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topdog1961

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topdog1961

It’s funny how the way you earn respect and admiration varies from one family to another.  In some families it’s academic achievement, other’s its financial success, sports, military or social service.  In mine, it’s what kind of deal you get on your vehicles.  You can really hold your head high when you buy a very clean used vehicle and can say “I bought it for trade in value”, or better yet “I stole it”.  You definitely don’t want to be the black sheep that everyone else whispers about behind their back….“Yeah, that’s a nice car, but they got took, I hear they paid retail!”  So needless to say my extended family doesn’t buy many new vehicles, unless it’s the rare case when buying a new vehicle is actually the best value, like maybe recent model crew cab 4x4 pickups.  And then only if you can say that you got the end of the model year blowout rebate and somehow managed to use your second cousin’s twice removed who works for GM somewhere in Michigan’s “family discount.” 

 

I’m not sure where this frugality comes from.  Most all of us are comfortable, but come from humble roots, just a generation or two removed from Eastern KY sustenance farmers and coal miners.  We’ve got some Irish and some Cherokee blood….are they shrewd like an Arab trader? Whatever the origin, I was able to put myself through college 30 some years ago by scouring the “Metro Piston” car trader magazine for great deals on cool cars, enjoying them for a few months, then flipping them.  I no longer do that, but have several family members who love doing this like we love hunting, it’s a passion.  They will fly anywhere, anytime for the right immaculate, low mileage vehicle.  It’s not about the money, they got that, it’s the hunt, the score.  

 

Now the internet has replaced the weekly trader magazines and opened up endless possibilities for my family.  One of the best sites they use is cargurus.com. Recently I’ve started to see a lot of ads for it. The website scans all the ads and prices, and rates the deal based upon the vehicle’s book value.  You can sort by best deal to the worst, by location, by model, transmission type, number of cylinders…you name it, you can find the best value on it.  Typically a reputable high volume dealer won’t let a vehicle set on their lot for long, after 30 days, they start marking it down, and the ranking goes up.  A high ranking on cargurus doesn't guarantee a good deal, you still have to show due diligence on its condition.  But at least you don’t have to sort through the so-so and bad deals.  I’ve used cargurus to buy two cars in the last year or so.  My wife’s Miata and my Mazda 3 work car were one owner trade-ins at new car dealerships.  I got them both for well below private party value the same day they were marked down to blow em out the door prices, and I bought them for less still. Thank you cargurus.

 

So next time you are looking for a used car, check out cargurus.  Has anyone else used it?

 

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Don Steese

I found this vehicle on cargurus. I just sold it, by the way.IMG_0405.thumb.JPG.8d868747d4a21a8a5269263de01b54ad.JPG

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Mike da Carpenter

Have not used that site, but my oldest son (14 years old) found a 2000 Z-71 Silverado that was a one owner truck.  Guy bought it as a retirement gift to himself in Dec, 1999.  Had a 4 page log book of Date Mileage and what was done along with every receipt from the dealer.  

 

Ive raised my boys to be good shoppers and when he brought the deal to me, I was pretty hesitant, especially when the pictures included were awful (taken in a garage with no lighting on a black truck with black interior).  Called the guy, asked a few questions as I didn’t want my son talking to some possible “wack job”.

 

my wife was out of town, my son said he has worked every summer to save the money and we should look into it.  I called a buddy, drove the 1.5 hours to get there, and it was the hardest thing to do just to conceal our excitement.  The dude selling it was in his 80’s, truck was immaculate and he was upset at what the dealer offered him for a trade in price.  He met my son, the two of them talked for a bit, and his main concern is that he wasn’t gonna jack it up, or lower it down.  To him the truck was perfect and didn’t need changing.  He was impressed my son actually worked and saved his own money to buy the truck, especially before he could legally drive it.  

 

After test driving, we started to talk money and the seller said he couldn’t take all the boy’s money and accepted what the dealer offered to pay him, as long as he “didn’t Jack the dang thing up, or lower it so much that it scrapes ground”.

 

Son has now passed his first segment of driver’s training and is my driver whenever we have to go anywhere.  To say he is happy is an understatement, to say I’m proud doesn’t do the feeling any justice.

 

 

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topdog1961

Good for him, and the old guy. You don't find many like that, trucks or men. 

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Mike da Carpenter

In all honesty, we were looking to find a small car earlier this year and figured if we gave it a year the right deal would come along.  

 

Then I shared, with my wife, the story of the accident your son and daughter were in this past spring, and the first thing my wife said was “He is getting a 4 wheel drive truck”.  Because she prefers the extra insurance of having a bunch of metal surrounding them and sits up a lot higher.

 

Hopefully you guys are well along the road to recovery and everything is going good.

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E.Young

I bought my Tacoma with Cargurus' help. I paid a very fair price - no great deals to be had on Tacomas, anyway - and it was in excellent condition, one owner, and exactly what I'd wanted. Of course, it was for sale as a trade-in at the local Range Rover dealership, parked on a back lot and out of sight. I'd have never known to look there otherwise. 

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Mike da Carpenter

Some guy at the dealership probably was hoping it was overlooked for a while and would be able to walk out of there with it. Good find E.

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topdog1961
1 hour ago, E.Young said:

I bought my Tacoma with Cargurus' help. I paid a very fair price - no great deals to be had on Tacomas, anyway - and it was in excellent condition, one owner, and exactly what I'd wanted. Of course, it was for sale as a trade-in at the local Range Rover dealership, parked on a back lot and out of sight. I'd have never known to look there otherwise. 

 

Yep, you're not gonna steal a nice 4x4 truck, especially a Toyota. But it helps if they are trade ins at the wrong dealer lot, they tend to get overlooked by the foot traffic. Both my good deals were trade ins at the other dealers lot. The Miata came from a big Chevy dealer, and had sat from October to February because it is a comverible, and it's a stick shift. I had to scrape the snow off it to drive it. I'm sure the dealer was glad to see it go. And the Mazda 3 work car was a trade in at a big Dodge dealership, plus it's a stick so 90% of people can't drive it. When dealers slash the prices of these slow moving cars to get rid of them, cargurus helps you spot the deals fast. But clean 4x4 pickups are never slow moving. 

 

I know now for sure I got their bottom dollar on the Miata. The dealer had just slashed the asking price around $3,000 and it shot to the top of the best deals ranking on cargurus. I went down the same day, drove it, and offered $1,000 less than that. The salesman took the offer to the manager and he said no way. I walked out to  my car to leave and realized I couldn't find my glasses. The salesman and I spent 20 minutes looking everywhere I'd went for them. Finally I found them, and as I was headed back out to leave, the sales manager said to let me have the car for my offer. If it weren't for misplacing my glasses, I'd never have got the car. 

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E.Young

On the other side of the coin here, I listed my Tacoma on Cargurus this spring for under book value (and it is in excellent shape) and got nothing but low-ballers and non-responsive folks. I'd get a notice that says "Frank is interested in your Tacoma" and Frank would never respond. Or, there's a "Make an Offer" feature in there, I got a lot of $1 offers, which is fine to get the conversation rolling, but there were plenty more offers that were firm at 2/3 the list price, which was already $3k under KBB's price and the cargurus' rating on my truck was "great deal." My other complaint from the seller's side is that the longer your car is on there, the worse of a deal it becomes in their rating system, unless you pay up for a premium offering, which doesn't degrade the relative value if it doesn't sell quickly.

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