Buying a Used Car?
Have a Realistic Starting Point Before You Shop

You're getting ready to purchase a car. A major investment? You bet. You owe it to yourself (and to your pocketbook!) to be as educated about this decision as possible. Don't think you are getting a good deal just because you are buying for less than the "retail price" you've found on one of those free Internet sites. Getting a perceived 'big discount' from an inflated retail price might make you feel good but doesn't necessarily mean you've gotten a good deal.

Please understand that this site is first and foremost a professional, dealer-to-dealer site. You won't find all of the banner ads, advertising, and unimportant "filler" information that plagues some of the other automoitve price guide sites. What you will find is a great deal of accurate information from an industry insider's position. Among that information will be the most current and accurate pricing in the industry as well as a wealth of information that will either help you make money or save money on your next transaction.

Please understand that Galves does not publish 'retail' numbers because there is very little accurate information regarding the actual prices paid by consumers at various levels of retail (see below). If there is too great a spread between an Internet site's 'trade-in' value and 'retail' value, be careful! Either their trade-in value is too low, their retail value is too high, or both. There is, on the other hand, a great deal of accurate information on which to base wholesale values. Since retail pricing is primarily based on the wholesale transaction, knowing a 'true' wholesale value is the best place to start thinking about what is fair retail pricing.

How, then, do you figure out a fair retail value? It makes much more sense to arrive at fair retail pricing the same way dealers do, by basing it on what they have to pay for a vehicle in the wholesale market. If tomorrow, dealers were able to purchase 2011 Mercedes E350 sedans for $2000 less than they could last week, you would see a corresponding reduction in the retail market. The difference between the wholesale price and the retail price depends on the quality/desirability of the vehicle, the level of reconditioning provided, the level of security provided to the retail purchaser in the form of warranties, and a reasonable mark-up to cover dealer expenses and create a profit.

Three common types of used car ‘retail’ sales include:

Private Sales (consumer-to-consumer)- In private sales there is usually little reconditioning, a low level of security if the vehicle is out of warranty and limited marketing expenses for the seller (newspaper ads). In a private sale, one should expect the least markup between our trade-in values and the asking price.

Purchases from Independent Used Car Dealers- A sale from an independent used car dealer would generally include some level of reconditioning, perhaps some level of security, mid-level marketing and sales expenses. In this sale, one should expect a higher markup than in the private sales.

Purchases from Franchised New Car Dealers- A sale from a new vehicle franchised dealer is likely to include the highest level of reconditioning, a more generous warranty, high marketing and sales expenses and the need for the highest markup from our wholesale values.

For example: a vehicle that has a current trade-in value of about $15,000 might typically sell for around $16,500-$17,000 in a private sale, $17,500-$18,500 from an independent used car dealer, and something above $18,500 from a franchised new car dealer.

We understand that you may not be very familiar with Galves. For more than 55 years, Galves has served the professionals in the business and has never sought a consumer presence. Outside of the industry we have been a well-kept secret. Thanks to the power of the Internet we are now available to a much broader audience. Now you can access the same values the dealers have used for years and have come to trust with their money. We are so confident that our values will be of use to you in your next transaction that we offer the Galves Money Back Guarantee. You've got nothing to lose and lots to gain!

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