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October 31st, 1999 Article
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Seeing as I really confused everyone last week, I thought I should try and stay a little simpler this week. I am going to give you some suggestions on how to deal with trading your vehicle off. Some of these suggestions will also apply to people who are trying to sell their vehicle themselves. How you present your vehicle can have a very big effect on how much you are going to be allowed for a trade-in or sale. When the time comes to sell or trade your vehicle there are some very important things to keep in mind.

1. If you are trading your vehicle in to a dealer, you have to remember that this dealer HAS to be able to re-sell the vehicle you are trading in. Needless to say, they are not just going to throw your old vehicle away. (However, in some cases that is all they can do with some vehicles that are beyond serviceability and in such cases the trade-in will not of cost them anything anyway.)

2. Analyze your purpose for trading the vehicle. Are you trading it because it requires very extensive repairs that you don't what to spend the money on? Or are you trading it off just because you wish to get a different vehicle? In each case, be prepared to deal with the circumstances that each different reason will present.

Now, before you head out to try and make a deal, step back and try and look at your vehicle as another person will. Or if you like, look at the vehicle as if you were considering buying it yourself and see what you think. Is the vehicle nice and clean? Could it use a good polish job? How are the tires and wheels or hubcaps? A GOOD looking vehicle is the first impression that a person gets when they look at your vehicle. Remember that the dealer has to be able to resell your trade-in and any money that they HAVE to spend in order to get the vehicle in saleable condition, will be considered in what they allow you for the trade. SPENDING SOME MONEY BEFORE YOU TAKE A VEHICLE IN FOR A TRADE CAN DRASTICALLY INCREASE THE AMOUNT YOU WILL RECEIVE FOR THE TRADE. A few years ago we tried a little test using a ten-year-old vehicle that belong to a friend of mine. We took his vehicle in to try and see what sort of deal we could make and the car was very dirty because he had just returned from a hi-way trip in the rain. To add to the deal, we threw a few empty coffee cups and burger wrappers onto the floor and filled the ashtrays. We even threw a bunch of tools, old rags and some old parts into the trunk.

With this preparation done, we headed for the nearest car dealer and worked out the best trade-in value we could get on a vehicle that they had on the lot. After this was done, we returned home and cleaned the vehicle all up and got it back to the appearance condition that my friend usually kept it in. The NEXT day, we returned to the same dealer and talked to a different Salesman, but the Sales Manager that went out to appraise the trade was the same person that had looked at the car the day before. In working on a deal for the very same vehicle we had dealt with the day before, the value of the trade-in had INCREASED by nearly $2000.00 Needless to say it didn't cost two thousand dollars just to clean up the car. Most people that appraise trade-ins know that if a person doesn't care about how a vehicle looks, they GENERALLY show as little concern for the mechanical condition of the vehicle too. A little effort with a hose, vacuum, upholstery cleaner, polish and even a trip to the local Auto Wrecker to replace missing hubcaps etc, will be well worth the effort.

And, DON'T FORGET THE WINDOWS INSIDE AND OUT, and take the time to get right into the tough areas and corners. Nothing looks worse than a window that has only been PARTLY cleaned. But, now that you have the vehicle all cleaned up and shiny, do you still want to trade it off? MMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmm!!!!

"TOOT" Rick "The Wrench" - October 31, 1999
Copyright of Rick The Wrench, 1999

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