Used car pricing rip offs give me a headache

johndeereJune 24, 2005

I just have to share this to see what others see in there area.I have been looking for a work vehical to drive from farm to farm.I work off the farm partime and have a 15 mile drive and my type of work is no place for a nice vehical.I drive this route about 3 days a week average.I now drive a beater gas guzzler pickup truck.My 2002 Cavalier might not seem like much but to me it is and there is just no way im driving it there to get messed up.

Pickups are over priced it seems to me.You get more old car for the money.As much as I would like a good used S-10 or Ford Ranger.Im not paying $5000.00 for a strpped down high milage seat on a frame with a steering wheel.To me there a over glorified Model T.But thats another story.

I might be strange but I prefer to buy from a dealer.I do not like to get involved with private sellers.I like to check the car lots on Sundays while there not around to bug me.

I found a 1992 Cavalier station wagon.With 22000 miles in great shape.Must have set in a garage most of those 13 years.Its on a Chevy dealers lot.So I checked the KBB to see what this cream puff was worth.I came up with $1655.00 top dollar.I then went and tried to buy it.I felt he would want more.But $1655.00 is the book value with the low miles.I about fell over backwards when he said $5000.00.I laughed in his face.He said make a offer.I said if it drives like it looks I might go as high as $2500.00.He was insulted bad.I said fine let it set there and ROT!!!!!!How do these clowns get away with selling cars for 3 times there book value?Or I guess maybe they just do not sell them.

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john_g

The problem JohnDeere is your not taking into account what it costs to operate a dealership. Really you have no way to know what it costs them, but rest assured it's higher than most people want to think. So from there they not only have to sell a lot of cars, they have to sell a lot of cars at a profit that fits their needs. If they sell the cars below a given profit level (what you appear to expect), then they would have to sell a lot more cars or eventually go out of business. Were they asking a lot for that car by the book? Maybe. But it's also quite likely the book dosen't cover every possibility of a vehicle condition, and some cars should be correctly priced outside of the books guidelines, be that higher or lower.

It really comes down to the buyer, if you decide it's worth that much money to you, then buy it. If not, then don't buy it. The bottom line is if you don't think it's worth that much thats OK, they have every right to try and wait until someone else does.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 3:31PM
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brianl703

Hmm, doesn't the 1992 Cavalier have a 5-digit odometer?

So it could really have 122,000 miles on it. If it had been well taken care of, you might not even be able to tell.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 4:28PM
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gary__

johndeere, I doubt the salesman was really insulted...unless you called him a crooked sob or something. I don't know what price guide you went by but when I looked it up top dollar was $2650 or so. What you offered was in the ball park in that regard. Probably would have been enough for a private party. The way the salesman is going to look at this car and present it to a buyer is someting like this. "A brand new cavalier is $16,000. Here's one that looks like new and hardly been used for less than 1/3 of that. It's like getting a $16,000 car for $5000". It will be tempting to someone who would like a new car but can't afford one. It's annoying to your average joe like you and me looking for a good clean used car, especially knowing they probably only gave $1000 in trade for it to begin with, but I wouldn't call it crooked. They're in business to make money. If they can get more than high book for it, and they probably will if it's as nice as you say, more power to them. If I were really really interested, I might offer a couple hundred above top book but that's about it. $5000 would be over the top for me, but it's their car and they can ask what they want for it. jmo

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 6:36PM
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nine7xbam

Buying used it's always better to buy from a private owner even if you have to pay a mechanic to check the vehicle out.As far as the dealers go their philosophy must be there's one born every day. Just for the hell of it when I bought my Matrix I asked about the trade-in value of my 94 Paseo with 62K miles with a KB book retail value of $5400.Those clowns offered me a mere $1500,so I laughed in their faces and sold that car myself for $5000 within two months!People stupidly overpay from dealers for the convenience of a 90 day warranty and in house financing.Better to buy a used car with a good reliability record and finance it through your bank if you can't afford to pay cash.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 8:35PM
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johndeere

The 92 Cavalier has a 6 digit odometer.They do not roll over at 100000 miles they keep on going.I had a 91 and a 94 and there not near the car that the 99 and 02 were.The change was made in 95.They were reliable but just not as nice.

