and I have worked as both an auction buyer and used car manager, so I know vehicle values. If what you are saying is true about their profit, then they need to fire all their used car buyers, as they are not doing the company any favors and/or their customers.
The majority of my CarMax review actually was devoted to more positives about CarMax than negatives, but any unbiased review is going to have to cover both positives and negatives or else it's not much of a review. I've even included a couple links to their site, which I am in no way compensated for.
Thanks for writing in,