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Old 07-09-2009, 02:04 PM
 
384 posts, read 1,296,241 times
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I am shopping for a used vehicle...I have heard good and bad about Carmax, and know they are no haggle...is it better to deal with a dealership than Carmax? Thanks!!
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Old 07-09-2009, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,825 posts, read 23,242,151 times
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IMHO it's better to deal with individual owners, if you are looking for a late model you can buy from the original owner.

You will only pay more at the dealer or CarMax, plus have their obnoxious salesmen trying to steer you towards something more expensive or something they need to get rid of, as opposed to what you really want.

There is not much real difference between CarMax and a car dealership, they are as similar as the Crips and the Bloods.
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Fly-over country.
1,764 posts, read 4,604,279 times
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Car Max has helped me find two very specific, low milage models. Without their network, I probably wouldn't have gotten to either of them in time. The prices were fair. I wouldn't sell my car to them, unless time was a major factor, and I wouldn't buy their extended coverage either.

In general I would guess that Car Max operates with a lower overhead than your average local/regional car dealer (not wholesalers, differnt game there). I think Car Max relies on volume for profit.
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:17 PM
 
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The cars are usually in better shape than other used car dealers. When I was looking for our van CarMax had them for $14,000. I walked across the street to a dealer and got the same van for $10,000. That is the first time that ever happened to me. The Dealer van was in just as good a condition as it would have been at CarMax. I've bought from CarMax before and been very happy, but I couldn't pass this deal up. 4 months later we are still happy.
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Old 07-11-2009, 04:53 PM
 
Location: California
9,791 posts, read 24,396,696 times
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We've only sold to CarMax. You pretty much know what they are going to give you...straight out of Kelly BB. And a car is NEVER in excellent condition in their eye....Our 2 cars belonged to the kids...we knew what they were worth and it was a no hassle deal. Handed over the check right then and there.
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Old 07-11-2009, 11:40 PM
 
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
3,537 posts, read 5,115,208 times
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Carmax gave us $1200.00 more than "excellent" on KBB. I believe that Carmax is a good route to take, but you still need to do your homework.
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Old 07-11-2009, 11:43 PM
 
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I like the idea of the national network for buying cars (especially good if you are looking for something relatively rare). Do be aware that a good percentage of their cars are purchased from rental agencies. That isn't in itself a bad thing, but something to be aware of (they disclose it on the car's specs on the website).
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Old 07-12-2009, 02:05 AM
 
Location: Atlanta,GA
2,614 posts, read 3,759,643 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
IMHO it's better to deal with individual owners, if you are looking for a late model you can buy from the original owner.

You will only pay more at the dealer or CarMax, plus have their obnoxious salesmen trying to steer you towards something more expensive or something they need to get rid of, as opposed to what you really want.

There is not much real difference between CarMax and a car dealership, they are as similar as the Crips and the Bloods.
I do agree with dealing with individuals overall versus shady dealerships, however I heard good things about Carmax from colleagues and co-workers that purchased from them. I can't tell you more, since I have not personally dealt with Carmax.

Whenever I plan on buying a car, I usually like to go to the dealership that sells the specific brand. The used section of said dealer always has clean, certified, pre-owned, lease returns of the car I am looking for.

Ex:

I got my wife's Odyssey at the Honda dealership, as they had a greater selection of used, low mileage Odysseys than Carmax (for example), and clean lease returns since they sell new Hondas there to begin with.
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Old 07-12-2009, 02:06 AM
 
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
3,537 posts, read 5,115,208 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelguy_73 View Post
I like the idea of the national network for buying cars (especially good if you are looking for something relatively rare). Do be aware that a good percentage of their cars are purchased from rental agencies. That isn't in itself a bad thing, but something to be aware of (they disclose it on the car's specs on the website).
A good percentage are company-owned fleet vehicles as well.

Also, Carmax is buying auctioned cars that were part of the inventories of dealerships that have gone belly up.
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Old 07-12-2009, 09:38 PM
 
2,910 posts, read 4,230,739 times
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In 2000 we bought a new Corolla and traded it up for a new Camry in 2003. That particular dealership worked well with us to get what we wanted, however it took forever and lots of back and forth!

Then my husband's old Celica died completely and we went to Carmax to get a van - Ford Windstar. That was the easiest thing I had ever bought. There indeed was no haggling and the only thing that took some time was settling on financing as our credit was not as good as it had been. Also, although it did end up with transmission problems 3 years later, it was a good choice overall.

A few years later the Camry was hit and totaled. Hubby went back to Carmax and bought a Malibu. Again easy deal. Didn't like it after a few months and went back and traded it for a Taurus. Easy as pie.

Back to the Toyota dealer to trade the Windstar in for a newer van and they didn't have what was advertised online, the guy had never even seen it. He tried to get us into a vehicle we certainly could not afford and wasted our time with it. Then he discovered he had a newer Windstar and it took 2 days to get it finalized. ugh.

My second oldest daughter had gotten a used Sentra from the same Toyota dealer we had bought from previously and it took hours to get it. Less than a year later she was broadsided and it was totaled. She was away at college and went to their local Carmax and walked away with a Civic within a very short time.

All transactions with Carmax were stress free and quick, especially compared to the regular dealership.
I'd have no problem recommending Carmax to anyone and have done so numerous times for those wanting a used car and no hassle.
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