Learn About The Trade-in From The Dealer’s Perspective

Empower Your Next Car Shopping Experience by Learning about the Trade-in from the Dealer’s Perspective

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My goal as Honest Car Dealer is to impart the information needed to truly understand what makes a dealership tick and how to have the most beneficial experience for you. I teach you the common moves so that you know when you need to counter or accept what your local dealer is telling you. Yet, when it comes to trade-ins, it is consumer expectations that you need to understand — you may not be getting a raw deal even if you think you are. If you can accept this simple fact, you will be better prepared to arrange a more realistic and feasible deal on your next car. Learn to empathize with the dealership and they will reward you in kind.


Conflict of Interest or a Conflict of Price

The human thing to do when doing a self-evaluation of a trade-in is to find an authoritative source on your car, and lean towards the high-watermark in terms of pricing. In reality, the demand the dealer has for your vehicle does not match up with your — or Kelley Blue Book’s — expectations. Often the dealer has no choice in the matter because they are partnering with a wholesaler and his or her demand is effectively zero. Furthermore, dealers have a very small profit-margin on trade-ins and usually bring in less than two grand on a decent one; there is little wiggle room in terms of price.


The first thing you can do is ask whether or not your dealer will be taking the trade-in or if it will be passed on to a wholesaler. That will give you an idea of how much demand, and moreover price leverage, you possess in relation to your dealership. Also be honest with yourself about the condition of the vehicle: mileage and age are important, but wear and tear is a convincing selling point as well. If you really think you are being shorted to an unfair degree on your dealer’s offer, consider selling the vehicle independently; however, the time investment and tax credit you can claim for letting your dealer process the trade-in may ultimately make up for the decreased cost.


Just Ask the Honest Car Dealer

If you have any questions about shopping for a new or used vehicle and want an insider’s honest opinion, contact me on my blog at HonestCarDealer.com. The Honest Car Dealer also responds to your requests, so if there’s something you would like to see in a blog, shoot me an email.

August 14, 2012 by Jamie Rettig