The Trade-In process might be the cause of most of the confusion and frustration for car shoppers because there are just so many ways to ‘value’ a car, and every source for information has a different value. So before anything, let’s walk through our Trade-In process here.
We use multiple sources to come up with an offer for a potential Trade. We believe in the importance of transparency, so we use Kelly Blue Book’s Instant Cash Offer alongside our own thorough research. KBB is great. It is a non-biased source of information that takes into consideration numerous factors before generating a value for your vehicle, and in the case where we value the car lower than KBB’s offer, KBB will honor theirs.
From there, we use a tool called vAuto, which shows us detailed information about every competitive vehicle in the market. And when I say detailed, I mean detailed. We look at not just what similar cars are priced at, but also how long they take to sell on average, what colors, options, trims are most popular. This allows us to gauge how long we think it will take us to sell the vehicle once it’s on our lot.
We also examine the vehicle’s cosmetic and mechanic condition. Out of respect for your time, we can’t do a complete inspection, so there are always risks for us when we take in a vehicle, but we try to be a thorough as possible. We start by deep-diving into the vehicle’s CarFax. We aren’t simply looking for any reported accidents, but also the vehicle’s service history–basically all the things you, as a consumer, would be looking at.
No, we don't drive your car like this. It's a cool picture though!
Next, we drive the car to check for any signs that the vehicle may be in need of some level of servicing. Things like squeaks and rattles can often be as simple as a trim piece in need of adjusting, or sometimes a sign of something more complex. We also look at the treadwear on the tires. Uneven tread wear can be a sign that the alignment is off in some way. Depending on the age of the vehicle, we will run a diagnostic scan to see the the internal computer is showing a fault code.
After we have an idea about what is needed to make the vehicle ready to sell, we compare that with the information we gathered about the market, and then can make you an informed offer for your trade.
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