Over the past 50+ years we've encountered many questions from consumers about what does and does not make sense in preparing a vehicle to be traded. Here are six things to consider before trading your vehicle:
1) Repairs: Should you repair a vehicle before showing it to a dealer? In general, the answer is no. Dealers are in "the business" and, therefore, have the ability to make mechanical or cosmetic repairs more reasonably than a consumer. Trading the vehicle in "as is" condition also allows the dealer to decide what needs to be done and to control the quality of the repair. There is little chance you would recoup the cost of last minute repairs, so you are much better off letting the dealer be responsible for them.
2) Detailing: Should you clean a car before showing it to a dealer? This is not as clear-cut as it might seem. Most cars will clearly benefit from an interior cleaning. Exterior cleaning is a different story and depends largely on the extent of flaws (primarily dings and scratches) around the vehicle. Exterior dirt and dust hide many of those flaws and many vehicles actually look better before cleaning. One popular story in the wholesale business tells of a dealer who cleans the exterior of a car, sees the true condition of the paint underneath, and says, "I just washed $500 worth of dirt off that car!"
3) Previous Paintwork: Paintwork, especially of poor quality or on an expensive vehicle, can significantly devalue a vehicle. Sometimes a wet-sanding (check with a body shop) can improve the look of paintwork, especially if the paint problem is primarily related to the texture of the paint. Dirt can also hide paintwork and may be another good reason for not cleaning a vehicle (see #2).
4) Same-Make Dealer: It is often useful to have your vehicle appraised by a dealer who sells the same vehicle new, especially if it is something he might want to stock for retail. If he were to consider stocking your trade-in for his retail lot, he is likely to offer more for it when he appraises it. If nothing else, his appraisal may be useful in negotiation with other dealers.
5) Multiple Appraisals: Generally it's a good idea to show your vehicle to a few dealers. You will either be surprised by the difference of opinions or feel confident of your vehicle's value if the appraisals are consistent. Another dealer's opinion is often a useful negotiating tool.
6) Your Own Expectations: Before visiting a dealer, be sure you have a sense of what your vehicle is worth. Showing up with a realistic expectation will help you and the dealer strike a deal that satisfies you both.
These are some of the things you should consider before trading in your car. More and more consumers are looking to Galves for guidance and checking our values before visiting their dealers. We invite you to get on the same page as your dealer… you have nothing to lose and lots to gain since we back our values with the Galves Money Back Gurantee.
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