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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to the dealer to sign the papers tomorrow, and am debating whether to trade in my 93 Jeep Grand Cherokee (72k) or sell it on my own. I've listed it for about 3 weeks at $6500 and it hasn't sold, but the dealer said they may offer me UP TO $4000 on it (without seeing it.)

What should I do? You guys always have good ideas...

The dealer mentioned the tax break of about $300 if I traded it in, instead of selling it. That's still a $2200 difference. I figure insurance for the old car will cost me $120 a month (yes, it's NYC). Even if I sell it for $6000, it gives me about 14 months to break even. Is the hassle worth the $1700?
 

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Well, you have tried selling it for $6500 for 3 weeks and no go, so you will probably have to lower your asking price, which is just that - an asking price. I'm not sure it would be worth the hassle factor in my book - I would be tempted to trade - assuming 1) you get a decent price and 2) check www.edmunds.com to see what the trade-in value is - make sure the dealer's price is fair.
 

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Trade it and cut your losses. The economy is slow, and average America is not buying cars except when theyre offering really low APR's.
 

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As a fellow-NYC resident, maybe my experience will be useful.

Dealer offered me around $7K for 5-year-old 25K miles excellent condition Subaru (and showed me the NADA book to prove his right) KBB and other similar sources appraised my old car at $9K wholesale and upto $14K retail. I placed an ad in Autoshopper (whatever the name is) for $11,5K neg. on the same day I signed a purchase order. The dealer included trade-in at $7K but it was not binding. That Auto magazine did NOT generate a sigle phone call! :( After about 3 weeks, I placed an ad in the local Brooklyn newspaper ("Bay News", I think, which automatically spreads to Marketeer and a few other local supermarket papers)

All that while I had a L A R G E F OR S A L E :) sign on my car. That generated a lot of interest, but the price would turn people off - too bad. Anyway, after about 1 month of local newspaper advertizing, a guy calls, makes an appt., takes the car around the block, knocks off $200 for new tires, and we have a deal!!! All in all, $4K+ more than the dealer's offer. The only drawback - 3 weeks before MDX delivery (had to "borrow" my in-laws' car - another Sube :))

I am sorry to say, but 9 yo 75K miles JGC is not the most reliable car out there. :(

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How about donating it?

I've checked on KBB and the full retail value is $12,200. At around 31% that's about 3,780. If the dealer offers me less than that, is that worth it, considering I won't get the benefit for another 10 months?
 

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$12,200 - WOW!

Still, $4K + 8.25% tax = $4,330 "on the spot", not a year down the line (with the headache of itemized deductions, etc.)

Besides, are you sure IRS uses KBB full retail value for their estimates?
 

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Selling vs. Trading

Generally speaking, it's always better ($$ in your pocket) to sell a car yourself rather than trade it in. I've been through this several times (caraholic) with many different kinds of cars - and here's what I've learned: your local newspaper Classifieds are the best place to advertise your car for sale. The internet is sexy and fun, but it won't bring buyers to your door (at least not yet).
Look in the paper for cars similar to yours and see what the "asking" prices are. Also, shop the car dealers for cars like yours to see what they're getting. Then, if you want to move your car quickly, set your price slightly BELOW the average price of similar cars in your city. Oh, and one more trick - spend $100 and have your car professionally detailed inside and out. A clean, sweet-smelling used car always sells faster.
If you trade it in, whatever you do, don't go back to the dealer a week later to see how much they're selling it for on their Used Car Lot. It will really piss you off! Which is why you should sell it yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Markedoc,

Is the donation guideline to go for the wholesale price? Does anyone know what the IRS guidelines are? Is the retail number what is considered market value for donation purposes?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Totally stressed, should I be?

I don't know what I'll do. I think if the dealer offers me less than $3500, I'll probably try to sell it for a month or two, then donate it, assuming the $12,200 is the number I can use as fair market value.
 

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Not really sure how cars are appraised, but check this site out:

http://www.irs.gov/faqs/display/0,,i1=54&genericId=15955,00.html

I was referring to Edmunds as a site to get a realistic idea of what the car is worth. Have you checked out the wholesale and private party sale numbers at that site? From what I understand, edmunds is closest to reality.
 

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additional food for thought - you can sell the car privately but have all the paperwork go thru the dealer as if it is a trade-in - this is called a "pass - thru". Since buyer needs to go to the dealer with you, suggest you give him some of the sales tax savings for the inconvenience.
 

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try Carmax....

I am not sure if CarMax is in your state, but they generally will offer you kbb wholesale price & buy it on the spot. (www.kbb.com).

The Acura dealer here (and a few others) advise people trading in to go to CarMax to get a buy bid.

I ended up selling my car for $1000 more than CarMax and $3,000 more than the best dealer trade-in. I would also follow Leader's advice and get your car detailed.

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Traded it in

Thanks everyone for their input. I decided to give the trade-in a try today, and it worked out much better than expected. They gave me $4500 for the car, which works out to be $4871 including the $371 saved in taxes. They just asked me what I expected. I gave the value $4500 thinking they'd give me $3000, but just gave me what I asked. I am actually pretty happy, knowing I will not have the hassle of trying to sell and store a car in New York City.

Thanks again. By the way, my Navi SS will be picked up on 2/19!! Very excited!!!
 

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Re: Totally stressed, should I be?

MDXtrous said:
...I can use as fair market value.
All the web site said that my 92 BMW is worth $8500 to $10000. The dealer and his "friendlier buyers" offiered me $4000. I even tried it at different brand. No luck. The Kelly's book price was at $8000.

I asked once on the thread .. and people said those estimates work quite well. Not for me. Either that is wrong or the dealers in town are all conspired to offered similar prices.

So.. I kept it.

So... I tried to trade an old Camry with the 'X. the dealer offered $1500 or less (since the price won't stick until the MDX arrives). I sold it myself for $2600.

My experience is that the web site estimate tends to be high. But if you sell on your own, you will make some extra money. It is extra work but it is up to you. The extra $$ is good enough to pay for some MDX accessories. Chances are you can sell for more than the dirt cheap give away you trade with the dealer.

:rolleyes:
 
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