It did have 22000 miles and the numbers did line up and they had the miles chalked on the windows advertising the low miles.The car was in very nice shape.But the tires were not original.White walls turned to the inside was a dead give away.However the originals probably were dry rotted?From setting around.Makes me wonder about the engine seals and shocks things like that.Might take it out and start driving it and things start going bad.

After writing this I did find a higher book value thru NADA.I do not get how there could be such a difference around $1000.00.But they were around $2650.00?I would say that is possible and I might have went $2650.00.I offered $2500.00 pending a test drive.I realise they have to make money to stay in business.But thats nuts!!!!!!Its not going anywhere has been there since late winter early spring.I highly dought they will ever get more then $3000.00.If some one had $5000.00 to throw away on a 13 year old Cavalier.They better have there head examined!They could put that $5000.00 toward a down payment on a held over New Cavilier or a Cobalt and with the rebates and promotion.Have a new car with a super low payment.There is not a bank that would finance a $5000.00 car worth $2600.00 tops.So it would have to be a cash deal.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 9:59PM
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bill_h

sounds like too high a price, my mother in law just bought a fully loaded 2 dr cavelier with 24000 miles on it for 4900.00 here in the detroit area. also saw an 01 4 dr down the road from me 38000 miles on it for 3995.00. good used cars seem to be very plentiful in this area.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 5:18AM
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nine7xbam

I bet that dealer paid less than $1000 for that Cavalier and most likely rolled back the odometer or it was rolled back somewhere in it's lifetime,as tires should last at least 30K miles.I was interested in a 4 wheel drive truck four years ago selling at a new car dealer for 12K.They were going to give me $1800 for my 88 4 wheel drive which seemed reasonable so I told them I'd get back to them after doing a carfax check.Well it turned out that the 94 Ranger which supposedly had 71K miles on it was traded in to a car dealer in a neighboring state 3 years prior with 84K miles on it,then was resold with only 31K miles on the clock!So that means that truck actually had at least 124K miles on it!

The dealer had my number ,but never called me back so I assumed they knew what I would find in the carfax check.I turned in that carfax to motor vehicle and reported that dealer,but nothing ever happened to them.To top it off they didn't open on Saturday because the owner was a 7 day adventist! He probably goes to church and prays for god to send more suckers to his dealership so he can rip them off!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 9:24AM
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steve_o

13-year-old tires would be rotten by now, so I can see new tires. But a car that has been sitting on the lot since late winter/early spring definitely should be eligible for some wheeling and dealing.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 10:57AM
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earthworm

Always better to buy private - at least here you can be dealing with an amateur crook (many of us) , rather than a professional.

The dealers profit per car is high, too high, IMO - but that is another story.

The private selling price should be between wholesale and retail - but sometimes the private owner must sell fast, if he lives in an apartment complex, for instance...
And the faster the car must be sold, the lower the price..

Buy private, it is an interesting experience, more people are honest, more honest than I am..
A great many dealers are absolutely honest as well, but the prevailing public perception is that they are not...

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 11:42AM
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brianl703

Ford and Chrysler are now recommending tire replacement at least at 6-year intervals due to concerns about dry-rotting.

As I recall this recommendation is grounded in some research that was done, which indicates that after 6 years the incidence of a blowout goes up quite a bit. Apparently, the tire can look fine even if it has deteriorated to a point at which a blowout is likely.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 5:45PM
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christopherh

You guys are talking about rolling back odomoters.
I sold my '88 Volvo to a dealer in the Poconos of PA. It had 192,000 on it. He wholesaled it out to someone in NJ. I saw the SAME car in my community 3 years leter. (I recognized the dent in the hood.) I talked to the owner and told him it was my old car. He liked the fact it only had 92,000 miles on it when he bought it and had since put 30,000 more on it. I laughed when he told me that. I explained the car threw a rod at 174,000 and I didn't trust it after that and traded it at a VERY reputable used car dealer. He was driving a car with well over 200,000 miles on it. So I know the guy he wholesaled it to did the dirty deed. I never saw the car again.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 6:50AM
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nine7xbam

