Edmunds Answers



  • greanpea68 01/29/08 10:56 pm PST

    AAX... Black Book... Are acouple that dealers use but dealers pay monthly fees for accurate information. I wish it was easy as that but as they say it is what it is. KBB and Edmunds are guides but they are not accurate.


  • qbrozen 01/30/08 10:58 am PST

    Right here on Edmunds! Some pros over the years have been kind enough to provide this information to those who ask on the Real-World Trade-in Values board.

  • madmanmoo 01/30/08 5:44 pm PST

    There is no way for you to find that out. Sorry. You can guess, but even if you find out what a dealer purchases the vehicle for, how are you going to find out what the cost was to refurbish the vehicle?

    New tires? Oil changes? Dent/paint work?

    Sorry, but you can't get that information.

  • MrShift@Edmunds 01/30/08 7:21 pm PST

    On the west coast they use a subscription service called Manheim. I don't know of any free site that specifically lists line by line transactions for dealer auctions.

  • grrldriver 09/20/11 12:37 pm PST

    You cannot get that information BY DESIGN. You also can't go to the dealer's auctions -- they are dealer ONLY.

    They do not want you to know how cheap they buy cars at auction -- it's REALLY cheap, you'd be shocked! -- and how high they sell them. The markup on used cars is extraordinary -- it's many times higher than the markup on most NEW cars.

    Most people (wrongly) believe that dealers make their money on the flashy new cars, and sell the used cars as a sideline. WRONGO. The used cars are the real money -- they sell for thousands over what the dealership paid. The new cars can sell for as little as $500 over dealer cost. (Sometimes with specials, less.)

    They also make a goodly share of profit from selling financing. But the real money is in used cars.

    If you knew the dealer paid $7000 for your car -- even after he put in $400 to clean it up, detail the interior, fix a few dings -- you'd NEVER EVER pay $14,999 for that car.

    But you will. Because nobody will sell YOU that car for $7000.

    Where do the auction cars come from? Sometimes repos, but mostly they are trade-ins -- acquired for almost nothing. The dealer's OTHER BIG PROFIT CENTER is totally cheating you on your trade-in -- confusing the trade-in price with the new car price, until you have no idea what you really paid.

    In most cases, the dealer is actually acquiring your trade-in for NOTHING -- zero -- or close to that. They will give you a few hundred dollars for a car with a book value of several thousand. (I was just offered $700 for a 2001 minivan, with 103,000 miles which has a trade-in value on Edmunds TMV of $2400 and a retail TMV of $4200!)

    Then they send it to auction and make a quick solid profit -- usually 3-4 times what they paid, sometimes lots more. THEN someone buys it, cleans it and marks it way up and that's how you find a car that a dealer got in trade for $700 and the car is marked $6999.

    AND THEY GET IT. Because we have no options. Nobody will sell US cars for $700. SO we must pay $6999 and plead for a few bucks off, or financing.

    That is why the car selling business is a giant multi-BILLION dollar business -- profiting hugely off the misery (and debt) of tens of millions of American workers.


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