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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
OK gang...my C is scheduled to arrrive in the next week (give or take)....WOO-HOO, about time!!!!

Since I haven't traded a car in over the past 8 years, here is a question for those who do so more frequently...

Is it beneficial to have the trade-in detailed as much as possible prior to the dealer seeing it or are dealerships so accustomed to taking cars in trade that they can see through the attempt to make the car look as good as possible and it really doesn't matter? I mean it won't be filled with coffee cups and filthy, but it there are real value in time and effort to 'spiff up' a car or should I just take it in as is?

Thanks!
 

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A clean car won't bring you more money (since they all low ball) but a dirty car will bring less, any excuse to go below the black book auction price. I would not pay any money to "detail", just wash, vacuum, and low sheen the interior trim that's about it. Be prepared to be robbed.
 

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Agreed, as long as it is resonably clean your are fine. Any money you spend will not get a return on your investment.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. Pretty much what I was thinking/hoping...but you never know until you ask!! :)
 

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There is another thread going around about trade in values. Don't expect anything near reasonable for your trade (unless things have changed since June). I traded in my LOADED 1996 STS with 102000 miles which was in immaculate condition for $3000. Actually, when I brought it there they couldn't believe how good the car looked it could've passed for brand new. They originally only wanted to give me 2500 for it. So I made the dealer negotiate the price of the C first which I got for 300 over invoice but that meant no movement on the trade in price. I worked with the dealer for 4 hours then threatened to walk out if I couldn't get more for the STS. They were able to bump it to 3000. The car probably got sold for 8000 because it was sweet. Don't know if anyone can comment on how the trade market is now....Moral to the story, it doesn't matter how nice the car looks as far as getting more, but you will get less for a dirty car
 

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jjs, I reckon it depends on the age of your trade. In my recent experience earlier this year when upgrading my wife's car we traded a '93 Honda Prelude with 93,000 Klms (~58000 miles). The Prelude was owned from new, A+ condition and squeaky clean but was too old for the dealer to be interested in stocking. They were really impressed with it and took the trouble of ringing around the trade to get a top price for it. I ended up getting $13,000 which was probably 2k over the "book" value.

Of course, it is a bit of a different market here in Australia.
 

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2K over book value is excellent.

I have a 2002 Jetta GLS with the works, heated seats leather seats, monsoon stereo system, power moonroof, etc etc. Its my wifes and she uses it to commute to work. Only seat really sat in, is the drivers. Car looks like its barely ever been driven. It has about 50K miles on it.

Dealer will not even give me trade in value for it. (They can get cars for cheap at auction, so thats the price they will give most of you) Which is usually considerably less than Trade in Value.

I am just selling it outright. Even with the tax benefit I can still come out ahead.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Nolmscheid said:
2K over book value is excellent.

I have a 2002 Jetta GLS with the works, heated seats leather seats, monsoon stereo system, power moonroof, etc etc. Its my wifes and she uses it to commute to work. Only seat really sat in, is the drivers. Car looks like its barely ever been driven. It has about 50K miles on it.

Dealer will not even give me trade in value for it. (They can get cars for cheap at auction, so thats the price they will give most of you) Which is usually considerably less than Trade in Value.

I am just selling it outright. Even with the tax benefit I can still come out ahead.
Thanks for the info...I might sell outright, but really don't want two car payments at a time until it sells.
 

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I traded in a 2002 Chrysler 300M with 34,000 on it and got $14,500, which is what all the trade-in sites listed at the top end of the value. The dealership commented on its very clean condition. It was their first offer and I took it.
 

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A dirty car won't always give you less trade-in. I traded in a 2002 dodge pickup which was dirty inside and out. Use for construction work but in my case it helped that it was dirty because it hid a lot of scratches. Anyway I got $500 over kelly blue book value. I checked other sites on trade value and I knew what to realistically expect. It helps to exaggerate what you want for your trade in. I didn't trade the dodge pickup for the Chrysler it was for an 2004 Ford truck. Ford sells close to a million pickups a year so its easier for Ford to pay a little over trade value.
 

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I sold my 1996 Pontiac Bonneville over the internet, but I did get a quote from my dealer 4 weeks before my C was scheduled to be delivered. He used KBB and knocked off about $1700 for scratches, tires, etc.. The final quote was around low KBB, which I believe was the auction price.
Maybe on newer cars it is different, but I believe dealers don't want to pay any higher than the going auction price, which is I believe is near low KBB.
 

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My Dealer was fair and helpful with my trade. I was happy with what I got and he sold my old car less than 2 days after putting it on the lot.
 

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I never accept anything less than the average of: KBB, Edmunds, and NADA. At times a dealer will try to low ball me, but I hold out to get what I'm due.
 
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