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buying new car-costco-carmax,AAA-whats the best?


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#1 of 29 OFFLINE   Tim L

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Posted August 16 2006 - 08:20 AM

Okay- I first off I have a car that 15 years old-but its going fast- I knew I would dread this day- but I am going to buy a new car (I'm cheap when it comes to cars-but not HT equipment..priorities-you know)..anyway-I was looking ino these different programs that can offer the customer a relatively painless and haggle free experience, like cosco -which is what I want and need-just wondering if anyone has any experience or advice to offer with any of these so-called car buying programs- or is there anyting else I should be aware of-any and all advice welcome,thanks
Tim

#2 of 29 OFFLINE   Colton

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Posted August 16 2006 - 08:24 AM

We have a new CarMax in our town. I was wondering if they are different than other car dealerships. Anyone have the scoop about CarMax?

- Colton

#3 of 29 OFFLINE   SethH

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Posted August 16 2006 - 09:38 PM

CarMax is great for used cars. I've never bought a new car there, nor have I known anyone who has. The car my wife now drives was originally purchased by my sister at CarMax. They bought it in 2001. It's a '99 Honda Accord that had <5000 miles on it and they got a very, very good price.

CarMax is entirely no haggle and they usually will give you a fair price on your trade-in (if applicable).

#4 of 29 OFFLINE   Kirk Gunn

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Posted August 16 2006 - 11:13 PM

I bought a new Highlander at Carmax and it was definitely no-haggle and hassle free. The kid could care less if I bought it... Definitely just an "order taker". I probably could have gotten the same price at a neighboring dealer, but with some hassle thrown in, so it depends on what challenge you are up for.

Decent website, but sometimes they do not include all the options so it's worth an onsite visit and a review of the sticker. Online prices include destination charges/advertisement fees, etc which is a nice feature.

I always thought their used prices were a bit on the high side, but they are always in good shape.

Good luck !

#5 of 29 OFFLINE   Alex-C

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Posted August 17 2006 - 02:25 AM

Carmax is attractive and easy/decent to deal with. In this day and age, that is saying a lot regarding the purchase of a used car.
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#6 of 29 OFFLINE   dany

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Posted August 17 2006 - 02:31 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim L
Okay- I first off I have a car that 15 years old-but its going fast- I knew I would dread this day- but I am going to buy a new car (I'm cheap when it comes to cars-but not HT equipment..priorities-you know)..anyway-I was looking ino these different programs that can offer the customer a relatively painless and haggle free experience, like cosco -which is what I want and need-just wondering if anyone has any experience or advice to offer with any of these so-called car buying programs- or is there anyting else I should be aware of-any and all advice welcome,thanks
Tim

None,do it yourself. They couldnt get my car as cheap as i did. I did my homework,found the car i wanted and what was the fair price out the door. I sent e-mails to dealers aound me and waited until someone said yes. Did not give my phone number out until i got a yes.
Get In My Belly.

#7 of 29 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted August 17 2006 - 02:54 AM

All you need to know is right here: Edmunds.com Tips & Advice section. There's a lot of information to digest there, but take your time and read everything that's relevant to you. When you're ready to buy a new car, do lots of research and take the advice that Edmunds (and others) gives out and you'll do fine.

Costo has a hard time getting dealers to participate in their program. Their program is basically meaningless.

Carmax is a place to pay more than you need to for a used car. Their prices are very high on used cars. I don't know about their prices on new cars or how they operate.
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#8 of 29 OFFLINE   nolesrule

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Posted August 17 2006 - 04:11 AM

The no-haggle places will never have a better price than what you can get at a regular dealership. Like Philip's recommendation, I used Edmunds.com to research the Honda CR-V we got for my wife last month.

I used their wizards to figure out how much the average person is paying for the car, if there are any hidden rebates or incentives to help lower the price and the message boards to figure out how much the smart buyers are paying. Then, like the recommendation, I went through the Internet sales department. It's much easier to haggle that way, because there is no face to face involved, so there is less intimidation.

We got the CR-V for $900 below invoice and the dealership still earned a commission of about $600 on the car (which is fine, they need to make money to stay in business).

As for CarMax, they had a used 2003 CR-V EX that they were selling for the same price that we got on the 2006 CR-V LX. Maybe if I could haggle, that would have been a nice retail price starting point, but no way I would pay that much for a 3 year old used car.

#9 of 29 OFFLINE   Tim L

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Posted August 17 2006 - 05:50 AM

thanks for the input everyone- edmunds- I will check it out. I don't know what it is-but I dread the whole car buying experience-maybe its me. thanks again
Tim

#10 of 29 OFFLINE   dany

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Posted August 17 2006 - 05:57 AM

No haggle when you know the price you will pay and they know it,they either have it at your price or they dont. I said i want an Altima with this and that and this color for 27,400 OTD and thats what i got from around the 6 or 7th e-mail reply.
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#11 of 29 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted August 17 2006 - 06:05 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim L
thanks for the input everyone- edmunds- I will check it out. I don't know what it is-but I dread the whole car buying experience-maybe its me. thanks again
Tim
You dread it because you aren't educated about it. After learning how the system works by reading the tutorials at Edmunds, you won't dread it any more.
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#12 of 29 OFFLINE   Ron-P

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Posted August 17 2006 - 07:40 AM

Quote:
Anyone have the scoop about CarMax?
I bought my '03 MINI Cooper back in May from CarMax here in Irvine CA. Great, great car buying experience. I had a few issues with the car at the get-go and they took care of everything weeks after purchase. I also bought a 4 year / 48K warranty with it, hey, it's a MINI.

