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Sold my truck to Carvana - some observations

 
Old 05-10-2019, 05:32 PM
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Default Sold my truck to Carvana - some observations

At the end of April I sold my 2016 Screw to Carvana in Houston TX. Didn’t buy one of their vehicles, just sold my truck to them. Interesting experience…

In the past 5 years or so I’ve sold (vs. traded in) 3 vehicles as part of getting different new vehicles. I’d have love to have done private party sales but my problem has always been finding reputable buyers with the means (cash/cashier’s checks) for the full amount. And who likes messing with some of the knuckleheads and scammers you find on Craigslist….

Until recently I did what many (most?) do: (1) research KBB, NADA, Autobytel, Edmunds, Black Book, etc. for what reasonable trade-in value range is, (2) go to Carmax and get an offer, (3) have the dealer(s) give me their offer, (3) compare the two and account for possible sales tax advantage with a dealer trade-in, (4) maximize my value.

Until recently, Carmax “won” each time; first time in 2016 by a lot ($4k difference), last 2 times in 2017 by a little (couple hundred $).

This time (March/April 2019) I decided to broaden my horizons. In addition to the above, I also reached out to onliner’s Vroom and Carvana (the car vending machine folks).

My 2016 XLT Screw seemed to average around $28k trade-in on the low end from the popular websites for my zip code. Course I thought it was worth more condition-wise, but in the end it’s only worth what someone else says they’ll give you regardless of its condition.

So, I got my quotes, they panned out as follows:


Decided to take a chance with Carvana. I was located well outside their pick-up area (within ~110 miles form one of their retail locations), but told them I’d drop it off in Houston (I needed to be in Houston anyway for some other business).

Drove to Houston 4/30/2019, dropped it off in morning when they opened. The Carvana process (them quickly looking at the truck and taking photos, me signing POA for title, me getting their check) took under an hour. Finished my other business (including depositing the Carvana check into my bank’s Houston branch), Uber’d to IAH airport, flew back on cheap flight to MSY in New Orleans, daughter picked me up, drove home. Their check cleared in about 6 days. A week after selling it to Carvana it showed up on their website (supposedly after their 150-point inspection process, so they say, and after they got the title in their name).

From a seller’s perspective, it was ok for me. Bad news – I didn’t get private party price. Good news – I got more than other alternatives I found and was “close” to low end PP.

As a perspective buyer going to their website, I did notice quite a few of the 54 F-150 Screws they had listed for sale were not described correctly (Lariats listed as XLT’s and visa versa, XLT’s listed as XL’s, wrong bed lengths, etc.). Right now my old truck is listed as having rain-sensing wipers (it doesn’t) and having a 5.5 ft (it has a 6.5 ft bed). Just another reminder you can never ask too many questions when buying used or new. To their credit they do have window sticker links for their vehicles.
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:29 PM
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That's interesting, thanks for posting. I haven't sold a vehicle to them but a couple years ago I bought my daughters first car from them and had a great experience. The car has been awesome and they delivered it to my door free of charge. It's a Toyota Corolla so it was pretty low risk i guess.
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:09 PM
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Thanks for the post. I've be curious how fair they were on pricing.

Looking at your truck on there, do you think they are offering a fair price?

I don't think I'll be buying from them in the near future but it's good to have options. I was thinking about selling my truck to them when I upgraded tho.
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Old 05-10-2019, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by fordguy2100 View Post
Thanks for the post. I've be curious how fair they were on pricing.

Looking at your truck on there, do you think they are offering a fair price?

I don't think I'll be buying from them in the near future but it's good to have options. I was thinking about selling my truck to them when I upgraded tho.
Is their asking price "fair"? I don't know honestly. Used 3 year old 2wd XLT Screws with 302a are pretty common, but a long wheelbase one (6-1/2 ft bed vs common 5-1/2 ft bed) with 3.5L EB, TT, 36 gal tank and under 25k miles is rare. Market in the northern US very limited as it's 2wd. But if you believe the car value websites at all, it's priced less than the mid-point for private party value for my southern US zip code. What surprised me was their offer vs. the others, it was significantly higher, and then their asking price is only $1900 above what they paid me. I'm used to dealers putting more markup on. Carvana is proud of their proprietary pricing algorithm, but I wonder how different it is than the one Carmax or others use. All I can say is, they are definitely an alternative to a dealer or to Carmax if you're looking at selling them your vehicle.
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Old 05-19-2019, 12:47 PM
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working in auto finance in the subprime market, we stopped suggesting Carmax for people who need to sell their cars. Carmax has changed a bit from when it was created by Circuit City... They lowball appraisals really bad. They tried to tell me a 99 Town Car was only worth $300. Left and never went back
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Old 05-19-2019, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by David Lyons View Post
working in auto finance in the subprime market, we stopped suggesting Carmax for people who need to sell their cars. Carmax has changed a bit from when it was created by Circuit City... They lowball appraisals really bad. They tried to tell me a 99 Town Car was only worth $300. Left and never went back
I have not used these services yet and dont take this the wrong way but a 20 year old car is probably only worth 300 to them. I would be surprised if they wanted it at all.

I think I will try these services in a few years with my 18. Seems like a pretty low hassle deal.
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Old 05-19-2019, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by David Lyons View Post
working in auto finance in the subprime market, we stopped suggesting Carmax for people who need to sell their cars. Carmax has changed a bit from when it was created by Circuit City... They lowball appraisals really bad. They tried to tell me a 99 Town Car was only worth $300. Left and never went back
Its a 20 some year old vehicle with no mention of mileage, rust, condition, etc.. What did you expect? $20k?

Probably the best money got for a vintage vehicle if in good condition, rare and/or souped up is a private sale.
Otherwise its only good for the scrap metal yard.
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:11 PM
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The best deal for a 20 year old vehicle is a Ford rebate of $2000 for a trade in.
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by David Lyons View Post
working in auto finance in the subprime market, we stopped suggesting Carmax for people who need to sell their cars. Carmax has changed a bit from when it was created by Circuit City... They lowball appraisals really bad. They tried to tell me a 99 Town Car was only worth $300. Left and never went back
I am about where OP was with his info in, well, the OP. Still tooling up to buy a new F150 this summer or fall. I took my current vehicle in to Carmax for an appraisal last week, just to see what they'd say, even though I'll have to go back again when I'm ready as it's only good 7 days and it could be a few months.

They offered slightly over what I expected after looking up book values and searching for like-vehicles as if I was a buyer. But I'm talking a basic (cloth and the like) 2011 Yukon XL they said they'd buy for $11,500

The car we sold them last year was an old Fusion that had an open recall on the airbag that supposedly might kill you...not really liking that as a private sale. They gave what we considered a fair offer.

Having previously sold another car (last year) to Carmax, and browsed their lots a time or three, it seems like a 20 year old town car isn't something they would really even want on their lot

Last edited by blkZ28spt; 05-20-2019 at 08:32 PM.
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