I never,ever trust trust low mileage on an older car for sale at a car dealer!One time I saw a Dodge Ram 50 4 wheel drive on the lot of a new car dealer with 96K on the odo.About 2 months later I saw the same truck(know it was the same because of the spare still on the front passenger side,not matching other 3 wheels)at a used car dealer 15 miles away from the new car dealer with only 52K on the odometer.If you report them it doesn't stop them,one guy known as the 'clock doctor' got caught,paid a fine and is still in business.Always use carfax on a used car and if it looks too good to be true,it probably is!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 6:53PM
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gary__

**I never,ever trust trust low mileage on an older car for sale at a car dealer!**

That's why one should spring for a carfax report. It should normally pick up things like that if the vehicle ever changed hands, crossed state lines, or went through DEQ. Pretty stupid someone would tamper with that particular vehicle. Not much difference between 96k and 52k these days. Risk a fine, loosing your license to do buisness, or jail, for what?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 9:52PM
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nine7xbam

More money on the sale.Watch the 1980 movie Used Cars,real life used car dealers aren't all that different.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 10:36PM
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johndeere

I wonder if the newer more modern digital displays are more tamper proof or if they have been known to be rolled back also?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 10:37PM
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brianl703

Tampering with a digital display requires quite a bit more knowledge/skill than did tampering with the mechanical odometers.

Anyone with the ability to figure out how to roll back a digital odometer could make a nice living doing legitimate work.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 11:55PM
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GoodOleBoy

JohnDeere,
they can ask that much becuase that what they will sell it for if it is finnanced.Finnacing is reral money maker for car lots. People just to know monthly payment so they give it to them at and itseems like a deal forsomeone who does not have a penny to there name.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 1:01AM
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bill_h

i think theres alot of low milege older cars out there, look at mine, i only drive about 5k a yr, so when i get rid of a car the miles are low. i have a 5 yr old truck with 25k on it, my car is just a bit over a yr old with 5600 miles on it. although most the time i dont trade in, theres useally a friend or relitive that wants it. i did trade in an s-10 with 8000 miles on it after 3 yrs, just never drove that truck much.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 1:32AM
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earthworm

All of which is reasons to buy privately, with documentation, a repairman's address, and cash only..The downside is the greater amount of time spent looking around and buying..

Otherwise, one must pay out a lot of money for "work" he should do himself...
Also,IMO, there are several earthworms for each bill-h.. Worms will drive their vehicles into the ground before discharging them...

Credit unions are great !

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 10:56AM
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valtog

Don't trust very low mileage from a private party either:)) I used to work with a former mechanic (left the business cuz he didn't like to get his hands dirty!!!LOL) that used to make a few bucks here and there disconnecting and turning back odometers....

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 11:16AM
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brianl703

You can just buy a used instrument cluster with the mileage you want it to show from a wrecker.

I don't believe that'll work for some of the digital ones, at least not the GM ones, because they store the VIN inside all of the computer modules and that may include the instrument cluster. At power-on all of the modules compare their VIN with each other, if one doesn't match the vehicle may not even start.

Supposedly the GM modules aren't reprogrammable once the VIN has been stored. But I noticed that rebuilt units are available, so I would think that someone has figured it out. So I guess the correct statement would be that they're not field-reprogrammable.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 12:10PM
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christopherh

You can just buy a used instrument cluster with the mileage you want it to show from a wrecker.

No you can't. They aren't allowed to sell them just for the reason you state. I know from personal experience. I was customizing a 1964 Ranchero and had put a 65 Comet Caliente front clip on it and wanted the Comet instrument cluster. Nobody would sell it to me and every one said the same thing. The mileage would be innacurate.
I ended up with a Caliente puckup complete except for a Falcon cluster.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 7:18AM
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brianl703

That might be a state law. I can get used instrument clusters all day long with no problem here. They'll also sold on Ebay all the time.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 10:23AM
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earthworm

IMO, there is little difference with low and high mileage quality vehicles.
What is a quality vehicle ?? Good question.
I guess all of ours are and were (Volvo - absolutely; Mercedes, of course; the two Saabs, probably; and the Honda)

The vehicle for you, JohnDeere, could have been a VW Diesel pick up, based on the Golf II. VW has chosen not to compete against the majors, a wrong decision,IMO..Lagging behind would be the Chevrolet S10 and the Ford Ranger..
Their worth is reflected in the resale value- more or less..

Throw away the miles, buy privately, demand a good service record..

    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 11:09AM
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