I will never buy a "new" car again, waste of money as I see it. CarMax gets two BIG thumbs up from me.
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#13 of 29 OFFLINE   GordonL

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Posted August 17 2006 - 08:06 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Hamm
Carmax is a place to pay more than you need to for a used car. Their prices are very high on used cars.
Friend of mine says the same thing. He was shopping for a used car for his mother-in-law last month and CarMax wanted above retail blue book for the cars he was looking at. He ended up getting an upgraded model for a much better price at another no-haggle dealer.

#14 of 29 OFFLINE   Ron-P

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Posted August 17 2006 - 09:11 AM

I picked up my MINI for $2,065 below kbb. Buying a new '06 would have cost me roughly $6-$8k more. When I looked private party (auto trader and such) I was able to find some for the same price with much higher milage and a few a bit lower but most were more then what I paid through CarMax.

Add to my great deal I also had them replace a fuel sensor an oxygen sensor, the drivers seat frame, touch up some paint and take the dash apart to fix a rattle all of which cost me nothing, if I bought private party I whould have been out of pocket close to $1k or more for all those repairs.

Quote:
Carmax is a place to pay more than you need to for a used car. Their prices are very high on used cars.
So while this may hold true in some cases it's not 100% true. Maybe the CarMax's you guys are dealing with are overpriced but from my experience in my area they are not.

Just going back today and looking at the Auto Trader online I can sell my MINI for more then what I paid.
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#15 of 29 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted August 18 2006 - 01:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron-P
Just going back today and looking at the Auto Trader online I can sell my MINI for more then what I paid.
Private Party and dealer prices on Auto Trader are negotiable. I'd guess very few cars are sold at the "asking" price. Just because you see it listed doesn't mean people pay that price. Congratulations, you're one of the very few people who bought a car from Carmax and didn't get ripped off. There are probably a few others also out there. They certainly have earned their reputation.

BTW "Kelly Blue Book" is pretty much a meaningless car industry site. Try the NADA guide and Edmunds.com for more meaningful pricing information.
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#16 of 29 OFFLINE   dany

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Posted August 18 2006 - 01:47 AM

Edmunds prices are to high.
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#17 of 29 OFFLINE   Carl Miller

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Posted August 18 2006 - 02:25 AM

I like Edumunds for general information, but their TMV price feature is pretty useless. When we bought our 2004 Toyota Solara, the TMV price for the car was $25,870.

I bought the car for $24,590 with the help of Consumer Reports info package on the car, no hassle whatsoever.

A friend of mine who sells Infinitis has told me he actually doesn't mind when shoppers walk into his dealership with Edmunds TMV information...But he can't stand when people walk in with Consumer Reports info.

TMV includes info on what other people have paid for their cars, including those who have paid way too much....Be wary of that if you use it.
Carl

#18 of 29 OFFLINE   benjaminBen

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Posted August 18 2006 - 03:47 AM

I work for Enterprise Car Sales (which Carmax copied our no hassle program). I have sold over 250+ cars and am very familar with the car industry.
1. Yes, you can get a lower price at a dealership, but you pay for what you get, 91% of our vehicles we sell to other used car dealers that DON'T pass through our inspections. Dealers and Carmax eat the vehicles up, because we do all our work internal, so nothing gets reported to Carfax. What that means is all the cars we had that have been wrecked, hailed, flooded, etc... all have a clear carfax history, so of course those cars are going to sell cheaper.
2. Dealers make their money, period. Just because the price of a car is low DOES NOT mean you got a good deal. If a dealer is going to finace a car they will lower the price, because they are going to get a bump on the interest rate (meaning you qualify for 8%, but you get 11%) the dealer will make thousands more off the finacing then the car, so of course they will sell it to you cheaper. That is why I have so many people that got "great deals" from their dealer, but are buried alive in their cars when they come to trade it in.
3. ALWAYS REMEMBER YOU PAY FOR WHAT YOU GET. Dealers thrive on making people feel like they are getting good deals. The salesperson gets paid off the front end of the deal, they aren't going to sell you a car they aren't making money on.

Yes, I may be a little biased but i see people get screwed everyday. No one walks out FEELING like they got a bad deal. I know so much about the car industry that it would be very easy to screw people if i wanted to, but i get paid a flat-rate per car and work off a no haggle price system.

#19 of 29 OFFLINE   Ron-P

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Posted August 18 2006 - 04:08 AM

You can argue all day long about car prices, dealers ripping people off, one place in much more expensive then another...etc, but, it all comes down to this, as long as the perosn who bought the car feels they got a great deal, that is all that matters.
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#20 of 29 OFFLINE   benjaminBen

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Posted August 18 2006 - 04:57 AM

as long as the perosn who bought the car feels they got a great deal, that is all that matters.

I disagree with that lots of people FEEL like they got a great deal, but that doesn't help them when they go to trade it in and they are 5,000 in the hole


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