dj06482 SuperDork
9/8/15 2:36 p.m.

I've only sold cars once they're lower down in the value chain. We have a '14 Cadillac ATS with 4k miles (bought earlier this year as a left-over) that we're looking to sell (downsizing the fleet). We have a loan on it, but could pay it off and have the title in a few weeks.

It still has the full factory warranty and is in like-new condition. What are some of the avenues you would explore in selling the car?

Here were my thoughts:

  • CarMax
  • Local Cadillac dealers
  • eBay
  • Autotrader
  • ATS Facebook group
  • ATS forums

Would you recommend any others that I'm missing? Anyone had any success with one over another for a late model vehicle?

mtn MegaDork
9/8/15 2:37 p.m.

I'd start with CarMax and the local dealers. Just cause it is the easy button.

dj06482 SuperDork
9/8/15 3:40 p.m.

Thanks, mtn!

mtn MegaDork
9/8/15 3:53 p.m.

Another reason to go to the dealers is that they deal with liens all the time. While it should not be a fear for people, it is. Dealers? They won't bat an eye at a lien on a vehicle.

BoxheadTim UltimaDork
9/8/15 5:12 p.m.

I'd start with CarMax - when I was working on selling the Evo, I went there first. Very pleasant experience, even though I ended up selling it privately for a couple of grand more.

They would've been happy to take care of the lien, basically we would have talked to the lienholder, they would've sent them a check for the outstanding finance amount and cut me a check for the balance.

Woody MegaDork
9/8/15 5:30 p.m.

I bought one of the first '99 Civics in the fall of '98. I sold it back to a dealer in the spring of '99. I think I had about 12k miles on it and the price of new '99s had gone way up. I think I got about $400 less than I paid for it. I went to three or four dealers before I found one who wanted it. I dealt directly with the general manager. Easiest transaction ever.

dj06482 SuperDork
9/8/15 8:29 p.m.

Thanks for the advice, guys! I have a friend who's a salesman at a local Cadillac dealer, so I've reached out to him to see if they'd be interested in it. There are a few dealers in the area, and there's always CarMax. I'll probably take it in there just to get a ballpark figure.

curtis73 PowerDork
9/9/15 11:03 a.m.

I'm interested in this thread. I had always heard that Carmax would massively undercut... like offer 60% of what its worth.

But I agree; the typical go-to places like Craigslist and Ebay probably won't get what you want on such a new car. Ebay might but your pool of buyers there isn't as big for next-to-new liens.

Duke MegaDork
9/9/15 11:36 a.m.

My understanding of Carmax is that for a nearly-new car that they won't have any trouble flipping quickly, they will give you a decent price. The longer they think it will be in inventory, or if they know it's going straight to wholesale, then the lower your percentage of market value drops.

dj06482 SuperDork
9/9/15 11:44 a.m.

I looked last night and the pool of ATS' on eBay was very small. In some ways, it's far less risky than buying a used car out of warranty, in that the buyer will still have the factory warranty. The challenge with selling privately is that I'm not willing to provide financing to the potential buyer, and it's much easier to get financing when you're going through a dealer (regular or Carmax). This car would be very easy for a dealer to take in and CPO, and I'm sure they could make a killing on it.

If this was something more common, like an Accord or Camry, I think it would be easier. I'll document what I find in this thread so that others will know what worked and what didn't.

BoxheadTim UltimaDork
9/9/15 11:47 a.m.

Just some anecdata - the buyers of my Evo needed financing. They got it from a local bank they'd already been customers of and the bank handled the whole transaction. I was pretty impressed, it went super smooth.

cmcgregor Reader
9/9/15 11:51 a.m.

I sold my FR-S last year, with financing on both ends. I was also really impressed with how smoothly the whole transaction went. Just let your bank know that you're planning on selling, it might take them a few days to get the physical title in-house.

dj06482 SuperDork
9/9/15 12:43 p.m.

Thanks for the info on the financing - that's encouraging!

WonkoTheSane HalfDork
9/9/15 1:00 p.m.

Yeah, I've sold a vehicle with a loan before, I talked to my credit union, and the sellers paid the CU directly. They took what was on the loan and gave me the rest. Easy peasy.

I wouldn't be any more wary of craigslist/ than normal. Which is, be pretty wary :)

dj06482 SuperDork
9/13/15 7:10 a.m.

Here's the tale of the tape (trade-in values):

NADA - $27,125
KBB - $24,378 - $23,936
Black Book - $22,660

Carmax - $22,000

I also spoke with my buddy at the Cadillac dealer, and they are currently trying to reduce inventory, but said to check the following month.

So, a few takeaways:
- If you're going to do something like this, trade-in before the summer/fall when the next model year is out and inventories are high
- Trade-In is best at the beginning of the month when inventories are (hopefully) depleted at the dealer
- Carmax's offer was about 90% of the average of trade-in values from the sources listed above (obviously this is vehicle-specific)

The Carmax experience was exactly as they describe it. Show up, give them the basic info, and a 1/2 hour later I had a quote in my hand that's good for seven days.

At this point, I think it's worth more to us than them, so we'll keep it.

dj06482 SuperDork
4/1/16 9:28 p.m.

Update: Sold it back to the original dealer today. The price we agreed on was $20,750, which was right at the top of the range of KBB Trade-In value, and $900 over Black Book. NADA and Edmunds were slightly higher, but based on comps on dealer lots, those values didn't seem to be realistic.

In seeing how much values have continued to drop over the past few months, I wasn't eager to hold onto it with the 2017s coming out this summer.

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